John Muir Scottish American

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John Muir: Scottish-American Naturalist

By Melissa Nickels

John Muir CelticMKE

John Muir was an environmentalist. He spent his life loving the trees, the land beneath his feet and the world around him. 

Muir was born on April 21, 1838, in Dunbar, East Lothian Scotland (next to the city of Edinburgh). His family emigrated to Portage, Wisconsin in 1849 when he was 11 years old. He and his younger brother worked on the family farm with their father. During his free time, he would roam the woods and observe the land surrounding him. It was at this young age where Muir developed a creative and voluminous mind, with an affinity towards the outdoors.

He attended the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and became interested for a short time in wood inventions. He invented a horse feeder, a table saw and a wooden thermometer (among other things) and even presented his inventions at the Wisconsin State Fair. Wanting to change his path, Muir left college after three years to travel and study botany.  

Over the course of his life, he traveled the world, South America, Alaska, Cuba, Japan, Australia . . .wrote down his findings and published books and hundreds of articles that exuded his binding love to nature and his philosophies. More than just a natural observer reporting his discoveries, he also played an integral role in the establishment of several national parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia and the Grand Canyon. He also founded the Sierra Club, an association vying to fight to protect these parks and the forests (an association that still exists today with the same mission).

John Muir, the Scottish-born conservationist, left a lasting impact on the world. He educated people on the importance of protecting the nature that surrounds us. He inspired environmental advocates, presidents, writers, explorers, wanderers, and helped to instill a better appreciation for the land we live on.


Other Sources to Learn More:
https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Muir

http://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/life/muir_biography.aspx

 

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