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I think of a scientific naturalist as a person with a deep and broad
familiarity with one or more groups of organisms or ecological communities,
who can draw on her knowledge of systematics, distribution, life
histories, behavior, and perhaps physiology and morphology to inspire
ideas, to evaluate hypotheses, to intelligently design research with an
awareness of organisms’ special peculiarities.
Even more, perhaps, he
is the person who is inexhaustibly fascinated by biological diversity, and
who does not view organisms merely as models, or vehicles for theory
but, rather, as the raison d’etre for biological investigation, as the
Ding an sich, the thing in itself, that excites our admiration and our
desire for knowledge, understanding, and preservation.”

D. Futuyma. 1998. The American Naturalist 151:1-6.

Dr. Gary W. RoemerEmail: groemer@nmsu.edu