Jared Farmer
Jared Farmer

A Stony Brook University professor was the first educator from a college on Long Island to be named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow when he won the prestigious fellowship this week.

Jared Farmer, an environmental historian and award-winning adjunct professor of history, plans to use the $200,000 award to complete a creative non-fiction book on the human relationship with long-lived trees and our larger relationship with nature in a time of climate change.

“I am bringing together the history of trees and the science of longevity to contemplate the ethics and politics of long-term thinking in the Anthropocene,” said Farmer. “I’m a historian by training, but this new project includes aspects of science writing as well as creative writing.”

Farmer is one of 35 fellows recognized by the program, which aims to support emerging humanities scholars that are working to strengthen the US democracy, drive creativity, explore global connections and improve environments. The program launched in 2015 and each fellow publishes a book or major study.

The professor, who earned his PhD in history from Stanford University, previously authored three books, including the award-winning On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. He began teaching at Stony Brook a decade ago.

“Climate change is not only the policy problem of our time; it is also a problem of time,” Farmer said. “It requires thinking and caring in the long term—beyond the moment, the individual, and the species. I think it’s important to find historical precedents for long-term stewardship of the more-than-human world. To the extent possible in 2017, I want to write a hopeful book—one that shows the shared solicitudes of science, religion, and the humanities.”

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