(Photo by Nina)
Chris Clarke is a natural history and environmental writer, an editor and photographer.
Born in Upstate New York in the very early 1960s, Chris moved to the West Coast in 1982. He spent much of the 1980s pursuing an interest in botany and horticulture, working in nurseries and on landscaping crews in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the environs of Washington, DC.
Chris began writing professionally in 1989 for Terrain, a small non-profit monthly environmental publication in Berkeley, CA. He took over the editor’s post there in 1992. By the time he left in 1997 Terrain had acquired a reputation for incisive, intelligent, and iconoclastic writing. Chris has since worked for a number of environmental news publications in print, online and radio, most prominent among them the Earth Island Journal. He’s also been a nationally syndicated garden writer with the Knight Ridder chain, his column generally appearing under the heading “The Irascible Gardener.” His resume is here.
Chris’ writing has appeared in publications ranging from Camas and Orion to Bay Nature, California Wild, the New Internationalist, Berkeley Insider and the East Bay Monthly, and about thirty daily papers nationwide.
It was in the mid-1990s that Chris’ fondness for the desert southwest, nascent since he first visited as an adult in the early 80s, blossomed into an obsession. He’s traveled extensively in the Mojave, Great Basin and Sonoran deserts, as well as in the steppes and slickrock country of the Colorado Plateau. His aridland obsession notwithstanding, Chris also bears a great fondness for more well-watered landscapes, the mountains of coastal and northern California and the Sierra Nevada in particular.
In 2003 Chris launched his first blog, Creek Running North, which over the next five years won acclaim from a wide range of readers in the science, political, essayist, and pet-owner blogging communities. His writing there was frequently called the best on the Internet. In 2008 Chris left the Bay Area, closed Creek Running North after a five-year run, and moved to the Mojave Desert. His current blog, Coyote Crossing, was begun after a few months in the desert. He now lives in Joshua Tree, California.
Chris is currently working on a book on Joshua trees, which will be based on over a decade of research.