University of Puget Sound Professor Kristin Johnson has been awarded the prestigious Founders' Medal by the Society for the History of Natural History. Johnson serves as professor and director of the Science, Technology, Health & Society program at Puget Sound. She is a highly respected scholar whose work has enriched the understanding of natural history and the naturalist tradition in North America. 


Kristin Johnson hugs her black, brown and white dog while sitting in a chair.


"This award comes as a wonderful surprise," Johnson said. "As a faculty member at a teaching-focused college who maintains a research program, this recognition from the Society for the History of Natural History is truly meaningful."


Johnson's dedication to her work extends to her students at Puget Sound, where she has taught the history of biology and related subjects since 2006. Her passion for the field and its participants is evident in her teaching and research, making her a deserving recipient of the Founders' Medal, an award that recognizes scholars with wide-ranging historical knowledge and a love for bringing the subject to life.


“This award is a testament to Professor Johnson’s outstanding scholarship and passionate commitment to her discipline,” President Isiaah Crawford said. “Her work not only enriches our understanding of natural history, but it also exemplifies the very best of Puget Sound's commitment to both innovative research and exceptional teaching."


Johnson’s research delves into the practices of naturalists in the field and museum. She has written multiple publications including Ordering Life: Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition, which explores the life of German entomologist Karl Jordan, and Darwin's Falling Sparrow: Victorian Evolutionists and the Meaning of Suffering. Her upcoming book, Imagining Progress: Science, Faith and Child Mortality in America, is scheduled for release next month. Johnson's contributions extend beyond academic publications – her novel, The Species Maker, offers a fictional exploration of the evolution debates in the 1920s. 

Currently, she is working on her next project, titled Ordering Humanity: Natural History Museums and Human Variation.


For more information about the award visit The Society for The History of Natural History website