Literacy, Biology, and Salamanders

In his literacy narrative, William McCracken shares his experiences researching ways to read salamander trap designs for the his salamander project. In the theses, he would read through the collective authors’ failures and successes for when they were creating their traps and working on their projects. Learning from these texts, McCracken would use this research as a means for creating shortcuts in his own trap designs.

In addition to the reading that he did for his research, McCracken also learned how to read the landscapes, such as the different markings that the traps would make to determine their history. He learned this form of literacy at an early age, similarly to the way that he learned traditional literacy practices. As the interviewer suggests, these markings represent “writing on the surface of the land.”

To hear McCraken tell his narrative and watch his video–it was shot in a park!–check out this link. Enjoy!


photo credit: Aah-Yeah