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, Professional Papers, and Capstone Artifacts. 57.
© Copyright 2015 Mara K. Menahan