Gary Paul Nabhan

Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He has been been honored as a pioneer and creative force in the “local food movement” and seed saving community by Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Bioneers, and Time magazine.

As the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, he works with students, faculty and non-profits to build a more just, nutritious, sustainable, and climate-resilient foodshed spanning the U.S./Mexico border. He was among the earliest researchers to promote the use of native foods in preventing diabetes, especially in his role as a co-founder and researcher with Native Seeds/SEARCH. Gary is also personally engaged as an orchard-keeper, wild foods forager, and pollinator habitat restorationist working from his small farm in Patagonia, Arizona near the Mexican border. He has helped forge “the radical center” for collaborative conservation among farmers, ranchers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists in the West. He played key roles in establishing the Ironwood Forest National Monument, community-based seed banks, land reserves for conserving wild crop relatives, and restored habitats for migratory pollinators throughout the West.

Agricultural historian Peter Hatch of Monticello has called Nabhan “the lyrical scholar of genetic diversity.” As an Arab-American essayist and poet, he is author or editor of twenty-four books, some of which have been translated into Arabic, Spanish, Italian, French, Croation, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. For his creative writing and its influence on community-based conservation, he has been honored with a MacArthur “genius” award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Southwest Book Award, the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, the Vavilov Medal, and several honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards.

He works most of the year as a research scientist at Tumamoc Hill and the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona, but he is also engaged with several food justice and farming alliances, including Sabores Sin Fronteras, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Wild Farm Alliance, Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and the Borderlands Habitat Restoration Initiative. Nabhan is humbled and honored to serve as a professed Ecumenical Franciscan brother, helping the Franciscan Action Network in shaping ethical responses to environmental injustice, to immigration issues, and to climate change.

 
Showing 1-12 of 17 items.

Arab/American

The University of Arizona Press

The landscapes, cultures, and cuisines of deserts in the Middle East and North America have commonalities that have seldom been explored by scientists--and have hardly been celebrated by society at large. Sonoran Desert ecologist Gary Nabhan grew up around Arab grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in a family that has been emigrating ...

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The Desert Smells Like Rain

The University of Arizona Press

Longtime residents of the Sonoran Desert, the Tohono O'odham people have spent centuries living off the land—a land that most modern citizens of southern Arizona consider totally inhospitable. Ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan has lived with the Tohono O'odham, long known as the Papagos, observing the delicate balance between these ...

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Enduring Seeds

The University of Arizona Press

As biological diversity continues to shrink at an alarming rate, the loss of plant species poses a threat seemingly less visible than the loss of animals but in many ways more critical. In this book, one of America's leading ethnobotanists warns about our loss of natural vegetation and plant diversity while providing insights into ...

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Woodlands in Crisis

Bilby Research Center, NAU

In recent years, the West has suffered from unprecedented stand-replacing wildfires, and the government has invested more money in preventative forest thinning than ever before. This forest crisis has led to much controversy over the Healthy Forests legislation passed by Congress in 2003. On the Colorado Plateau, it has also spurred ...

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Unnatural Landscapes

The University of Arizona Press

Louisiana crawfish, cheatgrass, Russian thistle, Hottentot figs, rats, and sweet fennel. These and dozens of other seemingly benign flora and fauna have become some of the worst culprits in the destruction of ecosystems and native wildlife in the American Southwest and Baja California.

Although widely publicized threats--such as ...

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Food, Genes, and Culture

Eating Right for Your Origins

Island Press
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Counting Sheep

The University of Arizona Press

Imagine sending a number of nature writers out into the same unrelenting stretch of Sonoran Desert. Then consider telling them to focus their attention on just one animal—Ovis canadensis, popularly called the desert bighorn or borrego cimarrón—and have them write about it. Have them write from makeshift blinds or from ...

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Gathering the Desert

The University of Arizona Press

To the untrained eye, a desert is a wasteland that defies civilization; yet the desert has been home to native cultures for centuries and offers sustenance in its surprisingly wide range of plant life.

Gary Paul Nabhan has combed the desert in search of plants forgotten by all but a handful of American Indians and Mexican ...

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Tequila

The University of Arizona Press

The array of bottles is impressive, their contents finely tuned to varied tastes. But they all share the same roots in Mesoamerica's natural bounty and human culture.

The drink is tequila—more properly, mescal de tequila, the first mescal to be codified and recognized by its geographic origin and the only one known ...

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Ethnobiology for the Future

Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity

The University of Arizona Press
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At the Desert's Green Edge

An Ethnobotany of the Gila River Pima

By Amadeo M. Rea; Foreword by Gary Paul Nabhan; Illustrated by Takashi Ijichi
The University of Arizona Press

Winner of the Society for Economic Botany’s Klinger Book Award, this is the first complete ethnobotany of the Gila River Pima, presented from the perspective of the Pimas themselves.

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Last Water on the Devil's Highway

A Cultural and Natural History of Tinajas Altas

The University of Arizona Press
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