Poole Publishes New Book on Florida’s Most Fascinating Historic Travelers

March 01, 2024

By Jessica Firpi ’11

Environmental studies professor Leslie Poole has published Tracing Florida Journeys, a book on well-known explorers and travelers who came to Florida.

Environmental studies professor Leslie Poole
Photo by Scott Cook.

How has Florida’s land changed across five centuries? What has stayed the same, and what remains only in memory? In Tracing Florida Journeys: Explorers, Travelers, and Landscapes Then and Now, published in March 2024 by University Press of Florida, environmental studies professor Leslie Poole delves into the stories of Florida’s most fascinating historic travelers, explorers, and adventurers—from John James Audubon’s discovery of bird life in the Keys to Zora Neale Hurston’s travels to turpentine camps and sawmills to firsthand accounts of Hernando de Soto’s violent 1539 expedition of conquest.

Using journals and articles by these and other authors that date back to the early European exploration of the region, Poole retraces their steps and tells a revealing story of the state’s natural history. Poole’s comparisons also point to the people who have been displaced and the ecosystems that have been dramatically altered by exploration and development.

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