It’s Earth Day! Earth Day is observed worldwide in 192 countries in appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment and to increase public awareness of environmental issues. In celebration of Earth Day, here’s a look at some notable environmentalists in Geni’s World Family Tree!
Explore their family trees and see how you’re connected to these influential environmental figures!
Image: Smithsonian Institution, Flickr
Rachel Carson was a marine biologists, conservationist, and author of Silent Spring. The best-selling book documented the dangerous effects of synthetic pesticides in the environment. Incredibly influential, the book helped bring significant changes to the U.S.’s national pesticide policy and led to the banning of DDT for agricultural use throughout the country. It also helped to inspire a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, British primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall is perhaps best known for her 45-year study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. An outspoken environmental advocate, Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 and has dedicated her work to bring awareness to the preservation of animals and the conservation of their habitats.
Image: Library of Congress
Known as the “Father of the National Parks,” John Muir was instrumental in the preservation of the United States wilderness. Since he was a child, Muir was fascinated by the natural world. He wrote letters, essays, and books describing his adventures and experiences in nature. His love and enthusiasm showed through his works and rallied the public to help preserve the nation’s wilderness. He petitioned the U.S. Congress to pass the National Parks bill, which established Yosemite National Park. He also co-founded the Sierra Club, one of the most prominent conservation organizations in the United States.
American landscape photographer Ansel Adams is perhaps best remembered for his iconic black and white photos of the American wilderness. While working for the Sierra Club, Adams formed a passion for the Yosemite Valley and the High Sierras. An environmentalist himself, Adams used his photography as a means to promote the conservation of the American wilderness. In 1980, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his work as a photographer and environmentalist.
Image: Aldo Leopold & Olaus Murie / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Author, conservationist, and scientist Aldo Leopold is often considered to be the father of wildlife ecology. Best known for his book A Sand County Almanac, Leopold was highly influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and the movement for wilderness conservation. In 1935, he helped co-found the Wilderness Society, which is dedicated to protecting and expanding the nation’s wilderness areas.
Explore more notable environmentalists in the Environmentalist genealogy project on Geni!