Michael Paul Nelson, Ph.D is an environmental scholar, writer, teacher, speaker, consultant, professor of environmental ethics and philosophy. He currently holds the Ruth H. Spaniol Endowed Chair of Renewable Resources, and serves as the Lead-Principal Investigator for the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Program, at Oregon State University. From 2007-2012 he held a triple-joint appointment in the Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. From 2005-2007 he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Idaho. From 1993-2004 he held a joint appointment in philosophy and natural resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
He is the philosopher in residence of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project in Lake Superior, the longest continuous study of a predator-prey system in the world. Michael is the co-founder and co-director (with John A. Vucetich) of the Conservation Ethics Group, an award-winning environmental ethics consultancy group fusing ethics with social and ecological science.
Michael’s research and teaching focus is environmental ethics and philosophy: from the concept of wilderness to topics in the philosophy of ecology, from hunting ethics to theories of environmental education, from topics in wildlife ecology and conservation biology to questions about science and advocacy and the philosophical work of Aldo Leopold. He is the author of many professional and popular articles, and the author or editor of four books in and around the area of environmental ethics including: The Great New Wilderness Debate (1998), The Wilderness Debate Rages On: Continuing the Great New Wilderness Debate (2008), and American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study (2004), all with J. Baird Callicott, and the award-winning book Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril (2010) with Kathleen Dean Moore.Michael is called upon regularly by various government agencies and conservation organizations to assist with understanding the ethical implications of natural resource management decisions. Michael holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Lancaster University, England. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon.