Naturalist and Adventurer

India excavating a hadrosaur with the DMNS, 2019
Excavating dinosaurs with the DMNS, 2019

My beloved home state of Colorado inspired me to complete my own 732-mile path along a transect from the SE to NW corners, across prairie, mountains, and sagebrush steppe in 2020. The “other” diagonal is calling my name for 2022. I am a self-taught naturalist, an avid observer of birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, fish, plants, rocks, fossils, and the cosmos. I am particularly interested in the place of humans in nature, and nature in humans.

My love of nature grew up on Colorado ranches, first on my stepfather’s prairie ranch near Limon and later when I spent three teen summers digging up a dinosaur on a friend’s cattle outfit near Elk Springs. Out there, you either learned how to navigate and take care of yourself or you fed the turkey vultures.

In my adult life I have camped in more than 90 wild places in Colorado, boated up the Rio Negro in Brazil, hiked the Swiss Alps and Scottish countryside, gone on safari in Zambia, and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef. But my daily intimacy with nature is while hiking the hills and prairie near our house in Boulder, binoculars in one hand and an interesting rock in the other.


  • Hiked 732 miles diagonally across Colorado on my own path, requiring 65 days of hiking and many days of scouting and logistics, May-August 2020.
  • Gave online seminar for Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) on How to Plan a Transect Hike, Oct. 19, 2020.
  • Backpacker Radio podcast #84, India Wood on Her Colorado Transect Hike, October 2020
  • Completed CMC seminars on backcountry navigation and through-hike planning, 2020.
  • Wilderness First Aid certification, 2018 and 2021
  • Wildlands Restoration Volunteers: nature restoration crew leader and lead camp cook, 2014–ongoing, board member, 2015–2019
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science: Laramidia Project paleontology field research volunteer, 2018–ongoing, paleontology field assistant 1982–83
  • Boulder County Nature Association: member and symposium attendee, 2019
  • Dinosaur Ridge: children’s nature camp instructor, 2018
  • Sky & Telescope: astronomy website digital products manager, 2000–2002
  • Dartmouth College: B.A. English literature, 1988; member of Ledyard Canoe Club; courses in chemistry, physics, geology, and animal behavior
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, member 1985–1986