Evolving Our Understanding of Nature

A celebrated environmental historian, Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies Professor William Cronon is inspiring new generations of conservationists. Recently presented with The Wilderness Society’s Robert Marshall Award—the organization’s highest civilian honor—for his contributions to the protection of America’s wild places, Professor Cronon regards land ethics and conservation as an expression of the Wisconsin Idea.

Professor Cronon studies the history of human interaction with the natural world, seeking to understand the profound impact people are having on the global environment—and what wilderness means in this era. As a champion for nature and saving wild places, Professor Cronon’s research, scholarship, and outreach mission are crucial to illuminating our connection with the land and helping people learn to create a more sustainable way of living in harmony with our environment.