Laura Sewall

A little thrill

THEMES: Personal Practice  |  WORKSHOP: Natural History & Society


Laura Sewall

Laura Sewall is the Director of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, a 600-acre site including rare pitch pine forest and Seawall Beach, the largest undeveloped barrier beach in Maine. Her work at Bates College includes facilitating faculty and student research on the conservation area's beaches and salt marshes. Laura holds a PhD in visual science from Brown University and a Master's degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School. She is the author of Sight and Sensibility: The Ecopsychology of Perception, and continues to study and write about the relationship between vision, attention and the natural world, with an emphasis on neural plasticity and embodied experience. Laura serves on the board of Maine Rivers and is engaged in clean water law and land conservation in Maine. Laura lives at the end of a peninsula, where the Sprague River meets Seawall Beach and the Gulf of Maine, and where she surf kayaks and gardens to her heart's content.




Laura Sewall: I can see the high tide from my windows. And it comes into the marsh, and it varies a great deal in terms of how high it is, but I always look for that moment when it's reached it's full ebb, and just slides into the marsh and then hesitates a little bit and slides back out again. I love being tuned to that pulse, and getting a sense of being a participant in this really big rhythm that's happening on the planet. I sometimes find myself visualizing water sloshing around the planet like this. I've gotten to be very good at knowing exactly that moment of high tide. And it's always a little thrill.