The University of Iowa
Thomas Dean is Senior Presidential Writer/Editor at the UI with primary responsibilities in speechwriting, and he teaches interdisciplinary courses at the university as well. He also teaches with the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the UI First-Year Seminar Program, and he has taught community education courses through the Iowa City Senior Center and other programs. Dean received a BA in English, a BM in Music History and Literature, an MA in English from Northern Illinois University, and a PhD in English from the University of Iowa. He has taught writing, literature, and interdisciplinary subjects at Cardinal Stritch College (Milwaukee), Michigan State University, and Moorhead State University (Minnesota). Dean has published essays in regional and national publications. Books include The Grace of Grass and Water: Writing in Honor of Paul Gruchow (edited collection, Ice Cube Press, 2007) and Under a Midland Sky (essays, Ice Cube Press, 2008). He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Iowa City Public Library and was a member of the Board of Directors of Humanities Iowa from 2008-2014.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
Thomas Dean is trained as a Land Ethic Leader through the Aldo Leopold Foundation, a program with the goal to both introduce Leopold’s land ethic to a wider audience and also to deepen understanding and engagement through dialogue about the meaning and value of conservation. This program includes a screening of the Emmy Award-winning Aldo Leopold documentary Green Fire and a discussion of the film and Leopold’s land ethic. Green Fire is the first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, who was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa. Green Fire highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. The film was produced in partnership with the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Center for Humans and Nature, and the US Forest Service, and it was supported by funding from Humanities Iowa. Green Fire provocatively examines Leopold’s thinking, renewing his idea of a land ethic for a population facing 21st-century ecological challenges. The film describes the formation of Leopold’s idea through his life and experiences, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation today. Through these examples, the film and discussion challenge viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community.