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Tom Fleischner, Ph.D. - Faculty; and Director, Natural History Institute
220 Grove Ave.
Prescott, AZ 86301
Academic Statement (Return to top)
Tom's work is always rooted in natural history, ecology, and conservation biology, but plies the terrain at the margins of disciplines. He's most interested in the connections between sciences, humanities, and public policy, and between analytical and creative modes of thought. In addition to helping to coordinate the Conservation Biology and Natural History and Ecology emphasis areas within the undergraduate Environmental Studies curriculum, he teaches courses that link with many other curricular areas, including creative writing, environmental politics, and ecopsychology. He occasionally mentors Master's students, and is an Affiliate Faculty in the Ph.D. program. He is also the Director of the college's new Natural History Institute.
Background & Experience
Selected Publications (Return to top)
Fleischner, T.L., T. Wessels, R.E. Grumbine, and S. Weisberg. 2013. Toward transformative natural history education: a few principles. Journal of Natural History Education and Experience.
Beschta, R.L., D.L. Donahue, D.A. DellaSalla, J.J. Rhodes, J.R. Karr, M.H. O'Brien, T.L. Fleischner, and C. Deacon-Williams. 2013. Adapting to climate change on Western public lands: addressing the ecological effects of domestic, wild, and feral ungulates. Environmental Management 51: 474-491. (DOI 10.1007/s00267-012-9964-9).
Floyd, M.L., D.D. Hanna, T.L. Fleischner, and B. Shattuck. 2012. Revisiting trends in vegetation recovery following protection from grazing, Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico. Pages 83-92 in C. van Riper, III, M. Villareal, C. van Riper, and M. Johnson, eds. The Colorodo Plateau V. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Fleischner, T.L. 2012. Natural history: the taproot of ecology. Pages 20-21 in R. Sagarin and A. Pauchard. Observation and ecology: broadening the scope of science to understand a complex world. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Fleischner, T.L. 2011. Why natural history matters. Journal of Natural History Education and Experience 5: 21-24.
Fleischner, T.L., editor. 2011. The Way of Natural History. Trinity University Press, San Antonio, Texas.
Fleischner, T.L. 2011. The mindfulness of natural history. Pages 3-15 in T.L. Fleischner, ed. The Way of Natural History. Trinity University Press, San Antonio, TX.
Fleischner, T.L. 2010. Livestock grazing and wildlife conservation in the American West: historical, policy, and conservation biology perspectives. Pages 235-265 in J. DuToit, R. Kock, and J. Deutsch, eds. Wild Rangelands: Conserving Wildlife While Maintaining Livestock in Semi-Arid Ecosystems. Zoological Society of London/ Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK.
Fleischner. T.L. and H.R. Gates. 2009. Shorebird use of Estero Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico: abundance, diversity, and conservation implications. Waterbirds 32(1): 36-43.
Trombulak, S.C. and T.L. Fleischner. 2007. Natural history renaissance. Journal of Natural History Education 1: 1-4.
Fleischner, T.L. 2005. Natural history and the deep roots of resource management. Natural Resources Journal 45: 1-13.
Fleischner, T.L., with photographs by L. Niemeyer. 2005. Desert Wetlands. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Trombulak, S.C., K.S. Omland, J.A. Robinson, J.J. Lusk, T.L. Fleischner, G. Brown, and M. Domroese. 2004. Principles of conservation biology: Recommended guidelines for conservation literacy from the Education Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology. Conservation Biology 18: 1180-1190.
Fleischner, T.L. 1999. Singing Stone: A Natural History of the Escalante Canyons. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Presentations (Return to top)
Why Natural History Matters
Parsons Memorial Lodge Summer Series, Yosemite National Park, California; August 2012
Natural History Renaissance: Building a Social Movement for Nature and Conservation
Forestry Seminar Series, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona; November 2011
The Heart of Natural History
Keynote Address: Centennial Zoofest, 100 Years of Arizona Natural History; Heritage Park Zoological Park, Prescott, Arizona
Why the World Needs Natural History: Attentiveness to Nature as an Integrative Basis for Earth Stewardship
Ecological Society of America conference, Austin, Texas; August 2011
Falling in Love with the World: the Path of Natural History
Society for Human Ecology conference, Las Vegas, Nevada; April 2011
The Way of Natural History
Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona; April 2011
126 Degrees of Exploration: A Year of Intentional Natural History
Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona; November 2009
What Is Natural History and Why Does It Matter?
Ecological Society of America conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico; August 2009
Revitalizing Natural History
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; November 2008
What Greater Treasure?: Living Water in the Desert
Keynote Address, Gila River Festival, Silver City, New Mexico; September 2007
The Greatest Alchemy: Wetlands and the Arid West
Keynote address, Western Wetlands Conference, Denver, Colorado; October 2005
Research (Return to top)
Tom was the founding President of the Natural History Network. He's written two books—Singing Stone: A Natural History of the Escalante Canyons and Desert Wetlands, and edited a third, The Way of Natural History—as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. (The Way of Natural History was included in the "Best of Science" short list in the Wall Street Journal.) He co-founded the North Cascades Institute in Washington State, and served on the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology, the Science Advisory Council of the Grand Canyon Trust, and served in an advisory capacity to many other local and regional organizations. He was a long-term member of the Education Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology, and served as President of the society’s Colorado Plateau Chapter.
Field research projects include an ongoing study of migratory and wintering shorebirds at Estero Santa Cruz in the Gulf of California, Mexico. For many years Tom was involved in studying the ecological effects of livestock grazing in western North America. He chaired the committee that wrote a position statement on this topic for the Society for Conservation Biology. With colleagues, he conducted a study of the ecological effects of historic livestock grazing on plant communities in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and recently published a new synthesis paper on livestock grazing and wildilfe conservation in the American West. Earlier field research concerned marine mammals and marine birds.
Awards, Grants, & Honors (Return to top)
Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation grant, "The Natural History Initiative: From Decline to Rebirth" (2010-2011)
Honorable Mention, ForeWord Book of the Year Awards, in "Nature" category--The Way of Natural History (also a finalist in the "Anthologies" category)
Education (Return to top)
Ph.D., Environmental Studies. The Union Institute, 1998.
M.S., Biology. Western Washington University, 1983.
B.S., Field Biology. The Evergreen State College, 1977.
Expertise (Return to top)
Natural history; conservation biology; endangered species; nature writing & literature; ecology of livestock grazing
Academic Involvement at Prescott College (Return to top)
Areas of Study