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The John Muir Center for Environmental Studies

University of the Pacific

John Muir Center logo

What has been saved; what has been lost: John Muir’s Legacy, 1914-2014
March 21-22, 2014

The University of the Pacific's John Muir Center celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death and the extinctiono of the Passenger Pigeon, and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act by another conference to revisit John Muir’s life and legacy. University of the Pacific hosted the 60th California History Institute on its Stockton campus from Friday, March 21, through Saturday, March 22, 2014. This was the 8th of the series of conferences on John Muir sponsored by the University of the Pacific. Papers were presented by new Muir scholars currently working Muir’s legacy, as well as several familiar names who have become regulars at Muir symposia. Plenary sessions and keynotes were given by three scholars now living in the U. K.: Terry Gifford, Graham White and Andrea Wulf. A special exhibit on the history of the Muir Papers and their present locations was included, as well as coordinated field trips before the symposium See more on our 2014 symposium announcement page.

Program Objectives

As California's most important historical personality, John Muir was a regional naturalist with global impact. His papers at the Holt-Atherton Library are among the University's most important resources for scholarly research. Recognizing the need both to encourage greater utilization of the Muir Papers by the scholarly community and to promote the study of California and its impact upon the global community, the John Muir Center for Environmental Studies was established in 1989 (originally as the John Muir Center for Regional Studies) with the following objectives:

  • to foster a closer academic relationship between UOP and the larger community of scholars, students, and citizens interested in regional and environmental studies;
  • to provide greater opportunities for research and publication by UOP faculty and students;
  • to offer opportunities for out-of-classroom learning experiences;
  • to promote multi-disciplinary curriculum development.

Program Activities

These objectives are implemented through a variety of activities sponsored and promoted by the John Muir Center, including:

  • A special publications program that includes the John Muir Newsletter , a quarterly publication with articles, book reviews and news of interest to Muir scholars;
  • Periodic seminars and workshops to offer faculty, students and other scholars a forum for presenting Environmental research results, to discuss ways and methods of utilizing Environmental resources in ongoing classes, and to facilitate multi-disciplinary planning and programs;
  • Grant projects designed to raise special funds for faculty and student research, for a computerized database and bibliography for the John Muir Papers, for collection development, and for Environmental history projects such as the Bank of Stockton project to catalog and make computer-accessible a major collection of historical Environmental photographs;
  • Course offerings with a regional or environmental emphasis. Currently such courses are offered independently on a semester basis by a number of departments, including Biology, English, Geology/Geography, History, Political Science, Philosophy, Chemistry, Engineering, and Economics.
  • Visit John Muir and the Sierra Club - off-site link to a website/blog created by students at the University of the Pacific, hoping to "educate young minds on who John Muir was, his importance, his legacy, and his impact. Enjoy exploring through old photographs, ways to volunteer, viewing nature landscapes, listening to beautiful narrations from John Muir's journals, and even videos of current Sierra Club members themselves."
  • The John Muir Center:
    1. facilitates the utilization, coordination, and marketing of existing courses having an environmental scope or emphasis;
    2. offers support services for faculty interested in adding an environmental component to ongoing courses;
    3. encourages the utilization of intercession, summer school, and vacation times for specialized offerings in an environmental context;
    4. assists faculty interested in team-teaching or pooling courses with an environmental emphasis in order to promote multi-disciplinary curricular development.
  • A regular symposium with a thematic emphasis on some aspect of regional/environmental studies. The California History Institute, started at the University of the Pacific in 1954 by "Mr. California", Dr. Rockwell Hunt, and subsequently sponsored by the John Muir Center and its predecessors, has been enlarged and incorporated into this annual symposium;



Director: William Swagerty, Ph.D., University of the Pacific

For Further Information

For further information contact the staff at

The John Muir Center for Environmental Studies (official website)
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, California 95211
Phone: (209) 946-2527
Fax: (209) 946-2578

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