As the world continues to experience  environmental crises, extreme climate events, and ecological changes, humanities councils are committed to examining relationships between humanity and nature—how the intricacies of our lives are interconnected to the more-than-human world; how inequitable social systems impact and extract environmental resources; and how we may work together to shape the conditions of a future that is shared and sustainable on Earth. 

Through community programming and literary exploration, councils across the country are prompting important discussions about environmental health, human connection, and healing relationships to colonized land. 

Below is a list of environmental books, articles, authors, and other media recently featured by state and jurisdictional humanities councils, categorized by genre. This is not an exhaustive list, but it demonstrates the many environmental and climate-related projects taking place across the humanities council community.

Novels and Narrative Fiction

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life by George Monbiot

Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (2)*

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

House Made of Dawn by M. Scott Momaday

Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer 

Let the Wild Grasses Grow by Kase Johnstun

Manatee’s Best Friend by Sylvia Liu

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (3)

Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade by Nathaniel Rich

The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag

The First Blade of Sweetgrass by Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey, Illustrated by Nancy Baker

The Life List of Adrian Mandrick by Chris White

The Ministry for the Future by Kin Stanley Robinson

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

The Wall by John Lanchester

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (2)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Weather by Jenny Offill

What This River Keeps by Greg Schipps

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut

World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler


Alabama Rivers: A Celebration & Challenge by William G. Deutsch

Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

A Conservationist Manifesto by Scott Russell Sanders

A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit 

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

A Season On The Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration by Kenn Kaufman

A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind by Harriet A. Washington

After the Blast: The Ecological Recovery of Mount St. Helens by Eric Wagner

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson

Along the Caloosahatchee River by Amy Bennett Williams

Always a River: Ohio River and the American Experience edited by Robert Reid

As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Bayou Farewell by Mike Tidwell

Bees Besieged by Bill Mares

Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction by Michelle Nijhuis

Between Earth and Sky by Nalini Nadkarni

Black Snake: Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Environmental Justice by Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (5)

Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture edited by Paul Pressley and Paul Sutter

Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, a Littoral Books anthology

Distracted by Alabama: Tangled Threads of Natural History, Local History, and Folklore by James S. Brown

Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land by N. Scott Momaday

Earth Works: Selected Essays by Scott Russell Sanders

Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World by Kathleen Dean Moore

Ecology of Dakota Landscapes: Past, Present, and Future by W. Carter Johnson and Dennis H. Knight

Energetic Herbalism: A Guide to Sacred Plant Traditions Integrating Elements of Vitalism, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine by Kat Maier 

Erosion by Terry Tempest Williams

Ethics of Climate Change: Right and Wrong in a Warming World by James Garvey

Ever Green: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet by John W Reid and Thomas E. Lovejoy

Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs

Finding Solace in the Soil by Bonnie Clark

Graceland, At Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South by Margaret Renkl

Gonna Trouble the Water: Ecojustice, Water, and Environmental Racism by Miguel de la Torre

How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew Hoffman

Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science by Enrique Salmón 

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade by Adam Minter

Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides by Mehana Blaich Vaughan

Milltown: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault (2)

New World Coming by Torrey House Press

Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance by Nick Estes

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush (2)

Romantic Ecology: Woodsworth and the Environmental Tradition by Jonathan Bate

Sailing the Inland Sea: On Writing, Literature, and Land by Susan Neville

Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction by Georgann Eubanks (2)

Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts by J. Drew Lanham

Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures by

Nick Pyenson

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us by Meg Lowman  (Author), Sylvia A. Earle (Foreword, Contributor)

The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming by Eric Holthaus

The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation by Adam Rome

The Great Conversation: Nature and the Care of the Soul by Belden C. Lane

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea by Jack Davis

The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet by Michael E. Mann

The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark

The River Always Wins by David Marquis

The River That Made Seattle: A Natural and Human History of the Duwamish by BJ Cummings

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson

The Song of the Earth by Jonathan Bate

The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans by Cynthia Barnett

The Sustainable Economy: The Hidden Costs of Climate Change and the Path to a Prosperous Future by Bob Devine

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells 

The Way of Imagination by Scott Russell Sanders

This Land is Our Land: The Struggle for a New Commonwealth by Jedidiah Purdy

Value of Hawai’i: Hulihia, the Turning edited by Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, Craig Howes, Jonathan Kay, Kamakawiwoʻole Osorio, and Aiko Yamashiro

Virga and Bone: Essays from Dry Places by Craig Childs

Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers

What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha (3)

Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller

Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World by Emma Marris

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (4)

50 Plant Medicines Indigenous Oral History & Perspective by Chenae Bullock


Drift Migration by Danielle Beazer Dubrasky 

Habitat Thresholds by Craig Santos Perez

Heart of the Prairie by Bruce Roseland

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Not Xanadu: Poems by Cathryn Hankla 

Passiflora by Kathy Davis 

Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith

“Irreplaceable” by Nan Seymour

Articles, Essays, and Magazines

Sagebrush to Sandstone: A Humanities Guide to Outdoor Nevada by Nevada Humanities

“A City Upon a Hill” by Rachel Hellman, Belt Magazine (Belt Magazine is funded by Ohio Humanities) 

“A New Fertilizer Mine has Michigan Residents Worried” by Lina Tran, Belt Magazine

“A Visit to Milwaukee’s Last Public Drinking Well” by Lina Tran, Belt Magazine

“America’s Largest Inland Port is Running Out of Water” by Adam Mahoney, Belt Magazine

“Around Lake Michigan on the Circle Tour” by Bob Zeni, Belt Magazine

“Beyond: Fall/Winter 2021” Issue, Oregon Humanities Magazine

“Building a Black-Owned Food Ecosystem in Detroit” by Randiah Camille Green, Belt Magazine

“Building a Just Energy Future in Michigan” by Nina Misuraca Ignaczak, Belt Magazine

“Climate Emergency and Environmental Justice in the Rust Belt” by Ryan Schnurr, Belt Magazine

“Climate Signs” by Emily Raboteau

“Climate: Summer 2021” Issue, Oregon Humanities Magazine

“Dudes Who Won’t Wear Masks” by Julia Marcus

“From Wasteland to Wildlife Habitat” by Paul Gordon, Belt Magazine

“Gaia Versus the Anthropocene: A Conversation with Dorion Sagan” by Greg Ruggerio

“Getting to the Roots of Climate Change” by Bob Devine, Oregon Humanities Magazine

“Grasping at Shifting Sands” by Natalie Tomlin, Belt Magazine

“Greening West Woodlawn” by Audrey Henderson, Belt Magazine

“How to Actually Talk to Anti-Maskers” by Charlie Warzel

“Inside the Decades-Long Fight Over an Ohio Superfund Site” by Yanick Rice Lamb, Belt Magazine

“Is It OK To Have a Child?” by Meehan Crist

“I’ve Said Goodbye to ‘Normal.’ You Should, Too” by Roy Scranton

“Ohio’s Indigenous Landscapes” by William Sharp, Belt Magazine

“Optimism has Never Been Cool but Even Covid and Climate Change Give Us Reasons to Be Cheerful” by Ian Leslie

“Oral Histories of the 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire,” Belt Magazine

“Reducing Recidivism and Building Green Industry Skills in Detroit” by Nina Misuraca Ignaczak, Belt Magazine

“RPW Center Sponsors ‘Environments’ Track at 2021 Southern Festival of Books” by Serenity Gerbman

“The Bird Patrol” by Ryan Schnurr, Belt Magazine

“The Concession to Climate Change I Will Not Make” by Jedidiah Britton-Purdy

The Coronavirus Is a Preview of Our Climate-Change Future” by David Wallace-Wells

“The Englewood Line–Not Just the Anti-606” by Audrey Henderson, Belt Magazine

“The Forgotten Island Chronicles of Minna Anthony Common” by Robin Catalano, Belt Magazine

“The Growing Fight Over a Trash Station in West Chicago” by Liuan Huska, Belt Magazine

“The Long Tail of Indiana’s Oil and Gas Boom” by Ava Tomasula y Garcia, Belt Magazine

“The Ohio Organization Rekindling Indigenous Foodways” by Zeb Larson, The Indigenous Rust Belt Series, Belt Magazine

“Welcome to ReCreation Land” by Sarah Hume, Belt Magazine

“We Are Nature” by Beth Lord

“What Chicago’s Major Taylor Trail Could Be” by Audrey Henderson, Belt Magazine

What the Coronavirus Means for Climate Change,” by Meehan Crist

“Wisconsin’s Black Farming Tradition” by Kynala Phillips, Belt Magazine


Animal, Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray

Miracle Country: A Memoir by Kendra Atleework

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams

Riverine: A Memoir From Anywhere But Here by Angela Palm

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham

The Trail to Kanjiroba: Rediscovering Earth in an Age of Loss by William Debuys and Illustrated by Rebecca Gaal 

The Yellow House by Sara M. Broome


Dune Boy: The Early Years of a Naturalist by Edwin Way Teale

Notes From An Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O’Connell

Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

When I was Red Clay by Jonathan T. Bailey

Wild Spectacle: Seeking Wonders in a World Beyond Humans by Janisse Ray

Films, Talks, and Interviews

“Are ‘We the People’ Up for the Task?” with Meg Mott

Birding Her-story: The Lost Legacy of Women in Ornithology” with Bridget Butler

“Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction and America’s National Parks” with 

“Consider this with Robin Wall Kimmerer”, author of Braiding Sweetgrass and Gathering Moss

Global Food Sovereignty, from Resilience to Reclamationwith Veronica Limeberry

High Tide Don’t Hide by The Rebel Film Collective

History in Hot Water: Climate Change and the Shipwrecks of Lake Champlain,” a conversation with Susan Evans McClure and Christopher Sabick

Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, published dossier that was created for the Department of the Interior 

Indigenous Rust Belt,” a conversation with writers Katie Phillips, Brad Kasberg, and Gillian Joseph

“In memory of Barry Lopez,” author of Arctic Dreams and many other books

“NPR’s Eric Westervelt on Bigger Fires, Hotter Days, and Drier Lands” 

“Responsible Investing: One Tool in the Toolbox to Fight Climate Change” with Joy Facos

Revisioning Recovery: Uncovering the Roots of Disaster  by Working Films

We are the Land: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Abenaki Sovereignty” with 

Bryan Blanchette and Melody Walker Mackin 

Wildlife Photographer: The Life of Karl Maslowski, documentary by The Cincinnati Nature Center

So Much Together: We Can Create a Paradise” with Stefanie Krantz and Andrea (AJ) Whiteplume 

The Path to Climate Justice is Local,” with Elizabeth Yeampierre

“Thinking Through the Future with Bill McKibben” 

Vermont Teen Shakespeareans Save the Planet”  with Peter Gould and Funnery Shakespeare campers

“Words in the Woods with Geof Hewitt” 

“Words in the Woods with Poet James Crews” 

Words in the Woods with Poet Judith Chalmer

Words in the Woods with Poet Sarah Audsley

Words in the Woods with Poet Shanta Lee Gander

“Youth discussions lead to environmental action in Aliquippa”

*Numbers in parenthesis indicate that the book was featured by 2 or more councils

Written by Jazzy DiMeglio