Breck Tyler

breck on a hillBreck Tyler identifies with Tom Fleischner’s formal definition of natural history as “a practice of intentional focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy.” In more practical terms, he defines a naturalist as someone who not only spends time in nature but who makes the effort to observe carefully enough to notice, learn, and appreciate the intimate details.

Breck Tyler has worked with teaching students how to be naturalists and identify birds for over 50 years. He worked in places like Northeastern University and University of Washington before he came to teach Natural History Field Quarter at UC Santa Cruz then the Natural History of Birds and has recently retired. One challenge that Breck faced as a naturalist was back in the 1970s those that identified as naturalists weren’t as respected in academic circles.