John Muir

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John Muir
BirthplaceDunbar, East Lothian, Scotland
Engineer, naturalist, writer, botanist, geologist
Known for Founder of Sierra Club

Muir, John,

1838–1914, American naturalist, b. Dunbar, Scotland, studied at the Univ. of Wisconsin. He came to the United States in 1849 and settled in California in 1868. In recognition of his efforts as a conservationist and crusader for national parks and reservations, Muir Woods National Monument was named for him. He made extended trips throughout the country, often on foot; he also traveled in Alaska (discovering Muir glacier) and in Russia, India, and Australia. His books include The Mountains of California (1894), The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), Steep Trails (1918). John of the Mountains (1938; ed. by L. M. Wolfe) contains his journals.


See biographies by W. F. Bade (2 vol., 1924, repr. 1972), L. M. Wolfe (1945, repr. 2003), and D. Worster (2008); study by R. Silverberg (1972).

Muir, John

(1838–1914) explorer, naturalist, conservationist; born in Dunbar, Scotland. Brought by his family to Wisconsin in 1849, he grew up on a farm; he studied at the University of Wisconsin (1859–63; no degree, as he refused to take required courses). He was an ingenious inventor of mechanical devices but he lost an eye in 1867 in an industrial accident and so turned to his other interest—natural history. He had already walked through parts of the Midwest and Canada, and in 1867 he walked from Indianapolis to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1868 he moved to California and for the next 12 years he studied the natural world he saw on his extensive travels—going up to Alaska (where in 1879 he discovered Glacier Bay and the glacier later named after him) and to South America, Africa, and Australia—but with a special concern for California's Yosemite Valley. In 1880 he married Louie Wanda Strentzel, the daughter of an Austrian who established the Californian fruit and wine industries, and he spent the next 11 years successfully engaged in growing fruit trees. Meanwhile, he led the campaign that culminated with the act of Congress establishing Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks (1890). In 1891 Congress also passed a bill authorizing the setting aside of forest preserves; opposition by commercial interests forced Muir to continue campaigning, through speeches and magazine articles, to save the forests, but it wasn't until he persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt that any substantial acreage was set aside. In 1892, Muir had also founded the Sierra Club and was the first president of this leading conservationist organization. In addition to his many articles, he published several books during his lifetime—The Mountains of California (1894), Our National Parks (1901)—while others were published posthumously—Travels in Alaska (1915), A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916). A sequoia forest near San Francisco was named Muir Woods in his honor, and the John Muir Trust to acquire wild land in Britain was established in 1984.
References in periodicals archive ?
John Muir Health and UCSF are like-minded organizations, committed to delivering cancer care in our communities through high-quality, efficient, value-based care, said Mike Thomas, president and chief administrative officer of John Muir Medical Center, Concord (Calif.
Here, on a hot Wisconsin summer night, the young John Muir watched what appeared to be millions of fireflies flickering and illuminating the meadow.
It has been active in Wales since 2001, working with 100 partners - including schools, colleges, clubs, conservation and outdoor organisations - to deliver the John Muir Award scheme to 33,000 people.
Although the Pethshire-based Trust is not that well-known in Wales, it is a membership organisation named after Scotsborn American conservationist John Muir (1838-1914) who campaigned for the establishment of national parks, including Yosemite Valley in California after persuading American president Teddy Roosevelt to accompany him to spend time in the wild.
The group is due to complete the John Muir Conserve programme in June having already gained the Discovery and Explore Awards with help from National Park Authority staff.
The John Muir Health Clinical Research Center has participated in over 200 clinical research studies through National Cancer Institute-sponsored cooperative groups, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry-sponsored studies.
There are three levels of the John Muir Award with the same four challenges repeated with increased involvement in terms of time, activity, responsibility and ownership.
On the heels of the PBS broadcast in April, Kultur is proud to announce the release of the DVD, John Muir in the New World.
Johnathan Stewart, 19, is the 1,000th recipient from the North East of a John Muir award, which encourages schools, youth groups, families and local groups and organisations to experience and appreciate wild places.
JOHN MUIR (1838-1914) has never been easy to categorize: he is too much of a poet and spiritualist to fit the category of "scientist" and too keenly attuned to natural phenomena--such as glacial drift and environmental degradation, including deforestation and the impact of mining on rivers--to be counted among the literati of his day.