Earth Up

Stories and Science: Eco-Justice, Action & Hope

This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

In an effort to keep our website secure and to prevent spam, NSN asks that you register for a free login. NSN will never sell your information.

Empower your mind. Empower your spirit. Empower your very soul.

Did you miss attending Earth Up 2022? Don’t worry, for only $100 (current NSN members) or $150 (general public) you can gain access to the entire weekend full of workshops, master classes, panels, and performances. Session recordings will be available for all registrants very soon – watch what you missed or review what you loved! Single-day tickets are available as well ($50 for current members or $75 for general public).

Please note: the Earth Up videos are currently being edited and are not yet available for viewing. A notice will be sent to all registrants once the videos are available and will contain instructions on how to access the videos.

Please note: some registrants may experience a slight delay gaining access to the recordings due to the registration system needing to sync with the video access. Please be patient while the system syncs and if you do not receive access within 24 hours of registering, contact the NSN office at .

Reserve your ticket for Earth Up for only $100 (current NSN members) or $150 (general public) for the entire weekend full of workshops, master classes, panels, and performances. Session recordings will be available for all registrants after the conference has ended – watch what you missed or review what you loved! Single-day tickets are available as well ($50 for current members or $75 for general public).

April 8-10, 2022, NSN will bring together a virtual international group of artists, scientists, teachers, students, and activists to explore the use of story in addressing the climate crisis and issues of environmental justice. Often when facts do not succeed, stories can align the listener with a human experience and allow for new understandings.

Stories speak to the head through the heart, and our hearts are aching a lot these days as fires, floods, droughts, typhoons, a loss of biodiversity, heat islands, COVID and a questionable future plague our every waking minute. In addition to these miseries, the ongoing racial injustice that feels endemic to our nation, is crushing the health and spirit of many black, brown, and indigenous communities. These issues are not separate, and this year’s Earth-Up conference will focus on creating and sharing stories about this essential intersection. We want to leave this conference with stories that we can use in our communities, legislature, and local governments to wake everyone up to this confluence and compel us all to commit to a clean, just future.

Earth Up 2022 will offer workshops, master classes, and panels developing our storytelling skills to convey our connection to the natural world and what’s at stake for all as the climate changes. Story performances, Showcases, and on-demand Spotlights will share the best examples of environmental storytelling and eco-justice action. Performances will be interlaced throughout the weekend. Traditional and contemporary storytelling will highlight such topics as impacted communities, conservation, energy use, biodiversity, transportation, communal responsibility as well as basic nature information.

Looking for some resources? Check out the Earth Up bibliography, compiled by Margaret Read MacDonald specifically for NSN’s Earth Up conference!

Please join the Ecotellers listserv if you want to receive email news about the videos and our monthly Earth Up book discussions on Zoom, hear about colleagues’ environmental storytelling programs and projects, ask questions or get help with your own environmental storytelling projects.

This schedule is printer-friendly. Please recycle when done.

Full Conference Schedule | Events listed in Central time

Select a date below to learn more about the programs

Come participate in a virtual version of an arts integration model designed for the K-5 classroom. Explore scientific research, group and individual creative writing, theatrical activities, and more as we create original stories inspired by science. Leave with a plan you can use in your own classroom or practice.

Professional Storyteller and Teaching Artist Katie Knutson used to travel the world to tell stories, lead workshops, and teach classes. In the before times, she performed in Canada, Chile, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and around the US. Knutson regularly trains teachers and tellers to integrate the arts with classroom curriculum effectively. She has partnered with three schools/districts to be their storyteller-in-residence for one or more years each. Knutson’s writing has been featured in Storytelling Magazine, Science with Storytelling: Strategies for the K-5 Classroom, and two other storytelling books. Find out more on the Rippling Stories website:

Ignite passion! Motivate action! This engaging session gives you the tools and ideas you need to craft the right tale to change the dynamic for your broader ecological community. You will assess local ecological concerns and shape a story that motivates your community to step up, make a measurable difference.

Brian “Fox” Ellis is an internationally acclaimed author, storyteller, and naturalist who has worked with science museums and environmental organizations on three continents. Fox is the author of 30 books including the critically acclaimed Learning From the Land: Teaching Ecology Through Stories and Activities, (Libraries Unlimited, 2011), and the award winning children’s picture book The Web at Dragonfly Pond, (DAWN Publications, 2006) More recently he has published a series of biographies called History in Person and a series of collections of folklore with a blend of science and poetry, Fox Tales Folklore. But the focus of his work the past 25 years has been on the Illinois River Watershed where he is the Riverlorian for the Spirit of Peoria riverboat. Fox has written, produced and directed a documentary, Voices for the River, that is based on oral history and has shaped the long term watershed management plan for the Illinois River. He has helped to organize The Clean Water Celebration for 30 years and recently played a pivotal role in creating the Illinois River Road Canoe Trail. His team has produced 45 mini-documentaries that gives a platform for youth activists and earth stewards from across the watershed to tell their stories, Clean Water Champions, giving voice to the next generation of water keepers. And he is the only storyteller to perform regularly at the Governor’s Biannual Conference on the Illinois River which lead to frequent opportunities to speak through the Mississippi Watershed Management Conference circuit, (who knew it could be a circuit for storytellers?)

This world and all its wonders are connected with ways seen and unseen. In this opening event, we explore our roots to discover what binds, informs, and inspires our caring work on this planet.

Join us for the 2022 Earth Up Opening Ceremony & Land Acknowledgment, followed by a keynote address by Jaime González

Weaving Climate Stories for Action – Balancing Urgency with Inspiration

If our nation and our world is to be successful in combating climate change, it will be because we are telling resonant, relevant stories that engage and activate our communities to take meaningful action. Yet, telling high impact stories about climate change is complicated by politics, perceptions, how the public views science, and a need to better engage those often left out of the conversation. Jaime González of The Nature Conservancy will share tips how to weave climate change stories using recent research, shareable resources and hard-won experience.

Houston Healthy Cities Director, The Nature Conservancy in Texas
Jaime González works with communities in Greater Houston to co-create a healthier, more equitable, climate ready better-connected, and more biologically diverse region using nature-based solutions. Jaime is one of more than 20 Nature Conservancy city leads using nature-based solutions to build healthier cities throughout North America and the world. He also serves on the board of directors for the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).
Mr. González earned a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction-Science Education and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Houston. He has also earned certificates in civic ecology, environmental education, communications, and climate change and health from Duke, Yale, and Cornell Universities.Jaime has won numerous awards for his work, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Houston’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Elizabeth Hull Abernathy Award from the Garden Club of America for outstanding contributions to environmental education of youth.

This showcase will introduce unknown Korean folktales which are based on tigers. The storytellers will represent three generations, from 11 years old to 60 years old.

It is a sad and beautiful love story that occurred during the Silla Dynasty about 1,200 years ago. During the reign of King Wonseong of Silla, a student named Kim Hyun lived in a town called Seorabeol. A tiger maiden, who has the ability to transform herself into a human, falls in love with Kim Hyun at a temple. However, the tiger maiden, who realizes that love cannot overcome the difference between tigers and humans, helps Kim Hyun get a government job by sacrificing herself and promising to meet Kim Hyun as a person in another life. After her death, Kim Hyun, who can not overcome his sadness, builds a temple to commemorate the virtues of the tiger maiden. Just before his death, he writes a sad love story for future generations to know what happened.

Alicia Dongjoo Bang is a Korean professional storyteller and passionate educator based in the Republic of Korea. She has delighted children and adults with her storytelling performances for years and recently has taken on the task of setting up international storytelling festivals in South Korea. Her biggest achievements have been organizing and directing the first international storytelling festival in South Korea (in 2018) as well as the second, third and fourth international storytelling festivals (in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively). She is the founder of Story School, which is a unique storytelling school in South Korea, and of KISA, the Korea International Storytellers’ Association. In 2018, she was the winner of the 21st International Storytelling Festival in Iran.

A story about a tiger that can tell who is good or bad by using its long white eyebrows.

Eunsong Kim is a storyteller, video creator, and English teacher for young learners. She began her career in 2017 when she opened her YoutTube channel titled Lizzy’s Storytime. The channel’s target audience were children interested in learning English. The positive feedback from her young viewers led her to start her own business, Blonde Unicorn, and to create more educational videos both for her YouTube channel and for mainstream English education companies in Korea. Eunseong also runs an English academy in Seoul called My Story House. Children are especially entertained by her high-pitched voice and body language.

A man who has three very different encounters with tigers.

Young Im Chung has been telling stories as a local storyteller for over 10 years in Korea. She is a member of Chekgori (The Seoul Reading Education Research Association) and has been working as a Beautiful Silver Storyteller (The Korean Studies Promotion Agency’s Beautiful Story Program from 2014.) Young Im participated in the 4th Korea International Storytelling Festival and as a Korean performer in the FEAST(Federation of Asian Storytellers) Storytelling Festival that was also held in 2021.

A foolish tiger gets tricked by a mother who is trying to smooth her crying baby.

Yeowon and Sian Choi are members of KISA (Korea International Storytellers Association) children storytellers. They participated in the 4th Korea International Storytelling Festival in 2021. They also performed in the Learning Korean Culture program entitled “Stories from the Land of the Morning Calm” at the FEAST (Federation of Asian Storytellers) Storytelling Festival that was also held in 2021. Yeowon and Sian love to tell Korean folktales in festivals that are held all around the world.

Chung Keun Kim is going to show everyone how to play a Korean lullaby using leaf flute.

Chung Keun Kim is a Korean leaf flute artist, storyteller, and author. He usually tells stories at international festivals which were combined with music from his leaf flute. He has also participated in the Korean International Storytelling Festival as a member of KISA (Korea International Storytellers’ Association). Chung Keun loves to tell Korean folktales with music, and to give family workshops on how to do storytelling with a leaf flute. He also works as a principal at an elementary school in South Korea.

Youngjoo is a young Korean storyteller and will serve as the MC of this program. She is actively acting as a member of KISA (Korea International Storytellers’ Association). She has performed Korean traditional stories around the world and educated teen storytellers as a mentor. Youngjoo’s biggest achievements have been being the MC of the opening ceremony of the 4th Korean International Storytelling Festival in 2021 and translating for Korean performers in the FEAST(Federation of Asian Storytellers) Storytelling Festival that was also held in 2021.

More presenter information coming soon

What sparked your interest and or passion for our natural word? Perhaps an encounter, a place, an idea, or a mentor? Perhaps as a child or maybe just recently. Share a brief story of your “trajectory” as we gather round the story fire.
Hosted by Bob Kanegis

An Eco-tour around the Garden City – Singapore. An appreciative look at the Climate / Conservation Solutions that has enabled Singapore to work towards realistic sustainability.

Krupa believes storytellers are like DNA strands – custodians of the essence of humanity. Stories our genetic code. She enjoys telling uncomfortable stories and exploring the perspectives untold. Yet to discover her niche, she believes in keeping her repertoire broad.

She is passionate about bringing Asian storytelling and storytellers to the world through her work as Consulting Director of the Federation of Asian Storytellers (FEAST). She has been a part of the Story Carnival (Singapore) and the 398.2 Storytelling Festival (Singapore) since 2018 as a volunteer and storyteller. Recently she participated in the Singapore Writers Festival.

Priti Modyiyer is a Storyteller, Empowerment Coach and Leadership Trainer.

She is an enthusiastic, engaging storyteller and finds that stories are a powerful medium to inspire change. She tells stories at libraries, in schools and Storytelling festivals, both online and in person. She extensively uses stories in her corporate workshops, and keynote speeches. Priti draws on her experience and repertoire to connect to her audience and to ensure her storytelling performances are memorable.

Priti has a few fun degrees and diplomas that she sometimes uses up to beef up her bio. This is not one of those times. Her most recent storytelling work has been with FEAST FEST 2021 (Federation of Asian Storytellers), 398.2 storytelling festival (Singapore), Story Carnival (Singapore) and the Singapore Writer’s Festival. She has recently become a Consulting Director for FEAST and vice -president for the Storytelling Association Singapore.

During this social time we will meet briefly, and then move into lightly populated break-out rooms (2-5 people) to meet one-another and hold space for thoughts and feelings related to the climate crisis and our work and lives as they relate to it. Despair or hope are not required, just an opportunity to share from your heart.
Hosted by Judith Black

Let’s bring the texture of bark, the scent of April blossom, the flavour of dew, the music and dancing of young leaves into our intercultural, eco-conscious storytelling. Sensory storytelling techniques and activities connect our diverse communities creatively with nature and each other, prompting action and bringing hope.

David Heathfield is a storyteller, trainer and writer from Exeter, UK. He is the author of the Teacher Development book Storytelling With Our Students: Techniques for telling tales from around the world (DELTA Publishing 2014), Spontaneous Speaking: Drama Activities for Confidence and Fluency (DELTA Publishing 2005) and a host of articles and chapters on storytelling and drama in education published by the British Council and other international organisations. He loves celebrating cultural diversity and connecting with the natural world through storytelling. He runs Creative and Engaging Storytelling for Teachers courses for worldwide participants on Zoom. 

Environmental stories need to be based in solid science! Listen while specialists in oceanography, biodiversity, and river restoration explain their fields and how climate change impacts them. Then a teen SCUBA diver describes their discovery. What questions would you like to ask them? Panel presentations followed by Q/A.

Sheila Arnold is a Master Storyteller, Teaching Artist and Presenter who has worked with and in the educational system for over 20 years through her own self employment and with students and teachers at Colonial Willliamsburg, Hampton Public Schools and in the North Carolina Mental Health System. Her programs with the youngest of students are filled with loads of fun, but that fun is done in such a controlled manner that she has been asked often to write down her techniques, and told by teachers that they were taking certain items into the classroom. Ms. Sheila, as the children call her, travels throughout the US presenting storytelling programs, providing professional development for educators and being an inspirational/motivational speaker. Sheila makes her home in Hampton, VA and loves being able to work with educators in her own state. Finally, Sheila is Co-Founder and Artistic Director for Artists Standing Strong Together, which has the mission to connect artists to resources.

Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy is a geologist, environmental planner, and storyteller in Pittsburgh, PA. Her lengthy professional career has focused on environmental management and natural resource protection. For the past 14 years she has worked for American Rivers, a national nonprofit that protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and wildlife. She tells stories of free-flowing rivers to partners as they collaborate for river restoration projects, and teaches storytelling techniques to city planners to empower effective community engagement for change. Lisa recently collaborated in Artists Standing Strong Together’s Climate Conversation, where she discussed the benefits and challenges of managed retreat as a climate change adaptation strategy. Lisa is a costumed storyteller at Depreciation Lands Museum in Pittsburgh, where she shares colonial-era folktales. She was a featured local teller at the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival in Pittsburgh. She has previously been a costumed interpreter/storyteller for the National Park Service on the Blue Ridge Parkway and for Virginia Tech’s Reynolds Homestead, the birthplace of RJ Reynolds. She was storyteller Artist-In-Residence for Stokes County, NC Arts Council and a featured teller at the Virginia Storytelling Alliance’s Gathering in 2005.

Tierra Curry is a senior scientist and Saving Life on Earth campaign director at the Center for Biological Diversity, a national conservation organization.She focuses on building a movement to end extinction and works nationally with individuals and groups in support of celebrating and protecting biodiversity. Prior to joining the Center in 2007 she worked as an amphibian field biologist, environmental educator and community organizer.

Professor John Kessler and his lab investigate ocean biogeochemistry and the natural roles that oceans play in modulating atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. He is a seagoing oceanographer having participated in or led over 20 expeditions spanning the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, the Black Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Gulf of California, and Gulf of Mexico, and the US Great Lakes. Kessler has a BS in chemistry and mathematics from Gettysburg College and his MS and PhD in Earth System Science from the University of California, Irvine. He conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University and was an assistant professor of oceanography at Texas A&M University. In 2012, he joined the faculty of the University of Rochester where he is currently a professor and the department chair in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Kessler was named as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences in 2012, a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow in 2014, and was a recipient of the University of Rochester’s Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2015 and Professor of the Year in 2017.

Cas Perdue is an avid environmentalist and aspiring environmental scientist. They have trained as a scientific diver and conducted their own study analyzing microplastic amounts. They want to spread environmental awareness through storytelling and emphasize that hope can always be found.

Bring your favorite plant in all its luminous glory, or a picture, or take us on a walk in your garden, and share the story of its history, or growing, or meaning to you or others.
Hosted by Karen Golden

The true story of Hansel and Gretel is a tale about climate change and the very real dangers that come about with global environmental change. Get people thinking and acknowledging climate change by allowing the audience to observe and wonder. Learn how stories can unlock science information and activate change.

Bowen Lyam Lee lives in Monterey, CA. She teaches, writes, and flows creativity. Lately she also tells stories. She is a fifth generation Chinese American of Gold Rush ancestry. She was a natural science illustrator and writer before becoming a public school teacher. She has been a teacher for 36 years, incorporating storytelling into all aspects of teaching, and lately conducting workshops on storytelling to teach educational content in national and regional education conferences.

A collection of videos celebrating animals and useful and interesting wild plants, their stories and lore.

Doug Elliott is a storyteller, naturalist, and herbalist

Storytellers have oft been warned: Stay away from my culture, you don’t understand it. Courteously, we do. How then can we support diverse communities in their quest for environmental and social justice? We will explore respectful ways to share and amplify their stories.

Judith Black, one of America’s foremost storytellers, retells history from new perspectives, tickles familial dysfunction, offers ironic explorations of aging, and in the last decade has turned her skills towards our disrupted climate. As a Wheelock College graduate and former teacher she is able to draw storytelling through the educational landscape, showing its profound uses in cognitive, emotional, and social learning, as she performs or conducts residencies at schools throughout the nation. Her work for adults has been featured fifteen times at the National Storytelling Festival and on stages from the Montreal Comedy Festival to the Art Museum of Cape Town, SA to Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a recipient of the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award, the winner of the Oracle Award, storytelling’s most coveted laurel, and served on the faculty of Lesley University for almost 30 years. Locally she originated and ran Bridging Live for 16 years, and is an active member of the Marblehead Harbor Rotary Club, 350MASS, MCAn, JACAN XR and a founding member of Sustainable Marblehead. Presently, she is trying to figure out how to live without burning fossil fuels and maintain a livable climate for her and everyone else’s grandchildren.

Australian storytellers bring a blend of story and history to show how one person (or wombat!) can influence a neighbourhood, a community, or a whole country. Kiran Shah, Jo Henwood and Jill Webster aim to entertain, educate, and renew your spirit of hope with a varied programme of stories.

The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan, India  live in harmony with Mother Nature. 300 years ago, Amrita Devi, along with other villagers hugged the precious Khejri trees to protect them from being felled. Their efforts then were in vain but there is hope now. Their sacrifice became the inspiration behind the Chipko Movement led by women to hug trees to save and conserve them from commercial felling.

Kiran Shah started her storytelling journey in Singapore where she was instrumental in reviving oral storytelling more than 20 years ago. She was the founder president of the Storytelling Association, Singapore in 2006. She is particularly interested in promoting Asian folktales which she loves to share with her (now) worldwide audience to build bridges and make connections. She’s performed in various festivals and also conducted storytelling workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Australia and Iran. She is currently the secretary of the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) and hosts the Blue Mountains Story Circle in her local area.

The Rain Catcher: Young Tilly battles dodgy ladders and even dodgier neighbours to install her new rain harvesting system. When a dust storm threatens her safety, the community must forget their differences and help. Tilly’s courage and commitment inspires the neighbourhood to save rain and grow hope in this contemporary rural tale.

The Wombat, the Butterfly and the Bushfire: Butterfly seeks safety in the burrow of grumpy Wombat. He lets her in, but what about the others who are trying to flee the flames? Will he let them in? “Not by the hairs on my furry behind!” This musical tale was inspired by the catastrophic bushfires of 2019/20

Jill is an experienced storyteller who has worked extensively in Australia and Scotland. She has a degree in theatre and further studies in puppetry, bringing a colourful theatricality to her work. She has returned to Australia to start her company “Story Bubble”, running workshops and performing with Australian Storytellers NSW.

The British spurned the advice of local Aboriginal man, Yarri, when he warned them the Murrumbidgee would flood but that didn’t stop him saving their lives.

Jo Henwood is an Accredited Storyteller with Australian Storytellers, and accredited Professional Guide with the Institute of Australian Tour Guides, and Secretary of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. She is a museum theatre creative, workshop leader on literature, history, creative writing, folklore, and storytelling, Tour Guide and Education Officer (formerly of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney) and is currently a FEAST mentor to Storytellers performing in heritage sites. Her qualifications include BA (Libr Sci), Tourism III, Grad Dip Museum Studies, Grad Cert Gifted Ed, Master of Cultural Heritage.

A storytelling showcase curated by National Storytelling Network, featuring Coral Conant Gilles, Steve Daut, Vicki Juditz, Rebecca Lemaire, Rae McKinlay, Elaine Muray, Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, Usha Venkatraman

In the 15th century, a man in Rajhastan called Jambheshwar had some insights about bio-diversity and the protection of the environment. His followers called the Bishnois learnt to love and respect nature. In the 17th century, a local Maharaja sent his men to Bishnoi villages to cut some trees to expand his palace. A woman called Amrita Devi put her arms around a tree that was about to be cut: “A chopped head is cheaper than a chopped tree”. Unmoved, the woodcutter hacked through her body to get to the tree. News spread and many Bishnois came from the villages. A drama ensued and 363 Bishnoi

Rebecca Lemaire is an international and versatile Belgian-British storyteller currently based in the South of Spain. She tells stories in English, Spanish and French and has performed and given workshops at international festivals, in a prison, in theatres, libraries and in Tibetan monasteries. She also works with small groups using storytelling for transformation and healing, and gives introductory courses in storytelling skills for teenagers and adults in person and online. Rebecca uses sound (Indian flute, kalimba, voice and frame drum) to give depth to the stories she tells. She sees storytelling as a form of communication that goes way beyond words; it is a heart-to-heart interaction.

This story addresses how different elements of nature, e.g., fireflies, rain, are connected and impacted by each other

Elaine Muray integrates movement and narration to deliver tales from around the world as well as personal stories. She has performed nationally and internationally at festivals, conferences, schools, and libraries. She has completed three international storytelling tours to China, Korea, Colombia, Peru, and Chile. Her DVD, Embodied and Enchanted: Physical Tales from Elaine, has taken the Storytelling World Resource Award. For more information, please visit

This folktale from Nigeria has been retold by Indian author Amruta patil. The story draws upon the oral traditions and reflects upon an intrinsic connection and focuses on the need to protect, conserve and value water.

Usha Venkatraman has mastered the art of capturing her audience’s attention with dramatic voiceovers, melodious tunes, and witty stories. Award winning storyteller, author, classical vocalist, puppeteer and radio show host, Usha Venkatraman is the founder and festival director of Mumbai Storytellers Society, an initiative born out of her zeal to keep the storytelling tradition alive. Usha curated the first Science storytelling festival SCIFARI in 2019 in Mumbai India. Usha hosts Storytellers Café, a weekly radio show on Bharat FM, a Cincinnati based radio station. Usha has performed across India and the globe.
Insta: @u.venkatraman

Is this the story of the mermaids? Merpeople? From around the world and over time? Unsurprisingly – no. Take a step further back and we find that all cultures have Merpeople stories. And the merpeople are fierce protectors of water.

Lillian Rodrigues-Pang is an internationally acclaimed, award winning storyteller. Her performances intertwin the oral tradition with, percussion, movement and improvisation to captivate and transport audiences. She has performed internationally and Australia wide in theatres, festival mainstages, schools and in communities. When she is not on stage she is sharing story love in the community as a connective, teaching, political and healing art. She has over 20 years experience working in mental health, with refugee communities and youth at risk, education, language re-claimation and sharing love for the environment.

The Story of Extirpation and Reintroduction of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park” is a fictionalized natural history story. Wolves were extirpated from Yellowstone between the early and mid-1900s. They were intentionally reintroduced starting in 1995. Coral created this story after attending the workshop “Telling Earth’s Tales” with Judith Black and Adam Sacks at the first Earth Up in 2021!

Coral Conant Gilles, Storytelling Naturalist, uses storytelling to inspire curiosity, empathy, and connection with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Coral believes this is at the heart of healing ourselves, our relationships, and our local and global communities of human and non-human beings.
Coral became a storyteller while teaching environmental education in the Pacific Northwest. She now lives in Madison, WI – Ho-Chunk land known to the Ho-Chunk as Teejop. Coral tells folktales, original creations, and personal stories often with hands-on nature activities, discovery hikes, and workshops. Learn more at or on Facebook or Instagram.

This is a tale which highlights the demonization of the wolf and the distorted story placed on old woman. The story brings out the honourable status that wolf and old woman with her wisdom occupied in Ireland. Ireland was known as ‘Wolfland’ in Roman times. The story hints espouses the change of story from the 17th century to suit the capitalist endeavour of plunder by reducing the wolf’s value to that of his pelt and the wise woman’s knowledge as hocus pocus.

Rae McKinlay is a storyteller/comic artist currently living in West Cork, Ireland. Rae has extensively travelled the Celtic landscape in her quest for stories. Her stories are rooted in Irish and Scottish landscape, heritage and the ‘auld’ wisdoms. For more information you can find Rae on her website

As a geology student and employee of the Iowa Geological survey, I was learning about the chemistry and physics of the Earth environment at the same time that I was setting up seismicity stations in southwest Iowa. During this time, I got to know and love the farmers in my study area, and I also learned how to distinguish the seismic signatures of small earthquakes versus cultural events such as cows on the back forty. The lessons I learned about the dynamic systems of earth gave me some insights into our role as humans and our relationship to the planet we call home.

Steve Daut has been telling stories ever since the dog first ate his homework. During his early years in Iowa, he told stories about imaginary aunts, lovelorn people seeking advice, and legendary pets. Growing up on the Mississippi River, he loved Mark Twain stories, and today his Telling Twain book, program, and podcast reflect that early love. His stories took the form of magic acts for many years, then playwrighting, acting and directing, sketch and standup comedy, and improv. In the spoken word form we call “storytelling”, he has found a true home. He fuses all of this breadth of experience together to provide storytelling programs full of humor, heart, and just perhaps – a bit of magic.

Green New Day is a comic story about going to a march to save the planet many years ago. I hoped to inspire my nine-year-old and become part of a nascent energy revolution. The small group of activists that appeared reminded me of characters out of a Fellini film yet I applauded their passion. Thankfully, the movement has grown and today thousands of people support action to fight climate change.

Vicki Juditz has performed at theaters and festivals across the US, including the National Storytelling Festival, Storytelling Arts of Indiana, and Sierra Storytelling Festival. She has performed as part of USA Today’s Storytellers Project, Story Collider Los Angeles, and PlayGround Solo Performance Festival. A frequent performer at The Moth in Los Angeles, her story “Dancing at Joe’s” aired on The Moth Radio Hour. Her solo show “Sacred Resistance” had a six-month run at Jewish Women’s Theater. TV audiences may remember her comic roles on COACH, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, and MY NAME IS EARL and in countless commercials.

Ten storytellers, chosen at random, will share their personal 5-minute story on the theme “Rise.” The audience decides the winners.
First prize: $100. Second Prize: $50. Third Prize: $25.

If you would like to tell a story in the NSN Slam, please fill out and submit the form below in its entirety. This is the form to put your name in the “virtual hat” to be able to tell a story. The tellers and order will be determined live during the slam.


  1. You will have 5 minutes to tell your story with a minute grace period. At six minutes, you will no longer be eligible to win. The audience will take the length of your story into account in their voting.
  2. Your story must be a true personal story that happened to you, related to the theme: Rise.
  3. You must agree to have your story recorded, and give NSN the rights to use that story in the future (more details below).
  4. You must also register for the Slam. Registration is at
  5. The winners, voted on by the audience will receive:
    First Place: $100
    Second Place: $50
    Third Place: $25
  6. You must be present at the time your name is pulled from the hat in order to participate. Late arrivals may only be called if time allows.

Ingrid Nixon is an award-winning, world-traveling storyteller who whisks listeners away on journeys of the imagination. Exploration nail-biters, tall tales, traditional and personal stories—she tells them all on international expeditions, and at venues around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. She is a Moth Story Slam winner and a champion liar many times over. She holds a Masters in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University and hails from the wilds of Alaska. More at

We all know that very short potent tales are harder to create than epics, yet there is much greater opportunity to actually use them. Come with a possible 60-90 second personal story about why you care deeply about our climate crisis or how you were drawn to this work.  We will coach each other in break-out rooms and share at the end of the session.
Hosted by Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy

Come share a story, on any topic, that you have told, heard – or even heard about – that has succeeded in creating a true shift in your own or someone else’s heart, mind, or behavior. Or just come to be inspired by the evidence that it can happen!
Hosted by Elizabeth Twomey

We journey deep into an ancient forest, walking in the footsteps of some of our most beloved story characters. Trees whisper that the fate of all, depends on the future of this delicate ecosystem. What type of ending do you wish for the inhabitants of this magical landscape?

Jennifer Ramsay is a Scottish storyteller, based in Spain. She offers unique story medicine workshops, weaving storytelling with Art Therapy and Psychodrama. Her creativity is aligned with the rhythms of nature as she follows the Celtic Wheel of the Year and the lunar cycles.
She has a degree in Biological Sciences and is part of the global network of Earth Storytellers and a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance.
She is the founding director of Story Arte, a centre for Art Therapy and Storytelling, where she trains people in the Art of Storytelling and accompanies people to explore their life path through stories and expressive arts.

Website: Facebook and Instagram: Story Arte

In the heart of Switzerland lies the largest glacier in the Alps, Great Aletsch Glacier. But climate change is threatening its very existence. Journey along with me to find out its lore and legends , the beliefs and rituals close to the heart of the people who live there. What do they risk losing and what are they doing about it?

A teller of tales, Shelly Verma grew up in India listening to stories of kings, queens ,animals, gods and goddesses from mythology .She carries these stories in her mind and in her heart no matter where she is. Her repertoire includes stories from around the world but her main focus is using these stories to create awareness about the pressing issues of our times. She believes in stories that inspire social change, give voice to the unheard and make the unseen noticed.Shelly  is currently based in Switzerland where she spends most of her time running, hiking in the Alps, walking her dog and dreaming about stories. You can find her stories on Facebook @Storyteller.ShellyVerma or Instagram @verma.shelly.

During this social time we will  meet briefly, and then move into lightly populated break-out rooms (2-5 people) to meet one-another and hold space for thoughts and feelings related to the climate crisis and our work and lives as they relate to it. Despair or hope are not required, just an opportunity to share from your heart.
Hosted by Kaia Jackson

Asian folktales by six Asian American Storytellers highlight the wonder, beauty, and importance of our connection to the natural environment. Stories show negative or careless human actions that can threaten and cause harm and how individual and collective action can restore Nature when we protect and heal our environment together.

A little grey parrot lived in a beautiful forest and loved to fly. When children start a forest fire, she tries valiantly to put it out with meager water drops of water until goddesses turn into golden eagles and help her save the forest.

Eleanor Clement Glass delights children with folktales from around the world as a Volunteer Storyteller at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, a Stagebridge Teaching Artist in Oakland and San Jose Public Schools and on the YOUTUBE Channel Asian American Storytopia. She performed family stories from her Black and Filipina heritage  at the 2021 and 2022 National Storytelling Network (NSN) Conferences, Artists Standing Strong Together (ASST), Storytelling Association of California (SAC) programs, and local community venues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eleanor is an active member of Asian American Storytellers in Unity.

Malik encounters a komodo lizard which results in an everlasting friendship

Ever since her Japanese grandmother said the words “mukashi, mukashi, a long time ago…” Tobey Ishii Anderson has been held captive with the world of stories. As a Peace Corps volunteer and international teacher,she has lived in countries from Europe to Asia. Considered a “Third Culture Kid”,Tobey has had the fortune to gather stories from diverse cultures turning them into adventures for her audience.

This is a braided story about the real and mythical trees from Roopa’s childhood in India. A tale of transformation and its consequences.

Roopa Mohan tells Asian folktales & myths to school groups visiting the Asian Art Museum,SF and personal stories outside. She serves on the Board of Storytelling Association of CA.

What if we could hear what nature is telling us? This is a Japanese folktale about an old man who learns from the animals and trees to restore balance to his community.

Native of Japan, Karin trained in theater before moving to the U.S. She has told stories at schools, festivals, libraries, NSN and Walt Disney World.

Human and forest animals test who is more powerful. In the end, does anyone win?

Eth-Noh-Tec is performer Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, musician, composer, and performer Nancy Wang, dancer, choreographer. Together they rewrite ancient Asian folktales for tandem telling using stylized movement and gesture, as well as perform contemporary and inspiring Asian American stories. They have received numerous grants for their work, and NSN’s Circle of Excellence and International Story Bridge awards.

Linda Yemoto was an award-winning Park Naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District for 33 years. She produced the Bay Area Storytelling Festival for over 30 years and served on the National Storytelling Network Board of Directors for six. Since retiring, Linda became a volunteer storyteller and docent at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco where she loves interpreting the art through stories.

Storytelling can open a new path for educators, conservationists, and policy makers. Storytelling provides a model to inform people about the natural world, their place in it, and how they connect to one another and the stream of life that we call nature.

Jim May is an EMMY award-winning storyteller and author, a member of the NSN Circle of Excellence, and a full time, free lance storyteller since 1986. Jim and his wife, Nan, are restoring their 20 acre conservation easement containing native prairie, creek bank and woodland.

Co-presenter, Ed Collins, is head restoration ecologist at the McHenry County Conservation District (Illinois). His achievements include establishment of the Hackmatack Wildlife Refuge, RE meandering of the Nippersink Creek, and the administering of 30 years of conservation management and native restoration.

Meet Eco-Heroes of Hawai’i. Dawn Wasson sued the Mormon Church. Charlie Reppun got water returned to his valley. Walter Ritte forced the University Regents to hear him. Alan Hong cut back tourism to save a bay. Ha’ena Valley’s Community controls tourist access. Gary Hooser stopped GMO Big Agro- for a while. Hear their stories.

Jeff Gere blends talents as painter, puppeteer, and mime into performances which have electrified audiences in Hawaii for 30 years…. and in videos. Born on Halloween, Jeff is the retired Drama Specialist on Oahu. As such, he produced/hosted/ told in the Talk Story Festival, Hawaii’s biggest storytelling celebration (27 years), Story TV (23 years monthly), Talk Story Radio (2 years weekly, Hawaii Public Radio), story camps & conferences. He’s performed at the National Storytelling Festival (2010, Residency 2013) and other ”distant lands” (Spain, Hong Kong, Turkey, Vancouver & the Yukon) before retiring to end 2014. In 2015, Jeff began international tours (Thailand, China, India, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Java, Romania & Kenya.) During covid, he’s been active in local, national & international virtual events as performer & producer.  See tons of him on YouTube (and shadow puppetry!) More at

Grief is not an emotion, but a skill that humanity must re-learn if we are going to meet this moment of climate change in a good way. To feel the losses happening on planet earth, to feel our love for the earth, fuels choices to stand for a better way.

Siobhan Asgharzadeh is a grief guide, birth and death doula, ceremonialist, and storyteller who lives outside of Boulder Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Her work is centered around weaving meaning and richness into the various passages we meet in our lives. After many years of supporting families in birth and death, Siobhan realized how unmetabolized grief and/or fear of grief was creating complications in both the world of birthing and dying. She could see that the dominant culture’s relationship to grieving interfered with most every aspect of life. In 2019 Siobhan began facilitating Grief Pilgrimages and Retreats, inspiring a a new and more soulful relationship with Grief. Siobhan invites people into soul territory with the help of story, ritual, embodiment exercises, dream tending, and wilderness soujurns. Siobhan believes that grief literacy is essential in these times of great change.

The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. ~ Wendell Berry

In this closing event, we explore the connections discovered and intentions made during Earth Up. We acknowledge challenges, but also the power and skills we each possess to discover and share the stories that inspire stewardship for this amazing planet.

Considerations for Proposals

You may submit more than one proposal, but may only present or perform once as a part of Earth Up 2022. You will be notified of the results by January 28, 2022. Email with any questions not answered here.

NEW FEATURE: You will receive a copy of your proposal in your email after submitting. You will also be able to edit your submission after submitting it – up to the January 12 deadline – by saving the link after submission or through the email that will be sent automatically.

You may now save a working draft of your proposal by scrolling to the bottom of the form and selecting “Save.” Users are responsible for maintaining their own drafts and remembering to submit their completed proposal before the deadline. NSN will not be able to recover lost drafts.

If you are in need of a scholarship to attend Earth Up, please submit an application here.

See the individual actions our community members committed to at the Closing Ceremony from 2021.

Businesses & Organizations: 

Saturday Sponsor – Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., Publishers

Parkhurst Brothers Publishers is a book company active in the storytelling movement. Our authors are active storytellers, including Elizabeth Ellis, Loren Niemi, Kevin Cordi, and Lyn Ford. Check out our online catalog at

The Pasadena Folk Music Society has been presenting folk music concerts with a wide variety of performers for almost 40 years. Many of those are also spoken word artists, like Patrick Ball, John McCutcheon, Jim Malcolm and the late Utah Phillips.

The Texas Storytelling Festival is an annual event the second weekend in March in Denton, Texas. The weekend includes over 20 hours of storytelling including folk tales, personal stories, ghost tales, sacred stories, a liars contest, story slam, workshops, youth tellers, youth activities, and more. The Tejas Storytelling Association produces the event.

We want you to feel at home in our warm, inviting dental office. Our team conscientiously attends to your needs and comfort and will always treat you with respect, honesty, and integrity. We take a personal interest in our patients and enjoy providing quality care for healthy, beautiful smiles.


Margaret Read MacDonald

Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About and its companion Earth Care and Kindness Tales hold simple, topical tales that are easy to share.

Pete Griffin

Griffin’s career with the Forest Service prepared him for his second career as a cruise ship naturalist. He wows audiences with stories of whales, bears, and glaciers in Alaska. He’s published two books, Stories of a Forest Ranger and Rafts, Raccoons, and Revelations: Growing Up on a Great Lake.

Pam Faro

Liz Nichols


A bouquet of adult workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and master classes awaits. We are still accepting proposals, and hope to see diverse topics such as:

  • culling traditional folklore for stories that speak to our relationship to the planet
  • creating original tales that can express the challenges of our present situation, teach us how to live sustainably, and create an invitation to action and justice, and
  • exploring the ways that scientists use story to communicate data and findings in a heart-felt, lasting way.

You can submit a workshop proposal until 11:59 pm Central Time on Sunday, February 21, 2021. Please note that you will need to log into a google account to fill out the form. If you do not have a google account, you can create one for free using your existing email address and the “add an account” button. If you have one but cannot access it, please use the “forgot password?” link.


In Spotlight storytelling performances, longer, more intricate tales will be featured. A performance of stories from Margaret Read Macdonald’s book Earth Care: World Folktales To Talk About will greet you on the final day. Olios (multi-teller performances) will be interlaced throughout the weekend, highlighting both traditional and contemporary stories.

The Call for Stories is open until 11:59 pm Central Time on Sunday, February 14, 2021. Please note that you will need to log into a google account to fill out the form. If you do not have a google account, you can create one for free using your existing email address and the “add an account” button. If you have one but cannot access it, please use the “forgot password?” link.

Story Slam

Come to listen, or bring your own original 5-minute story about Mother Earth to share in this storytelling competition. First, second, and third place winners receive cash prizes. Story Slam entry opens mid-March.


The NSN Fringe invites adventurous artists to create their own pieces. These are unjuried performances crafted by the artists themselves. Fringe applications closed February 5.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top