Tom Fleischner

Photo of Tom FleischnerEducation

B.S., The Evergreen State College, 1977
M.S., Biology, Western Washington University, 1983
Ph.D., Environmental Studies, The Union Institute, 1998


Tom Fleischner
Natural History Network


Contact via email

Biographical Note

Tom has been a professor of Environmental Studies at Prescott College, in Prescott, Arizona for over twenty years, where he teaches natural history, conservation biology, and a variety of courses that integrate natural science, humanities, public policy, and social justice concerns. He co-founded the North Cascades Institute, and is founding President of the Natural History Network. He's worked as a field ecologist in Alaska, Maine, the Gulf of California, Mexico, and throughout the Southwest.

The Way of Natural History

Publication Types

Non-Fiction, Scholastic

Latest Publication

The Way of Natural History, Trinity University Press, 2011

Publication Excerpt

"Natural history and mindfulness are two surfaces of the same leaf, a seamless merging of attentiveness outward and inward, toward the interwoven realms of nature and psyche. For some people, the window is clearer looking outward; for others, it’s easier to look within. But regardless what is being attended, the practice of mindful attention is very much the same, and the two practices are fully complementary."
--from The Way of Natural History

"Homo sapiens wounds the world with greater ferocity than any other being. Yet at the heart of our nature dwells a psyche with two capacities. We are wired not just for destruction, but for healing, grace, and compassion. From this deeply rooted potential, then—evident in the tenderness of a parent for child, the offering of food to the homeless, or the inclination to stare into the throat of a wildflower for the simple sensation of beauty—we can take heart and justly feel hope. Remembering that our bodies are built of clear water, borrowed from the fluid of earth, is a place to start."
--from Desert Wetlands

"There is no substitute for time spent in the canyons, on the slickrock. Listening to the ringing we call silence, or the shifting song we call a river. If this book proves to be a worthy companion for your own Escalante wanderings, it will have been a success. May you step softly and hear fully. These canyons have more to teach than we can learn. The most we can do is enter with respect, be ready to receive, and--perhaps--emerge in love."
--from Singing Stone: A Natural History of the Escalante Canyons

Additional Publications


Singing Stone: A Natural History of the Escalante Canyons, University of Utah Press, 1999

Desert Wetlands, University of New Mexico Press, 2005 (with photographs by Lucian Niemeyer)

Selected Articles:

"The mindfulness of natural history," Pages 3-15 in T.L. Fleischner, ed. The Way of Natural History, Trinity University Press, 2011

"Livestock grazing and wildife conservation in the American West: historical, policy, and conservation biology perspectives," Pages 235-265 in J. du Toit, R. Kock, and J. Deutsch, eds. Wild Rangelands: Conserving Wildlife While Maintaining Livestock in Semi-Arid Ecosystems, Zoological Society of London/Blackwell Publishing, Ltd, 2010

"Shorebird use of Estero Santa Cruz, Sonora, México: species richness, relative abundance, and conservation implications," Waterbirds 32(1): 36-43, 2009 (with H.R. Gates)

"Extinction," Pages 344-347 in V. Parillo, ed. The Encyclopedia of Social Problems, Sage Publications, 2008

"Natural history renaissance," Journal of Natural History Education, 1: 1-4, 2007 (with S.C. Trombulak)

 "Natural history and the deep roots of resource management," Natural Resources Journal 45: 1-13, 2005

"Principles of conservation biology: Recommended guidelines for conservation literacy from the Education Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology," Conservation Biology 18: 1180-1190, 2004 (with S.C. Trombulak, K.S. Omland, J.A. Robinson, J.J. Lusk, G. Brown, and M. Domroese)

"Effects of historic livestock grazing on vegetation at Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico," Conservation Biology 17: 1703-1711, 2003 (with M.E. Floyd, D. Hanna, and P. Whitefield)

"Diversity deep and wild," Conservation Biology 17: 952-953, 2003

"Land held hostage: A history of livestock and politics," in G. Wuerthner and M. Matteson, eds. Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West, Island Press, 2002

"Natural history and the spiral of offering," Wild Earth 11(3/4) [Fall/Winter]: 10-13, 2001

"Three Songs From Slickrock," pages 133-140 in John A. Murray, ed. American Nature Writing 2001, Oregon State University Press, 2001

"Nature and Psyche" Special Issue, Alligator Juniper, 1999 (Bishop, M. and T.L. Fleischner, co-editors)

"Revitalizing natural history," Wild Earth 9(2) [Summer]: 81-89, 1999

"To search and search again: On the practice of environmental research," Whole Terrain 5: 21-25, 1996

"Society for Conservation Biology Position Statement: Livestock Grazing on Public Lands in the United States of America," Society for Conservation Biology Newsletter 1(4): 2-3, 1994 (with D.E. Brown, A.Y. Cooperrider, W.B. Kessler, and E.L. Painter)

"Ecological costs of livestock grazing in western North America," Conservation Biology 8: 629-644, 1994

"Winter birds of Bahia Kino, Central Gulf of California Coast, Sonora, Mexico," Ecológica [Mexico]3: 29-34, 1993 (with M.F. Riegner)

"Preservation is not enough: The need for courage in wilderness management," pages 236-253 in S.I. Zeveloff, L.M. Vause, and W.H. McVaugh, eds. Wilderness Tapestry: An Eclectic Approach to Preservation, University of Nevada Press, 1992

"Will science save the world?," Wild Earth 1(3): 46-47, 1991

"Integrating science and passion in conservation education," Conservation Biology 4(4): 452-453, 1990

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

A wonderful grounding in natural history and in the excitement of perpetual, collaborative learning.