1 Dec 2008, 12:12pm
by admin

One Year of W.I.S.E.

The first year of W.I.S.E. has flown by. A year ago we decided that something more than a single blog (SOS Forests, Version 1) was desirable, and the concept of a multi-site Web institute was born.

Our intention was to build the premier online library for forest, fire, and the environmental sciences, with emphasis on the New Paradigm. The knowledge uncovered, displayed, and explained was to be presented to the World At Large for the Instruction of Mankind and for the benefit of all creatures and landscapes of this Our Shared Planet.

We have achieved that goal, partially. We made some headway, at any rate.

The Western Institute for Study of the Environment now provides a free, on-line set of post-graduate courses in environmental studies, currently fifty Topics in eight Colloquia, each containing book and article reviews, original papers, and essays. In addition, we present two Commentary sub-sites, a news clipping sub-site, and a fire tracking site. Reviews and original articles are archived in our Library.

Last summer the Western Institute for Study of the Environment was officially granted 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational status by the IRS.

SOS Forests — the new version has been our most active sub-site, with 328 posts and 1,159 comments. SOS Forests — the old version, is still displayed [here] and is used as an archive and reference site. The other W.I.S.E. Commentary sub-site, Wildlife and People [here], has also been active, with 109 posts and 129 comments. Many interesting topics have been explored at both the Commentary sub-sites, with numerous authors and a healthy give-and-take of ideas.

A great deal of effort was made to track the largest fires this year at W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking. Over 250 fires were followed on a daily basis from Date of Origin to 100 Percent Containment. Each fire has its own post, creating one-stop records of the day-to-day changes in fire size, personnel, and fire suppression costs for further study and reference.

Throughout all that palaver we somehow managed to review 91 books and articles containing most cutting-edge advancements in the environmental sciences, (see the W.I.S.E. Library [here]). Ample as that may seem, our stack of additions runneth over. For the rest of this month we will be concentrating on adding a few dozen more excellent works to the Colloquia and Library.

And if that were not enough, in October we underwent a major facelift when we updated and remodeled the sub-sites.

None of this could have happened without the generous support of some serious forest aficionados with heartfelt concerns and strong convictions about stewardship. We are extremely grateful to all those who have chipped in to keep the tank from empty and the motor running. And we are also grateful to all those who have provided content, including the authors of the 91 books and papers reviewed in the Colloquia and the numerous guest authors of posts in the Commentary sub-sites.

Most enviro organizations take your dues and then provide the members with an exclusive magazine. Joining the club is akin to buying a subscription to the mag.

W.I.S.E. is the opposite. The members create the “magazine” (the online Colloquia and Commentary) for free distribution to the entire world.

Thank all of you for all your help. In many ways, we are just getting started on this great adventure. The World At Large has not been fully Instructed yet. There is much more to do. Please consider making a donation to this worthy effort; visit the Donation Page [here] for guidance.

And please keep the posts and photos coming in. Your contributions are vitally important and much appreciated. Thank you. If we change the world, it will be due to your efforts.

1 Dec 2008, 12:24pm
by Mike

Forgot to mention: W.I.S.E. Forest, Wildlife, and Climate News [here] has 322 posts and 106 comments. And we are very pleased with our new photo page (the first of many) Boise NF and Payette NF Post-2007 Fire(s) Photos [here]. Thank you very much to all those who sent photos and news clippings.



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