We just visited the Aldo Leopold Foundation and "the Shack" where the Leopold family spent weekends, planted 30,000 pine trees and Aldo wrote Sand County Almanac and other contributions highlighting conservation science, policy, and ethics. Another aspect of the Leopold legacy is their incredible family. Among their many honors, they are the only family to have three siblings elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Starker Leopold, the eldest son, was an ornithologist and professor of zoology at U.C. Berkeley. He authored over 100 papers as well as multiple books such as Wildlife of Mexico: The Game Birds and Mammals and North American Game Birds and Mammals.
|Warming up in the "Shack"|
The middle child, Nina Leopold, was "the senior author of a 1999 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that analyzed decades of phenological records demonstrating that climate change was affecting the region and its native ecosystems." She was instrumental in the development of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the LEED certified buildings housing it.
Carl Leopold was a plant physiologist who wrote the classic textbook Plant Growth and Development. He authored 2000 papers and five books. In his teens he became the family photographer and most of the family images are his.
The "baby" of the family was Estella Leopold, eight years younger that her youngest sibling. Not to be outdone, as a University of Washington professor of botany, forest resources and quaternary research, she authored of over 100 scientific publications in the fields of paleobotany, forest history, restoration ecology and environmental quality. She may be best remembered for "pioneering the use of fossilized pollen and spores to understand how plants and ecosystems respond over eons to such things as climate change."
All in all, not too shabby for a bunch of siblings who spent their weekends planting pines and kicking around on a worn out patch of sandy farm, restoring a little bit of nature.
Aldo was notified of Sand County Almanac's acceptance for publication just one week before he died of a heart attack fighting a fire a mile from his shack. The fire occured on the land now occupied by the Institute.
If you aren't familiar with the book but have visited this blog more than once, you owe it to yourself to find a copy. You will return to it over the years.