Skip to main content

Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies Records

 Collection
Identifier: 2001-01
The Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies Records are contained within approximately 65 cubic feet and span the years 1849 to 2004 with the bulk ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s. The earliest materials in this collection that date from the latter half of the 19th century were primarily used by Foresta staff for background and research, especially in regards to areas that were visited as part of the camp programs. Some of the other items from the first decades of the 20th century represent coursework from Richard Gordon Miller’s (RGM) years in college and graduate school.

Recognizing the value of Foresta’s records in a variety of different areas, representatives from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Special Collections and University Archives began conversations about acquiring materials with then president, Eric McClary (Richard and Maya Miller’s son) as early as 1994. This collection was received as two separate accessions with the first arriving in 2001 right after the board made the initial decision to close down Foresta. The second accession came three years later in 2004, when remaining publications, papers, and audio/visual materials were purged from the facilities at Washoe Pines.

Materials consist of records from RGM’s various projects and activities over the years, some of the projects and achievements supported by Maya Miller and the Nevada League of Women Voters, and the numerous initiatives maintained by the Foresta Institute, its employees and alumni. These include correspondence, memoranda, administrative files, reports, student work, articles, journals, newsletters, information packets, research, book chapters and illustrations, committee work, and grant proposals.

This collection covers a wide swath of domestic and international conservation and ecology issues that highlight endangered species, land, water, and environmental education. Foresta Institute was launched at a time when people were becoming more aware of the importance of the environment and their own connection to it. As a result, more people began taking action to improve the quality of air, water, and land throughout the United States and abroad. In 1970, the first Earth Day was established, and Foresta thrived in a leadership role amid heightened concern for the environment and the planet.

The materials in this collection offer considerable insight into not only the creation of Foresta Institute by the Millers and their associates, but also the far-reaching effects of Foresta’s influence throughout the American West and the globe, on a variety of environmental related issues. Some of the more pronounced subjects include the ecology-based camp programs held at Washoe Pines in the summers, Foresta’s work raising awareness for endangered species, the efforts of Maya Miller to limit development at Lake Tahoe and establish a state park, and the environmental programs undertaken by Foresta’s dedicated educational staff.

Throughout its 40-year history, many of Foresta’s activities were documented through photographs and slides. Richard Miller also tended to photograph both his projects and his travels. These images have been separated from the manuscript collection and transferred to the Special Collections Photo Archive as collection number UNRS-P2017-06.

The Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies Records are divided into six groups: Group 1) Richard Gordon Miller; Group 2) Administrative; Group 3) Camps and Camp Programs; Group 4) Education and Educational Programs; Group 5) Wildlife; and Group 6) Environmental Issues, Interests, and Projects. Each group is further divided into individual series.

Group 1: Richard Gordon Miller, consists of a variety of materials accumulated by RGM throughout his personal and professional life, though the bulk pertains primarily to his professional work, particularly his interest in Antarctic fish and his affiliations with conservation and environmental organizations. This group does contain a small amount of material from RGM’s personal life including fragments from his time in the U.S. Navy during World War II and his educational pursuits at Principia College, Cornell, Stanford University, and his eventual teaching assignments at Long Beach State University in California. These personal materials that highlight different points in RGM’s life are intermingled with other materials that pertain to his professional career as a scientist, author and educator. It would be nearly impossible to separate the two entirely because RGM’s identity was tied closely to his professional persona as a scientist and environmentalist.

Much of the general correspondence that appears in this group relates to a range of projects or interests tied to Richard Miller. This includes correspondence with other professionals in the sciences and environmental fields, and educators interested in the promotion and facilitation of environmental education curricula. He seems to have been absorbed in all subjects related to the world’s waterways and their fish fauna. Other types of materials include research, speeches, short stories, committee materials, and project descriptions. Although Richard Miller is credited with founding Foresta Institute, most of the administrative materials related to this endeavor, including articles of incorporation, bylaws, mission statement, and naming ideas, are located in Group 2, Series 1: General Foresta Administration. RGM served on the board of several other educational organizations but in a smaller capacity than he did with the Nevada State Board of Education, and those Board of Education materials can be found in Group 4, Series 1: Curriculum, Educational Resources, and Similar Projects.

Group 1 is divided into four series: Series 1) General Correspondence; Series 2) Antarctic Expedition and Research; Series 3) The Atlas of Antarctic Fish; and Series 4) Nevada State Board of Education.

Group 2: Administrative, is the largest group in the collection. It is comprised of all things that relate to the administrative aspects of establishing, running, and maintaining a private, non-profit, scientific, educational and charitable institution. It also highlights much of the promotional materials produced and distributed by Foresta throughout its existence. This includes any type of pamphlets, brochures or literature. Several other notable parts of this group include information pertaining to the actual logistics of maintaining the grounds around the Orchard House and Washoe Pines properties, specifics on construction and remodeling, reading files on notable individuals and employees, and materials regarding planning for the Foresta library and museum.

Other portions of this group include grant and funding proposals created by or facilitated through Foresta. This includes requests and proposals sent to foundations, philanthropic organizations, and governmental agencies, but excludes some specifics proposals, especially those for the Summer Science Training Program through the National Science Foundation and proposals sent out specifically for the Tinker Truck program. That information can be found in its respective group and series. It is also worth noting that the grant information and project details for Dr. Camp’s Ichthyosaurs study are located in this group, as are details regarding Margaret (Peg) Wheat’s Paiute studies projects. The final series in this group served as a catch-all for materials that did not necessarily fit elsewhere. This includes research and background on a wide array of topics ranging from historical topics in western history to brochures and pamphlets on organizations and locations, and environmental issues including pollution and waste mitigation. Group 2 is separated into three series: Series 1) General Foresta Administration; Series 2) Proposals, Projects, and Grants; and Series 3) Research and Background.

Group 3: Camps and Camp Programs, includes all information and materials related to Foresta’s several summer camp programs held every summer. This includes the Summer Science Training Program (SSTP), which ran for nine years beginning in 1963, the summer ecology camp for younger students that began in 1960 and ran for more than 20 years, and the special programs including the treks and expeditions. The camp programs reflected in this group highlight Foresta’s history as a pioneer in environmental education. It ran some of the first camps in the country devoted specifically to the study and promotion of natural science. Washoe Pines also held some of the earliest racially integrated camp programs in the country. These issues are emphasized in some of the discussions regarding the Urban Nature Institute for Youth (Camp UNIFY) in California and at Washoe Pines. This group contains correspondence from students, staff, and instructors, chore listings and schedules, student reports and data, student and counselor feedback, grants proposals to the NSF, and anything else that pertains specifically to any one of the camp programs. One exception is some of the research materials on hiking routes and early exploration of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are located in Group 2, Series 3: Research and Background.

Although there are specific series for administrative materials and grant proposals in Group 2, and an entire group dedicated to education in Group 4, all information relevant to the camps and camp programs are located in the respective series in this group. These camps were the flagship programs of Foresta at Washoe Pines and as such, this warranted keeping all of the materials together regardless of type. During the 1970 IUCN-UNESCO conference and working meeting held at Washoe Pines, delegates from the various countries observed and supervised some of the field work being done by students in the SSTP. None of those materials appears in this group; rather, they are located in Group 4, Series 3: IUCN-UNESCO International Environmental Education. Group 3 has been separated into three series: Series 1) National Science Foundation Summer Science Training Program; Series 2) Washoe Pines Camp Program; and Series 3) Special Programs.

Group 4: Education and Educational Programs, includes all other information and material related to Foresta’s strong commitment to teaching and promoting environmental education in the United States and on a global scale. Foresta helped found the Alliance for Environmental Education and the North American Association for Environmental Education. Both of these organizations were integral in passing the Environmental Education Act, which helped fund programs nationwide through the Department of Education. Additionally, college students from several states came to Foresta to learn about environmental education methods. They were able to take those lessons home with them and implement what they had learned in their own curriculum. All of these instances are reflected in some capacity in this group.

Much of what is contained in this group is materials that relate to curriculum design and activities derived from longtime Foresta education director, Marla Painter. This includes notes from workshops, memoranda from other organizations and institutions, conference materials, and information packets. Also of importance are examples of some of the environmental education initiatives being undertaken in both Nevada and California, including all the non-camp educational programs that were held at Washoe Pines or through Foresta for adults and children. Foresta’s dedication to education was extensive, in addition to experimenting with new methods and curriculum in Foresta’s various programs, including the study of the natural world and vocational training, Foresta also branched out to promote learning in some of Nevada’s more rural and marginalized communities. Two specific examples include the Tinker Truck, funded by the Nevada State Council on Arts, and the Folklife project sponsored in part by the Smithsonian Institute. These projects sought to bring learning to Nevada’s “outback” by reaching out to its populations. The grant proposals and applicable administrative materials for each of these programs are located within this group in their respective series.

Throughout much of the 1970s, it was a common occurrence for schoolchildren from Washoe, Carson, and Douglas counties to visit Washoe Pines. These visits involved brief instruction, a walk around the nature trail, and activities that highlighted the local flora and fauna. It was the goal of the teachers and staff at Foresta to impress upon students the basics of ecology, conservation, environmental principles. Awareness of other issues including air pollution, toxic waste and recycling was becoming more important during this period, so often times these subjects were introduced to students as well. This group includes information about school visits and the types of activities offered.

Another important aspect of this group is the series dedicated to the IUCN-UNESCO working meeting and conference held at Washoe Pines in 1970. Early on, Foresta became a member of the IUCN Permanent Commission on Education, which allowed Foresta’s educators to be involved in international issues regarding environmental education. This series includes materials from the conference, which highlights the hurdles that other countries outside North America were facing in trying to raise awareness about environmental issues through education. In addition to the planning materials, there are also speeches and session materials from the delegates. This is important in demonstrating the international portion of Foresta’s mission of endorsing environmental education on a grand scale. This meeting had broader implications too, it laid the groundwork for the 1972 United Nations (U.N.) Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm, which sought to build consensus on how national movements could work to clean up the environment.

Group 4 is divided into six series: Series 1) Curriculum, Educational Resources, and Similar Programs; Series 2) Education at Foresta; Series 3) IUCN-UNESCO and International Environmental Activity; Series 4) Education in Nevada and California; Series 5) Tinker Truck; and Series 6) Folklife Project in Rural Nevada.

Group 5: Wildlife consists of information pertaining to Foresta’s work studying and bringing awareness to rare and endangered species in the American West and abroad. Foresta was an early advocate for rare and endangered species. It had been a vocal member of the IUCN Survival Service Commission, which launched field investigations, collected data, and reached out to national governments on behalf of threshold species. Some of Foresta’s major concerns were for the endangered Peruvian cameloid, the vicuña, protection of whales, the Hawaiian Nene goose, the Arabian Oryx, and the Pyrenees dove. Regionally in northern Nevada, the greatest concerns were for the Desert Pupfish, Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope, San Joaquin Kit Fox, and the Desert Tortoise. The Survival Service Commission promoted international recognition of the Red Data Book listing of endangered species, which Foresta then attempted to create for domestic species in and around Nevada. This made sense since Nevada had the greatest number of endangered fish in America.

To this capacity, both Richard Miller and Tina Nappe initiated several key projects in the region throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Foresta’s efforts led to Nevada’s passage of the first state endangered species law in the United States in 1969. Both local and international rare and endangered species issues are evident in this group including RGM’s early studies of the Pupfish and its habitat in Devil’s Hole near Death Valley, California, and William (Bill) Franklin and Jim Yoakum’s work with the vicuña in Peru and Bolivia. Included in this group is correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, notes, conference materials, and drafts of literature regarding endangered birds and fish in Nevada.

Group 5 has been separated into four series: Series 1) Pupfish; Series 2) Other Rare and Endangered Species in Nevada and the West; Series 3) The Vicuña of South America; and Series 4) International Wildlife Concerns.

Group 6: Environmental Issues, Interests, and Projects is the final group in this collection. This group is comprised of information and materials that deal with Foresta’s various environmental projects and interests including issues of conservation and quality of water, land, and air in the United States and Latin America. Two of the most significant portions of this group are the series that reveal Foresta’s efforts (namely Maya Miller’s) to safeguard against runaway development in the Tahoe Basin and establish a state park at Sand Harbor. The other is Foresta’s Latin America Natural Areas Program (LANAP), which began in 1960 with a study of the natural resources of Tierra del Fuego and other parts of South America.

Other subject matter in this group relates to land and water classifications in the United States, information and specifics about state and national parks, Foresta’s affiliation with the Nature Conservancy, and pertinent materials regarding Foresta’s roles on the international scene in environmental matters as an NGO. Outside of the very specific series in this group including Lake Tahoe and LANAP, the other series include materials that did not necessarily fit elsewhere in this collection. Much of what appears highlights the desire of Foresta to be involved with and attempt to mitigate the destruction of natural areas. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, reports, studies, minutes from committees and working meetings, conference materials, surveys, and publications. This group is split into five series: Series 1) Lake Tahoe Development and Conservation; Series 2) Latin America Natural Areas Program (LANAP); Series 3) Other Land, Water, and Air Issues in the United States; Series 4) The Nature Conservancy; and Series 5) International Conservation and Environmental Concerns.

Processed by: Edan Strekal and Jacquelyn Sundstrand Date: June 2017

Dates

  • 1849-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 1980

Creator

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

65.25 Cubic Feet (70 Boxes)

Overview

Materials in this collection cover the domestic and international initiatives and projects of the Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies from its inception in 1960 until it's eventual closure in the early 2000s. In addition to materials relating to the institute, there is also information on its founders, particularly Richard Gordon Miller and his research on the fishes of the Antarctic and his other interests. Materials include correspondence, reports, news clips, agendas, administrative files, speeches, publication drafts, travel itineraries, conference information, and research on environmental issues.

Biographical note

Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies was conceived and established in the mid-twentieth century at a time when the word “ecology” was largely unknown to most people. Founded in 1960 in Washoe Valley, Nevada, the name “Foresta” was derived from the old French word that refers to the outer wild areas of woods and wildlife protected for the sovereign. Though Foresta was the brainchild of Dr. Richard Gordon Miller (RGM) and Maya Miller, the original board also consisted of John Darling, Homer Angelo and Ann Angelo. Foresta was incorporated as a private, non-profit, scientific, educational and charitable institution under the laws of the state of Nevada on July 1, 1960. RGM and his associates believed there was a need for a non-governmental, non-profit research organization in the community of western Nevada/eastern California, which could encourage, sponsor, and initiate scientific research, resource surveys and other natural history studies.

In 1961, the Millers purchased Washoe Pines Ranch, a notable former divorce ranch originally owned in the 1920s by writer and illustrator Will James. The couple spent considerable time and resources renovating the original property and eventually constructed an “Environmental Studies Center,” complete with a modern laboratory and library, in the latter half of the 1960s. Washoe Pines Ranch and the adjacent Orchard House (owned by the Millers since the late-1940s) served as the base of operations for Foresta for more than 30 years. Northern Nevada’s high deserts, sand dunes, lakes, rivers, and alpine forests offered a wide variety of life zones and ecosystems for the purpose of study. From the onset, Foresta was committed to studies in the fields of biology, hydrobiology, taxonomy, distribution and behavioral studies of fishes, forest, range ecology, and a strong dedication to the promotion and teaching of conservation education. Despite being located in Washoe Valley, Foresta’s interests and initiatives were supranational. This involved RGM’s research on Antarctic fauna, and efforts to promote conservation of natural areas in Latin America, especially Argentina and Chile.

Foresta was a pioneer in environmental education. It was one of the first organizations to run a summer camp devoted specifically to natural science. Additionally, staff and instructors - led by Jim Conkey, Nancy Raven and Marla Painter, over the years - developed innovative curricula that would be used on the local and international levels. An early advocate of racial integration, Foresta’s mission centered on teaching respect for all people and the environment around them. In the summer of 1960, Foresta introduced Washoe Pines Camp, focused solely on environmental education. For five weeks in the summer, 30 children from all over the country, ranging in ages from 9 to 15, gathered at the foot of the eastern slope of the Sierra to study ecology, hike, swim, ride horses, sing songs, and live outdoors. In addition to environmental education and traditional summer camp activities, Foresta encouraged and funded educational ethnographic lessons too. Every year, anthropologist Margaret (Peg) Wheat would visit Washoe Pines with renowned Paiute basket maker and storyteller Wuzzie George, who came from Winnemucca. Together they would teach campers about indigenous culture and lifeways and provide them a greater understanding of the role and cultures of native peoples in the Great Basin.

Each week, campers learned about a different ecological zone through observation, lectures, and frequent field trips. Many of the students were from urban areas and Washoe Pines offered them their first experience to integrate natural history with cooperative living in the outdoors. As aforementioned, Washoe Pines was one of the first racially integrated camps in the country. Maya Miller put special effort into raising “Campership,” scholarships throughout the year, benefitting about one fourth of the campers. Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students came from across the country—this guaranteed a diverse range of experiences and camaraderie amongst campers. For some campers, the Washoe Pines experience was a defining moment in their educational career, and many later pursued careers as educators and scientists.

In addition to the regular summer camp held at Washoe Pines for younger students, Foresta, for a period of nine years beginning in 1963, was the site of the annual Summer Science Training Program (SSTP). This intensive five-week program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), aimed to provide high-ability high school students with college level science training and a foundation in environmental ethics.

The SSTP, which preceded the camp for younger students, was staffed primarily by Ph.D. level teachers and scientists with backgrounds in ecology, biology, botany, and other similar fields. Instruction also relied heavily on guest lectures by international scholars from all around the globe including Chile, Guatemala, the Soviet Union, Argentina, and parts of the United States. Students were expected to examine four environments: high desert, pine-fir canyon, mountain meadow, and aquatic. The landscapes around the ranch provided prime study areas for each environment. In the fifth week, students worked on their own individual research projects where they wrote detailed reports on microclimate, soils, vegetation, or animal life. The studies produced by the SSTP were important for better understanding local ecology. For example, reports from 1969 on Tahoe provided previously unavailable data to the U.S. Forest Service for the Tahoe Basin at a point of increased development in the region, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe used student reports in 1971, and dune studies at Washoe Lake were vital in the creation of a state park there.

Foresta also engaged in environmental education “on the road,” a precursor to “ecotours.” There were several trips led by Washoe Pines staff including the Peru Expedition, the Appalachian Trek, the Northwest Expedition, the Western Trek, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Each of these took 11 or fewer students on long-term camping trips through unique or historically significant parts of the country.

Foresta’s contributions to environmental education were extensive and not just confined to summer camp programs. In 1970, the Education Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in cooperation with Foresta, co-sponsored a working session for the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Education Year, devoted to delegates representing national ministries of education.

The program held at Washoe Pines, and led by RGM and Dr. Jan Cerovsky of the IUCN, was a four-week conference on ecology and environmental education for representatives from 14 countries and four continents. Delegates delivered and listened to talks and lectures, participated in seminars, held working group sessions, and developed and supervised fieldwork of that year’s SSTP at Washoe Pines. Representatives came from Liberia, Venezuela, India, Greece, Zambia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, East and West Pakistan, Lesotho, the Netherlands, Japan, and Mexico. By the end of the conference, each delegate had developed an environmental education framework for his/her respective country and obtained an expanded network of global educators.

From its years of educating a broad spectrum of children about ecology, Foresta was active in developing multicultural environmental curricula. In addition to the aforementioned activities, Foresta helped found the North American Association for Environmental Education and the Alliance for Environmental Education. These groups were instrumental in the passage of the Environmental Education Act in 1970, which funded ecological studies in schools nationwide through the Department of Education. Other curricula tested and developed by Foresta included Green Box, Project Learning Tree, and the Community Environmental Laboratory. Two other notable projects attributed to Foresta are the Nevada Folklife project and the Tinker Truck.

The Folklife project, with support from the Smithsonian Institute, allowed representatives of Foresta, led by Marla Painter, to research Hispanic, Portuguese, Slavic, and Basque folklore in rural towns across the state. Foresta teacher Weedith Evans and Carol Nimmick outfitted a 1949 Dodge pickup with art supplies, dubbed it the Tinker Truck, and toured schools in remote parts of the state. The Tinker Truck brought rural students the opportunity to learn about art and nature, and explore their own cultures.

Although issues surrounding environmental education, both domestic and international, required substantial attention from those working with and for Foresta, it was just one facet of a larger multifaceted mission. Other important areas included Foresta’s funding and involvement with Dr. Charles L. Camp’s Triassic Ichthyosaur project. The ichthyosaur, discovered in Central Nevada, resided in the Miller’s garage for some years, where Dr. Camp assembled and examined the bones for later display. With backing from Foresta, Dr. Camp’s work helped to describe and preserve the giant fossil remains. His scientific reports went on to form the basis for the Ichthyosaur Paleontological State Monument project, near Berlin, Nevada. Another notable feature of Foresta was the extensive specimen collection and library holdings that specialized in the science and pedagogy of ecology.

Since the late 1950s, RGM was deeply involved in the study and preservation of the resources of Antarctica, particularly its fish. He traveled twice to Antarctica for several months at a time to collect fish specimens - the first time, on an Argentine icebreaker as part of the International Geophysical Year. His extensive fish collection found a permanent home at Foresta. RGM’s interest and concern for the Antarctic led him to meet Dr. Maria Buchinger. Like RGM, Dr. Buchinger, who would eventually become the director of Foresta’s Latin America Natural Areas Programs (LANAP), was concerned with the protection and conservation of Antarctica. Together, their suggestions and recommendations created the basis for the Antarctic Treaty of 1959.

RGM worked in cooperation with others to add the first conservation measures to the 1959 treaty, which was signed by twelve nations in 1961. These measures outlined the regulation of human activities on the continent so that the fauna would not be unduly disturbed. They also served as the basis for updated treaties on the Antarctic, and in 1991, a convention for protecting the environment was added and the treaty extended for an additional 50 years. RGM’s interest in the world’s oceans and their fauna also prompted him to attend the World Oceanographic Congress, the United Nation’s (U.N.) Law of the Sea Treaties conferences, and other world conferences where he played a role in establishing and maintaining the Antarctic as a neutral scientific territory.

RGM’s interest in the Antarctic also served as the catalyst for his life’s work, A History and Atlas of the Fishes of the Antarctic. This book, based on years of research and study was the first of its kind upon publication in 1993. A highlight of the book is the 180 detailed and Ichthyologically correct plates illustrated by Josette Gourley. RGM’s collection of Antarctic fish, originally housed at Foresta, can now be found at the Smithsonian U.S. National Museum, the California Academy of Science, and the Los Angeles County Museum.

Throughout all its activity, Foresta sought to establish public policy that respected the environment. For more than 30 years, Foresta worked in the American West and abroad with the intentions of limiting the impact of humans on their environment and preserving habitat and wild places. Working with other organizations, most notably the Nature Conservancy and IUCN, Foresta was able to participate in efforts that effected change for a healthier planet.

In the American West and internationally, Foresta acted as an early advocate on behalf of rare and endangered species. Continuing from experience gained as part of the IUCN Survival Service Commission, RGM and Tina Nappe transferred their international experience and focused it on Nevada. Foresta was a founding member of the Desert Fishes Council, an organization comprised of scientists and agency representatives involved in the research, preservation and management of the relict and endemic species found in the arid West’s limited bodies of water. As early as 1947, RGM secured protection of the pupfish in Devil’s Hole near Death Valley by obtaining a private water claim, which he later transferred to the federal government. Additionally, Foresta founded and coordinated an Endangered Species Committee of volunteers that produced fact sheets, newsletters, exhibits, and postcards highlighting regional endangered species. Because of these efforts, Nevada passed the first state endangered species law in the United States in 1969.

Beginning in 1962, Foresta had a continuous presence in North and South America. It was a long-time participating member in the IUCN with special involvement in the Permanent Commission on Education and the Survival Service Commission, which worked to protect endangered species. For much of its existence, Foresta also held a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with the U.N. and participated in a variety of international conferences including the Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, the Law of the Sea conferences, and the World Food Conference. Foresta served as a consultant in the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council and aided in setting up and staffing an office in Nairobi, Kenya.

By the early 1990s, Foresta’s domestic activities and programs had mostly ceased, but it remained active on the international scene. The Board, including Eric McClary (the Millers’ son), Marty Makower, Hal Kleeforth, and Helen Toland, oversaw the transfer of materials from the Foresta library and lab to other institutions, including the Desert Research Institute (DRI), and the Nevada State Library. RGM continued to travel to conferences and meetings as a representative of Foresta.

In early 2000, Foresta officially stopped operating, and cleared out materials from its facility and library at Washoe Pines. By that time, a number of the projects originally initiated by Foresta were largely succeeded by governmental agencies and national organizations. Many of the alumni and former staff had started other projects and organizations. RGM and the Foresta Board decided that it was time to close down Foresta.

In 2006, Maya passed away at Orchard House, her home in Washoe Valley, at the age of 90, and four years later in 2010, Richard passed away in Arizona at the age of 97. The Miller’s leadership inspired many and varied people to take up the mantle of environmental education, and participate in this new and exciting movement. All together, they took much pride in Foresta’s accomplishments and its purpose of bringing the issues of the global environment to the forefront of public consciousness.

The legacy of Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies continues in the lives of the people that it encouraged and inspired and in the policies and programs that it helped to create.

Arrangement

Group 1: Richard Gordon Miller

  1. Series 1: General Correspondence, Speeches, Publications, and Travel
  2. Series 2: Antarctic Expeditions and Related Materials
  3. Series 3: The Atlas of Antarctic Fishes
  4. Series 4: Nevada State Board of Education

Group 2: Administrative

  1. Series 1: General Foresta Administration
  2. Series 2: Proposals, Projects, and Grants
  3. Series 3: Research and Background

Group 3: Camps and Camp Programs

  1. Series 1: National Science Foundation Summer Science Training Program
  2. Series 2: Washoe Pines Camp Programs
  3. Series 3: Special Programs

Group 4: Education and Educational Programs

  1. Series 1: Curriculum, Educational Resources, and Similar Programs
  2. Series 2: Education at Foresta
  3. Series 3: IUCN-UNESCO International Environmental Education
  4. Series 4: Education in Nevada and California
  5. Series 5: Tinker Truck
  6. Series 6: Folklife Project in Rural Nevada

Group 5: Wildlife

  1. Series 1: Pupfish
  2. Series 2: Other Rare and Endangered Species in Nevada and the West
  3. Series 3: The Vicuña of South America
  4. Series 4: International Wildlife Concerns

Group 6: Environemtnal Issues, Interests, and Projects

  1. Series 1: Lake Tahoe Development and Conservation
  2. Series 2: Latin America Natural Areas Program (LANAP)
  3. Series 3: Other Land, Water, and Air Issues in Nevada and the United States
  4. Series 4: The Nature Conservancy
  5. Series 5: International Conservation and Environmental Concerns

Immediate Source of Acquisiton

Donated by the Foresta Institute in 2001 and 2004.

Related Archival Materials

MSS archival materials held by UNR Special Collections Department:

95-107, Maya Miller Papers, https://innopac.library.unr.edu/record=b2476932~S2

83-24 Margaret M. Wheat Papers, https://innopac.library.unr.edu/record=b1308739~S2.

For more information on the Antarctic Journal of the United States, which was removed from this collection please refer here: https://innopac.library.unr.edu/record=b1823918~S2

More information on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice please refer here: https://innopac.library.unr.edu/record=b2452637~S2

Separated Materials

All photographs have been transferred to Special Collections photo archive as collection number UNRS-P2017-06.
Title
A Guide to the Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies Records
Status
for_mcd_review
Author
Edan Strekal
Date
July 2017
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)