What is a Naturalist Diverted?

A naturalist diverted is a person whose interest is in the natural world, but through the choices made in life has ended up working behind a desk.

My interest in the natural world was nurtured by my parents though our vacations which always revolved around camping, fishing and traveling to National Parks. My earliest memories are those of fishing trout streams in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and playing hide and seek in the meadows of Yosemite. My earliest education came more from campfire programs put on by the National Park Service than it did from schools. It wasn’t that schools were boring, they just weren’t alive.

Convict Lake, CA

As time passed, I developed an interest in photography. I studied the work of Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell and John Sexton. I wanted to be able to share what I was seeing in the natural places of this world. In high school I was lucky enough to be able to take courses in field biology which stimulated an interest in entomology and botany. I decided to go to college and major in forestry thinking that this would lead me to a career as a park ranger. Upon arriving at Humboldt State University in the mid 70’s, I found that the degree was actually a degree in forest production. At first this appalled me and I planned to change to a different field of study, but over time I realized that managing a forest, even for production, involved managing all aspects of the environment. The course work included classes in wildlife biology, fisheries, range management as well as general science.

This all would have worked out very well, however the degree also required coursework outside you major in order to produce “well rounded” individuals. One of the courses I took was a Basic Programming class. As it turned out, I was very good at programming and I decided to take further courses. When it came time to graduate, forestry was in a slump with very few people being hired and my interest in computer science was very strong so naturally I ended up working as a programmer.

Snow Bunting - Contra Costa County, CA

I love working in the IT field and even if I could go back and change things I am not sure I would, but my love of nature has never died. My interests in birding, entomology and photography are as strong as ever and I hope through this blog to be able to finally share some of what I see.

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