Document Type

Honors Thesis


Human Dimensions of Climate Change


Susan Smith

Committee Members

Lisa Neuman, Darren Ranco

Graduation Year

May 2024

Publication Date

Fall 12-2023


In a world where a deep disconnect between humans and nature is commonplace, this thesis is motivated by a personal interest in reconnecting with the more-than-human world. The purpose of this project is to explore my own sense of place and lived experience on the land we’ve called Maine and the Dawnland, and to strengthen my relationship to this land through a co-creative artistic practice. It draws on the historic context of the land, as it has been stewarded by Penobscot people, to investigate existing human-land relationships in the area, and attempts to honor Indigenous perspectives. The praxis for the research includes visiting seven sites in the Penobscot River valley, collecting plant materials, and printing their natural dyes and shapes onto silk panels, in a process called ecoprinting. This process emphasizes collaboration with the plants themselves to co-create the final works, where engagement with this process creates a stronger working relationship between human and plant. This, in turn, fosters a stronger connection to place through knowledge of plant behavior, both through on-site exploration of place, and through artistic practice. By resolving to create a stronger personal connection to place, this project hopes to inspire others to do the same, and to explore more ways to collectively strengthen our relationship to the more-than-human world.