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Thursday, April 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m.: Rediscovering ourselves through native plants and nature, with Richard Halsey: For more than two million years we evolved outside, in Nature, driven by our instincts. Over the last several thousand years, our newly conscious minds have tried to reconcile the conflict between the demands of civilization, social expectations, and our ancient, wild selves. Yet despite our best efforts, the conflict persists, causing many of the personal, social, and environmental problems we face today. Nature provides the remedy. Native plants provide the path. Join us as we explore how connecting with Nature through local native habitats offers us a way to achieve what so many philosophers through the ages have identified as essential to achieving a meaningful existence — to “know thyself.”

Besides being the Chaparral Institute's director, Richard W. Halsey is also a writer, photographer, and most importantly, a guide to help others reconnect with Nature and their wild, inner selves.

Halsey has given more than 500 presentations and written numerous books, research papers, and articles over the past 15 years concerning chaparral ecology and the importance of reestablishing our connection with Nature. Richard also works with the San Diego Museum of Natural History and continues to teach natural history throughout the state. He founded and has been leading the Chaparral Naturalist Certification Program over the past five years. The second edition of his book, Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California, was awarded the 2008 Best Nonfiction-Local Interest Book by the San Diego Book Awards Association.

Richard earned undergraduate degrees from the University of California in environmental studies and anthropology. During graduate work he received teaching credentials in life, physical and social science and a Master's in education. Richard taught biology, physics, and environmental science for over thirty years in both public and private schools, was honored as Teacher of the Year for San Diego City Schools, and was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship which allowed him to begin writing his first book.