Changes in land use at the Osborn Preserve

Changes in land use at the Osborn Preserve

Project Date






Project Topics

Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (1887- 1969) was known for his 1948 publication, "Our Plundered Planet," a prescient and devastating critique of human stewardship of earth's natural resources that was translated in 13 languages and read by millions worldwide. In the 1950s, Fairfield Osborn's daughter and son-in-law, Joan and William Roth, purchased lands on Sonoma Mountain as a summer retreat for their family. Shortly after Fairfield Osborn's death in 1969, they donated 200 acres to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to honor his life-long love of wild places and legacy in conservation. In 1997, TNC donated the Preserve to Sonoma State University, maintaining a conservation easement over the property for educational, research, and conservation. In 2004, the Roths doubled the size of the Preserve with an additional 190-acre donation managed under a conservation easement with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.

This oral history project is focused on gaining a better understanding of the history of land use and Preserve development. Audio recordings were made of each interview and later transcribed by students.


Project Results
Title Format Download Students
Osborn Oral History Transcripts report PDF iconOsborn Oral History Project* Alexander Porter, Megan Wells, Jocoya Fox-Jones, Rachel Higgins, Daniel Dunn, Chris Wendt, Chris Wendt

* Maggie Best declined to have her interview transcript included.