Robert Michael Pyle Named Guest Judge & Panelist for 2020 Desert Writing Prize

Renowned author, lepidopterist, teacher and environmental humanist Robert Michael Pyle will act as guest judge for submissions to the 2020 Waterston Desert Writing Prize. In addition, Pyle will be one of three noted panelists taking part in “A Desert Conversation” as part of the annual award event Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at the High Desert Museum in Bend. The theme this year is “Climate Change in the Desert.”

Pyle’s sixteen books include Wintergreen, which won the John Burroughs Medal for distinguished nature writing, The Tangled Bank: Writings from Orion, Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide and his first novel, Magdalena Mountain, released in 2018. He has received numerous other awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Pyle holds a Ph.D. in ecology and environmental studies from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where his dissertation focused on butterfly eco-geography. He has worked as ranger-naturalist in Sequoia National Park, butterfly conservation consultant for the government of Papua New Guinea, Northwest Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy and co-manager of the Species Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge, U.K. Pyle founded The Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental organization that focuses on the conservation of invertebrates considered to be essential to biological diversity and ecosystem health.

The additional two panel members participating in “A Desert Conversation” will be announced soon.

For more information about the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, visit, email to or call 541.480.3933.

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