Doug Reagan's entertaining memoir chronicles his exploits as an ecologist for-hire on projects ranging from oil exploration in the Amazon to protected area planning in the Philippines. With humility and humour, Doug recounts his experiences with engineers, conservationists, indigenous peoples, government bureaucrats, and even baboons. Real-life situations provide unique insights into the complexities of finding workable solutions to environmental problems.
Whether capturing a venomous snake with an improvised tool or navigating jungles at night, Doug's adventures bring these exotic places and people to life. The Mercenary Naturalist illuminates the ways in which we are interconnected and how what happens in faraway places has consequences for us all.
Doug Reagan has served as a consultant and advisor to US and foreign governments, a contractor to various industries, a research scientist executing projects in environments ranging from the Arctic tundra to tropical rain forests, and an adjunct on the graduate faculty of the University of Colorado at Denver, where he taught a graduate-level course in applied ecology.
After receiving his PhD in Zoology, Doug found his calling as an applied ecologist and spent the next four decades working to understand, protect, and restore the natural harmonies of ecosystems around the world. In the course of these endeavours, he met and worked with many members of cultures still embedded in (and dependent upon) naturally functioning ecosystems. His experiences working with indigenous peoples in diverse environments and similar work with individuals from modern societies closer to home provided him with a broad range of unique insights into the current relationships of humans to other species and to the land, water, and air that support all life.