Feb 3, 2015

Museum talk to focus on brothers' wildlife ethics

During careers spanning four decades, naturalists and brothers Olaus and Adolph Murie studied elk, coyotes, bears, wolves and other wildlife in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks as well as elsewhere in the American West.

At the next Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expedition, Dr. John C. Rumm will talk about the work of the Muries, whose studies informed generations of wildlife biologists and resource managers, and are still significant today.

Olaus J. Murie (left) and Adolph Murie are shown atop Cathedral Mountain, McKinley National Park (now Denali National Park) in 1961. Photo courtesy National Park Service
Titled “A Reverence for Life: Olaus and Adolph Murie and the Development of an Ecologically-based Wildlife Ethic,” the free program takes place at 12:15 p.m. Thursday in the Coe Auditorium at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody.

Dr. John Rumm
Rumm is writing a biography of the Murie brothers, and in his talk he'll draw extensively on the research he's done for the book at more than a dozen institutions across the United States.

“The efforts of the Muries to develop and promote an ethical outlook toward wildlife were equally as important and influential as their scientific studies,” Rumm said. “It’s an outlook grounded in ecology, but informed by a sense of wonder and appreciation.”

His presentation explores how the work and legacies of the Muries helped shape the modern environmental movement.

Rumm is the director of the Curatorial Division and curator of public history at the Center of the West. He previously served as the curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum and editor-in-chief of the Papers of William F. Cody.

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