Ann Vileisis

Ann Vileisis

Environmental historian Ann Vileisis is author of Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need to Get It Back and Discovering the Unknown Landscape: A History of America's Wetlands, which won awards from the American Historical Association and the American Society for Environmental History.

Vileisis loves to explore and share history that helps to illuminate pressing modern-day issues. She became interested in environmental history while earning her B.A. at Yale University, went on to garner a M.A. from Utah State University, and has continued to pursue her research and writing as an independent scholar.

Vileisis has been a short-term fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and a writer-in-residence at Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California. She has spoken about her books at conferences, campuses, and a variety of other venues all across America.

Together with her husband author and photographer Tim Palmer, Vileisis lived for twelve years as a nomad, traveling in a Ford van as they did their research, writing, and photography. In 2002, while researching Kitchen Literacy, they settled in the small town on Oregon's coast, where she says she "recapitulated a transition from nomad to agriculturist" and became an avid gardener.

Vileisis now balances a life of research and writing with activism and engagement in a variety of local issues concerning the environment.

Photo Credit: Birds on a Wire by Flickr.com user Kiwi Flickr

While We're Away ... Enjoy These Field Notes Highlights

Photo by Rob Lee, used under...
Photo by Rob Lee, used under Creative Commons licensing. Photo by Rob Lee, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Our office will be closed for the holidays, so regular posts are on hiatus until the new year. But lest you miss us, I've pulled a handful of popular and enlightening posts from our archives for your reading pleasure. Why Biodiversity is Important to Solving Climate Chaos: Top 10 Reasons: Get your listicle fix in with this post from Dominick DellaSala, who enumerates why having a broad range of healthy species will help us address the looming climate crisis.

Helsinki. Photo by Niklas Sjöblom, used under Creative Commons licensing. Helsinki. Photo by Niklas Sjöblom, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

The Role of Wonder in Planning: Timothy Beatley poignantly reminds us of the importance of incorporating respect and appreciation for the natural world into our built places.

Caribou in Denali National Park, Alaska. Photo by blmiers2, used under Creative Commons licensing. Caribou in Denali National Park, Alaska. Photo by blmiers2, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Hunting and the Land Ethic: Cristina Eisenberg goes elk hunting with renowned ecologists Michael Soulé and James Estes to keep an ecosystem in balance in this thoughtful piece. Conservation Efforts for the Rare Lakela's Mint, Dicerandra Immaculata: Cheryl Peterson tells the story of a pretty purple flower in Florida that is hanging in there.

Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina. Photo by pclvv, used under Creative Commons licensing. Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina. Photo by pclvv, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Confessions of an Ecoporn Addict: Charlie Chester explores the dark side of stunning nature images and lets a plain place where grizzly bears cross the road grow on him. Considering Bees, Industrious but Not Industrial: Ann Vileisis offers a summary of why bees are so important and the challenges they are facing.

adgad akdjf;ald Bluebird. Photo by digital4047, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Load Shedding or Load Sharing?: We take it for granted that unless a big storm hits, our lights will stay on. Edward Grumbine reports from Nepal, where a shortage of electricity means daily blackouts for "load shedding" and asks if the solution lies in "load sharing."

Wyoming. Photo by greg westfall, used under Creative Commons licensing. Wyoming. Photo by greg westfall, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Lessons from Los Angeles: Make Transit Hip: Darrin Nordahl offers lessons from LA's image rehabilitation campaign for public transportation. Happy holidays from the whole Island Press team—we'll be back in 2015 with more solutions that inspire change!