Experiencing nature

The past two days I spent at a large conference for biology teachers (my real profession at the moment). It’s always very inspiring to talk to colleagues, meet old friends and attend nice lectures or workshops. This year I was asked to give a lecture myself. Four years ago I gave a lecture on the conference about the effects of climate change in polar regions. This lecture was the highest valued lecture of the whole conference. As this year was the 25th anniversary of the conference they asked the highlights of the previous 5 years, which included me. As I didn’t want just to repeat my old lecture so I made a new one. This time the central theme of the lecture was the importance of letting people experience nature. When I’m guiding on Spitsbergen we regularly have a discussion whether it’s good to take tourists to a vulnerable area as the Arctic. The result of this discussion always is that we hope to give the tourists an experience of nature that they can’t have anywhere else. We hope that this will have an effect in their daily life, that they will make the connection between the energy that they use at home and the effects it has in the Arctic (and other parts of the world). By experiencing nature over there I hope they will become more aware of it and will try to protect it with the means available to them

Human-influenced nature

With this blog I try to do the same, be it in a little different way. I can’t take you to the Arctic, but I can show you things from it. And I can even show you the nature from your backyard. Nature isn’t only something of far away place, but it is also something of just around the corner. You just need to have an eye for it. With the pictures on this blog I hope I can help you create such an eye, that you will also find the nature in your own neighbourhood, which is also worth preserving. In the same conference I heard a lecture about the changing definition of nature. With the destruction of most of the primeval forests in Europe we lost our reverence of true nature. Most things we consider nature now are highly influenced by humans. I completely agree, most of our nature reserves aren’t true nature at all. However, we can still do our best to preserve it, how small or human influenced it is…. By showing that nature on this blog, I hope I can help out a little…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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