2017 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium

Theodore Roosevelt: The Naturalist in the Arena

September 14-16, 2017

When seven-year-old "Teedie" Roosevelt came upon a dead seal in front of a New York City shop, he measured it, gazed on it in wonder, and eventually obtained the skull for what would become the Roosevelt Museum of Natural History. His scientific curiosity, boyish enthusiasm, and love of the outdoors persisted through his hectic life as a public servant. 

In this symposium we explored TR's love of nature, his work to save the buffalo, his conservation friendships with John Muir and Gifford Pinchot, and his love of big game hunting.

Speakers included:

Darrin Lunde - "A Field Guide to Roosevelt the Naturalist"

Author of The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History, Darrin Lunde is a Supervisory Museum Specialist in the Division of Mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Previously, he worked at the American Museum of Natural History, where he led field expeditions throughout the world. Lunde has named more than a dozen new species of mammals and provided valuable scientific insights on hundreds of others. He is also the author of several children’s books including Meet the Meerkat and Hello, Bumblebee Bat.


Char Miller - "Kindred Spirits: The Remarkable Partnership of Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot"Char Miller

Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and serves as a Senior Fellow of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and a Fellow of The Forest History Society. An award-winning teacher and scholar, MIller's recent books include America's Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and GrasslandsNot So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California DreamSeeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot, and Gifford Pinchot: Selected Writings. He frequently contributes essays, commentary, and reviews to newspapers, journals, and online venues.



Barb Rosenstock - "Friendship Under Five Inches of Snow: Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite"

Barb Rosenstock is the author of narrative nonfiction and historical fiction picture books for children, including The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks, winner of the California Library Association’s Beatty Award, among many others. From the story of artist Vasily Kandinsky in her Caldecott Honor book, The Noisy Paint Box, to biographies of Jefferson, Franklin, and DiMaggio, Rosenstock’s books tell stories that engage children in the stories of our past.



Duane Jundt - “I So Declare It”: Roosevelt’s Love Affair with Birds

A graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead and the University of Notre Dame, Duane Jundt taught American and European history for 20 years, most recently at Northwestern College in Iowa. He is a regular presenter on Roosevelt at nature centers and state and national parks across the Midwest and West. Jundt has authored numerous blog posts, review essays, articles, and conference papers on Roosevelt. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association and frequently contributes to the TRA Journal.



Melanie Choukas-Bradley - "President Roosevelt’s Explorations of Rock Creek Park"

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of several natural history books, including City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park, winner of a 2015 IPPY award. Melanie is a naturalist who leads nature walks, tree tours, and nature-oriented cycling and paddling trips for Smithsonian Associates, the United States Botanic Garden, the Audubon Naturalist Society, Casey Trees, the Nature Conservancy, the Rock Creek Conservancy, and Friends of Theodore Roosevelt Island. She teaches natural history and lectures widely. She is currently working on her fifth book, tentatively titled A Year at Theodore Roosevelt Island.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

6:00 p.m. Registration - May Hall 
7:00 p.m. Welcome and Introductions
7:30 p.m. Keynote Address: Darrin Lunde
  A Field Guide to Roosevelt the Naturalist
8:30 p.m. Book Signing with Darrin Lunde

Friday, September 15, 2017

8:00 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:15 a.m. Char Miller
   Kindred Spirits: The Remarkable Partnership of Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot
10 a.m. Q & A with Char Miller
10:30 a.m. Break & Book Signing with Char Miller
10:45 a.m. Barb Rosenstock
   Friendship Under Five Inches of Snow: Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite
11:25 a.m. Q & A with Barb Rosenstock
11:45 a.m. Break & Book Signing with Barb Rosenstock
Noon Lunch
1:00 p.m. Duane Jundt
   “I So Declare It”: Roosevelt’s Love Affair with Birds
1:40 p.m. Q & A with Duane Jundt
2:00 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. Melanie Choukas-Bradley
   President Roosevelt’s Explorations of Rock Creek Park
3:00 p.m. Q & A with Melanie Choukas-Bradley
3:30 p.m. Break and Book Signing with Melanie Choukas-Bradley
4:30 p.m. Social in Stoxen Library
5:15 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Elkhorn Cottonwood Campfire - music and cowboy poetry at Beck Auditorium in DSU's Klinefelter Hall

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Field trip to Medora, North Dakota

8:00 a.m. Registration for Field Trip/Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Depart for Medora 
9:30 a.m. Clay Jenkinson
   Intersecting Genius, 1886: William Hornaday, Theodore Roosevelt and the Saving of the Buffalo
10:20 a.m. Panel with guest scholars - A wide-ranging discussion and synthesis of symposium themes 
11:15 p.m. Lunch and field trip
4:15 p.m. Closing reception

Darrin Lunde delivers his keynote address, "A Field Guide to Roosevelt the Naturalist."

Char Miller describes a friendship, out of which grew a national commitment to carefully manage America’s treasured public lands, in "Kindred Spirits: The Remarkable Partnership of Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot," at the 2017 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium.

Barb Rosenstock shares her odyssey of learning about Theodore Roosevelt by writing about him, in her address titled "Friendship Under Five Inches of Snow: Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite," September 15, 2017.

Duane Jundt explores the role birds and birding played in the life of an American president in his lecture, "'I So Declare It': Roosevelt’s Love Affair with Birds."

Melanie Choukas-Bradley describes a President who pursued his love of nature, birding, and strenuous rock scrambles and point to point hikes in "President Roosevelt’s Explorations of Rock Creek Park."

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