Biography

Career Goals: To balance a number of activities -- art, photography, writing, lecturing, and guiding expeditions -- toward the goals of nature interpretation and biodiversity conservation.

Education: BS With Highest Honors, Wildlife Biology, Washington State University, 1968
MS, Wildlife Biology, University of Arizona, 1974
PhD Candidate, Resource Ecology, University of Michigan, 1976 (all but dissertation)

Artist and Photographer

Paintings in many collections in Africa, Asia, and North America; numerous gallery shows & exhibitions, book illustrations and other graphics work.

Hundreds of photographs published in magazines, books, calendars, exhibits.

Selected for Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum 1990 exhibition, "Wildlife: The Artist's View"; painting of "Coyote and Yucca" on national tour.

Featured in Animals magazine, July/August 1988: "Walt Anderson's Wildlife"

Illustrator of Coexisting with Urban Wildlife: A Guide to the Central Arizona Uplands, 1996

Illustrations used in signs, brochures, etc. by Prescott Creeks Preservation Association and Highlands Center for Natural History.

Photographer and Technical Editor, Creek Care: Your Stewardship Guide in the Granite Creek Watershed. Prescott Creeks, 2012.

Contributing illustrator to Ancient Piñon-Juniper Woodlands: A Natural History of Mesa Verde Country

Winner of Best in Show in field art competition at 2004 conference on Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago II (clayboard and scratchboard drawings).

Illustrator of The Elk in the Attic by Christopher E. Hoy (2007)

Major photo exhibitions on the Watershed We Want in Prescott (3 shows in 2011-2012). Typical show has up to 35 large photo prints in gallery wraps, some prints up to 4 feet by 6 feet in size.

Commission to do 18 wildlife paintings for interpretive panels for the Highlands Center for Natural History, 2017. These and earlier paintings are superimposed on five of my photographs of major biotic communities of this area.

Commission to do 12 butterfly paintings for Highlands Center for Natural History in 2018.

Invited Resident at Playa (creative community for the arts and sciences) in Oregon for four weeks in summer 2017.

Chosen artist for the Arizona Field Ornithologists Annual Meeting in Oct. 2017.

Featured artist for the Summer 2018 issue of The Cactus Wren-dition, by Maricopa Audubon Society. “Nature through the Artist’s Eye.”

Contributing Artist in Artists and Biologists Unite for Nature (ABUN) since 2018.

Signature Artist in Artists for Conservation (AFC)

“Not Caving In” portrait of mountain lion juried into 2019 AFC Festival and book.

“Coming-out Party: Owl Monkeys” in 2020 AFC Festival and book.

“Pint-sized Predator: Pearl-spotted Owlet” in 2021 AFC Festival and book.

Juror (one of six) for 2020 AFC Exhibition

Professor of Environmental Studies, Resident Degree Program, Prescott College. 1991 to July 1, 2019.

Teaching Interests: Animal Behavior, Biogeography, Conservation Biology, Diversity of Life, Ecotourism, Evolutionary Ecology, Environmental Education, Field Biology, Flowering Plants, Interpreting Nature through Art & Photography, Ornithology, Plant Ecology, Sociobiology, Southwest Natural History, Wetland Ecology & Management, Wildlife Management. Additional responsibilities: academic advisor, committee and task force member (often chair), independent study supervisor, mentor for students in Master of Arts & Adult Degree Programs. Resident Degree Program Faculty Personnel Coordinator 1998-2001, All-College Faculty Personnel Coordinator 2011-2014. Chair of Environmental Studies Program 2005-2007. Faculty Trustee and Secretary of Prescott College Board of Trustees 2014-2017. Advisor, Prescott Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Expedition Guide / Instructor. 1977 to present.

Expeditions to Argentina, Australia, Argentina, Antarctica, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador & Galapagos, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and California. I am 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. I also conduct local classes and workshops in field biology, nature photography, art, and natural history for many organizations.

Conservation Service
Central Arizona Land Trust (1995-97; Secretary), 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; original 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), Playa Science Council (2020-present), US Contact and Advisor for Aardvark Safaris Tanzania.

Invited Speaker/Keynote Presenter (hundreds of times; examples upon request)

Author (many publications in journals, magazines, and books; just a few listed as examples):

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.

Support for Conservation: 

I worked as a biologist on national wildlife refuges in the American West in my early career. My university and community-based teaching has always emphasized natural history and conservation. I am a pioneer and expert on ecostourism 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. I have served the following conservation efforts: Central Arizona Land Trust (1995-97; Secretary), 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), Playa Science Council (2020-present), US Contact and Advisor for Aardvark Safaris Tanzania. I also am member of and support many conservation organizations, and I am a board member, advisor, and fund-raiser for Joint Efforts for Green Mountain Initiative in Uganda.