2017 Building a Land Ethic Conference Program

Photo by Ed Pembleton.

Unless otherwise noted, the venue for conference events on all days is the University of Wisconsin Baraboo/Sauk Campus. Transportation to all venues is on your own. Ride sharing may be coordinated on our Facebook event page. See the travel and lodging page for more logistical information.

Want a printable schedule at a glance? (PDF)

Download 1-page overview


Wednesday, June 21 (Pre-Conference Activities)

Leopold Education Project Educator Workshop (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
(Added fee of $50 per person, meet at Leopold Center)

Are you a formal or informal educator who would like to incorporate Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, and the land ethic into your instruction in a hands-on, creative way? The Leopold Education Project (LEP) is an innovative, interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education curriculum based on the essays in A Sand County Almanac. Join three of our LEP State Coordinators (Luann Waters, Peggy Eppig, and Nancy Thompson) to learn how to apply the newly-updated LEP curriculum and Leopold’s own teaching styles with your students! The $50 workshop fee includes a full day of training, a complete set of LEP resources, a copy of A Sand County Almanac, and lunch.

Leopold Shack and Center Tour (2:00 pm to 5:00 pm)
(Added fee of $10 per person, meet at Leopold Center)

The land surrounding the Shack was the chief inspiration for Aldo Leopold’s essays in A Sand County Almanac, and continues to be a living classroom for exploring ecological relationships and conservation history. Come hear stories about the pioneering restoration work initiated by Leopold and his family, see the inside of the Shack, and stroll through restored prairie and woods along the Wisconsin River. We’ll also take a tour of the Leopold Center. Opened in 2007, it is recognized as one of the “greenest” buildings in the nation – a 21st century reflection of Aldo Leopold’s land ethic.

Leopold Shack and Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area Tour (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm)
(Added fee of $10 per person, meet at Leopold Center)

This half-day tour weaves together Aldo Leopold’s personal history, his famous Shack, the landscape of A Sand County Almanac, and the foundation’s local, regional and international work advancing Leopold’s land ethic.  The Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area, 12,000 acres surrounding Leopold’s Shack, is a model for collaborative conservation.  Learn about the foundation’s role in this collaborative of federal, state, non-profit and private lands using at-risk birds as indicators of progress toward planned ecosystem conditions.  Birds as indicators, conservation planning, adaptive management, restoration, invasive species control, prescribed burning, and much more help this landscape tangibly serve regional and national conservation plans.


Thursday, June 22 (Conference Day 1)

Registration Table Open (11:00 am to 1:00 pm)

Conference Welcome with Keynote Address by Will Allen (1:00 pm to 2:30 pm)

Join us for the official kick-off of the conference with an introduction to the theme and welcome from the Ho-Chunk nation, Leopold staff, and family followed by a keynote address from urban farmer and McArthur genius grant recipient Will Allen.

Concurrent Sessions (3:00 pm – 4:30pm)

Our call for session proposals is open until March 15. Learn more and submit a proposal here.

Open House Reception at the Leopold Center (5:00 pm to 8:00 pm)

Join us for an informal night of fun and fellowship with fellow conference attendees. Aldo Leopold Foundation staff and Leopold family members will offer a formal welcome to Leopold Country and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the trails and exhibits around the Leopold Center and take a ride on our charming, open air “people mover” or walk down to the Leopold Shack. (heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided.)


Friday, June 23 (Conference Day 2)

Registration Table Open (8:30 am to 9:00 am)

Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide: a Conversation (9:00 am to 10:30 am)

Dr. Stanley Temple will introduce the session by sharing some of Aldo Leopold’s insights on water and watersheds. Nancy DeLong will discuss how economics can cause and potentially solve rural-urban conflicts in the Midwestern watersheds. Eduardo Santana will review how watershed-based education at a new regional museum is bringing rural and urban communities together in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Steve Laubach will discuss the importance of a shared water ethic in bridging urban-rural conflicts within watersheds. Stan Temple will moderate a follow-up group discussion. See panelist bios here.

Mini-Workshops (11:00 am to 4:00 pm)

Sampler workshops (2-4 hours in length) covering our popular Land Ethic Leaders and Leopold Education Project programs will be offered in addition to other selections. Lunch is provided with conference registration.

See workshops

Banquet Dinner at Ho-Chunk Gaming Convention Center (5:00 pm to 6:30 pm)

Meal provided with registration, cash bar.

Special Event: Survivorman Les Stroud Live at Ho-Chunk Gaming Convention Center (7:00 pm to 9:00 pm)

Best known as the star of the TV series Survivorman, Les Stroud is a musician, author, filmmaker, activist, and longtime Aldo Leopold fan. This event is open to the public. Admission included with conference registration. Additional tickets will be available for sale to the public.


Saturday, June 24 (Conference Day 3)

Registration Table Open (8:00 am to 8:30 am)

Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide: a Conversation, Continued (8:30 am to 10:00 am)

Dr. Curt Meine will moderate.

Concurrent Sessions (10:30 am to 12:00 pm)

Our call for session proposals is open until March 15. Learn more and submit a proposal here.

Lunch on your own in Baraboo (12:00 pm to 2:00 pm)

Explore our vibrant community and grab lunch with friends old and new.

Keynote Address by Peter Forbes (2:00 pm to 3:00 pm)

Featured in the foundation’s 2011 film Green Fire, Peter Forbes is a consultant, facilitator, and lifelong conservationist, practicing what he preaches on his family farm in Vermont.

Special Conference Closing Event (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm)

We’ll wrap up the conference with a very special and unique program that you won’t want to miss!