Aldo Leopold


About Aldo Leopold
A Sand County Almanac
The Land Ethic

Leopold Archives

Leopold Family


Teaching Tools

Leopold Events
Aldo Leopold Weekend
Find Events
List Event

The Aldo Leopold

P.O.Box 77
Baraboo, WI 53913
608.356.7309 fax
Staff email directory


Share this page:

Using Leopold in Teaching

Handouts and discussion guides

ASCA coverAldo Leopold Fact Sheet (2 pages, Adobe PDF format) and web overview
A Sand County Almanac Fact Sheet (2 pages, Adobe PDF format) and web overview
Land Ethic
Fact Sheet (2 pages, Adobe PDF format) and web overview

Discussion Guide for select essays in A Sand County Almanac by the Aldo Leopold Foundation (Adobe PDF format)



Green Fire Film

GF coverA wonderful way to introduce students to Leopold's ideas and significance, Green Fire—Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time is the first ever full-length, high definition film about Leopold. The movie explores Aldo Leopold's life in the context of American conservation and environmental history, while also illustrating how Leopold's legacy lives on today in the work of people and organizations across the nation and around the world. The Public Screening License edition is designed specifically for classroom use.

Discussion Guide for the Green Fire film by the Aldo Leopold Foundation (Adobe PDF format)

Exploring the Outdoors with Aldo Leopold

LEP Exploring the Outdoors with Aldo Leopold is a CD packed with fun activities designed to help get youth and their families outdoors learning about nature, using Leopold’s ideas as a starting place. Each activity is based on an essay from Aldo Leopold’s classic book, A Sand County Almanac, and is designed to be easy to use in an outdoor education setting. Available in our bookstore.

You may also want to look into all the other resources available through the Leopold Education Project.


This list of Aldo Leopold Foundation-developed resources is really just a starting place for learning more about Leopold. There is a plethora of additional material to explore! Scroll down the page or click on the categories below to explore our comprehensive listing of additional educational resources for various age levels.



Land Ethic Leader Program Overview (1:30)
Education staff at the Aldo Leopold Foundation share an overview of their popular Land Ethic Leader program, with an introduction to the Aldo Leopold Foundation, a discussion of Leopold's land ethic idea, and highlights of how graduates of the program are putting our program tools to work with audiences of all ages. Recorded in October 2013. Thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center for hosting and providing access to this webinar!
Click here to view this webinar.

Teaching Land Ethics: Aldo Leopold and Native American Perspectives (1:00)
Fawn YoungBear-Tibbetts of the UW Arboretum Earth Partnership Indigenous Arts and Sciences program and Aldo Leopold Foundation Senior Fellow Curt Meine present this webinar. Aldo Leopold once wrote, "There are two things that interest me: the relation of people to each other and the relation of people to land." Such an understanding of interwoven human and natural relationships is embedded within diverse Native American traditions, and has long been part of the conservation movement as well. Students are challenged to understand such connections and relationships as we face an increasingly uncertain future. Fawn and Curt will provide a framework for discussing land ethics from scientific and indigenous perspectives, exploring points of contrast and convergence. We will also consider how a land ethic can be fostered tangibly in schools by expanding the learning environment to include the school grounds themselves. Recorded in March 2014. Thanks to the Earth Partnership for Schools program for hosting and providing access to this webinar!
Click here to view this webinar.

Leopold, Leadership, and You (1:30)
You know Aldo Leopold was a great writer and ground-breaking conservationist, but did you know he possessed superb leadership skills? On April 8th 2014 in partnership with the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Management Assistance Team sponsored a webinar featuring a conversation between Leopold scholars, Drs. Curt Meine and Julianne Warren and one of the Team's leadership instructors, Jimmy Fox. The recorded 90-minute dialogue covers how Leopold practiced the principles of adaptive leadership and concludes with questions from participants. Enjoy this fresh, unique exploration of Aldo Leopold tackling tough conservation issues - diagnosing the social system, mobilizing others in that system, viewing himself as a part of that system, and surviving and thriving through it all. Thanks to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Management Assistance Team for hosting and providing access to this webinar!
Click here to view this webinar.

Predators, Prey, Plants and People (0:28)
Ever since Aldo Leopold and his contemporaries founded The Wildlife Society in 1937, wildlife management professionals have grappled with the intermingled scientific, technical, social, economic, political, and ethical challenges inherent to the conservation of land and wildlife. Wolves have always served as a particularly hot flashpoint in our complex and dynamic conservation landscape. In this webinar, Aldo Leopold Senior Fellow Curt Meine discusses these issues. Recorded in October 2013. Thanks to the Wildlife Society for hosting and providing access to this webinar!
Click here to view this webinar.

Bioethics and Environmental Value- How We Reason About Things that Morally Matter (1:05)
An Aldo Leopold Foundation Brown Bag Seminar with Jonathan Beever, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental ethics at Purdue University, recorded June 22, 2012. Jonathan shares his research which attempts to work out a novel theory of environmental value that justifies an ecological ethic through a scientifically responsible framework.
Click here to view this webinar.

Books, Videos, Audio, and Websites

Books Videos Audio Other
Check out the books written by and about Aldo Leopold

Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time

Classroom screening license available from the Aldo Leopold Foundation bookstore.

Many short topical videos related to Green Fire are available to view on the Aldo Leopold Foundation's YouTube channel (free).

CD: Remembering Aldo Leopold
Purchase it from our bookstore.
Encyclopedia of Earth, Aldo Leopold Collection
For young audiences: Aldo Leopold's Shack: Nina's Story by Nancy Nye Hunt
Purchase it from our bookstore.
Aldo Leopold: Learning from the Land. Available from the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Audio Documentary: Aldo Leopold and the Emerging Land Ethic. A one-hour radio program produced by aural historian Jack Loeffler for New Mexico Public Radio. The program includes the voices Leopold’s daughters Nina Leopold Bradley and Estella Leopold, as well as scholars, environmental activists and writers who have been greatly influenced by the man regarded by many as the greatest conservationist of the 20th century. Also heard are environmental historian Susan Flader, activist Dave Foreman, author and environmentalist William deBuys, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, and many others whose thinking and practices have been deeply influenced by the genius of Aldo Leopold.

Shared by Public Radio Exchange (PRX)
Wisconsin educators, check out the option to borrow a classroom set of A Sand County Almanac from the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education Resources Library
For young audiences: Aldo Leopold: Champion of Conservation by Carole Marsh
Available from Carole Marsh Bookstore
Watch Nina Leopold Bradley as she talks about phenology in relation to climate change in this four minute video. "Before Silent Spring” Radio program with Curt Meine on Aldo Leopold available from the BBC. Wisconsin EEK website written for kids about Aldo Leopold
For middle school age:
Aldo Leopold: American Ecologist by Peter Anderson
Available in our bookstore.
Buddy Huffaker talks about the energy efficient Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo. The Center is both a headquarters for the Aldo Leopold Foundation and a visitor center for the Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm. Huffaker, the Executive Director of the Foundation, is interviewed here by Norman Gilliland for Wisconsin Public Television. Available through Portal Wisconsin. University of the Air (7/6/2008): What Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac can tell us about climate change

University of the Air (8/1/2010): The Life and groundbreaking conservationism of Aldo Leopold
A small sample of what is available through the Leopold Digital Archives:

See original drafts of Leopold’s hand-written essays.

Read a lecture Leopold delivered as a professor in Wildlife Ecology at UW-Madison.
For middle school age:
Things Natural, Wild, and Free: The Life of Aldo Leopold by Marybeth  Lorbiecki
Available in our bookstore.
  Audiobook: A Sand County Almanac, read by Stuart Udall

Search it on Google to find a store of your preference for download/purchase
Read posts by Leopold biographer Curt Meine discussing the land ethic in the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s America’s Wild Read blog
For high school age:
Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire by Marybeth Lorbiecki
Purchase it on Amazon.
    Blue Ribbon Quotes.
A package of 14 classic Aldo Leopold quotes, printed on 11"x14" card stock and laminated, for use in classrooms or in a variety of educational settings.  Available in our bookstore.
Collegiate and beyond:
Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work  by Curt Meine
Purchase it from our bookstore.

Lesson Plans and Syllabi from Educators

We invite educators at all levels to share their ideas about using Leopold in teaching here for others. Do you have tools you’d be willing to share here with other educators to make it easier for them to use Leopold in the classroom? Tell us! We’ll share it alongside the other resources you see on this page.

Age group: K-12

K-12 Lesson Plan for January Thaw from Brittany Roberts, lead teacher at Northern Waters Environmental School in Hayward, Wisconsin.

Environmental Heroes and Heroines activity shared by Mike Mieszala at Warren Township High School in Illinois.

A Mighty Fortress essay worksheet for high school age students, shared by Mike Mieszala at Warren Township High School in Illinois.

Green Fire worksheet for high school age students, shared by Mike Mieszala at Warren Township High School in Illinois.

Great Possessions essay worksheet for high school age students, shared by Mike Mieszala at Warren Township High School in Illinois.

Age group: college and above

Discussion Guide for A Sand County Almanac: Shared by Northwest Earth Institute (Adobe PDF format)

A list of college-level syllabi on various aspects of the Land Ethic, complied by participants in the NEH-sponsored summer institutes on Leopold and Sustainability, organized by Dan Shilling at Arizona State University.

Biology-based questions and assignments on various essays in A Sand County Almanac, shared by Terese Dudek at Kishwaukee College.

College-level lectures matching chapters from A Sand County Almanac with topics in environmental issues, shared by Dr. Frank Gallagher in the Urban and Community Forestry Program at Rutgers State University. (Click on "coursework" and scroll halfway down the page for the Leopold lecture links)

Youtube lectures (part one, and part two) about Aldo Leopold shared by Susan Todd at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Land Ethic Worksheet shared by Paul Totah, Director of Communications at St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Introductory Activities for Walking in the Weathered World: A Sample Module from a Place-Based Academic Research Writing Course using Leopold's "Thinking Like a Mountain" essay and other resources, shared by Dr. Adrienne Cassel of the Sinclair College English department.

Discussion Guide to A Sand County Almanac: Shared by Susan Todd, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Adobe PDF format)

An excerpt from a syllabus on Nature Literature, including reading assignments of works by and about Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Henry David Thoreau, and Mary Oliver, with essay prompts for each collection of readings. (Shared by Sarah Rabkin at the University of California Santa Cruz.)

Educational Partners

Encyclopedia of Earth

Aldo Leopold and his intellectual legacy are the topic of one of the inaugural articles in the Encyclopedia of Earth. The Encyclopedia is the largest reliable information resource on the environment in history. It is the first web-based information resource that combines the trustworthiness and authority of scientific review with the power of web-based collaboration, all enabled by a state-of-the-art technology platform. The Encyclopedia is free to the public, has no advertising, and is governed by scientists, educators, and professionals. The Aldo Leopold Collection was co-authored by Aldo Leopold Foundation staff, and is a great resource for online research on Leopold.

Leopold Archives

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is the primary steward of Leopold’s writings, unpublished manuscripts, journals, correspondence, sketches, photographs, and implements he used on the land. The collection is housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives. The Aldo Leopold Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives received a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to begin digitizing the entire collection in 2007. The Leopold Digital Archives are now publicly available free of charge for viewing. Click here for more information on the project.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center

Operating two Wisconsin-based educational centers in Monona and Black Earth, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center is an independent not-for-profit charitable organization providing year-round programming which “teaches the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands” in the spirit of Aldo Leopold. ALNC offers field trips, seasonal family programs, special events, summer camps, teacher training workshops and interactive exhibits. Although a separate organization, ALNC is a partner of the Aldo Leopold Foundation. The Leopold family and Nina Leopold Bradley were instrumental in the founding of both organizations. Under their guidance, ALNC offers a number of initiatives to lead visitors to a deeper understanding of Leopold's land ethic, including: the Leopold Family Interpretive Trail: taking visitors through 21 acres of restored native habitat with questions Aldo Leopold might have asked you; the Children's Shack: child-scaled replica of the actual Aldo Leopold Shack designed to teach children about Aldo Leopold and how to live lightly on the land; and the Climate Education Center: a new wing at their Monona campus designed to teach about climate science, renewable energy and sustainability through interactive exhibits and a hands-on laboratory (named in honor of Nina) that helps children document their phenological observations.

Aldo Leopold Foundation

Confused? Thought we were the same as the organizations listed above? Here's a quick summary of what we do:

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, donor-supported organization based at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The foundation’s mission is to inspire an ethical relationship between people and land through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. Leopold regarded a land ethic as a product of social evolution. “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever ‘written,’” he explained. “It evolves ‘in the minds of a thinking community.’” The foundation's membership forms a modern day "thinking community," and the foundation's programs create opportunities for rich, diverse, and productive dialogue with members and others about humanity’s relationships to land, allowing the idea of a land ethic to unfold in myriad ways. The Aldo Leopold Foundation owns and manages the original Aldo Leopold Shack and 300 surrounding acres, in addition to several other parcels, and we also manage much of the remainder of the 1,800-acre Leopold Memorial Reserve. We act as the executor of Leopold's literary estate, encourage scholarship on Leopold, and serve as a clearinghouse for information regarding Leopold, his work, and his ideas. The foundation's land stewardship initiatives work with neighbors and others to foster an understanding of the total land community, and our education programs serve nearly 10,000 visitors on-site each year, in addition to many thousands more served through this website, our Green Fire film, and other outreach programming. We also invite our audiences to connect with us via their social networks on Facebook and Twitter.