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Join us on an adventure of discovery!

Who We Are

In 1988, Steven Daniel, Peter Debes, and Gene Gartland began Nature Discoveries to offer vacation-learning adventures for active people who enjoy visiting the world's finest natural places. Carefully researched and planned, each trip is led by expert naturalists, and is designed to offer participants a personal, "hands-on" experience of the special features of each destination. We'll walk on trails, take boat trips, and stop along roadsides, so you can see moose, birds, and wildflowers or rock formations, even butterflies and beetles. We want you to see what makes each area special, and enjoy a stimulating and well-planned vacation.

Our groups are small, personal, and congenial. You have the opportunity for pre-trip meetings to meet fellow travelers, discuss trip details, ask questions, and see an interest-piquing slide preview. Information is mailed to those who live out of town, or who cannot make the meeting. Participants often choose to plan post-trip reunions, to share photos and renew the camaraderie that invariably develops.

Expedition fees include round-trip air from Rochester, New York, land transport and boat trips, comfortable lodging, some meals (some trips include all meals), charter flights, services of the leaders, and extras. For those people joining us from other places, or making their own air arrangements, trip prices can usually be quoted without air, or from a meeting point.

Read over our trip descriptions; they only hint at the wonders to be discovered. Just call or write, and we'll send you a detailed packet for any trip. We hope to see you on one of our upcoming trips!

Your Trip Leaders

Our trip leaders are skilled naturalists who have spent years engaged in research, study, and teaching, and have extensive experience leading groups and facilitating logistics. We are proud of this unique blend of leadership and instruction on our trips.

DOUGLAS BASSETT, BS, Cornell University.
Park naturalist at Letchworth for over three decades, Douglas has opened the eyes of thousands to the natural wonders of the world. No aspect of nature escapes Douglas' interest.

ROBERT COOPER, MS, Science Education, Nazareth College.
Recently retired naturalist at the Cummings Nature Center of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, "Coop's" interests, from coral reef fish to desert lizards, and sense of humor are legendary.

STEVEN DANIEL, MS, Environmental Education, Cornell University.
An expert naturalist with experience from the Arctic to the tropics, Steven has led over 140 trips for Nature Discoveries. He is a natural teacher who enjoys in making every outing an adventure of discovery.

PETER DEBES, MS, Environmental Education, Syracuse University.
An inspired naturalist, Peter enjoys delving into the mysteries of nature and culture, from geological formation to spiders, birdsongs to ancient ruins.

GENE GARTLAND, MS, Geological Sciences, University of Rochester.
With an effervescent enthusiasm for glaciers, volcanoes, rocks, and fossils, Gene loves to help people appreciate the rich geological wonders of our destinations.

WILLIAM O'NEILL, PhD, Stony Brook.
Bill is on the faculty of the University of Rochester, with years of research in bat, whale, and insect communication.

CAROL SOUTHBY, BS, University of Wales
A native of Britain and teacher of gardening, plants, and butterflies, Carol enjoys sharing the natural diversity of her native homeland.

DAVID SOUTHBY, PhD, University of Wales
Dave is a research chemist at Eastman Kodak, with special interests in geology, wildflowers, birds, and photography.

Martha is a bird bander, offers educational programs on bats, and is a neuroanatomist at the University of Rochester.

Quotes From Our Travelers

"This was our first guided trip.....keep up the good work.....we want to go on more."

"My expectations were high....the trip went beyond this. The tour leaders get an A+."

"I could not have had a better vacation — your options offered enough variety to capture opportunities that presented themselves, and made the trip really memorable."

"The trip was a huge success because of excellent leaders and well-planned itinerary!"

"We were pleased in having the whole trip so well orchestrated, with such good-natured leadership."

"The variety is outstanding — I wouldn't change anything!"

"I enjoyed this trip much more than last year's Smithsonian vacation."

For a trip packet, brochure, or additional information.

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