About Ann Vileisis


In her books, Ann Vileisis explores nature, culture, and imagination through history --offering insight to current issues and hope for the future.

Her first book, Discovering the Unknown Landscape: a History of America’s Wetlands (Island Press, 1997), received prestigious honors from two national history organizations. The American Historical Associationthe nation’s largest and oldest group of professional historiansgranted the book its Herbert Feis Award for the best book written by an independent or public historian. The American Society of Environmental History awarded the book their George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best environmental history book of 1997. Discovering the Unknown Landscape was reviewed widely in magazines, including Smithsonian and Sierra, and in many journals and newspapers. With Discovering the Unknown Landscape, Ann lectured at conferences and campuses nationwide, spoke on a number of radio shows, and appeared on a public television documentary.

While researching her latest book, Kitchen Literacy, Ann was a short-term fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and she was a writer-in-residence at Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California.

With Kitchen Literacy’s publication, Ann did a book tour that took her to many of the finest independent bookstores of the West Coast. She was also guest on several notable radio shows, including West Coast Live, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Thom Hartmann, Dining Around with Gene Burns, Food & Wine Talk, A Chef’s Table, and Conversations with Kathleen Dunn.

Ann is also involved in local issues of environment and agriculture on the south coast of Oregon as president of the
Kalmiopsis Audubon Society.

Ann became interested in history and environmental issues as an undergraduate at Yale University where she earned her B.A. She also has a Master’s Degree in history from Utah State University.

Ann is married to author and photographer
Tim Palmer. Together they lived for more than a decade as nomads, traveling in a Ford van as they did their research and writing. In 2003, they moved to a small town on the Pacific coast.