Thesis - Campus Access Only
Bachelor of Arts
School or Department
land ethic, land aesthetic, children's literature, natural history illustration, illustration
Environmental Studies | Geography | Human Geography | Nature and Society Relations
Yucca Dreaming is an illustrated children's book. The story was inspired by my own experience as a child spending time with my grandmother on our family's working cattle ranch in central Montana. My grandmother has a connection to her land that embodies what the great ecologist Aldo Leopold calls a land ethic. This view of the world means that individuals see themselves as part of a larger biotic community, sometimes called a biocentric worldview. I take this concept a step further with Yucca Dreaming to address the unique way in which a land ethic leads one to see the world. Beauty, in the context of a land ethic, is the deep sense of pleasure that arises from a landscape where the relationships between humans and the biotic community are healthy. In my book, I present the idea that a land aesthetic comes not from the superficial beauty of a landscape, but an intimate knowledge of geography and natural history. The result is a children’s book with pen and watercolor paintings done in the style of natural history illustration.
Honors College Research Project
Menahan, Mara K., "Yucca Dreaming" (2015). Undergraduate Theses and Professional Papers. 57.
© Copyright 2015 Mara K. Menahan