Environmental Studies Professor Doug Hulmes was invited to present in Norway at the North Atlantic Forum on Sustainability of Rural Landscapes after submitting his award-winning paper, Sacred Trees of Norway and Sweden. In his paper, Professor Hulmes focuses on the Scandinavian tradition of planting a sacred tree in farm courtyards, Norwegian mythology surrounding trees and nature, and how these beliefs tie into other cultures around the world. Doug presented a fifteen-minute synopsis of his paper, focusing on the question “What is sacred to a culture in nature?”.
Doug states that a sense of the sacred is connected to sustainability “...because of the deep cultural ties that people living there have with the history and folklore of the landscape that often includes a sense of the sacred.” This was a key topic in Doug’s block course, Explorations of Norway, which teaches students about deep ecology while exploring and learning in Norway. Doug’s invitation to the forum gave students in his Explorations of Norway course the opportunity to attend, which allowed them to participate in the conversation on how culture is being integrated into sustainability. The forum also presented opportunities for students to discuss spiritual activism with influential figures in the field of deep ecology.
Doug and his students are a prime example of the experiential learning and opportunities for change offered at Prescott College.