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Adelheid Fischer

Adelheid Fischer

Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, The Design School
Arizona State University
PO Box 871605
Tempe, AZ 85287-1605


  • Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Assistant Director, The Biomimicry Center, Arizona State University


Adelheid Fischer is co-director of InnovationSpace, a sustainable product-development program at Arizona State University. She leads the program’s biomimicry initiative, which introduces students to the use of biology as a means of sustainable innovation in design, business and engineering. She also serves as assistant director of ASU’s Biomimicry Center.

Fischer also is a writer who focuses on natural history, ecology, and environmental history. She has written for many publications, including Utne Reader, Orion, Conservation, Places, and Arizona Highways. She is the co-author of Valley of Grass: Tallgrass Prairie and Parkland of the Red River Region, winner of a Minnesota Book Award for Nature Writing. With Minnesota ecologist Chel Anderson, she has coauthored North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast. In 2014 she received the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award. She currently is working on a new book that explores the ecology of grief and loss in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona.

Fischer makes her home at the foot of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, where she shares her yard, and sometimes her house, with nighthawks, southern house spiders, scorpions, coyotes, cactus wrens and the occasional javelina.


  • MA, English, Marquette University, 1980
  • BA, English, Catholic University, 1977


Journal Articles


Fischer, A. 2013. Walking the darkness home. Places Journal September. (link )

Fischer, A. 2013. What falls to hand. Places Journal January. (link )


Fischer, A. 2012. Shaking hands with a sloth. Places Journal April. (link )


Fischer, A. 2011. A home before the end of the world. Places Journal June. (link )

Fischer, A. 2011. Starry night. Places Journal June. (link )


Shin, D., P. Boradkar and A. Fischer. 2010. A green dream team. Design Management Review 19(4):49-55. DOI: 10.1111/j.1948-7169.2008.tb00141.x. (link )


Fischer, A. 2005. Moss conservation behind bars: Prison inmates help researchers cultivate threatened mosses. Conservation in Practice 6(3):1390131. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4629.2005.tb00180.x. (link )



Anderson, C. and A. Fischer. 2015. North Shore: The Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN: 978-0816632329.


Chapman, K. A., M. Ziegenhagen and A. Fischer. 1998. Valley of Grass: Tallgrass Prairie and Parkland of the Red River Region. North Star Press. St. Cloud, Minnesota. ISBN: 978-0878391271.