University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

William Cunningham, October 12, 2008

William P. Cunningham is an emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota. In his 38 year career at the University, he taught a variety of courses, including Cell Biology, General Biology, Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Environmental Health, Environmental Ethics, Plant Physiology, Ways of Knowing, and Wilderness Literature. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, the highest teaching award granted at the University of Minnesota. He was a member of a number of interdisciplinary programs for international students, teachers, and non-traditional students. He has also carried out research or taught in Sweden, Norway, Brazil, New Zealand, China, and Indonesia.

The interview can be downloaded as a video podcast (149.4 MB) or as an audio file (.mp3 – 51.4 MB).

Professor Cunningham has participated in a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations over the past 40 years. He was chair of the Minnesota chapter of the Sierra Club, a member of the Sierra Club national committee on energy policy, Vice President of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, chair of the Minnesota Governor’s task force on energy policy, and a citizen member of the Minnesota Legislative Commission on Energy.

Professor Cunningham recieved his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas. He is now working on the 17th edition of The Principles of Environmental Science published by McGraw-Hill (and co-authored by his daughter Mary Ann), which is now the best selling textbook in its field in the United States. In addition to the English version, various editions of this text have been translated into Chinese (both long form and modern) and Italian. Cunningham has also authored Environmental Science: A Global Concern, Seventh Edition (with Barbara Saigo, 2003) and edited three editions of an Environmental Encyclopedia published by Gale Research. He has written about 50 scientific articles, mostly in the fields of Cell Biology and Conservation Biology as well as several invited chapters or reports in the areas of energy policy and environmental health.

To view select publications visit

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One Comment

  1. HXLAugust 10, 2015 at 3:41 amReply

    Cell biology has developed rapidly in diverse directions. I have learned something interesting from your post. -Creative Biolabs

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