American National Parks

The National Parks System is one of the best American ideas. Although this an urban themed blog, I want to share my recent and mostly non-urban American Road Trip, which was organized to visit 12 American National Park Areas. I believe that National Parks, by connecting people to nature,  inspire environmental action in natural areas as well as in cities. You can download my trip report, or view photos and route here:



Brachiopodes and 高陵 in Tomsk, Siberia

Participants of the Youth Parliament in Tomsk, Siberia are conducting projects related to the environment and health issues. Yesterday I conducted a presentation for these high school students about my research in the Bronx. Today they invited me to the Camp Garden (Лагерный сад) to learn about one of their project educating people about the geological history of this urban area and preserving unique rock formations. Everyone in the city knows the Camp Garden, a gorgeous park with a war memorial on the hill overlooking the river. However, few people are familiar with interesting geological formations downhill near the river, which are sometimes being neglected, destroyed and trashed. Last summer the Youth Parliament has installed interpretation signs explaining the geology of this are, and next year students are going to build metal steps for people to safely explore rock outcrops.

Students gathering near the eternal flame on the monument’s pedestal in the Camp Garden

Few people dare to explore the area down a steep slope

Near a huge kaolinite mudstone. Kao-ling (高陵) in Chinese means “high hill”

Interpretation signs installed by the previous cohort of students

A 330 million year old brachiopod found by students nearby