Environmental Writing and Place: Students Create Self-guided Campus Walking Tour

Noreen McAuliffe, a lecturer in the English Department and an Academic Program Specialist in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, was awarded a Lakeshore Nature Preserve Student Engagement Grant to support student learning in her Fall 2022 environmental studies course: Environmental Writing and Place. This capstone course allowed students to learn and practice the techniques of research and writing in the environmental humanities.

Inspired by a tour at Princeton University that showcased stories that often go untold (e.g., Women at Princeton) and by the Preserve’s own Audio Trail, McAuliffe led students in a final class project to create a self-guided audio walking tour featuring narratives of campus environmental sites. Students re-envisioned what constituted a “significant” place through their research and creative practice. The goal of the audio tour project was to contribute to a more inclusive account of the history of environmentalism and environmental sciences at UW-Madison.

The tour, Restoring Narratives at UW: An Environmental Lens, published on the Guidigo app, features 13 GPS-enabled stops around campus. It can be taken in-person or remotely through photos and audio.

From the institution of Earth Day and natural wonders like Lake Mendota, to influential figures like Aldo Leopold and John Muir, come join us as we explore the deeper ideas of UW-Madison’s environmental spaces, figures, and movements that connect us to this land and its multi-layered history.

— Tour Overview