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Saving American Nature: Preservation, Conservation, and the Wild

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Nature in the City proudly presents

Saving American Nature: Preservation, Conservation, and the Wild

Join us this month as we untangle the historical roots and trace the path to our present struggles over the proper management of nature.

September 20th,  @ OTC | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 

One Texas Center - 505 Barton Springs Road, Room 325

Free and Open to the Public – bring a lunch and learn

RSVP and share the event on Facebook!

The two key American myths of nature – wilderness and pastoral nature – set the stage for the great American debate over managing nature – Preservation vs. Conservation. The main protagonists in this debate were John Muir for preservation and Gifford Pinchot for conservation, or, at least, that is the standard history. As books like The Great New Wilderness Debate (1998) or the ongoing exchange between ecologists over “invasive nonnative species” and “novel ecosystems” attest, this debate rages on. The roots of this dispute are tangled up in natural theology, Transcendentalism, the history of biology and ecology, and government policy tracing back to George Perkins Marsh publishing Man and Nature in 1864. All of which occurred long before Muir and Pinchot ever argued. In September, we will try to untangle some of those historical roots and trace the path to our present struggles over the proper management of Nature.

Catch up with the 2018 lecture series with the Nature in the City Podcasts!

Mark Your Calendars for 2018 Dates + Locations

Additional Dates and Locations in August:

September 12 @ SAC – Lamar Senior Activity Center 2874 Shoal Crest Ave, ATX 78705

September 18 @ CER - Austin Water Center for Environmental Research – 2210 South FM 973 at Hornsby Bend

September 26 @ UT - University of Texas Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) at 100 E 24th St


Kevin Anderson Ph.D.

Kevin is a geographer and philosopher researching the nature of, and the nature in, urban wastelands. He studied at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania [BA], Durham University, England, Ohio University [MA] where he taught philosophy and symbolic logic. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation entitled: Marginal Nature: Urban Wastelands and the Geography of Nature. His research interests include sewage treatment, soil ecology, and sustainable agriculture, urban ecology and sustainability, riparian ecology, environmental history, philosophy, and literature. He is a co-founder of the Texas Riparian Association and the Upper Tisza Foundation in northeastern Hungary. He runs the Austin Water-Center for Environmental Research which focuses on soil, sewage recycling, and environmental trace contaminants; rivers, riparian ecology, and alluvial aquifers; cities, biodiversity, and avian ecology.


Brought to you by Austin Water Utility, Center for Environmental Research (CER), The University of Texas, Texas A&M University. Nature in the City - Austin is sponsored by the Community Trees Division, and helps to implement the Imagine Austin and Urban Forest Plans. 

CER and Hornsby Bend are on Facebook! Visit to see what's happening today! Want more? Yes! Visit the Marginal Nature Blog and Nature in the City - Austin Blog.

Power Points for previous lunchtime lectures.





Austin Nature in the City is sponsored by the Community Trees Division and part of the Development Services family. This is an interdepartmental collaboration to implement the Imagine Austin and Austin's Urban Forest Plans.


Location Information
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Roads 3rd Floor, Room 325
Austin , TX 78704
Contact Information
Leah Haynie