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.
Show Your Support
Your donations allow us to provide leadership and resources for a revitalized practice of natural history that integrates art, science, and humanities. The Natural History Institute is recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.