Carl Brown

I had the fortune to meet Bert over a decade ago, but unfortunately too late to have many meetings outside. An unapologetic naturalist, a curmudgeon with a dry sense of humor, and someone who could look at the facts and still crack a smile, I immediately recognized a friend. A rosy-finch painting on the wall did not hurt the cause.

I would look forward to running through photos of nests, landscapes, and projects to hear his insight. Nothing was too small to escape his interest, and small tundra species and the insects on them would outrank a pretty landscape. His telephone would always ring while visiting, often with someone calling in a first of the year or rare bird sighting. As Bert became older, the cadence of his speech slowed, but the thought into the choice of words possibly became richer.

Bert stuck up for what he believed in and was a role model and friend to everyone he met. The number of outfitters, ranchers, and photographers I would encounter who would mention sending an insect or bird description to Bert was a testament to his inclusiveness. His passing was a loss of a friend, the knowledge of a landscape and what felt like an end of a chapter. I owe much to him personally and professionally, as his impact was enormous.

– Carl Brown, May 2021

Photo credits: Ronan Donovan