Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was an American ecologist, environmentalist, and forester. He was a great author and scientist. As an author, he wrote a book entitled A Sand County Almanac, which made him prominent. The book was rather popular and over two million copies were sold. This book served as a philosophy that guided many to discovering the importance and ways of living in harmony with the land and with one another. In addition, Leopold was a professor at the University of Wisconsin (Lannoo, 2010). He had much interest in wildlife and this makes him to be considered the father of wildlife ecology. He influenced the development of wildlife management science greatly.
His full name was Rand Aldo Leopold and he grew up in Burlington. His father, Carl Leopold, ran business. His first language was German, but with time he perfected in English. His father loved showing him and other children the nearby forests. He taught Aldo hunting and woodcraft. Aldo, as a regular visitor of the woods, spent most of his time observing birds and writing about their behavior. He could go to the river and learn many things through observation. The whole family used to go on vacation to LesCheneauxIslands every August (Newton, 2006).
In 1900, money was donated to YaleUniversity by Gifford Pinchot to begin a forestry school. Aldo heard about this and decided that he had to join it during vacation. He first attended The Lawrenceville School, which acted as a preparation for him to join the forestry school. The school was located in a rural area and Aldo spent most of his spare time researching its wildlife and plotting the area. In a year, he was honored to join YaleUniversity (Newton, 2006). According to Newton (2006), he first joined “SheffieldScientificSchool to get foundation courses on forestry since YaleUniversity only offered graduate degrees”.
Future Career and Ideas
Leopold began as a forest assistant at the ApacheNational forest in Arizona. He was transferred to northern New Mexico in 1911 to work in their National Forest. He stayed there until 1924 where he wrote a handbook. In the same year, he transferred to the US Forest products laboratory in Madison. It is while at the University of Wisconsin in1933 that he attained as a professor, becoming the first specialist in wildlife management ever (Lannoo, 2010).
In Mexico, he had been appointed to hunt and take down lions, bears, and wolves in the mountains. This was highly encouraging, however, and Leopold began to respect animals. He rethought the presence of predators and their importance in balancing nature. He reckoned that a certain kind of preservation should be adopted all over the national forests. He saw increased relations of people with wild animals and said that this was being transmitted from the interpersonal relations between people. He rejected the works of other scientists who did not promote the link between human beings and wild animals. By 1930s, he was the known expert in wildlife management. He gave the term wilderness a new meaning (Newton, 2006).
Writing on Nature
Leopold was good in writing and depicting nature with most of his writings being recognized by their simple directness. He professionally criticized scientists who were against his ideas. He wrote his major book A Sand County Almanac, which was later published in 1949 after his death. There was one major quote in his book, which could characterize his state of mind and way of thinking, ‘A thing is right when it acts to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community’ (Lannoo, 2010)