Selected Works
& Works in Progress

Natural History
Landscapes, Plants, & Animals that Saint Francis Knew and Loved.
Season-by-season in Arizona, another gorgeous book from Arizona Highways!
A field guide with notes on natural history.
What Wild Plants Tell Us About Time. (Work in Progress)
National Parks
An illustrated portrait.
A guide to the park.
Interpretive essays.
Southwest Cultures
One of four guides to Southwestern indigenous arts by Susan Lamb.
Cultural roots of the Southwest

Author Bio

Out on the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas.

I was born in Palo Alto, California, but moved often with my family to such far-flung places as Kodiak Island, Alaska, and Wiesbaden, Germany. After earning my B.A. in Classical Civilization at UC Santa Barbara and my M.A. in Aegean and Anatolian Prehistory at Bristol University in England, I served as a ranger-naturalist in the National Park Service for seven years. A chance assignment led to a freelance career writing interpretive natural histories for regional publishers and leading study tours in the West for the Smithsonian National Associates Program and other clients.

I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my husband, photographer Tom Bean. Here I write for regional conservation groups as well as on assignment for various publishers, keep an almanac of nearly two hundred wildflower species in the woods around my home, and serve as Conservation Chair for the Flagstaff Chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society. I teach occasional workshops at Northern Arizona University and elsewhere.

In 1988, I founded the Arizona Natural History Association to foster understanding and appreciation of Arizona's national forests through non-profit bookshops and programs.

After mentoring several young people in the distressed neighborhoods of San Francisco and Flagstaff, Tom and I founded Bread for the Journey of Flagstaff in 1998 to provide small grants and support to community-building endeavors across northern Arizona including the Apache, Hopi, Havasupai, Hualapai, and Navajo nations.


Writing can be a path to adventure and a way to contribute to worthy efforts. This Bread for the Journey project took Susan to remote places in Mexico with a group of Hopi elders to corroborate their spoken history.

Click image above
to send for
Holy Week at Whiteriver.
Writing is a way to support those we love and admire. Tom and Susan produced this little book as a fundraiser for the parish of our friend Father Eddie Fronske, OFM.

Support Friends of Flagstaff's Future.
Writing is also a way to participate in community life. Lots of good causes merit articles, project reports, and publicity pieces. Some of this work is paid while some is not, but all of it is rewarding.