West Side Rising: How San Antonio’s 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement is the first book focused on San Antonio’s enduring relationship to floods, which have had particularly severe consequences for its communities of color. Examining environmental, social, and political histories, author Char Miller shows how disasters can exposeContinue reading “WEST SIDE RISING”

Straddling the Divide

By Matt Hart The biggest bighorn I ever saw was an old ram patrolling the side of State Highway 38 between Red River and Questa, New Mexico. My friend, who was driving, knew the windy canyon road and said we might see sheep near the site of Chevron’s abandoned molybdenum mine. A highway department signContinue reading “Straddling the Divide”

Art in the Time of Covid

Creating art during the pandemic has proven challenging for many. While some visual artists are burning out on screens, others, as a recent Wired article noted, have found that digital projects pose some unique advantages. Among them is Elyse Andrews ’20, who has found ways to express her art and explore themes more deeply sinceContinue reading “Art in the Time of Covid”

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Begin Again

by Sandra Alcosser Because of open woodlandWith quivering sun patches A bird’s eye might observe a wormChiseling under earth’s Skin—because of granite bouldersFull of egg cases holding Spiderlings—because of purple berriesCome sweet in July—chokecherry Shadblow NankingHips and haws ripening— Branch nesters build summer nurseriesOn the face of our cabin—the same family Every year or theirContinue reading “Begin Again”

Two Nations Together Again at Boquillas

by Joe Holley Boquillas Crossing—On a cold, gray afternoon in Big Bend National Park, the rugged peaks and buttes wreathed by graceful low-hanging clouds, thirty or so American tourists are slouched against walls or sitting cross-legged on the hard floor of a small building manned by the National Park Service. We’ve all spent a portionContinue reading “Two Nations Together Again at Boquillas”

La Finca Caribe

We learn that most people are reluctant to break down these barriers on their own, especially on their first night, and sometimes for days, or all of their stay; but at the same time, they are really grateful to be gently ushered into it by our efforts. People want to connect. This knowledge comes inContinue reading “La Finca Caribe”

Elephants: We Hardly Knew Them, a Conversation with Dale Peterson

Dale Peterson has spent his career writing about subjects ranging from art and literature to computers to psychiatry to travel, including penning the biography Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man.  When it came to elephants, Peterson decided the history, strength, intelligence, and dominance of the world’s largest land animal were better explored in wordsContinue reading “Elephants: We Hardly Knew Them, a Conversation with Dale Peterson”


Terra Firma is a stage for exploring the relationships between humans and the physical environments they engage. From publishing to a vibrant education and event programs, we work to contribute to meaningful dialogue, advocacy, and conservation focused on; nature, landscape, and wilderness; environmental sustainability and climate change; animals and wildlife; architecture and the built environment; cultural heritage and the importance of place.

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