Celebrating Wisconsin Like a Naturalist

Wisconsin Water Library > Water Library Blog > Celebrating Wisconsin Like a Naturalist

by Maya Reinfeldt, Library Assistant

This summer learn about Wisconsin’s natural past, present and future and the people involved in studying and caring for it. Enjoy books about our state’s flora and fauna, Indigenous knowledge and ethics and about our founding naturalists.

picture of a loonBlack, Merel R., and Emmet J. Judziewicz. Wildflowers of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region a Comprehensive Field Guide. 2nd ed., University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.
“It is our hope that this work will increase knowledge and awareness of the diversity and beauty of the wildflowers that surround us every day. We also hope that, with this knowledge, care will be taken to help preserve these natural riches for future generations.” – Merel Black and Emmet Judziewicz.

Boyer, Dennis. Listen to the Land: Conservation Conversations. Terrace Books, 2009.
“I have seen no other work that resembles Listen to the Land. It includes diverse perspectives on the environment, sense of place, the power of nature, and relationship to the land. It belongs on the shelf next to Gaylord Nelson, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau.” – Jerry Apps.

Christofferson, Bill. The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson. University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
“The seemingly simple idea – a day set aside to focus on protecting our natural environment – was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. It accomplished, far beyond his expectations, his lifelong goal of putting the environment onto the nation’s and the world’s political agendas.” – Bill Christofferson.

Langston, Nancy. Climate Ghosts: Migratory Species in the Anthropocene. Brandeis University Press, 2021.
“Climate Ghosts challenges us to engage critically with Indigenous dispossession, ecosystem change, and species restoration.” – Michael Dockry

Leopold, Aldo, and Charles Walsh Schwartz. A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There. Oxford University Press, 1968.
“A notable book of discovery, a book whose beginning is fashioned for naturalists and artists, and whose conclusion is a far-seeing challenge to statesmen and philosophers.” -from The Land.

Loew, Patty. Seventh Generation Earth Ethics: Native Voices of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014.
“We Anishinaabeg believe that all humans are born with a special gift to benefit and serve our first mother, the Earth, and all living beings. Seventh Generation Earth Ethics shares the biographies of twelve indigenous people whose lives provide pathways and inspiration for all to follow.” – Lisa Poupart.

Matteson, Sumner. Afield: Portraits of Wisconsin Naturalists, Empowering Leopold’s Legacy. Vol. 1, Little Creek Press, 2020.
“We need [Wisconsin’s naturalists] to ground us as we face a future of rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental realities, most especially the uncertain effects of accelerating
climate change. We need them, more than anything, to nurture the next generation of citizen-conservationists.” – Curt Meine

Meeker, James E., et al. Plants Used by the Great Lakes Ojibwa: Abridged Version. Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, 1993.
“It is hoped that the book is not viewed merely as a scientific document for ethnobotanical use. Rather, we hope to convey both the essence and spirit of an Anishinabe world view which carries with it the respect for each of the living things on this planet that we call Aki, our Mother the Earth.” – James H. Schlender.

Ostergren, Robert Clifford, and Thomas R. Vale. Wisconsin Land and Life. The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.
“This book… is an exploration of place, a series of essays by Wisconsin geographers that offers an introduction to the state’s natural environment, the historical processes of its human habitation, and the ways that nature and people interact to create distinct regional landscapes.” – Robert Ostergren and Thomas Vale.

Root, Robert L. Walking Home Ground: In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017.
“As Robert Root walks through the Wisconsin landscape, he reads the windblown hay field, the dripping green wood, the and the crooked blue river with as much care and precision as the three writers he’s following: Muir, Leopold, and Derleth.” – Tom Montgomery Fate

Schaick, Charles Van, et al. People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011.
“People of the Big Voice is a treasure trove connecting the past with the present – restoring Ho-Chunk memories and relatives back to life.” – Norbert Hill, member of the Oneida Nation.

Weso, Thomas Pecore. Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2016.
“With a rare perspective as a Native American anthropologist and artist, Weso mixes a poignant personal story with the seeds of Menominee cooking traditions.” – Thomas Weso.

Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow the above books and more. Just email askwater@aqua.wisc.edu.

picture of a badger