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How Environment Has Shaped the State

From Sustenance to Leisure on Minnesota Land

Expert Essay: Associate professor of history Michael J. Lansing, published in Environmental History as well as Ethics, Place, and Environment, highlights the many ways people have made use of Minnesota's flora and fauna over time and reviews the state's more recent efforts at conservation.

Black and white photograph of Tennessee Street during flood, 1952.

Tennessee Street during flood

Tennessee Street during flood, 1952.

Black and white aerial view of West Side during flood, 1952.

Aerial view of West Side during flood

Aerial view of West Side during flood, 1952.

Black and white photograph looking north across the Flats during high water 1881. The raised street is Wabasha.

Looking north across the Flats during high water

Looking north across the Flats during high water 1881. The raised street is Wabasha.

Smith, Alice Gustava (Sister Maris Stella) (1899–1987)

Alice Gustava Smith, better known by her students and readers as Sister Maris Stella, taught English at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in St. Paul for nearly fifty years. During that time she also published books of verse that built her reputation as a skilled and spiritual poet.

Black and white photograph of a man with string of fish caught in Itasca Lake, c.1915.

Man with string of fish caught in Itasca Lake

Man with string of fish caught in Itasca Lake, c.1915.

Black and white portrait of Mary Gibbs, commissioner of Itasca State Park and the first woman in the U.S. to hold the position of park commissioner, 1903.

Mary Gibbs

Mary Gibbs, commissioner of Itasca State Park and the first woman in the U.S. to hold the position of park commissioner, 1903. Photographer unknown.

Black and white photograph of Pine woods at Lake Itasca, 1900.

Pine woods, Lake Itasca

Pine woods at Lake Itasca, 1900. Photographer unknown.

Black and white photograph of Outdoor activities at Itasca State Park, 1898.

Man seated by a tent at Lake Itasca

Outdoor activities at Itasca State Park, 1898. Photographer unknown.

Black and white photograph of Jacob Brower, 1897.

Jacob Brower

Jacob Brower, 1897. Brower was a surveyor who was instrumental in forming Itasca State Park and became the park’s first commissioner. Photographer unknown.

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