Photo of Lynn Keller, Director

Lynn Keller, Director
Lynn Keller is the Bradshaw Knight Professor of the Environmental Humanities, an honor awarded her as the Director of CHE, and the Martha Meier Renk Bascom Professor of Poetry in the English Department. Author of Re-Making it New: Contemporary American Poetry and the Modernist Tradition, Forms of Expansion: Recent Long Poems by Women, and Thinking Poetry: Readings in Contemporary Women’s Exploratory Poetics, she specializes in contemporary U.S. poetry. A Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015-16 enabled her to complete a book manuscript that brings ecocritical perspectives to bear on the formally and linguistically experimental poetries that particularly interest her. Provisionally titled Nature's Transformations: North American Poetry of the Anthropocene, this study---forthcoming in the "Under the Sign of Nature” series from the University of Virginia Press---examines twenty-first century poetry that addresses some of the urgent environmental challenges we face today.
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Photo of Shari Wilcox, Associate Director

Shari Wilcox, Associate Director
Shari Wilcox received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research is largely concentrated in the field of Animal Geography, exploring the ways in which notions of place and value are constructed for terrestrial mammalian predator species in historical and contemporary contexts with a focus on feline and ursine species. Her current work examines cultural and historical dimensions of rewilding efforts in Europe and the reintroduction of extirpated felid species in North America, with a particular interest in the ways in which species are (re)imagined and conceptually (re)located into these places. She is currently completing her manuscript provisionally titled Jaguars of Empire: Natural History in the New World, under contract with University of North Carolina Press. She is also co-editing the volume Historical Animal Geographies which is under contract with Routledge.
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Samer Alatout
Samer Alatout is the director of the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. He is an associate professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Graduate Program of Sociology, and an affiliate associate professor in Geography. His research interests are in the sociology of science and technology; environmental governance; environmental sociology; and social theories of power. Alatout is writing a book manuscript on the history and politics of water in Palestine 1750-the present. In addition, Alatout is involved in two particularly involved research projects. The first is an ongoing theoretical engagement with social theories of power and governmentality. The second is a comparative project examining the mutual construction of political and ecological orders in border zones.
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Anna Vemer Andrzejewski
Anna Vemer Andrzejewski is a Professor in the Art History Department, where she teaches courses on the history of North American vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. Anna is also an affiliate of the Department of Geography and the Program in Urban and Regional Planning, and she co-directs the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Ph.D. Program (a collaboration with the UW-Milwaukee). Anna has published Building Power: Architecture and Surveillance in Victorian America (Tennessee, 2008) as well as many articles on postwar suburban architecture. She is currently finishing a book on Madison-based builder/developer Marshall Erdman and the post World War II building industry and beginning a project on the oil landscapes of West Texas.
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Ian Baird
Ian Baird is an associate professor in the Department of Geography. He is also affiliated with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Asian American Studies Program. His interests are varied, and include the political ecology of hydropower dam development in the Mekong Region, economic land concessions in Laos and Cambodia, the concept of indigeneity in Asia, the history of political and military conflict in mainland Southeast Asia, and nature-society-politics in upland parts of mainland Southeast Asia, especially amongst the Brao and the Hmong.
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Katarzyna Beilin
Katarzyna Beilin is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and a Faculty Affiliate at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Her current interests focus on cultures and environments in the Hispanic World with a special focus on relations between humans and plants. She is currently working on two book projects: Interspecies Resistance to Genetically Engineered Crops in the Hispanic World and Cultures of Change in Contemporary Spain. She has recently published In Search of Alternative Biopolitics: Antibulfighting, Animality and the Environment in Contemporary Spain (Ohio State University Press, 2015), as well as co-edited Ethics of Life; Contemporary Iberian Debates (Vanderbilt University Press, 2016).
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Michael Bell
Michael Bell is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology, and Director of the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. He conducts research on a wide variety of topics, but three central foci can be found in all of his work: dialogics, the sociology of nature, and social inequality. Currently, Mike is writing a book about the intertwined histories of ideas of nature, religion, and community. He is also conducting participatory agroecological development work with a cooperative of 800 smallholder farmers in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Mike is a part-time musician and composer, and plays mandolin with Graminy, a Madison-based "class-grass" quintet.
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William Brockliss
William Brockliss is an assistant professor in the Classics department, where he has been pursuing interests in (broadly speaking) the natural and the unnatural, and the intersections between the two. His current book project explores interactions between Homeric floral imagery and the characteristics of flowers in the Greek natural environment. As part of that project, he has studied associations of flowers with the monstrousness of death – both flowers and Greek monsters are characterized by a disordered super-fertility. Side projects include further studies of monstrosity, with particular regard to the poetics of monstrousness: the concepts of monstrous sound, and the monstrous text.
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Photo of Joshua Calhoun

Joshua Calhoun
Joshua Calhoun's current research project, Toward a Natural History of the Book: Animals, Vegetables, and Media in Renaissance England explores ecologies of writing and reading, especially the poetic interplay between literary ideas and the physical forms they are made to take as sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts. He argues that the flora and fauna from which a text was made were legible, significant elements of its poetic form. His work draws on scholarly as well as journalistic training (as an intern at Outside Magazine), and his commitment to questions about conservation, land use, and wilderness are deeply informed by his experiences growing up in the Adirondacks. The English Department is his campus home, but his work increasingly relies on a broader community of scientists, historians, artists, and archivists.
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Photo of William Cronon

William Cronon
William Cronon is the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies. His research seeks to understand the history of human interactions with the natural world: how we depend on the ecosystems around us to sustain our material lives, how we modify the landscapes in which we live and work, and how our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world around us. He is currently developing a new lecture course on the historical geography of the United States entitled "The Making of the American Landscape," which he will use as the basis for a new book of that same title. He has also long been at work on a micro-scale environmental history of Portage, Wisconsin.
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Photo of Joe Dennis

Joe Dennis
Joe Dennis is an historian of late imperial China, especially the Ming (1368-1644). His research and teaching focus on Chinese social, legal, and book history. He is currently researching the history of legal education, schools, and libraries in imperial China. In 2015 he published Writing, Publishing, and Reading Local Gazetteers in Imperial China, 1100-1700 (Harvard University Asia Center).
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Samuel Dennis, Jr.
Samuel Dennis, Jr. is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and has affiliate appointments in Environmental Studies, Geography, Family Medicine and Urban and Regional Planning. As a geographer and landscape architect, his research practice focuses on understanding and creating environments that support human health and well-being, especially for young people. He is particularly interested in the role urban open space plays in preventing chronic disease. Although he continues to pursue his early interest in the social construction of landscape meaning, his current research engages communities in environmental assessment using a tool called participatory photo mapping and via the Environmental Design Lab, for which he is Research Director.
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Photo of Eve Emshwiller

Eve Emshwiller
Eve Emshwiller is an Associate Professor in the Botany Department. Her research interests center on the ethnobotany, systematics, evolution, and conservation of crop plants and their wild relatives. She studies agrobiodiversity, especially the domestication of crops, their evolution under human influence, and their conservation biology. Current projects include research on the phylogenetics and morphological evolution of the genus Oxalis, the origins of polyploidy and domestication of the Andean tuber crop "oca," Oxalis tuberosa, and the distribution of clones of oca in traditional Andean agriculture. Members of her lab also research manoomin (wild-rice) harvest traditions, evolution of feral wild mustard in Mexico under different traditional management practices, factors that affect the loss or maintenance of oca clonal diversity, organic acids in oca, and the origins of domestication in Chenopodium. She teaches UW-Madison’s first ethnobotany course and is now also teaching "Plants and Humans.”
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Photo of Anna Gade

Anna M. Gade
Anna M. Gade is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Religious Studies. Gade is a scholar of global Islam whose research and teaching address topics in comparative Muslim and religious responses to environmental change.
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Photo of Elizabeth Hennessy

Elizabeth Hennessy
Elizabeth Hennessy is assistant professor of World Environmental History in the History Department and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is also affiliated with the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies program (LACIS). Trained as a geographer, she works at the intersection of political ecology, science and technologies studies, animal studies, and environmental history. Her main research project focuses on the most iconic species of the Galápagos Islands, giant tortoises, to trace intertwined transnational histories of capitalist development, evolutionary science, and conservation in the archipelago. She teaches courses on both global and Latin American environmental history as well as the role of animals in world history.
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Photo of Leah Horowitz

Leah Horowitz
As a critical cultural geographer, Leah Horowitz's research focuses on conflicts over environmental governance, involving local communities, governments at various scales, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and grassroots groups. Ultimately, her work aims to help find ways for all these stakeholders to work together toward environmental conservation. She has addressed these research goals through studies of mining activities and biodiversity conservation, primarily in New Caledonia, Malaysia, and the U.S. Specifically, her research contributes to our understanding of the importance of relationships and networks and the crucial role emotions play within these in enabling and shaping various modes of environmental governance as well as resistance to them.

Photo of Sara Hotchkiss

Sara Hotchkiss
Sara Hotchkiss studies ecology on time scales that range from decades to tens of thousands of years, comparing observations of modern ecosystems with paleoecological data. Her projects include studies of ecosystem disturbance, climate change, and human-landscape interactions in the Great Lakes region and the Hawaiian Islands.
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Photo of Richard Keller

Richard Keller
Rick Keller's research lies at the intersection of the history and ethnography of European and global health. He is the author of Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003 (Chicago, 2015) and Colonial Madness: Psychiatry in French North Africa (Chicago, 2007), and is co-editor of Unconscious Dominions: Psychoanalysis, Colonial Trauma, and Global Sovereignties (Duke, 2011), Enregistrer les morts, identifier les surmortalités. Une comparaison Angleterre, Etats-Unis et France (Presses de l’EHESP, 2010), and a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, "Life after Biopolitics” (2016). He is currently at work on a global history of the environment, as well as a project on the links between disease ecology and changes in global consumer demand. Keller teaches courses on the historical and contemporary dimensions of European and international health.
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Photo of Richard Keyser

Richard Keyser
Richard Keyser teaches primarily in Legal Studies, an interdisciplinary undergraduate program. His intellectual communities extend to History and Environmental Studies, where his classes are cross-listed, including two that focus on the environment (Law and Environment; European Environmental History). His research focuses on medieval legal and environmental history, and has appeared in the Revue Historique, French Historical Studies, and Law and History Review. His current projects center on customary law, early property law, and community-based woodland management.
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Photo of Judd Kinzley

Judd Kinzley
Judd Kinzley is an assistant professor of Modern Chinese History in the Department of History. His research and teaching interests that include environmental history, state power, industrial development, and wartime mobilization. His research tends to center around understanding the connections that exist between state power and the natural world in various Chinese peripheral and border regions. He is currently working on a manuscript on mining and the extension of the Chinese state into Xinjiang province in China’s far west during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While his intellectual home is in History, he has a strong multi-disciplinary interest in the ways in which human beings interact with the environment, and his work has been heavily influenced by work in political science, geography, economics, and the History of Science and Technology.
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Photo of Maria Lepowsky

Maria Lepowsky
Maria Lepowsky specializes in cultural anthropology, anthropology of gender, historical anthropology, history of anthropology, environmental anthropology, exchange and ritual, medical/nutritional anthropology, psychological anthropology, Pacific Islands, California and the American West.
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Photo of Erika Marin-Spiotta

Erika Marin-Spiotta
Erika Marin-Spiotta studies how human activities affect the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. Most of her work focuses on linking above and belowground processes across different spatial scales, from the landscape to molecular interactions. She is particularly interested in the legacies of land-use history on biodiversity and carbon cycling and in feedbacks between land-use/land-cover change and climate change.
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Photo of Cathy Middlecamp

Cathy Middlecamp
Cathy Middlecamp is a professor in the Nelson Institute and in the L&S Integrated Liberal Studies Program, the interim co-director of the Office of Sustainability , and an affiliate of the Chemistry Department. Her interests lie at the intersection of science, people, and culture. One of her courses, "Principles of Environmental Science" (ENV ST/ILS 126) focuses on issues energy, food, and waste on campus and is part of the undergraduate sustainability certificate, launched in 2014. Nationally, Middlecamp serves the editor-in-chief of Chemistry in Context, a project of the American Chemical Society.
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Photo of Gregg Mitman

Gregg Mitman
Gregg Mitman is the Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies. His research and teaching interests span the history of science, medicine, and the environment in the United States and the world, and reflect a commitment to environmental and social justice. He is currently at work on a multimedia project—a film, book, and public history website—that explores the history and legacy of a 1926 Harvard medical expedition to Liberia and the environmental and social consequences that follow in the expedition’s wake. Together with Sarita Siegel, he directed and produced In the Shadow of Ebola, a short film available online on PBS/Independent Lens that offers an intimate portrait of a family and a nation torn apart by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
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Photo of Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore
Sarah Moore's research interests are at the intersection of urban development politics and environmental justice issues. She is particularly interested in the ways in which struggles over waste siting and food justice shape the contemporary development of cities in the United States and Mexico. Current projects include research on school gardens in Tucson, Arizona as well as the hazardous waste trade among North American countries. Her home department of geography is an important base for this work; community and environmental sociology, anthropology, planning, Latin American Studies, educational psychology and CHE are also programs with overlapping interests.
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Photo of John Nelson

John Nelson
John Nelson, PE, is adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering at UW–Madison and Managing Director for Global Infrastructure Asset Management LLC, an asset management firm specializing in sustainable infrastructure investments. Previously, Nelson was CEO of Affiliated Engineers, and under his leadership, the engineering firm became nationally recognized for designing dynamic building systems & infrastructure for large and complicated projects. He serves on a number of boards, including the Nelson Institute (as an emeritus member), CASB in the School of Business, and the UW Foundation. His training includes an MS in Mechanical Engineering from UW–Madison.
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Photo of Larry Nesper

Larry Nesper
Larry Nesper is Professor of Anthropology and American Indian studies, and has been at UW-Madison since 2002. He is the author of The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights, University of Nebraska Press, 2002. He has worked as a consultant for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Bad River and Lac du Flambeau Tribe. Current research explores the development of tribal courts in Wisconsin and state court-tribal court relations. He teaches courses in American Indian ethnography and ethnohistory, Indians of the Western Great Lakes, anthropology of law, and American Indian social and political movements.
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Photo of Frederic Neyrat

Frederic Neyrat
Frederic Neyrat is assistant professor in Comparative Literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a French philosopher with an expertise in environmental humanities, contemporary theory, and image studies. He was Program Director at the College International de Philosophie and was also a fellow at Cornell's Society for the Humanities. He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Multitudes, Lignes, and Les Cahiers Philosophiques de Strasbourg. He is the author of several books, including Le communisme existentiel de Jean-Luc Nancy (2013), Atopies (2014), and Homo Labyrinthus (2015), that traces back the humanist roots of posthumanist theories and call for a relational antihumanism. La Part inconstructible de la Terre (2016), his last book, offers a critique of the Anthropocene.
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Photo of Ken Raffa

Ken Raffa
Ken Raffa is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Beers-Bascom Professor in Conservation, with an affiliate appointment in the Dept. of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. He conducts research, teaches, and provides policy advice on forest insects. He is interested in how ecological systems function, developing methods for sustainable management of natural resources, and pest responses to anthropogenic changes.
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Photo of Adena Rissman

Adena Rissman
Adena Rissman is an assistant professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Agroecology Program, and the Land Tenure Center. Her research investigates the relationships between society and environment, focusing on conservation, ecosystem management, and resource use. She examines forests, wildlife, rangelands, agriculture, and water resources both locally and nationally, through participatory research approaches. Her research centers around three themes: 1) natural resource policy design, implementation, and evaluation; 2) ecological outcomes of resource policy and conservation strategies; and 3) social and legal adaptation to environmental change.
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Sissel Schroeder
Sissel Schroeder is a professor of archaeology and the department chair in the Department of Anthropology and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the American Indian Studies Program, and the Material Culture Studies Program. Her current research is focused on the role of ethnic diversity (as identified from distinctive archaeological materials, particularly architecture and ceramics) in the formation and dissolution of communities and polities in the ancient Mississippian (c. A.D. 1000-1500) societies of the midwestern and southeastern United States. Her multi-scalar approach to these issues draws on aspects of agency theory and environmentalism and highlights how the places where ancient people chose to settle reflect the changing constraints and opportunities presented by the spatial distribution of resources, potential for establishing gardens and agricultural fields, availability of habitable land, the peaceful or bellicose nature of relationships with other peoples living nearby, and perceptions and traditions about the landscape that may include the construction of earthen mounds.
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Amy Stambach
Amy Stambach is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a Faculty Affiliate of the African Studies Program. Her current book project examines the history of land tenure and cultural politics on Mount Kilimanjaro. She has worked for many years in East Africa and has served as external commentator to UNESCO and the UN Institute of Statistics.
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Randy Stoecker
Randy Stoecker's research interests center on community education and empowerment. The primary means through which he pursues that interest is community-based research. So his substantive research interests are driven by the knowledge interests and needs of grass-roots groups, which include culture, history, and the environment. This past year he have worked with Justified Anger on Race Issues. For two years he has been working with Neighborhood House on their 100-year history. Last year he worked with Community GroundWorks on a small-scale sustainable farmer education program. For three years he worked with The Natural Step Monona on a community capacity building project. Along with Sociology/Community and Environmental Sociology, he has affiliate appointments with the Nelson Institute, Urban and Regional Planning, the School of Human Ecology, and Development Studies, each of which touch on aspects of his work that are important to him.
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Sainath Suryanarayanan
With a background in insect biology, Sainath Suryanarayanan’s current scholarship ( sits at the juncture of ecology, biology and society, and ties him to the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies. He explores: (1) democracy and expertise in honey bee health (with Daniel Kleinman in Community & Environmental Sociology), (2) shifting ontologies of human and environment in an emerging epistemic culture of systems toxicology (with Pilar Ossorio in the Morgridge Institute for Research), and (3) the intertwining of human, plant and insect resistances in novel ecosystems constituted by genetically engineered plants in Latin America (with Katarzyna Beilin in Spanish & Portuguese).
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Sarah Thal
Sarah Thal is an associate professor in the Department of History. Her first book, Rearranging the Landscape of the Gods: The Politics of a Pilgrimage Site in Japan, 1573-1912 (University of Chicago Press, 2005), examined the transformation of a sacred site amidst political, economic, and religious upheaval. She maintains an interest in spatial and environmental approaches to Japanese history and continues to research Shinto, bushido, and other topics in the political, intellectual, and social history of Japan. She is affiliated with the Center for East Asian Studies and the Religious Studies Program.
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Photo of Matt Turner

Matt Turner
Matt Turner is a member of the faculty of Geography, African Studies, Development Studies, the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. His research interests concern the historic and contemporary relationships between changing social relations, rural livelihoods, social justice, and ecology. More specifically, his work in rural West Africa has addressed the following themes: labor scarcity, capital accumulation and overgrazing; drought, food insecurity, and gender relations; the politics of the environmental scientific knowledge; nonequilibrium ecology and common property theory; and social identities and natural resource conflict.
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Photo of Yongming Zhou

Yongming Zhou
Yongming Zhou obtained his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University and his M.A. and B.A. in Chinese from Nanjing University. His research interests are globalization, political ecology, ethnicity, nationalism, and online politics. He is the author of Anti-Drug Crusades in Twentieth-Century China: Nationalism, History and State Building (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999) and Historicizing Online Politics: Telegraphy, the Internet and Political Participation in China (Stanford University Press, 2006). He was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC during 2001-02. He is working on a book project tentatively titled Frontiers Incorporated: History of Road Construction in China East Himalayas.
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Arne Alanen
Arne Alanan is an emeritus professor of landscape architecture whose primary interests are in landscape history and historic preservation. During his academic career he was heavily involved in documenting cultural landscapes for the National Park Service in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Alaska. He is co-editor of Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America (2000); and author of Morgan Park: Duluth, U.S. Steel, and the Forging of a Company Town (2007). Another of his volumes, Main Street Ready-Made: The New Deal Community of Greendale, Wisconsin (1987), was republished by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in 2012 to mark the 75th anniversary of the settlement.

Photo of Jess Gilbert

Jess Gilbert
Jess Gilbert is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology and was part of the Land Tenure Center. Current research projects include work with African-American farmers and landowners, and a study of policy intellectuals and grass-roots land-use planning during the New Deal. He recently published Planning Democracy: Agrarian Intellectuals and the Intended New Deal (Yale Univ. Press, 2015), which won the 2016 Theodore Saloutos Award from the Agricultural History Society for the best book on U.S. agricultural history.