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Adelheid Fischer

Adelheid Fischer

Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


  • Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


Adelheid Fischer 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 is a former co-director of InnovationSpace, a sustainable product-development program at Arizona State University. From 2006 to 2016, she led the program’s biomimicry initiative, which introduced students to the use of biology as a means of sustainable innovation in design, business and engineering. As the former assistant director of ASU’s Biomimicry Center, Fischer also initiated several biomimicry-based projects including “Designed to Move: Seeds That Float, Fly or Hitchhike through the Desert Southwest,” an exhibition of macrophotography that explored the beauty and functional diversity of desert seed designs. She also cofounded NatureMaker, an active learning library where hands-on explorations of nature inspire sustainable innovation. The project won ASU’s 2021 President’s Award for Innovation. 

Articles, essays, poems and reviews included in:

Architecture Minnesota
Arizona Highways 
ASU Research
The Christian Science Monitor
Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Prose 
Conservation in Practice
Design Management Review
Landscape Architecture
Landscape Journal 
Minnesota Monthly 
New Art Examiner
Orion: A Magazine of People and Nature Places
Star Tribune
Twin Cities Reader 
Urban Ecologist 
Utne Reader
The World


External Links

Journal Articles


Fischer, A. 2021. The science of seeing: I am because we are. Zygote Quarlerly 29(1):8-19. (link )

Fischer, A. 2021. The science of seeing: Scientists on the front lines. Zygote Quarterly 30(2):78-91. (link )

Fischer, A. 2021. The science of seeing: The mighty mite. Zygote Quarterly 28(2):70-80. (link )


Fischer, A. 2020. The science of seeing: Been there, done that, wanna do it again. Zygote Quarterly 27(1):8-21. (link )


Fischer, A. 2019. Science of seeing: Nature, where art thou?. Zygote Quarterly 25(1):54-73. (link )


Fischer, A. 2018. Science of seeing: Hope and the thing with feathers. Zygote Quarterly 22(1):. (link )

Fischer, A. 2018. Science of seeing; Learning from no shoulders. Zygote Quarterly 23(1):82-99. (link )


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 )



Fischer, A. 2017. Science of Seeing: Essays on Nature from Zygote Quarterly. Zq Books. ISBN: 978-1775015000.


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.