Conference Culture, nature, semiotics: Locations IV - Tartu & Tallinn 2004
Workshop Nature, Ideas of Nature, Politicization of Nature - Tampere 2003
Conference Discovering the Concepts of Nature in Russia - Helsinki 2003
Workshop Semiotics of Nature - Imatra 2003
Meeting Semiotics of Nature - Imatra 2001
Ecosemiotics: Studies in Environmental Semiosis - Imatra 2000

Workshop Estonian Culture and Nature - Nõupäev Eesti kultuur ja loodus, 2001
Workshop The Mediated Natures - Nõupäev Vahendatud loodused, 2003
Public seminar series Personal Natures - Seminarisari Isiklikud loodused, 2002-2003
Public seminar series Lifeworlds - Worlds Alive - Seminarisari Elu_s_ilmad 2003-2004
Summer seminar on ecosemiotics Keskkonnaeetika... 2005

"Ecosemiotics can be defined as the semiotics of relationships between nature and culture. This includes research on the semiotic aspects of the place and role of nature for humans, i.e. what is and what has been the meaning of nature for us, humans, how and in what extent we communicate with nature. Ecosemiotics deals with the semiosis going on between a human and its ecosystem, or a human in ones ecosystem. In this, it can be related to ethnology and sociology of man-nature relationships, to environmental psychology and the anthropology of environment, which, although quite close to ecosemiotics, deal more with the comparative than the semiotic aspects of the problem.
 Ecosemiotics is thus quite different from biosemiotics. Ecosemiotics can be considered as a part of the semiotics of culture, which investigates human relationships to nature which have a semiosic (sign-mediated) basis, whereas biosemiotics can be seen as different from the cultural semiotic field. Both, nevertheless, are researching nature from the semiotic point of view.(...)
Ecosemiotics describes the appearance of nature as dependent on the various contexts or situations. It includes nature’s structure as it appears, its classification (syntactics); it describes what it means for people, what there is in nature (semantics); and it finds out the personal or social relation to the components of nature, which can be one’s participation in nature (pragmatics). In all this, it includes the role of memory and the relationships between different types of (short-term, long-term, etc.) memory in culture. Due to considering the evolutionary aspect, ecosemiotics also extends to non-human systems.
The semiotic aspect of man-nature relationships may concern, for instance, the context-dependence of the valuation of nature, differences in seeing and understanding it. Also, it concerns the signal character of the behaviour of a person in nature — when living in a forest, or walking in woods, or seeing it on TV, reading or speaking or dreaming about it. And it certainly concerns the formation of nature, the designing and building of the environment using the human (linguistic, aesthetic, etc.) forms." (Kull 1998: 350-351).

"The paper by W. Nöth (1996) was appearently the first to coin this term and to define it. This work by Nöth was discussed in several papers of the same volume 18(1) of the Zeitschrift für Semiotik. However, these were not the first works in which semiotic ecology was introduced. Already 15 years earlier, attempts to build semiotic ecology were made in the Moscow group of theoretical biology (Levich 1983), and these ideas were discussed in joint meetings with colleagues from St.Petersburg and Tartu. Also, there have been several publications in which some semiotic aspects of human ecology have been considered (e.g., Hornborg 1996, Teherani-Krönner 1996, Hauser 1996b), and many more, in which the semiotics of human-nature relationships are developed without the direct application of semiotic terminology (e.g., Simmons 1993; Larsen, Grgas 1994, Rapoport 1994)." (Kull 1998: 347-348).

"To describe the realm of biosemiotics, J. Hoffmeyer (1996: 96) builds a triangle which consists of culture, external nature, and internal nature. According to Hoffmeyer, the relationship between culture and internal nature is the sphere of psychosomatics, the relationship between internal and external nature is the field of biosemiotics, and the relationship between culture and external nature is the environmental sphere. This latter can also be named an ecosemiotic area." (Kull 1998: 350).

Recently, a special issue of Sign Systems Studies vol. 29(1), 2001, has been devoted to ecosemiotics (ed. by W.Nöth and K.Kull).

Selected readings on ecosemiotics

Bateson, Gregory (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. New York: Ballantine.

Crowe, Norman (1997 [orig. 1995]). Nature and the Idea of a Man-Made World: An Investigation into the Evolutionary Roots of Form and Order in the Built Environment. Cambridge (Mass.): The MIT Press.

Hauser, Susanne  (1996). Repräsentationen der Natur und Umweltmodelle. Zeitschrift für Semiotik 18(1), 83–92.

Hoffmeyer, Jesper (1996). Signs of Meaning in the Universe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Hornborg, Alf (1996). Ecology as semiotics: Outlines of a contextualist paradigm for human ecology. In Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives, Philippe Descola and Gisli Pálsson (eds.), 45–62. London: Routledge.

Kull, Kalevi (1998). Semiotic ecology: different natures in the semiosphere. Sign Systems Studies 26: 344-371.

Larsen, Svend Erik and Grgas, Stipe (eds.) (1994). The Construction of Nature: A Discursive Strategy in Modern European Thought. Odense: Odense University Press.

Levich, A. P. (1983). Semioticheskie struktury v ekologii, ili suschestvuet li ekologischeskij kod? In Chelovek i Biosfera 8, 68–77. Moskva: Izdatel’stvo Moskovskogo Universiteta.

Nöth, Winfried (1998). Ecosemiotics. Sign Systems Studies 26: 332-343.

Rapoport, Amos (1994). Spatial organization and the built environment. In Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology, Tim Ingold (ed.), 460–502. London: Routledge.

Simmons, I. G. (1993). Interpreting Nature: Cultural Constructions of the Environment. London: Routledge.

Teherani-Krönner Parto 1996. Die Uexküllsche Umweltlehre als Ausgangspunkt für die Human- und Kulturökologie. Zeitschrift für Semiotik 18(1), 41-53.