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2017 - present


Forest Futures is a series of collaborative, community-centered, climate change adaptation strategies for areas altered by fires, floods, and drought. These projects partner with organizations to take many forms. Through exhibitions and community engagements, Nina consults with organizations to enact creative solutions that holistically reassemble not only ecological function, but also a sense of stewardship in the changing landscape.

How can communities care for a changing landscape?



FOREST⇌FIRE is a traveling interpretive exhibit with companion civic and educational engagement platforms that focus on the Eastern Sierras and their relationship to fire. It features a series of drawings, commissioned to explore neglect and inaction in ecological networks. Learn more.



Future Forests is a broad cultural movement happening throughout the Central Sierra mountains of California and Nevada that uses creative approaches to change land management policy. The combined challenge of climate change awareness, forest fire education and cultural adaptation is central to the movement, taking form as a five-pronged approach for future forest protocol.  As an artist in residence at the Berkeley Sagehen Experimental Forest, and working with communities in Truckee, CA, Nina is engaging the five realms of science, land management, policy, art, and commerce to help transform our culture’s relationship to forests and fire. Learn more. 


Fire circle 2019 -

Nina Elder is creating Fire Circle, a civic process that helps connect people to the changing landscape of future forests. As wildfires are becoming an increasingly prevalent experience for those dwelling in the Sierra Nevadas, and all of California, it is imperative to evolve not only emergency responses, but also cultural understanding, communication networks, transformative infrastructure, and economic resiliency. Looking to the not-too-distant past, when fire was a natural cycle and was welcomed through cultural practices, healthy forests and human relationships to fire are still possible.

East Jemez Landscape Futures (EJLF) 2018

EJLF is a creative response to altered landscapes that incorporates research, land management strategies, and culture. EJLF works with artists and storytellers to determine the social connections to the Jemez Mountains, incorporating those into formal land management plans. Learn more. 



Interrupted Ecosystem: Rocky Mountain Pinon is the first of a series of drawings that depict what we might lose when an ecosystem is turned upside down by climate disruption.  See more drawings.