Laura Dassow Walls is William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She is a graduate of Indiana University (1992), and she taught at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania from 1992-2004, where she directed the Values and Science/Technology Program and first became involved with the Center for Humans and Nature.
She has published widely on Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alexander von Humboldt, and other scientists and literary figures in the nineteenth century, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Louis Agassiz, S. Weir Mitchell, and Louisa May Alcott. Laura grew up near Seattle, Washington, where she attended the University of Washington, earning a B.A. degree in creative writing and an M.A. degree in American literature. While there, she began working as a scientific illustrator and spent some years doing free-lance botanical and wildlife illustration and teaching classes in realistic drawing techniques before returning to graduate school to continue her long interest in literature and science.