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  • Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Announces “Oika for Earthlings” Workshop with Dr. Rich Blundell

    The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) announces that it will offer the program “Oika for Earthlings” beginning March 1, 2023. The program is a five-part series of virtual workshops, led by the MMA scientist-in-residence, Dr. Rich Blundell. The program will dive into the principles and practices of “Oika,” which refers to the relational intelligence of nature that can be perceived and expressed through humans.
    During each session, participants will view and discuss short films on Oika topics, and explore the science of ecological intelligence. In the fourth week of the program, participants are invited to join Dr. Blundell on an “Earth Story Walk,” which traces out the entire story of the universe as a hike through Nantucket trails. Below is a breakdown of the sessions and their focus.

    • Week One, March 1:  What does the physics of the early universe tell us about the interconnectivity of all things? How does light become us?
    • Week Two, March 8: We’ll explore a cosmic zoo of celestial features to see how humans may join the family of galactic phenomena.
    • Week Three, March 15: A special planet emerges as a home for new kinds of life and intelligence to flourish.
    • Week Four, March 22: Life goes wild in animal bodies and a riot of ecologies awakens “endless forms most beautiful.”
      • **Week Four, March 25: Option to join Rich Blundell on-island for an “Earth Story Walk.”
    • Week Five, March 29: We explore the human dynamics of Oika and tie it all together through “Earthling Theory.”
    This program is designed for inquisitive adults. This program meets weekly on Zoom. Pre-registration is required before February 28, 2023. The cost per participant is $150. To register, please visit this page.
    Dr. Rich Blundell is an ecologist and philosopher working at the convergence of art, science, nature, and culture. As the founder of Oika, his research examines how transformation happens across the scales of person, place, and planet. Dr. Blundell’s research and work has received numerous grants and awards including, an ongoing TIDES innovators award, The National Science Foundation grant for “Science Out There,” the Michael Brinkman Award, and “The Deep Time Values” video award for “An Earth Story.” Blundell’s creative video work has appeared on PBS, National Geographic, and numerous social media platforms. He is currently the scientist-in-residence at the MMA.
    The Maria Mitchell Association was founded in 1902 to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. After she discovered a comet in 1847, Mitchell’s international fame led to many achievements and awards, including an appointment as the first female professor of astronomy at Vassar College. Maria Mitchell believed in “learning by doing” and today that philosophy is reflected in the MMA’s mission statement, programs, research projects, and other activities. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages


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