Joan Maloof is an author, a professor emeritus, and the founder and leader of a national environmental organization. Maloof began her interdisciplinary journey as a scientist; she earned a BS in Plant Science, an MS in Environmental Science, and a PhD in Ecology. For many years she taught in the Biology department at Salisbury University, in Maryland. During her tenure at SU, she was also director of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program, and eventually created the Environmental Studies major. Maloof taught the introductory courses as well as the senior capstone courses in the new major. Her courses were celebrated for their experiential, interdisciplinary nature.
When Maloof realized that science alone could not slow the speed of our environmental crisis she turned to literature, and began writing for general audiences. In 2018, her fourth book about forests was published. Many have remarked that they ‘see forests differently’ after reading her books.
Not content with just writing about the loss of ancient forests and the biodiversity they contain, in 2012, Maloof founded the Old-Growth Forest Network; a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving old-growth forests in every county of the US where forests can grow. To date over 70 forests in 18 states have been included in the Network. Maloof’s boots are often directly on the ground and she has probably visited more old-growth forests than any one alive today. She has a deep understanding of ancient forests, and her passionate expression of this understanding and love of the forests has created an enthusiastic community of supporters for the Old-Growth Forest Network. Maloof’s celebrated work crosses all disciplinary boundaries.