Emma Marris

Author of Environmental Nonfiction
Journalist
Travels from: Seattle, WA or Paris

“Sober, elegant, and philosophical…Marris questions many of the assumptions we make about nature, naturalness, wilderness, species, genetic purity…Ultimately, it seems, the best approach to salvaging nature will be a piecemeal affair, a mix of doing and not doing, the political and personal.” -New York Review of Books

Emma Marris is the author of Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World and Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. In Wild Souls, Emma asks – what do we owe wild animals? What is the right relationship to the nonhuman world?  When is it right to capture or feed wild animals for the good of their species? How do we balance the rights of introduced species with those already established within an ecosystem? Should we kill introduced predators to save rare species? Can hunting be ecological? Are any animals truly wild on a planet that humans have so thoroughly changed? No clear guidelines yet exist to help us resolve such questions.

Transporting readers into the field with scientists tackling these profound challenges, Emma tells the affecting and inspiring stories of animals around the globe–from Peruvian monkeys to Australian bilbies, rare Hawai’ian birds to majestic Oregon wolves. And she offers a companionable, easy-to-understand tour of the philosophical ideas that may steer our search for sustainability and justice in the non-human world. Revealing just how intertwined animal life and human life really are, Wild Souls will change the way we think about nature-and our place within it.

She also writes about the human and nonhuman worlds, and the enduringly complex relationships between them for National Geographic, the Atlantic, the New York Times, Wired, and other publications. She lives in Oregon with her husband–with whom she occasionally co-authors environmental philosophy papers–and their two children.

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Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World

Bloomsbury Publishing |
Nonfiction

From an acclaimed environmental writer, a groundbreaking and provocative new vision for our relationships with–and responsibilities toward–the planet’s wild animals.

Protecting wild animals and preserving the environment are two ideals so seemingly compatible as to be almost inseparable. But in fact, between animal welfare and conservation science there exists a space of underexamined and unresolved tension: wildness itself. When is it right to capture or feed wild animals for the good of their species? How do we balance the rights of introduced species with those already established within an ecosystem? Can hunting be ecological? Are any animals truly wild on a planet that humans have so thoroughly changed? No clear guidelines yet exist to help us resolve such questions.

Transporting readers into the field with scientists tackling these profound challenges, Emma Marris tells the affecting and inspiring stories of animals around the globe–from Peruvian monkeys to Australian bilbies, rare Hawai’ian birds to majestic Oregon wolves. And she offers a companionable tour of the philosophical ideas that may steer our search for sustainability and justice in the non-human world. Revealing just how intertwined animal life and human life really are, Wild Souls will change the way we think about nature-and our place within it.

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World

Bloomsbury USA |
Nonfiction

“Remarkable . . . Emma Marris explores a paradox that is increasingly vexing the science of ecology, namely that the only way to have a pristine wilderness is to manage it intensively.” –The Wall Street Journal

A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. Emma Marris argues convincingly that it is time to look forward and create the “rambunctious garden,” a hybrid of wild nature and human management.

In this optimistic book, readers meet leading scientists and environmentalists and visit imaginary Edens, designer ecosystems, and Pleistocene parks. Marris describes innovative conservation approaches, including rewilding, assisted migration, and the embrace of so-called novel ecosystems.

Rambunctious Garden is short on gloom and long on interesting theories and fascinating narratives, all of which bring home the idea that we must give up our romantic notions of pristine wilderness and replace them with the concept of a global, half-wild rambunctious garden planet, tended by us.

What Is Nature?

Coping with Eco-Anxiety

The Best Case Scenario

Gardening/Landscaping Design for a Changing World

The Wolf

Writing for the Public: A Workshop for Scientists

Emma’s Recent Work

Emma’s Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Emma is an award-winning journalist whose writing on science and the environment has appeared in the New York Times, the AtlanticNational GeographicWiredOutsideHigh Country News, and many other publications, including Best American Science and Nature Writing. Her previous book, Rambunctious Garden, was the subject of her TED Talk, which has over 1.4 million views. She was also featured on the TED Radio Hour and the series Adam Ruins Everything.

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