Dr. Zimmerer is a professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.
HUMBOLDT'S NODES AND MODES OF INTERDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE IN THE ANDEAN WORLD*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2006 American Geographical Society
Volume 96, Issue 3, pages 335–360, July 2006
How to Cite
Zimmerer, K. S. (2006), HUMBOLDT'S NODES AND MODES OF INTERDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE IN THE ANDEAN WORLD. Geographical Review, 96: 335–360. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2006.tb00255.x
This article owes a great deal to initial conversations and comments from many colleagues at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. I am especially indebted to Jim Scott, Steven Stoll, Helen Sui, and Fred Musto, the Yale University map curator and Humboldt follower. I also appreciate the feedback of fellow presenters and audience members at the 2006 Workshop on Political Ecology and Science Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the 2006 Environmental History meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. These included Gregg Mitman, Jason Lindquist, Aaron Sachs, and Laura Walls, as well as Donald Worster and Nancy Peluso. Finally, thanks also to Eric Carter, to the anonymous reviewers of the manuscript, to Kent Mathewson and Andrew Sluyter, to Richard Worthington of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Cartography Laboratory, to Viola Haarmann and Douglas Johnson, and to Douglas Holland and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- economic botany;
- Alexander von Humboldt;
ABSTRACT. Alexander von Humboldt engaged in a staggering array of diverse experiences in the Andes and adjoining lowlands of northwestern South America between 1801 and 1803. Yet examination of Humboldt's diaries, letters, and published works shows how his principal activities in the Andes centered on three interests: mining and geological landscapes; communications and cartography; and use and distribution of the quinine-yielding cinchona trees. Each node represented a pragmatic concern dealing with environmental resources in the context of the Andes. To pursue these interests in his Andean field studies, Humboldt relied on varied cultural interactions and vast social networks for knowledge exchange, in addition to extensive textual comparisons. These modes of inquiry dovetailed with his pragmatic interests and his open-ended intellectual curiosity. Fertile combinations in his Andean studies provided the foundation and main testing ground for Humboldt's fused nature-culture approach as well as his contributions to early geography and interdisciplinary environmental science.