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The Wilderness World of John Muir

The epitome of the free-spirited naturalist, John Muir (1838–1914) famously tramped through wilderness areas from California and the Southwest to Alaska on foot and without gun or sleeping bag, in a complete immersion in North America’s natural world. For John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, going to the mountains was “going home.” Muir’s deep appreciation for nature led him to his greatest legacy—preservation. During a three-day camping trip with Teddy Roosevelt, he convinced the president of the need for a national program of conservation, which led to the expansion and strengthening of the national park system. This class will begin with an overview of Muir’s life and work, including slides and film clips, and then turn to discussion of selected writings by Muir. In our examination of Muir’s life and legacy, we also will consider his distinctive voice of his writing—the exulting voice of America’s premiere naturalist, to whom each day was always “the morning of creation.”

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with John Muir’s legacy and influence on the conservation of American nature and wilderness
  • A greater understanding of how Muir’s philosophy continues to inspire American conservation efforts, despite modern challenges

Ideal for

  • The curious and creative
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.