Tom Schaefer

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Nature's People

The Hog Island Story from Mabel Loomis Todd to Audubon

Tom Schaefer fell in love with Emily Dickinson in grad school and before he could understand exactly what was going on, found himself writing his final project on how Emily’s first editor, Mabel Loomis Todd, represented the growing conservation/preservation movement in the United States by buying a mostly wilderness island off the coast of Maine.

Oh, but there’s so much more! Solar eclipses, global travel, extra-marital affairs, hurricanes, and reestablishing nesting Atlantic puffins on a rocky windswept island. So many Hog Island stories culled from one family’s archive and personal interviews with people who were there and watched it happen.

Nature’s People is the story of the Hog Island Audubon Camp, a worldwide landmark center of nature education and birding.


Tom Schaefer

Tom Schaefer first came to Hog Island in 1981 under scholarship from the Dayton Audubon Society. By that time he had nine years of teaching junior high school English under his belt and was working on a graduate degree at Wright State University. It was there that spring where he got an eye-opening dose of Emily Dickinson in an evening workshop taught by one of his staff favorites. Tom looks back at this brief period as an absolute life-changer.

Tom and his wife Cindy Cooke continue to make their home in Dayton, but now are snowbirds on Hilton Head Island in winter. As a born-and-bred Midwesterner who does his best to get to know birds, trees, and wildflowers wherever he goes, he will be reflecting on all that beautiful diversity in his earthspeaks blog.

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Supporting the Audubon Camp in Midcoast Maine

Friends of Hog Island

The mission of the Friends of Hog Island is to preserve the legacy and support the conservation and nature programs and activities of the Audubon Camp at Hog Island, Maine.

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