The past is key to the future: Historical observations strengthen modern science

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Famed naturalist Aldo Leopold and co-author Sara Jones included this simple reflection in a 1947 scientific monograph in which they sought to condense a decade’s worth of ecological field observations from southern Wisconsin between 1935 and 1945. Along with meteorological conditions, these detailed observations — accumulated mostly by Leopold — noted when each spring various species of birds returned, when different mammals emerged from hibernation and when certain flowering plants first blossomed.

Document Type: 

  • Case Study


  • critical issues, database publication, climate