About the Authors
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549 About the Authors Richard Felger received his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in 1966. His dissertation analyzed the vegetation and flora of the islands and Gulf Coast of Sonora, Mexico. Subsequently he was on the faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and then senior curator of botany at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Returning to Tucson, he continued his research and conservation activities in arid lands, concentrating on the Gulf of California and Sonoran Desert region. Working at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum from 1978 to 1982, he founded the research department there. He has been active in regional and international conservation, including pioneer conservation of sea turtles of the eastern Pacific primarily during the 1980s. In 1988 he founded the Drylands Institute in Tucson and was executive director until 2007. From 1980 to 2002 he was adjunct senior research scientist at the Environmental Research Laboratory, University of Arizona, and is currently research associate with Sky Island Alliance and Associated Researcher, University of Arizona Herbarium. A leading botanical authority of the Sonoran Desert, Dr. Felger has close to a half-century of experience in this region. His classic work with Mary Beck Moser, People of the Desert and Sea: Ethnobotany of the Seri Indians (1985, 1991, University of Arizona Press) has preserved considerable indigenous knowledge of the Comcaac (Seris) and their homeland. The current publication marks the continuation of his contributions to the understanding of botanical diversity in this region. Benjamin Wilder was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and has become a young desert rat. After testing the waters in Portland, Oregon, for two years while studying conservation biology at Lewis and Clark College, he returned to the Old Pueblo to earnestly begin discovering the desert. While completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, he also worked on the buffelgrass eradication and outreach project at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, at the University of Arizona Herbarium, and on the production of this work. In 2009 Wilder entered a PhD program in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at 550  About the Authors the University of California, Riverside, in the lab of Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra. His dissertation looks at the deep history of the flora of the Gulf of California island realm to interpret the unique botanical diversity documented in this book. Humberto Romero is a descendant of the Comcaac who lived on Isla Tiburón. From an early age he learned from his mother the cultural significance and knowledge held in the Comcaac community of the desert plants of the Sonoran region of the Gulf of California. He is one of the most knowledgeable members of the community concerning Isla Tiburón and the distribution and uses of plants. He has worked with a number of scientists in the past several decades and has gained considerable knowledge from such opportunities. For the past decade he has been the head guide for the bighorn sheep hunting operation on Isla Tiburón. Sr. Romero has collected significant herbarium specimens and is co-author on several recent botanical publications with Felger and Wilder dealing with Gulf islands. He is also in charge of efforts to eradicate non-native, invasive species on islands in the Gulf of California. ...


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