Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Aldo Leopold Conference

February 13-14, 2009
National Hispanic Cultural Center

As the opening event in the Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration 2009, this “cultural conversation” is intended to foster creative discussion about the Southwestern roots of Leopold’s land ethic, the roots of an environmental ethic in Hispanic and Native American traditions, and the historic and potential connections among them. The event is open to the public and welcomes participants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and perspectives.

The program will include keynote speaker Gary Paul Nabhan, a Lebanese-American scholar exploring the challenge of ethics in a time of global change, a look at the roots of a land ethic in the Southwest from Native American, Hispanic, and Leopold perspectives, and a series of four panel discussions on the following topics, each with panelists from varied cultural traditions and viewpoints.

The event is co-sponsored by the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Additional funding provided by the New Mexico Humanities Council through the We the People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Humans and Nature, the University of New Mexico, and the U.S. Forest Service.


The Local & the Global

Aldo Leopold composed his landmark essay “The Land Ethic” in the late 1940s, at a time when environmental concern was becoming global in scope. The land ethic has since helped to undergird an emerging global environmental ethic, even while emphasizing the need for revitalizing local connections to, and within, our landscapes. This panel will explore connections between local and global conservation challenges playing out in the Southwest and beyond.

Sustainability Across the Landscape

Sustainability aims to build healthy long-term relationships between people and land across cultural boundaries and landscapes, from wildlands to working lands to suburban and urban neighborhoods. Our landscapes are interconnected by food, water, energy, and complex community and economic ties. This panel will examine the challenges of sustainability.

Community Engagement

Over the last two decades, community-based approaches to environmental stewardship have taken root in settings from rural to urban. This movement has deep roots in Leopold’s own work on watershed health in the Southwest and Midwest. This panel will explore community-based projects and their contributions to the still-evolving land ethic.

Climate Change & Culture

With the reality of anthropogenic climate change now setting in, we face a cultural challenge unprecedented in human history. In his early work in the Southwest, Leopold had some inkling of these large-scale, long-term environmental changes. His land ethic now provides an essential part of the broader ethical foundation we must all create as a “thinking community.” This panel will address this great challenge from historical, scientific, and philosophical perspectives.


Click here to register online by credit card, or download a registration form that you can print and mail or fax to us. If you have registration questions, please contact Jeannine Richards at or 608.355.0279 ex. 25.

Colloquium Speakers

Cyndie Abeyta

Middle Rio Grande coordinator/hydrologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with community groups on restoration of the bosque.

Estevan Arellano
(Embudo, NM)

Poet-writer-photographer-farmer and community leader, with interest also in the history of the Luna family, into which Aldo Leopold married.

Richard Bartlett

Vice Chairman of Mary Kay Inc. with interests in land conservation, environmental science and education and president of Thinking Like a Mountain Foundation.

Butch Blazer
(Santa Fe)

First Native American (Apache) state forester of New Mexico.

Anthony Anella

Principal of Anthony Anella Architect AIA, dedicated to conservation-based design and planning, and chair of the Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration.

Gregory Cajete

Director of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico, and author of numerous books on Native Americans and environment.

Susan Flader
(Columbia, MO)

Professor emerita of U.S. western and environmental history, University of Missouri, Leopold scholar and board chair of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Albino Garcia
(Albuquerque South Valley)

Chicano/Native activist and founder of La Plazita Institute to pull at-risk youth off the street and into community, including working at Sanchez Farm.

Drum Hadley
(Douglas, AZ)

Rancher, poet and founder of the Malpais Borderlands Group.

Wenhui Hou
(Qingdao, PRC)

Professor emerita of history at Qingdao University, translated Leopold's Sand County Almanac into Chinese and has interpreted it widely for Chinese audiences.

Buddy Huffaker
(Baraboo, WI)

Executive director, Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Estella Leopold

Professor of paleobotany emerita, University of Washington, and daughter of Aldo and Estella Leopold.

Ariel Lugo
(San Juan, Puerto Rico)

U.S. Forest Service ecologist and director of the International Institute for Tropical Forestry, with special interest in global climate change.

Bill McDonald
(Douglas, AZ)

Rancher and executive director of the Malpais Borderlands Group, a coalition of ranchers and scientists devoted to private land stewardship.

Curt Meine
(Prairie du Sac, WI)

Senior fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation, and director of history and conservation biology, Center for Humans and Nature, Leopold biographer and author of numerous studies of Leopold.

Bruce Milne

Professor of biology and director, University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program, with special interest in local food systems.

Ramona Montoya
(Isleta, N.M.)

Natural Resources Department, Pueblo of Isleta, and scholar of Native American studies and land resources.

Milford Muskett

Navajo historian and professor of Intra-American studies, Shoreline Community College, Seattle, with interest in Navajo environmental ethics.

Gary Paul Nabhan
(Tucson, Ariz.)

Southwest Center, University of Arizona, Lebanese-American ecologist and author of several books comparing cultural and environmental traditions of the American Southwest and the Middle East.

Miguel Santistevan
(Taos, N.M.)

Agricultural ecologist, with special interest in native maize varieties and acequia systems.

Dan Shilling

Adjunct professor at Arizona State University and former director, Arizona Humanities Council, who has a special interest in civic tourism and community development.

Carlos Vasquez

Director of History and Literary Arts, National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Sylvia Hood Washington

African-American historian, School of Public Health, University of Illinois-Chicago, with special interests in public health and the urban environment.

Courtney White
(Santa Fe)

Co-founder and executive director of the Quivira Coalition, devoted to restoration of ecosystem health on working ranches and forests of the Southwest.

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