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Silhouettes of bison in a grassy area
ANNUAL Virtual speaker series

Leopold Week

Explore the Land Ethic and all its forms. Thank you to everyone who joined the "Natural, Wild, and Free" speaker series this March. Check back for Leopold Week 2025 announcements.

See Details
what to expect

Leopold Week Event Details

"Perhaps such a shift of values can be achieved by reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild and free." 

Aldo Leopold ended the foreword to A Sand County Almanac with this quote in March of 1948. His collection of essays reveals what "natural, wild, and free" meant to him back then. But what does it mean to us today?

Leopold Week 2024 was held March 1-8 and explored this question. Discover ways to connect more deeply with the land community through event replays.

Replays of each event are available below.

Friday, March 1,
12:00 PM CST
Leopold Week 2024 Kickoff with Buddy Huffaker

What does “natural, wild, and free” mean today? Leopold Foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker begins the conversation and kicks off Leopold Week 2024 with an introduction to the speaker series and a special video message from U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore.
Click Here to VIEW

Saturday, March 2,
4:00 PM CST
Drawing a Land Ethic

Visiting artist Max Sorenson will share the process and experiences behind RxReturn, his prescribed fire-inspired art series created during his time at the Leopold Foundation. The series is displayed at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, WI.
Click Here to View

Monday, March 4,
12:00 PM CST
Lyanda Lynn Haupt and "Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit"

Through discussion on her most recent book, Rooted, Lyanda Lynn Haupt invites us to discover wildness wherever we are. By exploring both scientific and spiritual guideposts to reconnect with the earth, we can find hope and healing in tumultuous environmental times.
ClICK HERE TO VIEW

Tuesday, March 5,
7:00 PM CST
Diane Wilson on “The Seed Keeper”

Diane Wilson on her award-winning novel The Seed Keeper, a story of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors. Diane Wilson invites us to reflect on long-term connection to the land through a Dakhóta family’s hopes and sacrifices to protect what matters most.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Wednesday, March 6,
12:00 PM CST
Stewarding the Wild: A Conversation with Karl Malcolm

In conversation with foundation Program Director Steve Swenson, Karl Malcolm dives into his intimate knowledge of ecology in the Gila region and how lessons learned from managing the Gila Wilderness can be applied to the landscape in the Midwest.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Wednesday, March 6,
7:00 PM CST
“First and Wildest” Author Panel

Since Aldo Leopold proposed its designation 100 years ago, the Gila Wilderness has meant many things to many people. Essayists from "First & Wildest" will share their own connections to the Gila and examine the diverse relationships people have with the first Wilderness Area.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Thursday, March 7,
7:00 PM CST
Ed Yong and “An Immense World”

**Program is available to view until June 6.
Human senses offer just one experience out of millions on earth. Ed Yong, award-winning journalist and author of An Immense World, takes beyond the limitations of our human perception to better understand the wonders and wildness of our diverse planet.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Friday, March 8,
12:00 PM CST
2023-24 Future Leaders Fellows

For nine months, the Future Leaders Fellows have been immersed in the work of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the landscape that inspired Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac. Join the fellows as they reflect on growing their land ethics and look forward to the rest of their conservation careers.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW
leopold Week

Celebrating Our Land Ethic

Around the first week of March, with the return of geese and the flow of maple sap, comes the annual celebration of Leopold Week. Thousands of people from around the world join this virtual speaker series seeking inspiration from leading voices in conservation, nature and science writing, land ethics, outdoor recreation, and more.

what to expect

Leopold Week Event Details

"Perhaps such a shift of values can be achieved by reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild and free." 

Aldo Leopold ended the foreword to A Sand County Almanac with this quote in March of 1948. His collection of essays reveals what "natural, wild, and free" meant to him back then. But what does it mean to us today?

Join us March 1-8 for Leopold Week 2024 to explore this question and discover how you can more deeply connect to the land community. With one click of "Save my spot," you will be registered for all eight of these free, virtual speaker sessions.

Register for the virtual speaker series with the button below.

Replays of each event will be available to registrants after the live program.

Friday, March 1,
12:00 PM CST
LW24Kick-Off

What does“natural, wild, and free” mean today? Leopold Foundation Executive DirectorBuddy Huffaker begins the conversation and kicks off Leopold Week 2024 with an introduction to the speaker series and a message from a special guest.

Saturday, March 2,
4:00 PM CST
Drawing a Land Ethic

Visiting artist Max Sorenson will share the process and experiences behind RxReturn, his prescribed fire-inspired art series created during his time at the Leopold Foundation. The series is displayed at the Overture Center for the Arts inMadison, WI.

Monday, March 4,
12:00 PM CST
Lyanda Lynn Haupt on “Rooted”

Through discussion on her most recent book, Rooted, Lyanda Lynn Haupt invites us to discover wildness wherever we are. By exploring both scientific and spiritual guideposts to reconnect with the earth, we can find hope and healing in tumultuous environmental times.

Tuesday, March 5,
7:00 PM CST
Diane Wilson on “The Seed Keeper”

Diane Wilson on her award-winning novel The Seed Keeper, a story of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors. Diane Wilson invites us to reflect on long-term connection to the land through a Dakhóta family’s hopes and sacrifices to protect what matters most.

Wednesday, March 6,
12:00 PM CST
Interview with
Karl Malcolm

In conversation with foundation Program Director Steve Swenson, Karl Malcolm will dive into his intimate knowledge of ecology in the Gila region and how lessons learned from managing the Gila Wilderness can be applied to the landscape in the Midwest.

Wednesday, March 6,
7:00 PM CST
“First and Wildest” Author Panel

Since Aldo Leopold proposed its designation 100 years ago, the Gila Wilderness has meant many things to many people. Essayists from "First & Wildest" will share their own connections to the Gila and examine the diverse relationships people have with the first Wilderness Area.

Thursday, March 7,
7:00 PM CST
Ed Yong and “An Immense World”

Human senses offer just one experience out of millions on earth. Ed Yong, award-winning journalist and author of An Immense World, will take us beyond the limitations of our human perception to better understand the wonders and wildness of our diverse planet.

Friday, March 8,
12:00 PM CST
2023-23 Future Leaders Fellows

For nine months, the Future Leaders Fellows have been immersed in the work of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the landscape that inspired Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac. Join the fellows as they reflect on growing their land ethics and look forward to the rest of their conservation careers.

Our Speakers

Meet the individuals who spoke at this year's Leopold Week celebration.

Ed Yong

Ed Yong is passionate about science. He is the best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us, a groundbreaking, informative, and entertaining examination of the relationship between animals and microbes. His second book, An Immense World, takes a comprehensive look at the fascinating sensory worlds of animals. A New York Times bestseller, An Immense World is longlisted for the PEN America 2023 Literary Award and has made many Best Books of the Year lists. A longtime science reporter for The Atlantic, his work has also appeared in National Geographic, the New Yorker, Wired, Nature, New Scientist, and Scientific American, among others. Named “the most important and impactful journalist” of 2020 by Poynter, Ed Yong was awarded journalism’s top honor, the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for his crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. He anticipated the course of virus, the complex challenges that U.S. faced, and the government’s disastrous failure in its response. An accomplished speaker, Yong brings his vast scientific knowledge and engages his audiences through his insightful conversations

Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson (Dakota) is a writer, educator, and environmental advocate who has published four award-winning books as well as essays in numerous publications. Wilson’s recent novel, The Seed Keeper (Milkweed Editions) was awarded the 2022 Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. Her memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past (Borealis Books) won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the 2012 One Minneapolis One Read program. Her 2011 nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life (Borealis Books) was awarded the 2012 Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. Wilson’s middle-grade biography, Ella Cara Deloria: Dakota Language Protector, was an Honor selection for the 2022 American Indian Youth Literature Award. She is a co-author of a 2022 picture book, Where We Come From. Her most recent essays, which explore seed advocacy, food sovereignty, social justice, and cultural recovery, have been featured in acclaimed anthologies: Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations; We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World; and A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. Wilson is the former Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a national coalition of tribes and organizations working to support food sovereignty, and Dream of Wild Health, a Native-led farm. Wilson is a Mdewakanton descendent, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation. She lives near the St. Croix River in Minnesota, where she cares for an Indigenous seed garden, native perennials for pollinators, and a Tamarack bog.

Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Lyanda Lynn Haupt is an award-winning author, naturalist, ecophilosopher, and speaker whose work explores the beautiful, complicated connections between humans and the wild, natural world. Her newest book is Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit (Little, Brown Spark 2021). Lyanda’s writing is acclaimed for combining scientific knowledge with literary, poetic prose. Her previous books include: Mozart’s Starling; The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild; Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness; Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks; and Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds. She is a winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Nautilus Book Award, a finalist for the Orion Book Award, and a two-time winner of the Washington State Book Award. Lyanda has created and directed educational programs for Seattle Audubon, worked in raptor rehabilitation in Vermont, and been a seabird researcher for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the remote tropical Pacific. Her essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including Orion, Discover, Utne, LA Times, Times Literary Supplement, Image, Huffington Post, Wild Earth, and Conservation Biology Journal. She lives in the mossy green woodlands of Bellingham, Washington.

Max Sorenson

Max Sorenson is an artist, conservationist, and Visiting Artist at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He was a Land Stewardship Fellow in the 2022-23 cohort of Future Leaders Fellows. Max holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Biology from Grinnell College in rural Iowa and a practice dedicated to the holistic and care-full expansion of land stewardship. He is currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Karl Malcolm

Karl Malcolm is a wildlife ecologist, conservation professional, public servant, and, along with his family, an avid participant in nature. He grew up in rural northern Michigan, where his formative experiences included lugging buckets full of maple sap, working in a local lumber mill, long days as a farm laborer, and sunrises as first mate on a Lake Michigan salmon boat. Karl has served for the U.S. Forest Service in positions at local, regional, and national levels, and taught internationally on conservation, fish and wildlife management, and wilderness stewardship. He got his start with the agency in New Mexico after earning his PhD in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin. During a decade in the Southwestern U.S., Karl spent much of his free time exploring far off the beaten path, including extended hunting, fishing, and camping trips deep in the Gila Wilderness. Karl’s writing, photography, and public appearances have been featured in a variety of outlets including Natural History Magazine, The Backcountry Journal, Bugle Magazine, The Pope and Young Ethic, The Black Range Naturalist, Trout Magazine, MeatEater, and Animal Planet. His essay, Gila Elemental, is included in the recent anthology, First and Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100, published by Torrey House Press. Karl now resides with his wife, daughter, and son in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and serves as the assistant regional director of Renewable Resources for the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service.

Elizabeth Hightower Allen

Elizabeth Hightower Allen is the editor of First and Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100, which collects original essays from a diverse range of writers, politicians, scientists, ecologists, and activists in celebration of America's first wilderness. She is a contributing editor at Outside magazine and the founder of Hightower Creative, where she edits and consults for publishers, magazines, and authors. Her writing has appeared in Outside, the New York Times and Washington Post book reviews, and other outlets. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Writers on the Range, which provides free op-eds to small newspapers across the West. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, she lives with her husband and daughter in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

JJ Amaworo Wilson

JJ Amaworo Wilson is an Anglo-Nigerian-American writer. He is the author or co-author of twenty books. His 2016 novel, Damnificados, won four awards and was an Oprah Top Pick. His 2021 novel, Nazaré, won the Foreword INDIES Book Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award. Amaworo Wilson has also written several books about language, two of which won prizes that saw him honored at Buckingham Palace in 2008 and 2011. He is the writer-in-residence at Western New Mexico University and teaches creative writing on the Stonecoast MFA program. He lives in Silver City, New Mexico, at the edge of the Gila Wilderness.

Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka Kumar is the nationally-acclaimed naturalist and author of Conversations with Birds, praised as “a landmark book” that “could help people around the world rewild their hearts and souls” (Psychology Today). Conversations with Birds is a finalist for the 2023 CLMP Firecracker Award for a book that makes a significant contribution to our literary culture. Her new nonfiction book, The Light Between Apple Trees is forthcoming in Fall 2025. Kumar’s essays, criticism, and poems appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, High Country News, Orion, Terrain, The Rumpus, and New Mexico Magazine. Her work has been featured on CBS News Radio, Yale Climate Connections, Oprah Daily, NPR, and PBS Cultura. Kumar grew up in the Himalayan foothills and, as a teenager, moved to North America where her work has received major recognition: an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, a New Mexico/New Visions Governor’s Award, a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Fellowship, an Aldo & Estella Leopold Writing Residency, a PLAYA Residency, and a SOMOS/Mabel Dodge Luhan Residency. Kumar holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and is an alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She has taught at the University of Southern California, the University of California Santa Cruz, and given keynote addresses across the country from Los Angeles to Tucson to Alaska. Kumar wrote, directed, and produced the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road, starring Martin Scorsese and Ravi Shankar. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Leopold Writing Program.

Buddy Huffaker

Buddy Huffaker is a worldwide advocate for environmental ethics and conservation, executive producer of the Emmy award-winning documentary Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, and Executive Director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Buddy has represented conservationist Aldo Leopold’s legacy and land ethic for over 25 years. In this time, he has personally engaged the Leopold family, stewarded over 4,000 acres in and around the Leopold Shack and Farm National Historic Landmark, brokered the translation of Aldo Leopold’s seminal work A Sand County Almanac into new languages, and participated in three White House Conferences on conservation and environmental education. In delivering countless presentations and programs across the country, Buddy has grown a passion for not only sharing Leopold’s story, but making environmental ethics relevant, accessible, and engaging to everyone everywhere.

Bennett Artman

Bennett Artman is 2023-24 Land Stewardship Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He was born in the mountains of Colorado, formed his earliest memories on walks to a lake in Oneida, Wisconsin, and came of age on the shores of Lake Michigan - much of his life has led him to foster a deep love and passion for the world around him, both human and nonhuman. His dream of building his own land ethic came to fruition while studying psychology and environmental studies at UW-Madison, where he learned about the teachings and practices of Aldo Leopold. After reading A Sand County Almanac, he became enthralled by the idea that his one precious life here on earth allows him to connect with and live amongst so many beautiful people, plants, animals, and ecosystems. He became a certified Wisconsin Master Naturalist and enjoyed working with the Wisconsin Master Naturalists program and the UW-Madison Office of Sustainability. As Future Leaders Fellow, he has been able to gain acute knowledge of the Wisconsin ecosystems he loves, meet others who cannot live without wild things, and grow as a person, a conservationist, and a member of the biotic community.

Blossom Ramos

Blossom Ramos is a 2023-24 Land Stewardship Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. She is a conservation graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and she has been grateful for the opportunity to work within the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Though she grew up in McHenry, Illinois, she has come to appreciate the natural diverse beauty that can be found all around Wisconsin. Blossom worked with The Prairie Enthusiasts and dove into the world of dendrochronology throughout her time at UW-Platteville. She was able to present research at Research in Rotunda 2022 and at the AAG 2023 Conference. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new places, exercising, and playing with her two cats.

Brianna Elizondo

Brianna Elizondo is a former 2023-24 Land Stewardship Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. She grew up in Holland, Michigan – famous for its tulips – in a home nestled in the woods along the shores of Lake Michigan. She has always been intrigued by the natural world and how humans interact with the environment. Since she was young, she has had the drive to protect and conserve our natural resources and to educate others on how to maintain a healthy relationship with the outdoors. In pursuit of furthering her education and expanding her knowledge of ecological conservation, she attended Northern Michigan University, where she studied Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Spanish. During her time as a Land Stewardship Fellow, she deepened her passion for conservation and became better equipped to employ sustainable land management techniques. Brianna is now a Big Sky Watershed Corp Member at the Flathead Lake Biological Station in Montana.

Kysh Lindell

Kysh Lindell is a 2023-24 Education and Communication Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Born just outside of Denver, Colorado and raised by a family of Wisconsinites, they spent their life exploring the natural world from peak to prairie. Kysh graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in English and history. Both areas of study urged them to explore the profound and complex relationships between people and the environments they are part of, as well as creatively discuss those relationships through different mediums. They have a particular passion for exchanging environmental perspectives with the public, whether by conducting oral history interviews about early life on the Great Plains, recording a podcast episode about hunters’ role in aiding wildlife conservation, or simply chatting with fellow birders on the trail. They have been thrilled to continue sharing their curiosity, fostering compassion for the natural world, and enacting a shared land ethic as a fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. In their free time, you’ll find them scouring flea markets and antique stores, wandering riverbanks, writing, fishing, birding, or listening to John Denver.

Maia Buschman

Maia Buschman is a 2023-24 Education and Communication Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. She grew up in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, and while that gave her a particular fondness for deserts and other Southwestern landscapes, she has so much fun exploring new places and has found something to love everywhere she has lived and traveled. She studied in Vermont and earned her bachelor’s in conservation psychology from Middlebury College in 2020. She has been excited to be able to work with Leopold’s land ethic because she wants to understand how people interact with and think about the environment and to see how personal connections to land might shape attitudes around conservation and sustainability more broadly. When not wandering with her camera or on her bike, she’s reading, writing, listening to music, or trying out a new vegan recipe.

Our Sponsors & Partners

Many thanks to our sponsors and partners that made these programs possible:

Available to Watch

Past Leopold Week Programs

“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

March marks the return of geese, the flow of maple sap, and the celebration of Leopold Week! Each year around the first week and weekend of March, organizations and individuals across the country celebrate Aldo Leopold and a land ethic through community readings, film screenings, outdoor activities, and more. From the first planned event in Lodi Wisconsin in 2000 to the plethora of events held today, Leopold Week has been going strong for over 20 years now, bringing people from every corner of the United States and across the globe together in celebration of Aldo Leopold’s lasting legacy.

Find replays of previous programs below.

Leopold Week 2023: Nurturing Reciprocity
Aldo Leopold and Earth ethics with Author scott russell sanders

Author Scott Russell Sanders asks: how would Leopold’s land ethic apply to our planet as a whole? This talk delves into understanding Leopold's concept of the living community on various scales, from backyards to watersheds, bioregions, and the entire planet.
Click Here to VIEW

Leopold Week 2023: Nurturing Reciprocity
Creating an Inclusive Outdoors Together with james edward mills

James Edward Mills shares his work with the Joy Trip Project–his ongoing project exploring how we can all live in balance with the natural world and each other.
Click Here to View

Leopold Week 2023: Nurturing Reciprocity
Learning to Live a Land Ethic with the 2022 Leopold Fellows

Future conservation leaders connect to the same land the Leopold family cared for as fellows at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Class of 2022 Leopold Fellows Sarah, Max, Leah, and Maria share how they connect to nature to develop their own land ethic.
ClICK HERE TO VIEW

Leopold Week 2023: Nurturing Reciprocity
Leopold Week 2023 Kick-off with buddy huffaker and kim blaeser

Join Aldo Leopold Foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker as he overviews the 2023 speaker series focused on nurturing reciprocity. Past Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kim Blaeser joins, offering poetry to ground us as Leopold Week 2023 is kicked off.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Leopold Week 2023: Nurturing Reciprocity
Writing Wild: in conversation with Delia Owens

Nature writing is a key entryway to get folks to care for natural environments. Join us in conversation with Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing, to discuss the importance of sharing a love of nature through writing—and how her work is inspired by Aldo Leopold and A Sand County Almanac.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Leopold Week 2022: Sense of Place
Hope Amidst Havoc: Exploring the conservation movement's past, present, and future with Michelle Nijhuis

Especially in recent years, it has become no secret that the conservation movement has a troubling past. Where do we find hope in that history, and in currently emerging movements, for a brighter future? Join Beloved Beasts author Michelle Nijhuis to explore the people and places that created the conservation movement and where Leopold and his impact fit in that grand timeline.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Leopold Week 2021: Building an ethic of care
Land Ethics, Social Justice, and Aldo Leopold

An ongoing reckoning with race in American history has drawn attention to racism in the environmental movement. Critiques have focused on themes such as forced removal of Indigenous peoples from ancestral lands, early conservationists’ support for eugenics, and the chronic lack of diversity in environmental organizations. Today, as people around the world struggle to address complex and interconnected social and environmental crises, our shared future depends on forging an ethic that integrates diverse voices, belief systems, and ways of knowing.

Dr. Curt Meine joins a panel of guests, Dr. Priscilla Ybarra, Dr. Eduardo Santana, and Dr. Lin Qi Feng, to examine the broad arc of Western conservation history, the evolution of a shared land ethic, and the progress and work ahead of us in realizing an ethic of responsibility and reciprocity among people, and between people and land.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Leopold Week 2021: Building an ethic of care
Why Words From the Land Matter with Dr. J. Drew Lanham

"Nature" writing, from the transcendentalists to the present-day Anthropocene, reflects the voice of a "movement" undergoing a dramatic change from paternal savior mentality to present-day woe. In between wilderness agendas and modern angst, how do we write to beauty such that we continue to be fueled by the fight to save some for later? Aldo Leopold set one of the best examples for this transformative work, but others before and since, have taken on the challenge of writing urgently toward a better present. This discussion of writing craft and conservation will take on the task of why nature writing matters more than ever and how the process evolves in current context of more diverse voices and social movements being included in the stories.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

"When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

- Aldo Leopold
Learn and Lead

Educational Resources

The future of conservation lies with the next generation. Through our free library of learning resources, we hope to inspire and empower learners and educators to take conservation into their own hands.

A discussion group at the Leopold Center