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Gavin Van Horn is the Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature, an organization whose mission is to explore and promote human responsibilities in relation to nature. Gavin earned his doctorate from the University of Florida, with a specialization in religion and nature. He is co-editor of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Relative Wild: Common Grounds for Conservation (University of Chicago Press, in progress). As a writer-in-residence, Gavin is working on a new book of creative nonfiction, The Channel Coyotes, which highlights various urban animals and the ways in which they can be portals to understanding and caring for place.
A vegan-turned-hunter, Tovar believes deeply in the importance of respecting ecological systems and our fellow creatures. As a consultant and educator, he is devoted to fostering insight and building conservation alliances in which diverse views are valued. Tovar is author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance. His writing has also been published in High Country News, Outdoor America, Utne Reader, and Northern Woodlands, among others. A doctoral candidate in communication at UMass-Amherst, he is currently researching Ojibwe and Euro-American hunters’ ways of talking about wolves in the western Great Lakes region.
Bonnie’s interest in protecting native plants started with her first wildflower garden at age 12. Following her graduate work in restoration and management at the University of Wisconsin, she taught at the University of Minnesota and established the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (DOT) native wildflower program. That program led her to the Federal Highway Administration in 1993. For 17 years, she taught all 50 states’ DOTs how to use native plants and control invasive plants through practical, affordable, applied science methods. She also reached across rights-of-way fences to collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, states, tribes, and counties to slow the spread of invasive plants across the United States. Her interest in teaching continues with a continuing education course for homeowners on the use of native plants.
A native of New Mexico and a “mestiza” (of mixed Spanish and Indian blood) who currently lives in Texas, Leeanna works as an environmental professional but always remains a student of water and land, el agua y la tierra. Her essays have been published in regional magazines such as La Herencia and the University of New Mexico’s Conceptions Southwest and Scribendi. Through her writing, she strives to speak from the sense of place that is inherent to the great Southwest – the intrinsic relationship between people and place, el sagrado, or the sacred. Leeanna’s greatest hope is to represent the unrepresented minority voice, as well as to follow in the footsteps of other naturalists who, masked with the element and discipline we call “science,” not only awaken us to the mystery in nature, but also to the mystery beyond nature.
Paul Bogard is author of The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light (Little Brown, 2013) and editor of Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark (University of Nevada Press, 2008). A native Minnesotan, Paul has lived and taught in Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Reno, northern Wisconsin, and Winston-Salem. He is now an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, where he teaches creative writing and environmental literature. Paul’s interest in Aldo Leopold goes back to his days at Carleton College, and continues into his current work on the value of darkness for life on earth.
John Hausdoerffer is an associate professor of environmental studies and philosophy at Western State Colorado University, where he also directs the Master’s in Environmental Management program and the Headwaters Project. His research focuses on the intersection of environmental ethics and social justice. John’s first book, Catlin’s Lament: Indians, Manifest Destiny, and The Ethics of Nature, was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2009. His new research project investigates the relevance of Aldo Leopold’s land ethic for 21st century global justice movements.
Courtney White was the Mi Casita writer-in-residence in 2012, the program’s inaugural year. A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, Courtney voluntarily dropped out of what he calls the “conflict industry” in 1997 to cofound the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists, and others. Courtney is a blogger whose work has also been published in numerous magazines. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.