Introducing the 'Ecotopia 2121' Project Co-Ordinator
Hi, I'm Alan Marshall. I live in Thailand and my students call me "Ajarn Alan" (which translates into 'Teacher Alan'). None of them call me "Dr. Marshall", for some reason, despite my early attempts to indicate that this is the standard way to address a Western college teacher. (Actually my students are very polite to me all the time--despite the very weird 'foreign ways' they see in me every time we meet). Here I am with some of them (I'm the one towards the back wearing sunglasses and leaning forward).
By profession, I'm an environmental academic and I've been exploring the relationships between 'nature & art' and 'nature & technology' for many years--and I've done so in many places across the face of the planet, from Dubai to Montana and from Sydney to London. At last count I've lived and worked on environmental projects in 12 countries--sometimes just for one semester and sometimes for many years (especially in the case of New Zealand, where I was born and grew up--see the photo of my hometown below--and in Australia and Europe where I was educated to post-doctoral level.)
My day-time job is to write intensely-researched, highly-detailed, jargon-filled academic papers about the social and philosophical aspects of environmental problems (and then to convey this information to my Masters & Doctoral students at the Environmental Social Science program at Mahidol University in Thailand). Probably, only a few other academics care about reading this sort of writing (and my students, of course, because they HAVE to care if they want to pass). But, now and again, my writings are directed towards a 'pop/public' audience--well, an 'intelligent pop/public audience', and this is where Ecotopia 2121 lies. So, if you want to learn something about the environmental crisis and how we can survive it and go on to prosper -- and you also desire to read something with many many color illustrations, over 100 of them, and which has a bunch of awards associated with it, then choose this Ecotopia 2121 book first. (Even my students like it. But as I say--they are very polite.)
If Ecotopia 2121 seems too bright and cheerful--too utopian--in other words, then do not fear--my new project on urban ecology is called Frankencities: Our Looming Urban Horror Stories. Some results of Frankencities project are being released upon the world during 2016; the 200th birthday of the Frankenstein novel.