Dr. Sarah Dimick, Aldo and Estella Writer in Residence – Literary Phenologists: The Climate Data of Aldo Leopold and Henry David Thoreau

Tickets

The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available
Headshot of Dr. Sarah Dimick
This event has passed.

Dr. Sarah Dimick, Aldo and Estella Writer in Residence – Literary Phenologists: The Climate Data of Aldo Leopold and Henry David Thoreau

Dr. Dimick is one of two 2021 residents of the Aldo and Estella Leopold Residency, which is run by the Leopold Writing Program (www.leopoldwritingprogram.org) in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. The Leopold Writing Program’s mission is to inspire an ethic of caring for our planet by cultivating diverse voices through the spoken and written word. The Residency offers an inspiring retreat for early and mid-career professional environmental writers at “Mi Casita”, Aldo and Estella’s first home in northern New Mexico. The Harwood Museum has hosted public talks by the Leopold Residents since 2015.

Aldo Leopold once described phenology as the observation of “dateable events in that cycle of beginnings and ceasings which we call a year.” This talk delves into Henry David Thoreau’s and Aldo Leopold’s phenological records, reading them in tandem with Walden (1854) and A Sand County Almanac (1949). During the last decade of his life, Thoreau kept meticulous records of Concord’s environmental events: the date he planted melons, the date particular flowers bloomed, and the date Walden Pond froze over. Similarly, from 1935-1945, Leopold and his fellow phenologist, Sara Elizabeth Jones, tracked 328 phenological events in Wisconsin.

Today, phenology is a key indicator of climate change. For instance, in the July chapter of A Sand County Almanac, Leopold explains that the compass plant, or cutleaf Silphium, commonly blooms on the 15th of the month. However, phenologists resuming observations at the Leopold shack between 1994 and 2004 noted that the compass plant “would no longer find its place within the ‘July’ chapter” of Leopold’s literary almanac because its average date of first bloom is now June 26. This talk explores the literary repercussions of this dramatic phenological shift, showing how increasing temperatures are changing our relationship to environmental nonfiction.

This event is FREE.

Masks are required for auditorium events.

Venue