2013 IN-RESIDENCE: ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORIAN JENNY PRICE
Laumeier's 2013 In-Residence Program featured Dr. Jenny Price, an Environmental Historian originally from St. Louis now living in Los Angeles. Price developed an “alternative” Nature Trail at Laumeier to highlight the infrastructure put into place as part of our wresting the land away from its functional status as a watershed for the Meramec and Mississippi Rivers. Price picked out such un-touristic sites as a fallen tree, an electric box, a bench overlooking invasive honeysuckle and the Museum Shop as stops on her “nature” tour.
During a tour at Laumeier, Price observed the importance of our ecotones—the edge areas between the woods and the lawn—that play host to many species who can nest and feed at the border. She observed that, while visitors consider Laumeier a “natural” environment, the bulk of the trees and growth on the grounds are around 40 years old, meaning that the area was actively logged just before being donated to St. Louis County Parks in 1968.
Jenny Price, a native of St. Louis, received her Ph.D. from Yale University with a focus on the environment, the American West and writing history. She published Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America in 1999, and many book chapters including, “Looking for Nature at the Mall: A Field Guide to the Nature Company” in Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature in 1995 and “A Natural History of the Plastic Pink Flamingo” in The Nature of Nature: New Essays from America’s Finest Writers on Nature in 1994. Price is a freelance writer for LA Observed, Sunset, the Los Angeles Times, GOOD, Huffington Post and The New York Times, among others. Since 1998, she has been a Research Scholar with the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Price received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 and was a resident artist at the Orange County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She has taught at UCLA, the University of Southern California and Antioch-Los Angeles and is a two-time National Endowment for the Humanities fellow.