“Conservationists in Action” Interviews


Nature’s Allies: Lessons from Great Conservationists

FWS Historian Mark Madison, hosts an interview with author Larry Nielsen on his new book,  Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed the World.
In the first hour we’ll meet Larry and learn about his work.  In the second hour, Larry will discuss his book, Nature’s Allies.
In eight biographies—John Muir, Ding Darling, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Chico Mendes, Billy Frank Jr., Wangari Maathai, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, Nielsen writes about individuals who have little in common except that they all made a lasting mark on our world. Some famous and some little known to readers, they spoke out to protect wilderness, wildlife, fisheries, forests, and wetlands. They fought for social justice and exposed polluting practices. They marched, wrote books, performed acts of civil disobedience, rallied global leaders and, in one case, were martyred for their defense of nature. Nature’s Allies pays tribute to them all as it inspires a new generation of conservationists to follow in their footsteps.
Larry Nielsen is Professor of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. Previously, he was Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at North Carolina State University from 2005-2009. Before that appointment, he was Dean of the College of Natural Resources at NC State (2001-2004), Director of the School of Forest Resources at The Pennsylvania State University (1994-2001) and a faculty member and later head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech (1977-1994).   http://larryanielsen.com

Howard Zahniser: Champion for Wilderness

FWS Historian, Mark Madison, hosts an interview with author & filmmaker, Jeffrey Ryan.
They discuss Ryan’s new film, Howard Zahniser: Champion for the Wilderness. Howard Zahniser (1905-1964) was the primary author and lobbyist for the Wilderness Act. A writer, researcher, and radio scriptwriter for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1930-1942, he also served as Executive Secretary of The Wilderness Society, starting in 1945. For the next two decades, he was an eloquent advocate for America’s wilderness lands, dying just a few months before the Wilderness Act became law. Maine-based author, filmmaker & speaker Jeffrey Ryan has a passion for exploring the outdoors on foot and along the dusty paths of history. His travels on thousands of miles of America’s most famous and lesser-known trails have inspired several books including Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year Hike on America’s Trail and his 2019 historical novel entitled, Hermit: The Mysterious Life of Jim Whyte. Ryan’s interest in the history of America’s conservation movement led him to create a video series entitled Voices of the Wilderness, that showcase the enormous contributions of those who have advocated for the creation and protection of our wild lands. When he is not researching and writing, Ryan can be found exploring the backroads of the United States and Canada in his vintage 1985 VW camper. https://www.jeffryanauthor.com/voices…

Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy

Maria Parisi, NCTC, hosts an interview with author Dyana Furmansky on her book “Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy.”
Rosalie Edge, well-known for creating the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, challenged early 20th century conservationists to protect endangered birds. This progressive New York socialite and suffragist-turned-environmentalist became known as a “Joan of Arc” and a “hellcat” in defense of nature. This event comes to us 100 years after the U.S. Congress ratified the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.  
Dyana Furmansky coauthored These American Lands: Parks, Wilderness, and the Public Lands. Her articles on nature and the environment have appeared in the New York TimesAmerican HeritageAudubonHigh Country NewsSierraWilderness and many other publications.  https://www.dyanazfurmansky.com/rosalie-edge-hawk-of-mercy  

Potomac River History

Historian Mark Madison interviews James D. Rice. James Rice is the Walter S. Dickson Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Tufts University.
He is the author of two books, Nature and History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson, and Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America. His current research includes an environmental history of Native North America from Oaxaca to the Arctic and from the first human habitation to the present.

Glorious Times: Adventures of the Craighead Naturalists

NCTC Historian, Dr. Mark Madison, hosts a studio interview with author Tom Benjey. June 28, 2018.
Glorious Times: Adventures of the Craighead Naturalists by Tom Benjey tells the fascinating, true, and important story of an American clan of Scots-Irish that settled in the early 1700s in Pennsylvania. From this clan came an astonishing number exceptional people, many of whom dedicated their lives to the study and conservation of nature. Glorious Times even poses the question as to whether this family had a special “Naturalist DNA” in their genetic heritage. Glorious Times covers many generations, but appropriately focuses most attention on the famous siblings Frank Jr., John, and Jean (Craighead George). Glorious Times will be of immense attraction to readers with an interest in the history of environmentalism and conservation in America. For more information on the book and author, visit: https://tombenjey.com

Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail

NCTC Historian, Dr. Mark Madison, hosts a studio interview with Jeff Ryan, author of “Appalachian Odyssey” and “Blazing Ahead”.
Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. His love of the outdoors was evident early in life. He was skiing at the age of three and spending at least some summer nights in a canvas pup tent at the edge of the woods by the age of twelve. As an adult, Jeff adopted hiking as his favored mode of exploration. In 1983, he went on his first long distance hike, a 6 1/2 month adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Upon his return to Maine from the PCT, Jeff kept right on hiking. He and a hiking partner climbed Maine’s highest 50 mountains in one year. He then began “section hiking” the Appalachian Trail in 1985 (a journey that would take 28 years to complete and culminated in his first book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail, published in 2016).
During his research for Appalachian Odyssey, he became interested in the history of the AT, in particular the two larger than life personalities most responsible for the Trail’s existence. This led to his second book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, published in 2017 by Appalachian Mountain Club Books.
Jeff is a frequent speaker and enjoys inspiring others to get outdoors to enjoy all that nature has to offer to our emotional and physical health. For more information on Ryan’s books visit: http://www.jeffryanauthor.com

William Souder: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

NCTC Historian Mark Madison will host an interview with award-winning author William Souder.
Author, Rachel Carson Biographer; and Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D. Rachel Carson Scholar. March 5, 2015. The National Conservation Training Center invites prominent conservationists, writers, historians, scientists, filmmakers, and educators to discuss their work to a broad and interested public. In this program NCTC Historian, Dr. Mark Madison, hosts an interview with Mark Dixon, Filmmaker, “The Power of One Voice”; Linda Lear, Ph.D. Author, Rachel Carson Biographer; and Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D. Rachel Carson Scholar.

“The Power of One Voice” A Fifty Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson

NCTC Historian, Dr. Mark Madison, interviews Mark Dixon, Filmmaker, “The Power of One Voice”; Linda Lear, Ph.D.
Author, Rachel Carson Biographer; and Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D. Rachel Carson Scholar. Recorded March 5, 2015.

Rachel Carson and Her Sisters Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America s Environment

In this program NCTC Historian, Dr. Mark Madison, interviews with author Robert Musil to talk about women conservationists
and his new book, “Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment”. July 9, 2015. In Rachel Carson and Her Sisters, Robert K. Musil redefines the achievements and legacy of environmental pioneer and scientist Rachel Carson, linking her work to a wide network of American women activists and writers and introducing her to a new, contemporary audience. Rachel Carson was the first American to combine two longstanding, but separate strands of American environmentalism—the love of nature and a concern for human health. Widely known for her 1962 best-seller, Silent Spring, Carson is today often perceived as a solitary “great woman,” whose work single-handedly launched a modern environmental movement. But as Musil’s book demonstrates, Carson’s life work drew upon and was supported by already existing movements, many led by women, in conservation and public health. On the fiftieth anniversary of her death, this book helps underscore Carson’s enduring environmental legacy and brings to life the achievements of women writers and advocates, such as Ellen Swallow Richards, Dr. Alice Hamilton, Terry Tempest Williams, Sandra Steingraber, Devra Davis, and Theo Colborn, all of whom overcame obstacles to build and lead the modern American environmental movement. More information on Musil’s book can be found at: http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/produ… Robert K. Musil, PhD, MPH is the President and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, the legacy organization envisioned by Rachel Carson and founded in 1965 by her closest friends and colleagues. Dr. Musil is also a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, School of Public Affairs, American University, where he teaches about climate change and American environmental politics.

From Billions to None: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon

NCTC Historian, Dr. Mark Madison, interviews with David Blockstein, Ph.D. Scientist.
National Council for Science & the Environment; David Mrazek, Filmmaker; Joel Greenberg, Author. March 11, 2015

A Superb Naturalist – George Schaller Salute Olaus Murie

“One of the things that Olaus and Mardy left with me is that you must do something beyond yourself and conservation is one of the most basic things you can do…
For Olaus and Mardy’s sake, I really wish that this will forever remain a memo.”

An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World

Presented by author and ecologist Anders Halverson. February 27, 2013.
“An Entirely Synthetic Fish” is the true story of the rainbow trout.