an opportunity for in-depth inquiry
Natural History Institute Touchstone Tours provide an opportunity for in-depth inquiry into the nature of heartrendingly beautiful landscapes—and our own natures.
Fall in love with the world
Natural History—the practice of intentional, focused attentiveness to the more-than-human world—is also the practice of falling in love with the world. Each multi-day trip is designed to not only enhance participants’ ecological understanding, but to help each participant feel a rejuvenated personal reconnection with the world. The Touchstone experience facilitates a deepened affinity with wildness, a revelation of awe, and a keen awareness of nature’s resilient beauty and power to heal.
3/17/20 – Our highest priority is the safety and health of our community, program participants, and staff. Click here for our updated response to COVID-19.
CANCELED MAY 22-26, 2020: DIATREMES AND ANTICLINES, COTTONWOODS AND SONGBIRDS: THE GEOLOGY AND NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SAN JUAN RIVER
Our second trip down the San Juan River — from Sand Island to Mexican Hat, with guides Lon Abbott and Tom Fleischner. (more info)
CANCELED JULY 12-17, 2020: CASCADIA WILD: OLD GROWTH FORESTS, GLACIAL PEAKS, AND WILDFLOWER MEADOWS
Our first trip to explore the breathtaking ecological diversity of this wild corner of America, just a few miles south of the Canadian border, with NHI’s Executive Director Tom Fleischner. (more info)
JANUARY 22-FEBRUARY 7, 2020: ECUADOR: BRIGHT ISLANDS, DEEP FOREST
Our third annual Touchstone Tour to Ecuador! This tour, again led by Tom Fleischner, is more than a day longer and will include exploration in the Galápagos Islands, Amazon, cloud forest, Andean highlands and the city of Quito.
JUNE 4-7, 2019: DIATREMES AND ANTICLINES, COTTONWOODS AND SONGBIRDS: THE GEOLOGY AND NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SAN JUAN RIVER
Our fifth Touchstone Tour and our first trip down the San Juan River — from Sand Island to Mexican Hat, this is a river trip of legendary proportions. Few people get to float this iconic stretch of river with guides like Lon Abbott and Tom Fleischner.
APRIL 29-MAY 5, 2019: THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA, MÉXICO: WILD ISLANDS, RICH DESERT
Our second annual Touchstone Tour — to the islands and Sonoran Desert coastline of the Sea of Cortez, once again led by Natural History Institute’s Executive Director Tom Fleischner.
JANUARY 16-30, 2019: ECUADOR: DEEP FOREST, BRIGHT ISLANDS
Our second annual Touchstone Tourto Ecuador — this expedition, led by NHI Executive Director Tom Fleischner, will make a transect of this rich center of biodiversity, from the upper Amazon, across the Andes, into montane cloud forest, and culminating in the Galápagos Islands.
MAY 14-20, 2018: THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA, MÉXICO: WILD ISLANDS, RICH DESERT
Our second Touchstone Tour — heading to a hotspot of marine and desert diversity. NHI Executive Director Tom Fleischner will lead a small group exploration of this remarkable region.
JANUARY 7-20, 2018: ECUADOR: BRIGHT ISLANDS, DEEP FOREST
Our inaugural Touchstone Tour — following a transect across one of the most biologically diverse nations on earth — from the unique islands of Darwin, up into the Andean highlands, then down into the Amazon Basin, led by NHI Executive Director Tom Fleischner.
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"The Natural History Institute provides leadership and resources for a revitalized practice of natural history that integrates art, science, and humanities to promote the health and well-being of humans and the rest of the natural world."
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