The subject of this paper is a pioneering field study of bobwhite quail by the trapper-turned-ecologist Paul Errington and the environmentalist Aldo Leopold. Their project is significant in several ways. It produced an influential environmental view of predation and contributed to Leopold's celebrated environmental ethic of “land health.” It also exemplifies a generic type of intensive or “residential” field practice, which involves knowing a research locale as intimately its human or animal residents know it, but also as generally as do cosmopolitan scientists. Finally, this essay argues that Errington's ecology and Leopold's ethic were shaped by their own residential trajectories, from the rural Midwest of their youths, through wilder environments of the Southwest and Canadian North, and back again. Place shapes field science: not just the place where research is carried on, but the places where investigators have been in their mobile careers.
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Research Article| May 01 2011
Paul Errington, Aldo Leopold, and Wildlife Ecology: Residential Science
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2011) 41 (2): 216–254.
Robert E. Kohler; Paul Errington, Aldo Leopold, and Wildlife Ecology: Residential Science. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 1 May 2011; 41 (2): 216–254. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/hsns.2011.41.2.216
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