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Climate Conversations – Aldo Leopold Listens to the Southwest with Dan Shilling

February 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Forester Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) is considered one of the founding voices of environmental ethics. In 1909, as a new ranger in the recently established Apache National Forest, Leopold shot a wolf in northeastern Arizona. At the time, he sensed something was wrong, but it would take 35 years for him to express his unease in “Thinking Like a Mountain,” one of the most famous essays in environmental literature. What spurred him toward that monumental statement? Join environmental historian Dr. Dan Shilling for a talk about how the seeds of Leopold’s revolutionary thought can be found in his years in Arizona and New Mexico (1909-1924). In particular, Dr. Shilling explores how Indigenous attitudes toward nature helped shape Leopold’s nearly 40-year intellectual journey.

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This program is part of the Climate Conversations series hosted by Arizona Humanities and made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the Speaker:

Dan Shilling moved to Arizona in 1980 and earned his PhD from Arizona State University. He joined Arizona Humanities as a program officer in 1984, and was named executive director in 1989. At AH he developed several award-winning projects on environmental history and community building. After leaving AH, he directed a three-year project on place-based tourism. That research earned Dan the Arizona Office of Tourism “Person of the Year Award” and resulted in the book, Civic Tourism: The Poetry and Politics of Place. Since 2009 he has co-directed three NEH Summer Institutes on environmental ethics for university professors. Dan’s most recent publication, co-edited with Melissa Nelson, is Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Methods for Environmental Sustainability (Cambridge 2018). Dan has served on more than 50 boards and commissions; to acknowledge his service ASU presented him one of its most prestigious honors, the Distinguished Alumnus Award.


February 8
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:


AZ United States


Arizona Humanities
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