A Coastal Writer's Paradise: Exploring Martha's Vineyard's Literary Place on the American Shoreline | Shorewords!

July 14, 2022

How might Martha's Vineyard chart its path into the future?

It’s summer and like thousands of New Englanders, we’re heading to Martha’s Vineyard.  Join host Lesley Ewing in conversation with Professor David Foster, biologist, board member of the Edey Foundation and Trustees of Reservations on Martha’s Vineyard, and author of The Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard.  On this episode of Shorewords, we’ll look landward to explore the history of this iconic vacation spot, the changing land use practices that have underpinned this island community for centuries and how our understanding of landscape history and related science can be best used to conserve and prepare an area for the future.

Show Transcription
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Lesley Ewing

Hello. I’m Lesley Ewing, host of Shorewords!. This podcast combines two of my favorite things – the ocean and books. I learned to swim before I could walk and looked forward each summer to my family’s vacation at Ocean City, Maryland. As a student I was interested in science and engineering and became an environmental engineer before learning that there was something called coastal engineering. Both my 1 st and 2 nd mid-life crises resulted in me going back to school – first for a Masters of Engineering at UC Berkeley and later for a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. The first crisis also moved me from DC to the SF Bay. The second crisis reminded me how much I liked to read. Getting a Ph.D. while working a 40+-hour/week job meant that my only reading was work reports, text books and technical articles. They were all important and interesting books, but as soon as school ended, I replaced my academic text books with broader literature and realized that the coast was often a character in the fiction and non-fiction that I read. I am still fascinated by every visit to the ocean and remain in awe of what others write about the coast.