Leopold, Aldo

Leopold, Aldo,

1886–1948, American ecologist, b. Burlington, Iowa. He was an advocate for a "land ethic," in which humans see themselves as part of a natural community. After work in the U.S. Forest Service, he taught wildlife management at the Univ. of Wisconsin and helped found the Wilderness Society. In 1924, he succeeded in having the Gila National Forest in N.Mex. designated as the first extensive wilderness area in the United States. He wrote A Sand County Almanac (1949), which helped provide the impetus to the environmental movement.


See studies by C. Meine (1989) and T. Tanner, ed. (1989).

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Leopold, (Rand) Aldo

(1887–1948) conservationist, ecologist; born in Burlington, Iowa. He grew up a sportsman and a naturalist, graduated from Yale in 1908, and after a year in Yale's forestry school, joined the U.S. Forest Service. Assigned to the Arizona-New Mexico district, he spent 15 years in the field, rising to chief of the district. By 1921 he had begun to campaign for the preservation of wildlife areas for recreational and aesthetic purposes. (In 1924 the government, adopting his views on preservation, set aside 574,000 acres in New Mexico as the Gila Wilderness Area—the first of 78 such areas totaling 14,000,000 acres.) He was with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory from 1924–28 and then spent three years surveying game populations in the north-central states. In 1933 he became professor of wildlife management at the University of Wisconsin, a position created specifically for him. Over the years, in addition to his pioneering research in game management, he worked out a philosophical concept he called "the land ethic." The concept, he wrote, "simply enlarges the boundaries of the (human) community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively the land." After retiring from the university he bought a farm in the Wisconsin Dells. There, after several years of intense observation, he expanded his philosophy in a book, A Sand County Almanac (published posthumously in 1949), which became the "bible" of environmental activists of the 1960s and 1970s. He died of a heart attack while fighting a brush fire on a neighbor's farm.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Aldo Starker Leopold, Aldo's oldest son, commonly called Starker, was already a young man by the time the Leopold family began their work to restore the farm to conditions resembling the days before its collapse from over-farming.
A few years later Charlie Schwartz worked with Starker Leopold, Aldo's son, for the Missouri Conservation Department, and became the illustrator for Aldo Leopold's great book, A Sand County Almanac.
Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation From Round River.