Rhizomatic Mapping in Alpine Outdoor Environmental Education

Mr Ant Mangelsdorf1
1La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia


The Australian alpine environment is a harbinger of ecological crises facing the Earth such as biodiversity and habitat loss, expansion of invasive species and climate change. In this context, Australian alpine environments can be experienced as disappearing islands of ecological significance with obligate species such as the Mountain Pygmy Possum effectively alpine climate refugees. These ecological crises are well documented and reported, however, wide-spread action to address these crises remains elusive. In responding to such ecological crises, posthuman researchers in education are increasingly calling for radical educational approaches that move beyond anthropocentrism and the nature-culture divide that underpin Western society and education systems.

This presentation explores and maps one particular experience in the Australian alpine environment, from a posthuman perspective, following a line of flight from thematic cartography, where the more-than-human voice is allowed to speak and new ways of being in relation with this environment are conceived. The creative concept of rhizomatic mapping is used to explore this experience across a number of entangled realms, such as the material, emotive, sensory, ephemeral, utilitarian, topographic, meteorological, conceptual and aesthetic, using devices such as words, images, charts, photographs, drawings and maps.

Anthony Mangelsdorf is an associate lecturer in Outdoor Environmental Education at La Trobe University Bendigo. He teaches in winter alpine environments, bush environments, safety in outdoor education and education for sustainability. His research interests are education for sustainability, threshold concepts for outdoor educators and posthuman approaches to outdoor environmental education.
When not working Anthony can often be found chasing the waves, looking for late season snow patches or dreaming up some new creation in the workshop.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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