Robert B. Kauffman, Ph.D.


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Writings and Essays - Selected Professional Writings:

The homestead is a series of essays about backcountry use, the environment, outdoor recreation and outdoor education. It is loosely modeled after Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac.

First, like Leopold's work it is a series of stand alone essays. However, unlike his work, the focus of this work is slightly different. Leopold had more of ecology thrust in his writings. These essays have more of recreation and outdoor education thrust.

Second, I found that many students had a hard time understanding A Sand County Almanac. I believe it is probably a generational thing. What is a tamarack? How many people today hunt or gained their first experience in the backcountry though hunting and fishing? A lot fewer than 50 or 100 years ago. Hopefully, these essays bridge this gap somewhat.

This section contains the unpublished writing of this author. Read them and enjoy them. Remember that all of them are copyrighted and are protected under the copyright laws. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the information.

I am always looking for a good publisher. If you know a good publisher who might be interested in my writings, I would be appreciative. In addition, if you want to provide me feedback on any of the essays, contact me at

Cover of the HomesteadThe Homestead: A work in progress, the Homestead is a series of essays in the tradition of Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. Leopold's essays tended to focus on ecological writings; my writings tend to focus on outdoor recreational pursuits. The essays are presented as stand alone writings. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the information.


Introduction - Subtitled Lancaster County the introduction is summarized by the following verse: Thoreau sought to discover nature at his Walden cabin; Leopold went to his cabin in Wisconsin to gain insight; I went to my cabin in the suburbs to live, and to learn about and to create even wilderness there.


The Astronaut - A very short essay but extremely profound. For a view outside of the box, read this essay.

The Outdoor Museum - Is the outdoor environment so fragile that we cannot leave a trace? This essay raises the question.

The Lehigh Canal - The outdoor recreational activity provides a glimpse for the river runner into the history and heritage of the area, the environment, and the interconnectivity of people within the region.

The River of Life - The Leigh River is the life blood of its region. This essay explores the role of outdoor recreation and outdoor education in educating people about the environment.

The Attack of the Killer Vampires - A fun piece that chronicles a mosquito attack in the Everglades.

Mile Mark 23 - A romantic piece, this piece captures that special moment during a backcountry trip.

The Campsite - A fun piece, the campsite is not about what you think that it is about... enjoy it!


The Thin Blue Line - From outer space, the atmosphere creates a thin blue line of protection. This essay explains that the role of the environmentalist is to serve and protect the environment.

Environmental Fundamentalism - Sometimes a definition can synthesize a concept down to its essentials. Try definition 4b. It says it all.


The Visitor - One of my favorites, this essay looks at backcountry trip from the perspective of the resource rather than that of the participants. Complete halfway through and at end of internship

Wilderness in 2025 - A futuristic piece, it has nearly been published several times. Close but not quite yet. It examines all the premises of Wilderness by juxtaposing current wilderness with the new wilderness created by the Wilderness Act o 2018.


High Mountain Bridge, Shark Valley - Outdoor recreation planners and managers have considerable impact on designing the outdoor experience. This essay juxtaposes two different management examples that create different backcountry experiences while protecting the resource.

Devil's Hopyard - Complete halfway through and at end of internship (Required)

If I am a whitewater paddler, I should build more dams - The dirty little secret is that the facility or resource is the limiting factor in the growth of most outdoor recreation activities.


The Onionskin - Are we playing Russian Roulette where the development of no new technology is the bullet that returns us to a less sophisticated way of life?


The Role of Camping in Outdoor Education
- This is a slightly homogenized version of the Golden Quill Award article published in Camping Magazine.


It Is a Steve Van Matre Day - A long essay that explores Leopold's concept of "recreational engineering". This essay suggests that the outdoor educator needs to focus on creating an outdoor experience for the participants.

The Mullet - This essays examines why we take people into the backcountry and the experience that we attempt to create for them.


The Recreation Imperative - Are outdoor educators a profession and should they be given professional status. This piece explores this question.

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photo of Dr. Kauffman
Dr. Robert B. Kauffman





Storm over Highland Beach in the Everglades
Storm over Highland Beach in the Everglades






Sleeping bags on a chickee







Spiderweb at Graveyard in the Everglades

Photo Credits: Unless noted, photos by Robert B. Kauffman. Picture of Dr. Kauffman by Liz Metcalf. Note: a watercolor filter was used on most scenic photos.
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