Samuel Barnes: Consciousness Ecology

barnesSamuel Barnes

Consciousness Ecology

B.A. expected September 2013

Home College: William E. Macaulay Honors College at Hunter

Mentor: Prof. Barbara Sproul, Religion, Hunter

“There are two types of education: the one that you can receive from others, and the one that you must give to yourself. Over my time in CUNY BA and Macaulay Honors College, I feel privileged to have had the chance to harmonize the former with the latter, and take the first steps in what will doubtlessly be a life-long journey towards understanding, potency and peace.

“I have devoted my time at school to an inquiry I’ve termed ‘Consciousness Ecology.’ Making use of various modalities, I work to discern the ways in which the natural environment shapes our language, culture, and ideas of self, and, conversely, the ways in which the human mind exerts its influence upon the material, natural world. In the classroom, this has lead me to in-depth studies of geography, urban design, climate science, hydrology and geology, as well as the philosophy of religion, critical and literary theory, and the rudiments of experimental psychology and statistics. Outside of class, I have concurrently developed passion and skill in the ancient sciences of yoga and chi-gong, herbalism, botany, human nutrition, linguistics, permanent agriculture, natural building and community organization.

“I am a devoted dancer, practicing poet, itinerant economist, speculative stargazer and vegan gourmand. In the months following commencement I will be undertaking a cross-country motorcycle journey in the hopes of encountering an American landscape that up to now I have only imagined. Like all of us, I know that my education is only just beginning; I will continue to train myself in these diverse fields, and specialize through graduate education as soon as an opportunity as compelling as our incredible undergraduate program crosses my radar. In all venues, I know that my aim is clear: to forge a language and a space where the mental and the ecological are respected, adored and enhanced. Today, the next phase of that work begins.”

As a senior, Barnes has been a Media and Outreach Intern for the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, writing for the Columbia Earth Institute (CERC) blog, conducting outreach and recruitment for CERC’s educational programming and studying the Antarctic Lake Vostok. He has also been teaching meditation for the Brookdale Contemplative Project. In 2011, he worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society as a researcher, collecting GIS data for an in-depth study of the ecological history of Greater New York. He completed his degree with upper level courses, including honors courses and independent study, from Lehman and Hunter.