The Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, New Hampshire, has chosen Antioch University New England (AUNE) to receive the 2013 Laurie Bryan Partnership Award. Dr. Stephen Jones, president of AUNE, accepted the award at the Harris Center’s annual meeting.
“Harris Center ties to the environmental and education programs at Antioch are long-term and multi-faceted,” wrote Jeremy Wilson, executive director of the Harris Center. “Indeed, the collaboration is deeply reflected in our staff and range of program areas. With this award we hope to thank Antioch for all of its wonderful contributions to the Harris Center and look forward to continuing our special relationship.”
The Laurie Bryan Partnership Award, named in honor of the Harris Center’s last executive director, recognizes a collaborating partner. Eastern Mountain Sports won the initial award, in 2012. Many AUNE faculty, alumni, and students have been or are board and staff members of the Harris Center.
Jones said the mission alignment of the Harris Center and AUNE “makes for a perfect partnership.” He talked about his time in Alaska—he served as chancellor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 2004 to 2008—quoting from “The Spell of the Yukon” by Robert Service. “But it’s really about the spell of a special place, whether my backyard, the Harris Center, or the vastness of Alaska,” Jones said.
Quoting from Richard Louv’s The Nature Principle, Jones talked about “special places” and three things that we should shun:
•Place blindness – the failure to be somewhere and really not see it as a special place
•Ecological illiteracy – the failure to understand and feel deeply about special places
•Earth stewardship apathy – the unwillingness to act to protect special places
But there are other “shuns” as well that should be embraced, he said: inspiration, conservation, action, education, dedication. “Seeing, feeling, awakening, humility, and action collide and lead to action,” he said.