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Who on Earth Is Aldo Leopold?: Father of Wildlife Ecology

Who on Earth Is Aldo Leopold?: Father of Wildlife Ecology

by Glenn Scherer, Marty Fletcher

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Most of the ecologists in the "Scientists Saving the Earth" series will be familiar to readers, though Leopold's name may well be unknown to middle readers and teens. Leopold (1887—1948) grew up in the outdoors, spending time with his father, who was thought to be unusual for his conservationist views—he suggested that Aldo might like to train as a forester, much needed by the U.S. government at the time. After graduation from Yale's forestry school, Leopold began his career as a ranger in Arizona's Apache National Forest where, influenced by a memorable encounter with a wolf, his ideas about wildlife and forest management began to change—rather than killing predators, Americans should preserve entire ecosystems for their intrinsic value, not just for economic potential. Leopold's accomplishments were many: writing a conservation plan for Grand Canyon, initiating the preservation of the Gila Wilderness, helping establish the National Wildlife Refuges, and working with the CCC to reforest depleted lands. As if that were not enough, he envisioned and planted the model Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin and became a co-founder of the Wilderness Society. The authors convey a sense of Leopold's dedication to his ideals—valuing wilderness, respecting all members of an ecosystem, living in harmony with nature—which he continued through his teaching and writing; a final contribution was his detailed nature journal, A Sand County Almanac, published after his death. Young readers who take this chance to become acquainted with such an engaging and devoted ecologist might even be inspired to follow in his footsteps. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
Part biography, part science textbook, this series presents the stories of six scientists whose pioneering work has helped preserve the natural world. In each volume, readers see how the scientists' love for nature was influenced early in life, what their jobs entailed, and how their work and advocacy has created lasting contributions to the scientific community and the environment. For example, the passionate efforts of Aldo Leopold resulted in the National Wildlife Refuge system today. Through primary sources, many of which come from the scientists' own writing a more immediate look at the scientists' life and work emerges, such as the poetic works of Rachel Carson, which won her fans long before the publication of her most famous and influential book, Silent Spring. Although the series includes some upper-level vocabulary, much of the scientific language is defined, such as the word "ecology," whose origin is clarified in the volume on Aldo Leopold. And with many color pictures, a large font, a short page count, and information on how kids can get involved, this series is most appropriate for a middle school audience and will be a useful reference for those doing research on environmental issues or scientists. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This serviceable work introduces the life and times of a man considered to be the first great wildlife ecologist (1886–1948). His posthumously published Sand County Almanac is the foundation for much of today's environmental movement. Leopold was a forester and enthusiastic hunter of wolves, cougars, and other predators, but soon realized the interconnectedness of all ecological systems and became a progressive advocate for animal, plant, and habitat preservation. Unfortunately, many of his early warnings met with resistance, although he persevered throughout his life for acceptance of conservation. Leopold's life is adequately presented but there is little of his passion in the dry text. Many of the illustrations are fillers, such as the half-page full-color photo of the chapel at his prep school, which has no bearing on the text. This important visionary deserves a more exciting presentation.—Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY

Product Details

Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
Scientists Saving the Earth Series
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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