The Aldo Leopold Foundation’s programming is reaching into a new sphere with the launch of this blog! We hope that this format will allow us to invite a much broader “thinking community” into the conversation. Welcome. We’re glad you’re here! For our first post, we wanted to offer a run-down of some exciting opportunities for you to be more connected to the Leopold community in various ways.
1. Follow This Blog!
We will be posting engaging content and inviting conversation here on a regular basis. A variety of contributors will share posts related to the work and mission of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, including exploring Leopold’s evolving legacy, engaging thinking communities, working toward land health, and evoking and inspiring a land ethic with the next generation through education. You can follow the blog by signing up to receive our monthly e-newsletter, or you can also add us to an RSS reading list for instant notifications.
2. Attend Our Summer Land Ethic Conference!
You are invited to join us in Baraboo this summer, August 12-15 for Building a Land Ethic: Teaching and Learning Across Boundaries. We are delighted to announce that we will be partnering with the University of Wisconsin – Baraboo/Sauk County campus to host this three-day gathering, which will include a pre-conference workshop on the Leopold Education Project Curriculum Wednesday, August 12. The main conference will also include a VIP day at the Leopold Center and Shack for all registered participants. This conference will be a unique professional development opportunity that will convene people from diverse professional and personal backgrounds who share the common goal of wanting to both understand and apply Leopold’s land ethic concept to their work.
We hope to see many people from our Leopold Education Project and Land Ethic Leader networks there, but also encourage classroom educators of all levels, conservation professionals, landowners, environmental educators, and anyone working to build a land ethic in their communities to join us. Leopold wrote that “nothing so important as an ethic is ever written… it evolves in the minds of a thinking community.” This three-day conference seeks to convene a thinking community through keynote presentations by leading experts, concurrent sessions by peers, and opportunities for attendees to take part in dialog and experiential learning with one another, all in the spirit of Aldo Leopold.
Conference registration will open in May, and we will continue to make announcements and share information here in the blog and in our monthly e-newsletter. We also have basic logistical information and a schedule overview posted on the conference page of our website. Check it out, save the dates and we hope to see you this August!
3. Submit a Proposal to Present at the Conference!
The last day of the conference (Saturday, August 15) will shine the spotlight on the members of the “thinking community” with concurrent sessions being led by Leopold ambassadors who are working to build a land ethic with their own audiences. Concurrent session track descriptions are below. Applications are due by May 1.
Concurrent Track #1: Engaging Thinking Communities
Presentations in this track will focus on how leaders have created opportunities for dialog and engagement with Leopold’s ideas among various audiences, exploring conversations about how we both understand and apply the land ethic in a variety of settings, from college campuses to conservation organizations to local communities.
Concurrent Track #2: Land Ethic Youth Education
Thousands of educators nationwide are using the Leopold Education Project curriculum and other innovative tools to connect young people with nature and introduce them to Leopold’s ideas. This track highlights K-12 teachers and non-formal educators who will share ideas on how they have worked to instill a land ethic with the next generation.
Concurrent Track #3: Working Toward Land Health
Ambassadors for Leopold’s land ethic do not always work directly in an education or outreach capacity, but people who own or manage land have many lessons to share with the larger conservation community. Presentations in this track will highlight conservation partnerships and projects that have helped improve the health of the land.
Concurrent Track #4: The Art of Leopold
Leopold’s life defies easy categorization. He was an educator, forester, and dedicated wilderness advocate. He was also a gifted writer and illustrator. Art has the ability to communicate with the public in ways that words cannot by challenging one’s perceptions of the surrounding world. This track will invite artists and artisans of all kinds to share how Leopold’s ideas have been an inspiration for their creative passions.
Concurrent Track #5: The Science of Leopold
This track will highlight people who are carrying the scientific tradition of Leopold forward in their research and work. From the practice of phenological record keeping to the science of ecology, a range of conservation professionals from many disciplines are building further understanding of the complex entity that Leopold called “the land mechanism.”