The fascinating development of natural history studies in North America is portrayed through the life stories of 22 naturalists. The 19th century saw early North American naturalists such as Alexander Wilson, the 'Father of American Ornithology,' John James Audubon, and Thomas Nuttall describing and illustrating the spectacular flora and fauna they found in the New World. Scientists of the Smithsonian Institution and the Canadian Museum of Nature worked feverishly to describe and catalogue the species that exist on the continent. Great nature writers such as Florence Merriam Bailey, Cordelia Stanwood, Margaret Morse Nice, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, and Roger Tory Peterson wrote in depth about the lives and behaviours of birds. Early conservationists such as Jack Miner, the 'Father of Conservation,' created nature preserves. Today, noted naturalists such as Robert Nero, Robert Bateman, Kenn Kaufman, and David Allen Sibley do everything they can to encourage people to experience nature directly in their lives and to care about its protection and preservation.
Once people encounter the natural world and become aware of its intricacy, fragility, beauty, and significance, they will recognize the need for conservation. Also included: Spencer Fullerton Baird, Robert Kennicott, Robert Ridgway, For the Love of Birds, Allan Cyril Brooks, James Henry Fleming, Percy Algernon Taverner, Joseph Dewey Soper, Thirst for Knowledge, Doris H. Speirs, Hans Albert Hochbaum.