Educational Programs

The Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum provides monthly environmental education programs. Most programs are held at the University of Wisconsin Fond du Lac campus and run about an hour unless otherwise noted.

Download our 2016 -2017 Educational Brochure

A Burning Need: Aldo Leopold, Restoration and the Big Picture of Fire as a Management Tool in Wisconsin

Jed Meunier
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 7 pm
Room UC114 UW-FDL

As with his position on predators, Aldo Leopold also changed his mind on the role of fire in maintaining forests and other fire-dependent systems. In this transformation, Leopold became an early advocate of fire as a management tool and initiated some of the first formal restoration attempts of fire-dependent communities. Many groups now are heavily invested in using prescribed fire to conserve and restore systems, primarily prairie and savanna which are greatly diminished. Rarely however, do we put our work into the context of regional or statewide opportunities and challenges. This talk is just that; a statewide fire needs assessment which aims to prioritize prescribed fire to maintain a full suite of fire-dependent communities in Wisconsin over the coming decades. It will also explore how Leopold's Shack and Sand Counties fit into this picture.
Jed Meunier is an ecologist and research scientist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources studying forest and fire ecology. His dissertation research was on fire ecology in northern Mexico aimed at guiding forest management and restoration in northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest, very much in line with what Aldo Leopold had himself promoted seven decades prior. Jed received his M.S. in the Wildlife Ecology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Department his great-grandfather started in 1933, where he studied the effects of hunting on declining American woodcock populations. Jed has not lacked sources for inspiration; his mentors and role models include his grandmother, Nina Leopold Bradley, and her siblings. Jed's course, both personally and academically, is very much entwined with the mission and legacy of his family and the Aldo Leopold Foundation where he serves on the board of directors.
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