“A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding the Apostle Islands”
Speaker: Dr. Jim Feldman, Environmental Studies Program, University of WI Oshkosh
How did the Apostle Islands become wild? How do we understand the meaning of human history in places we today value as wilderness? Dr. Jim Feldman will explore these questions as he discusses the environmental history of the Apostle Islands.
Madeline Island Museum: 7:00PM
$30.00/person RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org, Ned Hancock
(Maximum 100 guests. Reservations can be made through May 22nd.)
Born to an attorney and a social worker, James Feldman always had an affinity for history and nature. He never lacked ideas for grade school essays because he could always find something to write about relating to either topic. His love for the good earth and all her stories was further cemented when he went to Camp Nebagamon in Northern Wisconsin as a youth. “We would go canoeing and hiking,” he recalls. “I just loved those kinds of trips.”
While majoring in history at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Feldman returned to Camp Nebagamon every summer as a wilderness trip leader. It was that point he realized he could turn his passion for nature and history into a career. Feldman went to graduate school and earned his master’s degree in history at Utah State. After being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1996, he spent 15 months in New Zealand studying environmental history and politics of the island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. His work not only dealt with environmental policy but historical questions as to how a treaty from 1840 (Treaty of Waitangi) still affects New Zealand’s indigenous people today. It was in New Zealand that Feldman discovered how he could turn his interest in nature and history into social action. “The work that I did there really convinced me that there was a way to make historical research applicable to modern issues,” says Feldman, who earned his doctorate in American history from UW-Madison.