Savanna Ferguson – USA

Savanna is a creative non-fiction writer based in Berkeley, California.Writing and the natural world are her inseparable passions. Her mission as a creative nonfiction writer is to motivate the audience to explore and protect the nonhuman world by demonstrating our intimate, inseverable, and fascinating connections to it. She want her readers to learn and through learning, to love. She hopes to convey that learning through beauty.She believes that language can foster such transformation both by capturing beauty in its form and conveying beauty in its meaning.

Her current project, Indications of Our Nature, is a collection of linked essays that explores how humans’ relationships with other species expose our many vices. Each essay is about a plant or an animal whose relationship with humans—past or present—offers a compelling case study in a particular vice. The project plays off the conservation biology concept of indicator species: a living organism that conveys something—by its presence, absence, sickness, or health—about the condition of its environment. Its presence may delineate an ecoregion, as proteas define the Cape Floral Kingdom of South Africa; it may demonstrate a level of environmental health, as salamanders do in the streams of Appalachia. The first question biologists ask of every indicator is what does this species’ condition tell us about the place in which it lives? Savanna’s essays reinterpret the concept to ask a different question: what can a species’ condition tell us about who we are and how we have interacted with that species?

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