View of Altazor Forest in Idaho

About the G. P. Marsh Institute

The Marsh Institute is named for George Perkins Marsh, whom Lewis Mumford identified as the fountainhead of the conservation movement. The aim of Marsh, in his 1864 book Man and Nature, was to show how humans have changed the earth and to suggest the means of conservation suitable to make nature a fit home for humanity. The Marsh Institute continues to apply these ideals through its publications and public research and educational programs sponsored by a loose association of ecologists who foster the independent practice of science.

Members of the Institute hold in common that science is a holistic instrument for living appropriately, admitting different truths, considering common sense as well as poetic perception, accepting the limited validity of results and the ambiguity and incompleteness of human inquiry, and being inseparable from ethical and aesthetic concerns. The Institute offers alternate approaches for biological economies, such as farming and logging, while rejecting dangerous options, such as pesticides and nuclear fission, as unacceptable. The Institute is socially sensitive to the needs of wildlife and people. It cooperates with many political and environmental groups.

The Institute was formed 21 March 1970, on the original Earth Day, at the University of Delaware, for the purpose of promoting the ecological foundations of human communities. Since 1976, it has been a nonprofit Delaware corporation, advised by a board of directors. GPMI offers a series of publications, including an annual proceedings, a series of occasional papers, and an irregular journal, Pan Ecology, with peer-reviewed issues.

The Marsh Institute is an educational, nonprofit, Non-Governmental Organization whose mission is:

Additionally, GPMI acts as an informal network for information and action. GPMI creates links with research, conservation and political organizations. For more information, send email to the Senior Ecologist, at


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