I teach environmental writing, ecocriticism, and place-conscious literature at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. In my classes, I like to learn something new myself, so I rarely teach the same course the same way. And I try to give assignments in which students don't just repeat to me information I already know, but rather give assignments in which we can both discover something that is new.

In my ecocriticism and place-conscious literature courses, I usually take a few field trips to engage students with the physical realities of the subjects we are reading about. Common field trips are to the Platte River in spring to watch the migration of the sandhill cranes, (pictured here) and to Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center in the fall, to see the tallgrass prairie in all its glory.

In my ecocriticism courses the material covered provides students with insight into how literature can re-direct human consciousness to a more harmonious engagement with the natural world, how, that is, literature can contribute to fostering an ecologically sustainable society. Students explore how literature's powerful influence on the human imagination affects the way we think about, value, and treat the natural world.

© Tom Lynch 2015