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Grant number: FB-58040-15

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Emily Wakild
Boise State University (Boise, ID 83725-0001)

A History of Scientific Land Conservation in Patagonia and Amazonia, 1880s-Present

Natural field science and landscape conservation grew up together in the two paradigmatic ecological and cultural regions of Patagonia and Amazonia. Hardly a simple, neo-colonial process, national scientists played early and important roles creating parks in places they intimately knew. A NEH fellowship would support a monograph explaining the mutual development of natural field sciences and national parks. Analyzing science in place captures the curiosity, wonderment, and exhilaration of discovery while also exposing its brutal contingencies, including cultural difference, inequality, and competing national interests. I argue that these parks are unevenly distributed but particularly stable entities whose scale and spread rivals other more conventional forms of state-making, such as land reform, agricultural expansion, and road building. Chronologically and geographically, the book focuses on the 1880s to present in six park constellations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.

Project fields:
History of Science; Latin American History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2015 – 7/31/2016