Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



This thesis examines and follows the actions of an understudied activist in the environmentalist movement: Rosalie Edge. This thesis relies and encourages a combination of conservation, environmentalism, and historical women’s history in America. Rosalie Edge’s work as an environmentalist created a new and effective way for environmentalists to advocate for the environment around them. She created a pamphlet medium that invited scientists and other conservationists to publish writings and opinions that went against what the Audubon Society, the Biological Survey, and legislators were doing and publishing. The research for this project combines analysis from other professionals in the field with new analysis from primary sources. By examining the writings of Rosalie Edge, and the other writers she provided a platform for, a type of call-to-action activism comes to life.

Corrupt or wayward leaders were pushed out of their positions, unethical practices were brought to the light instead of ignored, and the wildlife that Rosalie fought so hard for could flourish. Rosalie’s efforts in the field of conservation are strung together by a larger picture, where others in the field are placed by ulterior motives—this means that Rosalie was able to understand and see that the smallest changes in an ecosystem could be detrimental to the balance of an environment. Instead of relying on something to be gained to push for environmental protection, she recognized the importance for the protection simply because it was how the Earth’s ecosystems should operate.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Alexander Olson, Ph.D.


Environmental Sciences | Women's History