Walt Anderson has had a lifetime of dedication to nature and conservation. This dedication extends to serious action to make a difference. He has worked as a biologist on national wildlife refuges in the American West in his early career. His teaching at university and community-based organizations has always emphasized natural history and conservation. He has published extensively and speaks to the issues at every opportunity.
Walt was Professor of Environmental Studies, Resident Degree Program, Prescott College, Arizona from 1991 to July 1, 2018. As an Expedition Guide / Instructor, he has led expeditions to Argentina, Australia, Antarctica, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Galapagos, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and California.
He is an expert in field identification of organisms; in teaching ecological concepts and natural history; in collaborating with foundations, NGO's, and local groups; and in group dynamics. He also conducts local classes and workshops in field biology, nature photography, art, and natural history for many organizations.
Some of the organizations he is involved in include:
- Central Arizona Land Trust (1995-97; Secretary),
- Board of Northern California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (1979-81),
- Open Space Acquisition Advisory Committee for City of Prescott,
- Arizona (2005-2009); Biocultural Conservation Institute (2008-present; Chairman of Board),
- Co-author of Prescott Open Space Master Plan;
- Co-founder of the Granite Dells Preservation Foundation and Save the Dells Political Action Committee;
- Science Committee for the Important Bird Area (IBA)
- Program for Arizona Audubon statewide and active with Prescott Audubon locally; ecologist for several years on the Lakes and Water Issues Committee for the City of Prescott;
- Faculty Trustee and Secretary of the Prescott College Board of Trustees from 2014-17,
- Arizona Field Ornithologists Board of Directors and editorial committee (2016-2018),
- US Contact and Advisor for Aardvark Safaris Tanzania.
"I am a pioneer and expert on ecotourism in many parts of the world, and I always support local conservation efforts there. My artwork has illustrated conservation media, and I have given countless presentations in professional and public events. I have donated original artwork and prints to many causes. I am coordinating artwork produced by Artists and Biologists Unite for Nature to fund-raise for land acquisition in the Granite Dells of Prescott, Arizona. The Granite Dells of Prescott is the iconic landscape for this central Arizona city, but it is under threat of development from all sides. I am co-founder of the Granite Dells Preservation Foundation and Save the Dells political action committee, complementary organizations working to protect land and create a greater Granite Dells Park & Preserve. I use hundreds of my photographs and my artwork to help this cause, and I speak out at every opportunity."
Walt is the author of many publications in journals, magazines, and books, including the following:
- The Sutter Buttes: A Naturalist's View. 1983. The Natural Selection, Chico CA. 326 pp.
- Inland Island: The Sutter Buttes. 2004. The Natural Selection and Middle Mountain Foundation. 273 pp.
- -Informed imagination: A naturalist's way of seeing. 2006. Pp. 1-10 in R. Dean Johnson, ed. Teachable Moments: Essays on Experiential Education. University Press of America.
- Natural Heritage of the Peloncillo Mountain Region: A Synthesis of Science. 2007. World Wildlife Fund and Sky Island Alliance. Co-editor with G. Bodner, J. Montoya, and R. Hanson.
- Committing to conservation: the need for engagement. 2017. Ecology 98:1183-1184.
- The effects of wildlife-based ecotourism. Walt Anderson and Marissa Altmann. 2019 in International Wildlife: Contemporary Challenges in a Changing World, edited by John L. Koprowski and Paul R. Krausman, The Wildlife Society and Johns Hopkins University Press