David grew up on the Eastern Seaboard but came of age in the American West.
After beginning his studies in Philosophy and Religion at Flagler College in Northeastern Florida, he left the academy for a few years to travel the continent and see what life and landscapes were all about. He resumed his studies at Prescott College in Arizona, where he studied Natural History and Ecology as both an undergraduate and a graduate student.
After a few years of working seasonally in the outdoors, David returned to Prescott College as a faculty member in the Environmental Studies and Adventure Education programs from 1999-2005. During this time he extensively explored the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada of California and later other high mountains of the world, including the Icefield Ranges of the Alaska-Yukon border country, the Highlands of Scotland, the Norwegian mountains, the Swiss Alps, the Nepal Himalaya and the Southern Alps of New Zealand, which became the subjects of three books: The Secret Sierra, In the Years of the Mountains and Rise of the Ranges of Light.
Drawn back to the East by the promise of a well-balanced life, the allure of canoe country, proximity to the North Atlantic, and most importantly the opportunity to develop a natural history program at Sterling College, David moved to Vermont and took a position as a faculty member in Natural History and Ecology in 2006.
Since then he has developed an array of on-campus natural history courses, as well as off-campus field programs in the Sierra Nevada of California, Alaska, Newfoundland and Labrador and the coast of Maine and the Maritimes.
He continues to write books and articles, including his most recent book Nature, Culture, Consciousness. He practices meditation regularly, as well as a variety of other spiritual practices and study topics.
He lives with his wife Laura just outside the village of Craftsbury, a walk through the woods from the college, a quarter mile portage from the Black River, from which one can travel by canoe to anywhere in the world.
|MA Natural History and Ecology||Prescott College|
|BA Double Major: Natural History; Philosophy|
|Nature, Culture, Consciousness. 2013-2015.|
|Book talks at bookstores and related venues in New England and the American West.|
|Wildness and Wilderness: History of American Nature Philosophers. 2013.|
|Camp Denali Speaker Series Mountain Glaciers. 2012,2013.|
|Camp Deanli Speaker Series Rise of the Ranges of Light. 2011,2012.|
|Book talks at several bookstores and related venues in California Friluftsliv in America: Norwegian Nature Philosophy and Outdoor Education 2008.|
|Association for Experiential Education Northeast Regional Conference, Craftsbury Seminar Series.|
|Mountains of the World: The Nepal Himalaya. 2004-5.|
|The Appalachian Mountain Club.|
|The Mono Lake Committee.|
|The Sierra Club.|
|Prescott Geographic Society.|
|Mountains of the World: The Swiss Alps. 2002-5.|
|High Mountain Environments. 2002-5.|
|University of Maine at Farmington.|
|Prescott College Master of Arts Colloquium.|
|The Nature of Nature: Human Perspectives on the Natural World from the Paleolithic to the Present. 1999/2000/2001.|
|Prescott Ecopsychology Conference.|
|Rise of the Range of Light: Geologic Evolution of the Sierra Nevada. 1998/1999/2000. Prescott College Master of Arts Program Colloquium.|
|Nature, Culture, Consciousness 2013. Craftsbury (300pp). Nature, Culture, Consciousness explores the evolution of the human species, human culture and human consciousness in relation to nature from our Pleistocene origins as foraging peoples, through the development of agriculture and the world’s wisdom traditions, to modern human outlooks toward nature.|
|Rise of the Ranges of Light: Landscapes and Change in the Mountains of California 2011.|
|Heyday: Berkeley (250pp.)|
|Rise of the Ranges of Light interbraids personal narrative and interpretive science writing to explore the geologic and ecological evolution of the mountains of California|
|In the Years of the Mountains: Exploring the World’s Ranges in search of their Ecology, Geology and Culture 2006.|
|Thunders Mouth Press, New York. (315 pp.)|
|In the Years of the Mountains uses engaging travel writing style, integrating mountain ecology and geomorphology with personal exploration of the Swiss Alps, the Nepal Himalaya, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and the North American Cordillera.|
|The Secret Sierra: the Alpine World Above the Trees 2000.|
|Spotted Dog Press, Bishop, CA (288 pp.)|
|The Secret Sierra interbraids personal narrative and interpretive science writing to explore the physical geography and alpine ecology of the Sierra Nevada, California.|
|The High Country of the Mind 2014.|
|The Mountain Gazette: Montezuma, CO. This article explores the relationship between mountains and the human spirit. Life on the Rise 2012.|
|In New California Writing 2012. Gayle Wattawa (Ed.) This essay explores the diversity of biotic communities in California and the development of the unifying theory of evolution.|
|Seeing the Light 2010. In The Illuminated Landscape: A Sierra Nevada Anthology.|
|Gary Noy and Rick Heide (Eds.) This is a short personal narrative about mountain light in the high Sierra Nevada.|
|Natural History from the Ground Up. 2009. Journal of Natural History Education. This article explains the history and development of the natural history program at Sterling College.|
|Friluftsliv in America. 2007. In Nature First: Outdoor Life the Friluftsliv Way. Bob Henderson (Ed.). This essay investigates the relationships between Norwegian nature philosophy and America.|
|Life on the Rise. 2005. In Teachable Moments: Essays in Experiential Education. Robert Johnson. Life on the Rise is an essay about backcountry experiential education.|
|A Flash in the Pan. 2001. Mountain Gazette: Montezuma, CO. A Flash in the Pan is a mountaineering narrative exploring the relationship between big bang theory and the.|
Three Books You Recommend?
CLASS: Natural History of the North Woods
BOOK: Nature Guide to the Northern Forest (formerly North Woods) by Peter Marchand This deceptively simple book is mind blowing because is so simply and elegantly tells the narrative of the North Woods in a way that is intelligible to anyone.
CLASS: Natural History of the Sierra Nevada
BOOK: Law’s Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada by John Muir Laws This book won’t actually blow your mind, but it will help you get to know plants and animals that will.
CLASS: Wildness and Wilderness: Philosophy and Practice
BOOK: Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Nash From Thoreau to Muir to Leopold to Snyder, this classic history of wilderness exposes students to the grandfathers of American nature philosophy
CLASS: Nature, Culture, Consciousness
BOOK: Gnani Yoga by Yogi Ramacharaka Now this book actually will blow your mind. From the evolution of the cosmos and consciousness to metempsychosis to meditation the yogis of India had it all figured out six thousand years ago and here it is.