About Andrews Forest Art & Humanities

Long-Term Ecological Reflections: 2003-2203

In a program that will continue for two hundred years, writers, artists, composers, scholars visit the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest to create an ongoing record of their reflections on the relation of people and forests changing together over time.  This Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is set in the Oregon Cascades and is inspired in part by the Long-Term Ecological Research program, dating from 1980.  Engagement of creative writers and philosophers began in 2002, and visiting scholars, artists, and composers have joined more recently.  The endeavors take the form of writer, scholar, artist, and composer residencies; field symposia (weekend retreat gatherings focused on specific topics), and associated projects (e.g., performances, exhibits, books).  Digital records of the works are publicly accessible in The Spring Creek Forest Log webpage.

The Mission

The mission of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is to bring together creative people to form a living, growing record of how we understand the forest and the relation of people to the forest, as that understanding and that forest both change over time. This program is part of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, which seeks to bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word to understand and re-imagine our relation with the natural world.

LTEReflections is based on these fundamental beliefs

  • That we should pay close attention to a particular place-to the mountains, rivers, people and the forests of the Andrews Forest and its environs-because a close study of place will reveal broader truths that go beyond that place.
  • That we should study that place for generations and learn to perceive the temporal dimension-the presence of pasts and futures-through informed observation.
  • That storytelling and poetry, observation and experiment, myth and mathematics, music and art are all authentic windows on the world.
  • That there is an unusual richness and joy in the community of art, humanities, and science, in the coming together of insights from many different perspectives and disciplines.
  • That there is wisdom to be gained; that the more we know about the natural world and the place of humans in the world, the greater our insight into how we ought to live our lives.

Program Partners

Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is a collaboration among the Spring Creek Project, based in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion in Oregon State University, the Andrews Forest Long-Term Ecological Research program, and the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, a principal funder. The Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is modeled in part on the Long-Term Ecological Research program funded by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station.