Coves of Departure
Field Notes from the Sea of Cortez
In a book that has been called "a love song to nature," the author documents the latest decade of his explorations of the Baja peninsula and the Sea of Cortez. While much of the book narrates his experience as a writing professor taking undergraduates on sea kayak expeditions to the Isla Espiritu Santo archipelago each year during spring break, the book also reflects on experiences with a condor restoration project in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, and an altogether different teaching experience based in a field station on Bahia de los Angeles. While the author’s intent is to evoke Baja ecologies in fresh ways, the reader comes to realize that he’s also describing how education can become a transformational experience. A retired scuba instructor who turned to academics and went on to receive his college’s highest teaching award, Dr. Farnsworth believes that education should be a lifelong adventure, and that explorations of the natural world should be animated by reverence and delight.
John Seibert Farnsworth
A lifelong student of literary natural history, John Farnsworth teaches environmental writing and literature at Santa Clara University. He holds a PhD from the University of Stirling, in Scotland, and masters degrees from Antioch and Stanford universities. For more than a decade, his signature course, "Writing Natural History," culminated with a sea kayak expedition to the Isla Espiritu Santo archipelago of Baja California during spring break. In addition to being an avid sea kayaker, Dr. Farnsworth is a retired scuba instructor and a dedicated birder. His current research focuses on how long-term ecological studies foster community.