Richard W. Halsey, M.A.

Naturalist/Fire Ecology

Southern Calfornia Field Institute

Telephone: (760) 822-0029


Richard W. Halsey 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 Degree in Education.  He taught physics and chemistry in a private institution, later moving to the public school system to teach biology. To create a more active learning environment, he developed a chaparral research program for his students to study nature firsthand in a nearby canyon. He was awarded San Diego Unified School District Teacher of Year in 1991, and a Christa McAuliffe Fellowship in 1993.

After teaching biology and natural science for twenty years, Halsey left traditional education to become a full time chaparral ecologist and to promote an appreciation for California's chaparral environment. He coordinates his work through the Southern California Chaparral Field Institute. Current research projects include post-burn plant population changes, effects of fuel age in brushland wildfire behavior, and the impact of chaparral type conversion to non-native, weedy grassland. Halsey's most recent work, Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California (2005), was published by Sunbelt.