Stutz, Bruce 1950–
Stutz, Bruce 1950–
PERSONAL: Born January 6, 1950, in Allentown, PA; son of Alan and Leatrice Stutz; married Sallie Bateman (a retailer), May 18, 1974 (separated); partner of Elaine Charnov (a museum director) children: (first marriage) Benjamin, Nathaniel, Julia. Education: Franklin and Marshall College, B.A., 1971; attended University of Texas at Austin, 1971–72.
CAREER: Developer and editor, River magazine, Hudson River Fisherman's Association and Hudson River Foundation, 1986; Audubon, New York, NY, features and contributing editor, 1991–95; Natural History, New York, NY, senior editor, 1986–90, editor-in-chief, 1996–99. Has worked as a reporter for a variety of newspapers, including Gannett newspapers in Ossining and White Plains, NY. New York University, adjunct professor.
AWARDS, HONORS: American Littoral Society grant, 1989.
Natural Lives, Modern Times: People and Places of the Delaware River, Crown (New York, NY), 1992.
(With John Langone and Andrea Gianopoulos) Theories for Everything: An Illustrated History of Science, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2006.
Chasing Spring: An American Journey through a Changing Season, Scribner (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Christian Science Monitor, Discover, Washington Post, Scientific American, Natural History, Audubon, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, National Fisherman, and the New York Times.
SIDELIGHTS: Bruce Stutz frequently writes on topics related to the environment and natural history. He has been editor of two prominent magazines in the field—Audubon and Natural History—and was founding editor of River, a magazine dedicated to the ecology, environmental issues, and life along the Hudson River. Among his works is Natural Lives, Modern Times: People and Places of the Delaware River, which Stutz researched over the course of a year as the recipient of an American Littoral Society grant. The book focuses on the natural history and cultural environment of the Delaware River Valley, and highlights the input of dozens of scientists from various fields, such as biology, geology, botany, and archaeology. Stutz noted on his Web site that the book is "as much history as natural history, as much about culture as about science."
In 1999 Stutz faced some serious medical problems when he learned that he needed heart surgery to repair a defective valve. He underwent the surgery, and while recuperating through the winter began to look forward toward spring, not only in terms of his recovery but also as a metaphor for renewal and reinvigoration of life. In homage to both his rejuvenated health and the profundity of the upswing of the cycle of life represented by spring, Stutz planned to take to the road to follow the burgeoning season as it manifested in different areas across North America. His account of this journey, Chasing Spring: An American Journey through a Changing Season, recounts his trip from the dawning of the vernal equinox north of New York City and ends after a long and insightful journey to the Arctic Circle, where summer arrives with a midnight sunset. Along the way, Stutz observes and relates several significant changes in the environment, including the changes to a vernal pool that serves as home to salamanders and tadpoles, and how changes to that pool illustrate the dangers urban development pose to natural habitats. He pays a visit to Biosphere 2, a gigantic glass-enclosed terrarium containing carefully balanced ecosystems designed to support and sustain each other. Disturbingly, Stutz sees first-hand how these ecosystems are beginning to deteriorate and fall out of balance, and how their inevitable degradation serves as a warning to what may eventually happen to Biosphere 1—the Earth. As he travels in a reluctant 1984 Chevy Impala named Dick (after the great white whale Moby), he encounters tornadoes in Oklahoma, mushroom hunters in Oregon, and scientists who gauge climate change based on the snowfall in the Colorado Rockies.
A Kirkus Reviews reviewer observed that "this is much more than a travelogue; it's a gentle yet persuasive lesson in how spring happens and how climate change" affects the perpetual change of the seasons. The critic called the book a "captivating portrait of a beautiful, fragile, and endangered world." Stutz's work is a "joyous and bountiful journey," asserted Nancy Moeckel in Library Journal. Laurence A. Marschall, writing in Natural History, concluded: "Armchair travelers who join Stutz through this pleasant journal will be glad they came along" for the trip.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2005, review of Chasing Spring: An American Journey through a Changing Season, p. 1270.
Library Journal, January 1, 2006, Nancy Moeckel, review of Chasing Spring, p. 150.
Natural History, April, 2006, Laurence A. Marschall, review of Chasing Spring, p. 64.
Bruce Stutz Home Page, http://www.brucestutz.com (October 15, 2006).