PRBO Conservation Science
Quarterly Journal of PRBO Conservation Science, Number 171, Winter 2013: Honoring Rich Stallcup




  

Honoring Rich Stallcup, Champion of All Things Wild

Naturalist’s Naturalist

Jules Evens


 
Naturalist’s Naturalist
Executive Director's Column
Birding and Conservation Leader
Gifted Writer
Dedicated Teacher
Mentor and Inspiration
Remembrances
Focus Reprint
A Lasting Legacy
PRBO Highlights
Foundation Thanks
 


Beginning when he was a small child, accompanying his naturalist father to Lake Merritt in Oakland, Rich spent a lifetime in the field. Wild creatures—birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies, damselflies and the dragonflies—were his brethren. He paid them more attention and afforded them more respect than any among us. He liked plants, too. None of us spent as much time in the field. Rich was a naturalist’s naturalist. Those of us who bathed in his light or stood in his shadow were lucky to have known such a rich complement of qualities in one soul.
Photo courtesy Will Wilson.

Birder and naturalist. Whether whispering to the cypresses on outer Point Reyes, bushwhacking in Arizona’s Arivaipa Canyon, scoping the shoreline of Mono Lake, or scanning the horizon across the Cordell Bank, birding with Rich was like adding another set of senses to one’s own. Nothing escaped his notice. He seemed to anticipate an animal’s presence before it appeared, to conjure up rarities at will, to unveil nature’s secrets.

Teacher and conservationist. How many eyes and hearts did he connect to the wonders of nature? How many minds did he open to her magical possibilities? For how many young naturalists was he mentor and touchstone? Countless many, and the world is a better and wilder place for his gentle guidance.

Field biologist and scientist. Whether conducting evening surveys for owls, dawn surveys of rails, waterbird counts on Bolinas Lagoon, or bird-banding studies on the Farallones, Rich’s field notes and data forms were as thorough and reliable as any—concise and accurate, nothing superfluous, and in his fine penmanship.

Great spirit. Some called him “Cloud Bear,” a term of endearment that captured his physical presence and his shaman-like being. Further complementing his many talents, Rich had an incisive sense of humor, was a playful prankster, an unfailing friend, and most endearingly, a loving father and grandfather.

Soar on, brother. You enriched our lives, and your spirit lives on in our hearts.

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