Who We Are

What is natural history?

We define natural history as the “…practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy.”

Why a Natural History Institute?

Natural History is as old as humanity—there have never been people without natural history. In recent years, however, natural history has been marginalized—many academic institutions have removed or shrunken natural history curricula—and the arts and humanities have too often been wrung out of remaining natural history programs.

Our Mission

The Natural History Institute provides leadership and resources for a revitalized practice of natural history that integrates art, science, and humanities.

About Us

The Natural History Institute engages the next generation of naturalists to reunite science, humanities, and art in the practice of natural history. We nurture hope by combining traditional observational tools and practices with modern technology and global information sharing to help people develop attitudes and skills to meaningfully connect with the natural world, and to contribute understanding and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. We provide easily accessible public programs, research facilities to document the biodiversity of the Mogollon Highlands ecoregion, and facilitate a national conversation on a renaissance of natural history generating creative ideas and proactive strategies for engagement.

You are invited to utilize the Institute as a place to collaborate on projects, share information, pursue research questions and ecological curiosities, and become inspired to better know the world around them.

Resources We Offer

  • Plant, insect, and bird specimens from Arizona’s Mogollon Highlands and beyond
  • Guest lectures
  • Natural History workshops and outdoor excursions
  • Research support



Tom Fleischner, Ph.D., Executive Director

Elizabeth Schwartz, Program Coordinator &
Collections Manager

Lisa Floyd-Hanna, Ph.D., Herbarium Curator

Ty Fitzmorris, Entomology Curator

Advisory Council

Dan Campbell
Conservationist, The Nature Conservancy (retired)
Flagstaff, Arizona

Ty Fitzmorris                                        
NHI Entomology Curator; Proprietor, The Peregrine Book Company & The Raven Café
Prescott, Arizona

Matthew Frankel, M.D.                      
Physician; Conservationist
Prescott, Arizona

Harry Greene, Ph.D.                           
Professor and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York


Gary Paul Nabhan, Ph.D.                   
Author, Conservation Biologist, Cultural Geographer; Research Social Scientist, The Southwest Center, University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

Saul Weisberg                                    
Executive Director, North Cascades Institute        
Bellingham, Washington

Terry Wheeler                                     
Director, Lyman Museum of Entomology, McGill University
Montreal, Quebec