University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Nature and the Environment Resources

Women’s writing about nature and the environment across genres. Researchers will find fiction and poetry, scientific writing and nature observation, conservation studies, children’s literature, and artists’ books that engage with the natural world as a significant theme.

Archival Material

Phyllis Austin papers, 1944-2017

Austin moved to Maine in 1969 to cover the State House for the Associated Press and in 1972, became the first AP environmental writer for New England. Her in-depth reporting about forestry, land use, public utilities, rural community development, and conservation for The Maine Times, earned her a wide reputation. The collection consists of Austin’s research for projects regarding Baxter State Park and in preparation for her book, Wilderness Partners: Buzz Caverly and Baxter State Park (2008) and includes photos, maps, research books and annual park reports, as well as published articles.


Susan Hayward collection, 1991–1997, undated

Maine naturalist involved in educational outreach and science education at Bates and Bowdoin Colleges and in the Lewiston area. Hayward’s collection consists of nine educational booklets created for the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston on topics such as fungi, trees, the senses, nature hikes, birds, wildflowers, insects and squirrels.


Perdita Huston papers, 1936–2007

Huston spent her professional life advocating for sustainable development and sound family planning worldwide. Throughout her career, Huston was involved in local and international organizations focused on women’s rights and sustainable development, including coordinating the Population and Sustainable Development Program for the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and serving as Director of Public Affairs for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The collection documents Huston’s research on rural women, and includes research notes, interview transcripts, drafts of her writing projects, correspondence from throughout her career, and material on organizations and conferences she was involved with. 

Donna M. Loring papers, 1956–2016, undated

Loring served as the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Representative to the Maine Legislature from 1998-2003 and from 2007-2008 and the Penobscot Tribal Council. In 2019 Janet Mills appointed Donna M. Loring as Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs to the Governor. The collection includes material related to the stewardship of the Penobscot River, with a specific focus on water quality, as well as general environmental concerns of the Penobscot Nation. 

Jean Preis papers, 1993-2016

Jean Preis read Dorothy Sanborn’s “Bird Seed” column in The Bridgton News for a year before she moved to Maine. When Sanborn retired from writing her column, Preis wrote a letter to the editor lamenting the absence of the column and the paper suggested Preis take over. The collection includes 7 bound volumes of Preis’s “Bird Watch” column, a 2008 Bird Watcher’s Digest with an article by Preis, and a 1987 copy of Bird Watcher’s Digest with an article by Dorothy Sanborn.

Dorothy W. Sanborn papers, 1946-2001

Sanborn moved to Bridgton with her husband in 1942 and began writing “Up on the Ridge,” a neighborhood column for The Bridgton News. In the 1950’s, she wrote a weekly column for The Boston Post Sunday Magazine, and also began teaching fifth grade. After her retirement from teaching in 1973, Sanborn began writing “Bird Seed,” a column for The Bridgton News, which she wrote for 21 years. Her articles also appeared in Bird Watchers Digest. The collection contains many copies of newspaper articles, as well as book drafts, article notes and short stories.

Linda Tatelbaum papers, 1972-2003

Tatelbaum and her husband moved to Maine in 1977 to live simply. She chronicled her experience bulding a solar-powered homestead on 75 acres in Appleton and published in Countryside, Harrowsmith, and The Maine Times. In 1997 her essays were published as Carrying Water as a Way of Life: A Homesteader’s History.  This collection consists of manuscript material related to her books, poetry, essays, journals related to her teaching and proprioceptive writing.