His family’s name is attached to many wonderful causes and organizations across Wisconsin and the nation, but do you know about Aldo Leopold’s equally famous children and their contributions to conservation and natural resources?
This month at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, we are focused on the wonderful world of water and have chosen to honor Luna Leopold (October 8, 1915 – February 23, 2006) as our featured scientist because of his work in “fluvial geomorphology”– meaning he studied how river and streams impact and are impacted by geology. We see the water in rivers, lakes, and ponds, but the water cycle involves MUCH more that happens below ground. It is this groundwater that feeds many wells that people depend on for drinking water and agriculture, and this same groundwater eventually feeds into our streams, lakes and ponds.
Luna Leopold began his education at UW-Madison in the 1930s, where he studied civil engineering. After completing his degree, he continued on with a Master’s degree in meteorology from University of California-Los Angeles and eventually a PhD in geology from Harvard in 1950. Among his contributions to the fields of water management and geology were working for well-known organizations such as U.S. Geological Survey, serving as a chief meteorologist and research scientist for many institutions. Eventually he joined the faculty at the University of California-Berkeley, where he worked until his death in 2006.
Luna wrote several seminal books in his field and was most well known for his urging that water management think more broadly about how the water cycle, geology, climate science and economic forces interact. It’s no doubt that growing up with his famous father on the Wisconsin river in Baraboo, Wisconsin influenced Luna’s career and perspective on water management.
Curious to learn more about the water cycle or Leopold’s famous family? Come visit the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to check out our Leopold Family Phenology Center, see our replica of their family shack on the Wisconsin River, and learn about the water cycle and how it’s changing with this month’s World of Water activities! You can also visit the Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, WI to get more acquainted with the Leopold family at the location of the original shack and learn about their contributions to Wisconsin and the world!