Dr. Thomas Lowe Fleischner
Executive Director of the Natural History Institute and
Faculty Emeritus at Prescott College
Dr. Thomas Lowe Fleischner is the founder and Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, the mission of which is to provide leadership and resources for a revitalized practice of natural history that integrates art, science and humanities. He also serves as Faculty Emeritus at Prescott College, where he taught interdisciplinary environmental studies for 29 years. In addition to teaching natural history and ecology and developing the first undergraduate conservation biology program in the U.S., Fleischner developed a variety of interdisciplinary courses that linked natural sciences with creative writing, literature, psychology, philosophy and public policy.
He has written extensively for both professional and lay audiences, including four books and numerous articles. His most recent book, The Way of Natural History, is a critically-acclaimed anthology that gathers the voices of a wide range of naturalists—scientists, poets, musicians, spiritual leaders, and more—to share how attentiveness to nature has served their work and life aspirations. Another anthology, Nature, Love, Medicine: Essays On Wildness and Wellness, will be released in November 2017.
Additionally, Fleischner has conducted research independently and for the National Park Service related to topics ranging from arid-lands plant communities to Mexican bird populations and marine mammals.
Fleischner served on the Board of Governors and the Education Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology, and as President of its Colorado Plateau Chapter. He was the cofounder of the North Cascades Institute, a bioregionally-based environmental education institute in Washington State. He has been a Principal Investigator on two National Science Foundation grants in the past six years: on the decline and rebirth of natural history, and on the essential importance of field studies, a project summarized in a recent BioScience paper.