Presenter: Stanley A. Temple
Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation
UW Madison and Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation
Topic: Aldo Leopold, Phenology and Climate Change
Aldo Leopold, best known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, was a keen observer of the natural world. Throughout his life he kept daily journals recording observations of seasonal events, especially those occurring at his beloved “shack” on the Leopold farm which was the setting for many essays in A Sand County Almanac. Leopold’s meticulous phenological observations have provided us with an unparalleled record of when plants bloomed, birds migrated and other natural events. Comparing his observations of hundreds of natural events to recent records helps us understand how climate change is affecting the ecological community. One lesson of Leopold’s journals is clear: For those who love nature and take time to observe it closely, keeping records enhances the enjoyment and value of our time and effort, both now and in the future.