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Publication: "What Dune Should Teach Us About the Beauty of Drylands"

Having written about Denis Villeneuve's Sicario and spent most of my PhD career being asked if I'd read or watched Dune, I looked forward to Villeneuve's adaptation with great anticipation. It's scheduled premiere was pushed back when the realities of covid-19 hit in late 2020, amidst lockdowns and uncertainty.

The delayed premiere may not have been ideal for fans and film crew, but for me it created a window of opportunity to work with Global Drylands Center Director Osvaldo Sala and Ed Finn, Director of ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination (CSI) on a piece about Dune's desert planet, Arrakis and what depictions of desert wastelands may or may not address.

It's been several months since “What Dune Should Teach Us about the Beauty of Drylands” was published in Scientific American, but as a humanist striving towards public-facing and interdisciplinary scholarship I remain in awe and gratitude for this collaboration and the chance to shed light on the beauty and biodiversity of the earth’s deserts in the face of common misrepresentations—which is the bulk of my work's purpose.

"In order to break away from the empty myth of the desert wasteland, we need to kindle collective understanding of the deep-rooted connections between sustainable drylands and a shared sustainable future."

Photo: Getty Images


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