Scheese, Don 1954-

views updated

SCHEESE, Don 1954-


Born March 11, 1954, in Coaldale, PA; son of Leonard (a coal miner and construction worker) and Mary (a homemaker; maiden name, Gavornik) Scheese; married Petty Butzer (a clothing designer), 1982. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Temple University, B.A., 1976; University of Idaho, M.A., 1982; University of Iowa, Ph.D., 1991. Politics: Independent. Religion: "Transcendental pagan." Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, birdwatching.


Home—1936 Waterford Lane, Chaska, MN 55318. Office—Department of English, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN 56082. E-mail—[email protected].


Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, associate professor of English, 1992—, director of Environmental Studies Program, 1997—. Guest lecturer at Carleton College, Northfield, MN, 1994, and Northland College, Ashland, WI, 2000. Worked as a fire lookout in Idaho for more than ten years; public speaker on the work of a fire lookout and on environmental topics.


Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (member of executive council, 1994-98), American Society of Environmental History, Thoreau Society, Western Literature Association (member of executive council, 2000-02), Phi Beta Kappa.


Grants from National Endowment for the Humanities, 1993, 2000; citation for "outstanding academic book," Choice, 1997, for Nature Writing: The Pastoral Impulse in America.


Nature Writing: The Pastoral Impulse in America, Twayne (New York, NY), 1996.

Mountains of Memory: A Fire Lookout's Life in the River of No Return Wilderness, University of Iowa Press (Iowa City, IA), 2001.

Contributor to books, including Take This Exit: Rediscovering the Iowa Landscape, edited by Robert F. Sayre, Iowa State University Press (Ames, IA), 1989; Mapping American Culture, edited by Wayne Franklin and Michael Steiner, University of Iowa Press (Iowa City, IA), 1992; The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology, edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1996; Go Tell It on the Mountain, edited by Jackie Johnson Maughan, Stackpole (Mechanicsburg, PA), 1996; and Violence in America: An Encyclopedia, edited by Ronald Gottesman and Richard Maxwell Brown, Scribner (New York, NY), 1999. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Forest and Conservation History. Coeditor of special issue, North Dakota Quarterly, 1991; member of editorial board, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 1995—.


Stories of Stone: Representations of the Anasazi in Art and Literature, completion expected in 2005.


Don Scheese told CA: "I write to answer questions and solve problems. I write because I have been inspired by others to write. I write because I cannot not write: it's become a daily habit.

"Most of all, I am influenced by the great presence of the nonhuman environment, and by writers who have written on the same subject. There is no more important or worthwhile or urgent subject.

"My writing process involved copious journal writing, research, and reading of background materials, followed by lots of thinking, teaching, and rewriting over the years. Mountains of Memory: A Fire Lookout's Life in the River of No Return Wilderness was twenty years in the making.

"My writing is inspired by great places and great writers: the River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho, the canyon behind our house in southern Minnesota, the desert Southwest, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and many other places where I have lived or visited."



Choice, March, 2002, M. J. Zwolinski, review of Mountains of Memory: A Fire Lookout's Life in the River of No Return Wilderness, p. 1260.

Library Journal, November 15, 2001, Tim Markus, review of Mountains of Memory, p. 95.