author albert swain

Albert M. Swain

Albert M. Swain had a background in plant ecology and paleoecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Minnesota-Minneapolis/St. Paul. One of Al’s greatest passions was his service and contributions to Blue Mound State Park. He served as volunteer park naturalist for 13 years starting in 2000, a summer campground host, and was an active member of The Friends of Blue Mound State Park. In addition, he helped develop and grow an interpretive hiking program as well as conducting research projects pertaining to the history of the Blue Mound area, and the authoring of this book. In 2015, the ‘Swain Prairie’ was established at Blue Mound State Park in recognition for his efforts on this prairie restoration. Earlier experience involved research in forest and fire history in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in northern Wisconsin. For 13 years he worked at the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His studies emphasized reconstructing past environments and climate back in time 1,000 to 16,000 years using pollen and charcoal analysis from cores of mud extracted from lakes in states from Washington to Maine. His teaching experience includes four years of high school biology and one semester of plant taxonomy at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The National Park Service honored him with a Special Service award in 1987 in recognition of his research and volunteerism. Until his untimely passing in May 2019, Al and his wife, Astrid, led senior hikes for the Senior Center in Verona, Wisconsin.