I grew up hiking and climbing in the Oregon Cascades, studied English at Stanford and Brown, and have devoted nearly three decades to the study of environmental literature. In the early 1990s, I was a co-founder of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and served as the organization’s first president, and since 1995 I have edited the central journal in the field, which is called ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. Over the years, I have published more than 200 articles and have written or edited nearly twenty books, including Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing (1992), What’s Nature Worth? (2004), and Going Away to Think (2008).
Before becoming professor of literature and environment at the University of Idaho in 2012, I taught for seventeen years at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I helped to create the first M.A. and Ph.D. program in the field. I spend much of my time traveling around the world to teach and lecture on literary and environmental topics—in the past year this has included visits to Lebanon, France, Brazil, India, and Finland. As a kid, before I grew up and became a writer and literary scholar, I wanted to be a zoologist, and I still love animals of all kinds—I am thrilled to be teaching environmental writing in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which I’ve seen described as “the Serengeti of North America”!