Peter Sauer, 1937-2009

Peter was an editorial board member of Orion from 1990-2006. He contributed many articles and reviews, as well as two columns: Placemarks and RealEcology. Peter was a remarkably imaginative thinker on matters of culture and nature, and challenged readers and colleagues to rethink and expand the goals of the environmental movement. He maintained that all of his careers—oyster biologist in Florida, army cook at Fort Dix, school teacher in Vermont, organizer of community controlled day care centers in New York City, and director of a public garden in the Bronx—were one seamless exploration of relations between culture and nature. We learned greatly from him and will miss him a lot.


  1. I remember Peter with great fondness. He and Ruth hosted me in their NYC apartment when I was on recruiting trips for the Farm & Wilderness Camps of Plymouth, VT. Peter and Ruth sent their children to the camps (Ruth had once been a counselor there) and they were enthusiastic supporters of the experiential education that was the foundation for the camps’ programs. My stays always included long conversations into the night that touched on many different topics. I always learned so much from Peter and Ruth. As always, Len

  2. I was an English student of Peter’s at The Woodstock Country School in South Woodstock Vermont in the early 60’s. Like a lot of adolescents, I suffered from extreme low self-esteem, but I loved language and I loved to read. Peter Sauer gave me the encouragement to believe in myself as a student and a writer. His wit and enthusiasm and patience sustained me. I remember him with affection and gratitude.

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