Natural Wonders
Natural Wonders
May 14th, 2024

I’ll read again from AFIELD Portraits of Wisconsin Naturalists, Empowering Leopold’s Legacy by Sumner MattesonThe first chapter is devoted to Increase Lapham. Sumner writes, “Apart from Native Americans who were the first to know  Wisconsin’s natural history, there was one who many argue was Wisconsin’s premier naturalist – Increase Allan Lapham, – the first to promote the state’s natural history well beyond  the state’s borders.  Wiry, quiet and unassuming, this self trained scholar possessed an inexhaustible passion to understand and catalog the natural world.” 

This is a story well worth hearing, a mild mannered, deeply curious scientist born in 1811, who studied effigy mounds, was a founder of the National Weather Service, and had a botanical collection of more than 3 thousand plants, and did so much more.