Laura Landen

Laura Landen

Laura Landen

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, I have lived most of my life on the east coast, the last 30 years in  Rhode Island.  My interest in photography began when I was in high school.  My father built a darkroom for me in the basement, and I tried my hand at black and white photography.  I began with a Kodak “Brownie” camera, then upgraded to a 35mm camera (fully manual, of course) with a fixed 50mm lens.  I shot black and white, and Kodachrome 10 (that’s not a typo–ISO 10), but played a bit with both black and white and color infrared film.  I’ve now converted my Canon Powershot G9 for infrared use, so will be posting some results from that in a few months. For various reasons I had a long hiatus from photography until I came to Providence and taught a course in ornithology through the School of Continuing Education.  I then began seeking record shots of birds to use in the class.  A few years ago my photographic interest shifted to more serious photography.  I like nature, landscape, and macro photography, but will ply my skills at other things as well.  I am a Nikon shooter, currently using a D600 and the new D7100 bodies.  My lens selections are in some flux, although I love my new 24-120mm f/4 Nikkor lens.  For macro I generally use Nikon’s 105mm macro lens–the older one, not the newer VR version.  I’m hoping the rumors that Nikon will update the 300mm f/4 lens and add Vibration Reduction.  If that happens, I’ll probably add that lens, with the 1.4 teleconverter, and work more at bird photography.  At the moment I’m using the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with the 1.7 teleconverter on the D7100 when I need the reach.

In canoe, about age 3.

In canoe, about age 3.

Been there...

Been there…

...live here.

…live here.

 

My love of nature started very early.  My father built a canvas covered canoe when I was about 3 years old.  My family owned a fishing cabin on Lake Bellaire in Michigan, and I spent summers canoeing to the north end of the lake looking for animal tracks and anything else that was around.  Bellaire, MI is in northern Michigan (not the upper peninsula), about 40 miles from Traverse City.  I’ve been back to Michigan a few times recently, finding my way to Paradise on the UP.  So, I’ve been to Paradise (MI), and I live in Hope (RI).

I currently am an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Providence College, but spent several years teaching mathematics and physics prior to grad school in philosophy. Academically, my interests have shifted a bit over the years, not unusual for someone working at a relatively small liberal arts college like Providence.  My undergraduate degree is in mathematics, although I took every philosophy course offered by my alma mater, The College of Saint Mary of the Springs, now Ohio Dominican University.  I also hold a master’s degree in math from Notre Dame.  My doctorate in philosophy was earned at Catholic University in Washington, DC, where I spent six enjoyable years.  If you’re not in politics, DC can be a great place to live.  I wrote my dissertation on Thomas Aquinas, but never was interested in pursuing specialized research on him, thus becoming a Thomist by trade.  Rather, my interests have always been in the history and philosophy of science.  Upon coming to Providence, that is what I taught, as well as Medieval Philosophy and a course on Aquinas.  In a couple of years I became the director of the Natural Science Program, which offered non-laboratory courses suitable for students not majoring in science to fulfill their core requirements.  After returning full-time to the Philosophy Department, I introduced a course in Environmental Philosophy.  Student interest was very strong, so, working with a very generous group of colleagues from various departments, we developed a minor in Environmental Studies.  I was the Director of the also newly created Environmental Studies Program.  After student interest continued to grow, we developed a major.  Due to lack of administrative support, however, the program ceased in 2002.  Again I returned to full-time teaching in philosophy, serving as chair of the department from 2008-2011.  My interest in philosophy of science evolved to include the fast-growing area of philosophy of biology.  I am currently working on interfacing some of the basic insights of Aristotle with the work of Charles Darwin and of evolution in general.

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