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Book Review: The Driftless Reader, co-edited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley

In Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Essays, Nonfiction by Center for Humans and Nature

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Engagement Advisor for the Center for Humans and Nature and Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University. Readers of Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley’s anthology The Driftless Reader (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017) will find selections from eighty writers whom the editors describe as “eminent and obscure, bygone and contemporary, indigenous and outsider, poetic and scientific, and historic and hybrids .” Among some of the better-known writers are Henry David Thoreau, Robin Kimmerer, John Muir, Mark Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Wallace Stegner, and Black Hawk. The selections are accompanied by fifty-five illustrations which help to tell …

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Book Review: Force of Nature by Arthur Melville Pearson

In Book Reviews, Conservation, Nonfiction by Center for Humans and Nature

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Engagement Advisor for the Center for Humans and Nature and Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University. The bastions of environmental protection that have been erected over the years are once again being tested by shortsighted individuals who occupy our government and allow special interests to violate public and private preserves. During the late nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, far-seeing naturalists and politicians founded institutions and established government policies intended to protect the environment into the future. John Muir, the first president of the Sierra Club, was one of those visionaries. And at the highest level of government, Theodore …

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Q&A with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

In Birds, Conservation, Insects, Nonfiction, Oceans, Trees by Center for Humans and Nature

Florence Williams is a journalist and Fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature who often writes about the connections between people, health, and nature. She is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, and she also writes for  the New York Times, National Geographic, Slate, Mother Jones, High Country News, and other publications. In her latest book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative (W.W. Norton 2017), Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to groves of eucalyptus in California, she investigates the science …

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Book Review: Stories from the Leopold Shack by Estella Leopold

In Book Reviews, Conservation, Nonfiction by Center for Humans and Nature

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Engagement Advisor for the Center for Humans and Nature and Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University. In Stories from the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited, Estella Leopold takes her readers on an intimate journey into that now-fabled place to which her father introduced the world in A Sand County Almanac (Oxford University Press, 1949). The site in central Wisconsin close to Baraboo that Aldo and now his daughter Estella have chronicled is where Aldo, his wife Estella Bergere, and their five children spent their summers. They lived in a once-abandoned farm shack, where they worked together to restore the …

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Book Review: Trace by Lauret Savoy

In Book Reviews, Nonfiction by Center for Humans and Nature

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Engagement Advisor for the Center for Humans and Nature and Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University. Lauret Savoy’s Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape is both a memoir and a study of human events within the natural landscape of the United States. As an incessant traveler from childhood and on into a career as a professor of geology and environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College, she has embraced and studied a significant portion of the ancient landscape of the United States upon whose surface the history of a people has only recently been written. Her …