Environmental writer and spoken word performer Laurie Allmann delivered this year's Pettingill Lecture in Natural History. Among the pieces she shared was a poem, In the Abstract, that she wrote in honor of the occasion. Its inspiration is the UMBS Bibliography.
To write the poem, Allmann browsed the electronic bibliography available through our research gateway before coming to the Station. Once she was on campus, she visited the LaRue library to look at the abstracts in person. The result is a tribute to the variety and depth of topics scientists investigate from their UMBS home. It is also a general acknowledgement of how much richer each of us becomes when we take time to learn about the world around us.
Dennis Albert, who teaches Forest Ecosystems at the Station, nominated Allmann for the Pettingill lecture. He was introduced to Allmann and her work when she wrote a collection of essays based on his publication of maps, Regional Landscape Ecosystems of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (USDA Forest Service, 1995). Allmann's essays were collected in a 1996 volume, Far from Tame: Reflections from the Heart of a Continent (University of Minnesota Press), which won a 2007 Minnesota Book Award.
We are delighted to share In the Abstract with you and grateful to Laurie Allmann for giving us this gift.