Shifting Baselines: Indiana’s Natural Landscape of 1816 and Today

What can the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ former Botanist, Mike Homoya, teach us about the degree of change that our natural environment has gone through since becoming a state? How can we come to see that what we think of as “normal,” is skewed?

Indiana’s natural landscape has changed dramatically over the past 200 years and yet many people are unaware just how much change has occurred. We forget what used to be, and our normal has shifted from what was normal for our predecessors. Bison, elk, wolves, and even parakeets (now extinct) once occupied our land, as did vast prairies, forests, and wetlands. This presentation will focus on “original” Indiana and how it was different from today. The talk aims to help people become aware of how dramatically Indiana’s natural environment has changed since statehood and to inspire action to protect the remaining remnants of “original” Indiana.

**This talk was made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities and their Unearthed Speakers Bureau program.  Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds, and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read, and talk. Indiana Humanities is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Lilly Endowment, Inc. Learn more at

Tickets: $10 per person

Location: Gothic Chapel (enter the 34th Street Gate, 3402 Boulevard Place) 

Purchase Tickets
Thursday, April 11
  • $10

  • 6:00 p.m.