I have been drawn by the beauty, mystery and wonder of nature since I was a toddler. My many encounters in places across North America are like cairns, marking the bends and turns of my life’s journey.
As a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for nearly thirty years, I enjoyed the freedom of teaching classes dear to me. My favorite was “Nature and Culture.” Like all my classes, it was highly interactive. I gave my students lots of freedom to explore aspects of course themes that most interested them. They often recovered a joy in learning they had not experienced in a long time.
I also had the opportunity to write books. Of them, my biography of Sigurd F. Olson has gotten the most recognition. He was one of America’s most beloved nature writers and most influential environmental leaders of the 20th century. The book, A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson, published by the University of Minnesota Press, won the Small Press Book Award in 1998 for best biography.
Recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters from Northland College for my wilderness-related writings, I also serve as an adviser to the Listening Point Foundation, a wilderness education organization focused on the philosophy of Sigurd Olson.
And now, in retirement, I have several book projects underway and several more planned. Not surprisingly, these too will relate in various ways to the theme that has always drawn my attention: nature and the human spirit.
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