With masterful storytelling, Bergland and Hayes demonstrate how Lapham blended his ravenous curiosity with an equable temperament and a passion for detail to create a legacy that is still relevant today.
Read alsoBest Birdhouses for Your Backyard
Build birdhouses that attract the birds you want!Most birdhouse books are overly complex, with intricate projects that take hours of work. Are they attractive? Sure. But useful? Depends.The Best Birdhouses for Your Backyard puts birds' needs first! You'll find more than a dozen easy-to-build projects that include:Information about the bird each…
In this long overdue tribute to Wisconsin’s first scientist, authors Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes explore the remarkable life and achievements of Increase Lapham (1811–1875). Lapham’s ability to observe, understand, and meticulously catalog the natural world marked all of his work, from his days as a teenage surveyor on the Erie Canal to his last great contribution as state geologist.
Self-taught, Lapham mastered botany, geology, archaeology, limnology, mineralogy, engineering, meteorology, and cartography. A prolific writer, his 1844 guide to the territory was the first book published in Wisconsin. Asked late in life which field of science was his specialty, he replied simply, “I am studying Wisconsin.”
Lapham identified and preserved thousands of botanical specimens. He surveyed and mapped Wisconsin’s effigy mounds. He was a force behind the creation of the National Weather Service, lobbying for a storm warning system to protect Great Lakes sailors. Told in compelling detail through Lapham’s letters, journals, books, and articles, Studying Wisconsin chronicles the life and times of Wisconsin’s pioneer citizen-scientist.