An Open Letter To Environmental Educators

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As environmental educators, we have one of the most important jobs in current history. The purpose of our profession is to build a legacy of future generations that will result in a new consciousness for Nature that has been lost by recent generations. Through our efforts, the current destructive trend of apathy toward Nature, human over-consumption, and over-population has the potential of being reversed before it is too late. It is our legacy who will be preserving and protecting Nature’s essential and vital energy flow. I am both energized and proud to be part of this group of important human beings.


Modern science has made great advances in building a knowledge base of systems thinking. This has resulted in Nature now being described as a highly interdependent “living system” that includes human beings. I am gratified to see an increasing amount of  systems thinking being taught by many of you.  The two basic premises of living systems thinking are  (1) everything on our planet is interdependent and (2) the high complexity of Nature’s ecosystems prevent humans from predicting the effect of any conservation effort.


Over the past five years, I have incorporated living systems thinking in my environmental education programs. I have also developed my thoughts on the application of systems thinking to the conservation of Nature. I have written and posted several blog essays regarding the subject on my web site. The current free teaching guide that I have written has also been available to you for some time on my web site.


I am currently working on an extensively revised and expanded text that will replace the current free book in early 2018. The working title of the book is “Empowering Stewards of Nature – Lessons From The Web Of Life“. A draft version of the basic chapters are available for your review and critique. This book emphasizes the real reason that all conservation practices exist — that is the preservation of the pathways of energy flow in Nature. By identifying and conserving energy flow networks, mankind does not get involved in making changes to Nature, Instead, Nature, makes the decisions that best serve Her and Her creatures.


The objective of this book is to:


  • Identify The core problem on Earth – An unsustainable human population and human overconsumption that is depleting our earth’s resources.
  • Define living systems — systems science
  • Discuss Nature’s energy transformation and transportation processes.
  • Evangelize the idea that conservation is the act of identifying, preserving, and protecting energy flow pathways in Nature.
  • Identify conservation practices that will protect these vital energy flow pathways. These practices include environmental education.


My web site is known as “Nature’s Web of Life – The Art, Soul, And Science Of A Connected Nature” . All of the material that I provide on this site is offered to environmental educators without cost in hopes that it will be useful as you develop your own curriculum and lesson sets. On this web site, I am maintaining draft chapters of the book. You are welcome to access this material, offer suggestions, and use the material for your own programs. Extensive lesson sets and case studies that accompany the book will be made available to you early next year. The chapters are listed below. By clicking on a chapter title, your will be able to download both the chapter and the Internet resources that support the information in that chapter.


The six blog essays are:



PLEASE NOTE !!!! As of 30 January 2018, the book has been published as a free PDF document.  Download your free copy


Best Wishes !!!!

My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

5 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Environmental Educators”

  1. What an amazing job you are doing Bill, thank you for engaging our Mexican youth to tespect, love and take care of our Earth….our home. Lucia.

  2. My ecological education is what Richard Heinberg learned from Bill Rees. What I currently grasp is that energy flow is the central process of life. Maturana and Varela said that all living things have minds and the process of life, to them, is cognition, and my sense is that energy flow and cognition may be different forms, but more alike than different, in the ecological reality (the one that’s real, no human invention) of life process. It may be time for the medications that maintain me in current form, but it almost feels (because it’s text, not cognating face to face) like having met someone who knows how to articulate what I feel, and what I imagine the feelings mean, from observing the life system (as a permaculture designer), but haven’t the facility, for now, of your advanced level of articulation. I’ve bookmarked your site and will do much more reading of it. I write fiction and have need to inform a character’s explanation of the life system in a museum at a painting of Earth from space, where reality said – showed – that it’s a finite planet. The adult will explain anachronistic infinity zombies blinded by false ideology who continue thrashing another profit from its life system, and so a couple of 10 year old humans understand it. Thanks for being here, doing what you do. My concentration in my BA work was Environmental Art and Education and I seek to write a book that’s literary fiction and environmental art because my adviser assured me it wasn’t doable. She wrote a class called “Sacred Trees” where we had to learn to hear a tree communicating with us. Mine was a 700 year old valley oak beside a man-made lake, who taught me that it was dying because its roots never got dry. Later, I learned that, in fact, keeping valley oak roots wet kills the tree, as a water treatment plant was doing to a large grove in order to “use” its treated water. A mediterranean climate, un-aided, dried their roots with long, rain-free summers.

  3. Hi Bill,
    When I tried to download the e-book, I got a message that the link was too old (11 1/2 hours). I’ll try again later today.
    Thank you,

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