Thinking Like a Watershed
This presentation is a reflection on how we think about how the world works. Especially in the context of the restoration of Hamilton Harbour. The title is a play on renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold’s Thinking Like a Mountain, his confessional essay on traditional approaches to how we ‘manage’ the natural world. Ecosystems such as Hamilton Harbour and its rivers and marshes have a built-in capacity for resilience, an antidote to abuse and upheaval. But resilience is undermined by those traditional approaches. Leopold captured the essence of this problem: we too often fail to perceive how systems are connected and how they behave. Learning new approaches is an essential response to the emerging threats of climate and other changes affecting our ability to ‘bring back the Bay.’ This presentation samples similar ideas of original thinkers like Leopold, and suggests how we can meet this challenge by ‘thinking like a watershed.’
See the poster here
About the Speaker
Chris McLaughlin has worked in the environmental sector since 1990 as an author, educator, researcher, consultant, and chief executive. Chris is currently the executive director of the Bay Area Restoration Council in Hamilton and holds a PhD from McMaster University for a study of the characteristics of progress and limitations in Great Lakes policy and governance. Chris is a member of the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board and the Canadian Environmental Law Association’s Healthy Great Lakes Advisory Committee, and is an avid supporter of Arsenal Football Club.
The Bay Area Restoration Council is a registered charitable non-profit organization formed in 1991 to represent the public interest in the restoration of Hamilton Harbour and its watershed. BARC is responsible for community engagement and educational activities in the implementation of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan. BARC encourages public understanding and citizen action through school programs, volunteer participation, public workshops, evaluative reporting on current issues and opportunities for digital communications.