In a world where our differences are increasingly emphasized, can a tiny bird connect disparate cultures, landscapes, and economic priorities? Forest to Forest: Bicknell’s Thrush, now on display at the Museum of the White Mountains, makes the case that a secretive songbird unites New Hampshire and distant Caribbean communities.
Bicknell’s thrush graces the White Mountains during warmer months. Come fall, newly matured young make a long trip south to Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti) and adjacent islands. Through artwork, poetry, and scientific analysis, the multimedia exhibit proves that “Haiti and Laconia, and Santo Domingo and Concord” share not only the songbird but also global concerns concerning environmental quality and resource development.
“The bird represents an opportunity for multinational, multicultural collaboration, conservation, and conversations,” notes Professor Mary Ann McGarry, chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Her Issues in Sustainability course participants were among the many PSU students whose projects focused on issues raised by the migratory bird.
The exhibit caps a series of related events and activities, including a summer Cannon Mountain field trip to observe the bird’s breeding habitat; graduate course work; an international writing workshop; screening of the film, Death by 1000 Cuts; and watercolor workshops. “Exploring a Wicked Conservation Problem,” a Tourism, Environment, Sustainability, and Development (TESD) cluster event, took place on campus last semester.