Representing nature, reordering society
Van Sant, Levi
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This thesis examines the life of Eugene Pleasants Odum (1913-2002), who is widely known as “The Father of Modern Ecology.” In addition to his role as founder of the discipline of ecosystem ecology, Odum was also a prominent figure in modern American environmentalism. This work uses Odum's dual role as both respected scientist and popular political leader as a window into the relationship between the science of ecology and the social movement of environmentalism in post-World War II America. In contrast to most of the scholarly literature, this thesis argues that ecosystem ecologists were as much products of the environmental movement as they were its leaders.