the academy, to beyond it

learn first to listen_
with what is incomplete

some scholarly & creative
non-fiction, peer-reviewed,
& university press chapters
works linked or available upon request


i. recantations


U.S. settler-conservationists tend to consider ourselves more virtuous than compatriots who take Land as a warehouse. As detailed by Dina Gilio-Whitaker, however, white supremacy “is the thread from which the American social fabric is woven,” including conservation institutions.

As author of Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey (2016), I suggest a methodology for further surfacing race/ism (any oppressions) spun into the influential schemes of Aldo Leopold’s best-selling A Sand County Almanac (1949), recently reissued in 2020. I decompose my own past scholarship focused on his “land health” concept, to which his “land ethic” pointed—a vision that, from its starting point, still ruthlessly relegates, appropriates from, and assimilates Indigenous Peoples.

This methodology is informed by Robert Pogue Harrison’s examination of living relations with the dead. It applies Kyle Powys Whyte’s framework of reckoning through three issues “that complicate any attempt to compare versions of Leopoldian and Indigenous ethics” on the way to any possibilities of difference-respecting coalitions needing, in common, habitable geographies.

I renew proposals of Leopold that, paradoxically, can support refusals of his obliterative constructions. Within Whyte’s three arenas, I continue to unearth, detail and disavow my bio-cultural ancestral legacies violently silencing Brown, Black, and Indigenous Peoples, undermining Indigenous self-determination and relationships.

Beginning to end, the flow itself of my writing wants to enact a corrective turn from conservationists’—also patriarchal—bad habit of over-listening to a few figures, then, controlling discourse at others’ expense. Three concluding grassroots episodes, in which I participated, mean to hold space for Alaska Native-led rejoinders to, and, already-ever distanced from settler-colonialist presumption as attached to their own starting points and desired futures


Aldo Leopold’s Legacy: A Conversation

A Webinar with Susan Campbell, John Manthai, Siqiñiq Maupin, and Julianne Warren

The Folk School and “In a Time of Change” [Bonanza Creek LTER] program, lower Tanana Dene Lands, Fairbanks, Alaska, April 27, 2021

A creative non-fiction draft:

[untitled]: A Palinode

(please stay tuned)


ii. books

Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey,
Tenth Anniversary Edition

Rediscovering the Author of
A Sand County Almanac

forweword by Bill McKibben
Island Press
Washington, D.C.

As Wanjiku Gatheru, a recent Environmental Studies graduate, explains, she was the only Black person in her program and clubs. At the same time, reading the assigned “staple texts”—such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold— only “magnified the interests of my [U.S. white-settler] classmates and left mine in the dust”. This is, unfortunately, an experience that has been on repeat. A generation ago, for example, Black and Native American geologist and author Lauret Savoy , wondered why in delving into Leopold’s book she experienced “only uncertainty and estrangement.”

Aldo Leopold's Odyssey

Land health—-the historical development of which centers Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey–indeed was a radical vision within his and my own culture’s extractive worldview. Yet, as I argue in detail throughout an in-progress, collaborative work, neither my bio-cultural ancestor Aldo Leopold nor I have been nearly “radical” enough when it comes to seeing and resisting baked-in settler-colonialisms and white supremacy in our conservation legacies that erase others including: via relegation (including genocide) of Indigenous Peoples from customary Lands, appropriations of Indigenous cultures and of Black labor (i.e., slavery), and forced assimilation (including child internment in English only boarding schools).  And, while Leopold’s vision incorporated coalition-forming within a fragmented settler-colonial society, the habit of not attending to differences in underlying assumptions between a dominating culture and those still oppressed by its institutions continues to destabilize grounds for real and lasting white, settler conservation alliances with Black, Indigenous, and people of color toward any shared goals.

For more details, please see above, section i. recantations.

iii. book chapters

With Princess Daazhraii Johnson. “A Conversation.”
Pages 100-109 in John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Parry Hecht, Melissa K. Nelson, and Katherine Kassouf Cummings (eds.).
What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want To Be?
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021.

With John Hausdoerffer. “Interview: Wes Jackson.”
Pages 145-153 in John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Parry Hecht, Melissa K. Nelson, and Katherine Kassouf Cummings (eds.).
What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want To Be?
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021.

“Learning Extinct Birdsong in the Anthropocene: Huia Echoes.”
In Robert Emmett, Gregg Mitman, and Marco Armiero (eds.)
Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.

“The Saw (Perpetual Mill),” “Lake Perez: Reflections,” “The Raptor Eye Center.”
In Ian Marshall (ed.)
The Ecological Reflections Project: Reading Shaver’s Creek: Ecological Reflections from an Appalachian Forest.
State College: Penn State University Press, 2018.
Web Link on 

“The Story Isn’t Over.”
In Gavin van Horn and John Hausdoerffer (eds.)
Wildness: Relations of People and Place.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

“Measures of Time: Exploring Debt, Nature, and Imagination.”
Pages 124-139 in P. Paik and M. Weisner- Hanks (eds.)
Debt: Ethics, the Environment, and the Economy.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.
PDF on

“Leading Questions.”
Pages 815-822 in D.R. Gallagher (ed.)
Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference, 2012.

“Science, Recreation, and Leopold’s Quest for a Durable Scale.”
Pages 97-118 in M. Nelson and J. B. Callicott.
The Wilderness Debate Rages On.
Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2008.

Lead with Eric T. Freyfogle. “Sustainability a Dissent.”
In T. Campbell and D. Mollica.
London: Ashgate, 2009.
(First published in Conservation Biology 19(1): 23-31, 2005).

With Eric T. Freyfogle (lead). “Putting Science in its Place.”
Pages 23-33 in S.J. Armstrong.
Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence.
Boston, MA: McGraw Hill, 2003.
(First published in Conservation Biology 16 (4): 863-873, 2002).

iv. peer-reviewed journal writings

Please stay tuned for…

In review, with Mike Roche.
“Sight and Sound, Beyond the Huia Extinction Story”

“Urgent: Dreams.”
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.
1 (3): 156-161, 2011.

“Running.” (fiction)
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment1
8 (2): 455-461, 2011.

“Archive Feature: Weaving a Wider Web for Conservation: Aldo Leopold’s Water Ethic.”
Organization and Environment
23 (2): 220-239, 2010.

Lead with Susan Kieffer.
“Risk Management and the Wisdom of Aldo Leopold.”
Risk Analysis
30 (2): 165- 174, 2010.

Lead with Daniel Simberloff.
“Symposium 4: Declaring Interdependence.”
Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America
90 (4): 526-528, 2009.

“Alienation or Intimacy?: The Roles of Science in the Cultural Narratives of Gifford Pinchot and John Burroughs.”
American Transcendental Quarterly
21:4: 249-259, 2007.

Lead with Eric T. Freyfogle and William C. Sullivan.
“Viewpoint: Land, Ecology and Democracy: A Twenty-first Century View.”
Politics and the Life Sciences
25 (1-2): 42-56, 2007.

Lead with Eric T. Freyfogle.
“Sustainability a Dissent.”
Conservation Biology
19 (1): 23-31, 2005.

Lead with Eric T. Freyfogle.
“Conservation Forum: Sustainability: A Dissent.”
Conservation Biology19(1): 23-32, 2005.

Lead with Eric T. Freyfogle. (Invited Response).
“Conservation Forum: All about nature.”
Conservation Biology
19 (1): 42-44, 2005.

Lead with William C. Sullivan.
“Culture, Nature, and Civil Society.”
Journal of Civil Society
1 (3): 195-209, 2005.

With Eric T. Freyfogle (lead).
“Putting Science in its Place.”
Conservation Biology16(4): 863-873, 2002)

v. book reviews and interviews

By Sam Mowe, 
“The Unfolding Story of the Universe: A Conversation with Mary Evelyn Tucker and Julianne Lutz Warren,”
Dialogue, The Garrison Institute, July 20, 2016
Web link on 

Panel with Brooke Hecht (moderator), Carol Gould, Robin Kimmerer and Kathleen Dean Moore,
“Questions for a Resilient Future,”
Center for Humans and Nature at the American Museum of History,
New York, October 8, 2013.
Video Link

“Crafting a Narrative of Care.”
Review of Souder, William.
On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson.
New York: Crown Books, 2012.
American Scientist 101(2): 146, March-April, 2013.

Review of Lewis, Daniel.
Feathery Tribe: Robert Ridgway and the Modern Study of Birds.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.
Journal of Environmental History, 2013.

“The Dogged Arrow and Expanding the Circle of Life”
in JD Hamblin (ed.)
“Edmund Russell, Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth,”
H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 2(3), 2012

Review of Swimme, B. and ME Tucker.
Journey of the Universe.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences: 2 (1): 106-109, 2011.

Review of Corcoran, P.B. and A. J. Wohlpart (eds).
A Voice for Earth.
Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.
ISLE 17 (2): 442-443, 2010.