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TEACH: Great Lakes Environmental Authors

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Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924)
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)
Sigurd Olson (1899-1982)
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924)

Gene Stratton-Porter's house As a child, Gene Stratton-Porter's solitary habits were focused on nature study. She loved to observe birds and all manner of living things. This passion and a desire to support herself led to a career writing articles, which she illustrated with her own photographs. Her fiction, an immediate hit with national magazines, evolved into popular novels and poetry. Many of the books were based on nature themes and strong characters, such as in The Girl of the Limberlost. She became Indiana's most popular writer with a claimed 50 million readers, and eight of her books were made into movies. Her influence caused Americans to rethink the country's headlong rush into resource depletion and led the way for national conservation initiatives. In 1912, she purchased land on Sylvan Lake in northeast Indiana to build a second log home. This place, "Wildflower Woods," became an outdoor laboratory where she created research gardens and a wildlife refuge.

Graphic: Gene Stratton-Porter's home on Sylvan Lake.

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