Environment Seminar: Semiotics of Sustainability

When and Where

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 12:10 pm to 2:00 pm


Nicole Spiegelaar, Teaching Professor, Trinity College and School of the Environment; Assistant Director of the Sustainability Initiative

Abstract: We will explore the meaning-making semiotics of nature immersion as an embodied guide for sustainability. Both Indigenous land-based-wisdom and psyche-sciences reveal that navigating nature shapes our brain and behaviour in a way that supports mutualistic thriving of human and environmental wellbeing. Natural patterns act as symbolic reminders for balanced relations by fostering self-awareness, social empathy and non-dual processing. These traits not only encourage pro-environmental behaviours, but they also equip us with personal resilience during uncertain times. The good news during physical restrictions is that we can effortlessly develop mindfulness, awareness and sense of connection through more interesting means than sitting in meditation.

Brief Bio: Professor Spiegelaar (joint with Trinity College) works with complex adaptive systems theory and interdisciplinary knowledge integration to address sustainability challenges. Her current research looks at the natural environment as a setting and systems-model for mental wellness, and is informed by Indigenous Knowledge of the James Bay Cree, Environmental Psychology and Ecosystems Science. Nicole is the Assistant Director of the Sustainability Initiative which connects the classroom, student research, internships and campus sustainability through experiential learning.

Location: ONLINE. To register for this event, please open the Eventbrite page.