My commitment to the environmental humanities is integrative and grounded in praxis. I am passionate vegetable gardener and an ardent supporter of local agriculture. In addition to my formal education, I also hold a certification in Permaculture Design and regularly attend gardening workshops through Cornell Cooperative Extension. I also have spent many summers volunteering on organic farms in both Europe and Asia. Most recently, I am working on developing education and outreach for my family's small business, "Home Organic Gardening Service" (HOGS Long Island). Through HOGS, my Stony Brook students have had opportunities to learn about organic gardening on Long Island. I have helped students secure internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities--and have also given them opportunities to experiment with organic gardening in relation to course material. On the HOGS website, I maintain a blog on local sustainable agricultural issues, which I do in order to create dialogue between the academy and the community.
For more information about the gardening work, please visit the HOGS website: HOME ORGANIC GARDENING SERVICE
The poetics of gardening and sustainable agriculture is also a subject of my current writing. The metaphor of the garden is pedagogically rich and ethically relevant.
Most recently, my nonfiction essay, "Caring for the Domus: On the Evolution of Ecopoetics in the West" will be forthcoming in The Trumpeter: A Journal of Ecosophy. This intimate non-fiction essay traces a lineage of Western ecopoetics and ecological thought to its ancient Roman origins by calling upon David Ferry’s inspired translations of Horace’s Odes, and reads them in light of the philosophical imperatives described by David Orr, Wendell Berry, and other important ecological thinkers, in order to formulate an understanding of how the ongoing environmental crisis is ultimately a crisis of the human spirit. Through creating a linguistic mosaic of Horace’s didactic wisdom enmeshed with current sustainability dialogues and personal experience, the essay lays bare the connections and contingencies between poetry, virtue, sustainability, and ecological existence.
Those old books suggested a certain fertility, an Ohio soil, as if they were making a humos for new literatures to spring in. I heard the bellowing of bullfrogs and the hum of the mosquitoes reverberating through the thick embossed covers when I had closed the book. Decayed literature makes the richest of all soils.
-Henry David Thoreau, March 16, 1852