STEPHEN TRIMBLE: ABOUT


Stephen Trimble tells stories—in words and photographs—about the land and people of The West. He has received significant awards for his photography, his non-fiction, and his fiction, and the breadth of those awards mirrors the wide embrace of his work: The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for photography and conservation; The National Cowboy Museum’s Western Heritage “Wrangler” Award; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Colorado College, honoring his efforts to increase our understanding of Western landscapes and peoples. Environmental historian James Aton has said that Trimble’s “books comprise one of the most well-rounded, sustained, and profound visions of people and landscape that we have ever seen in the American West.”

Trimble teaches writing in the Honors College at the University of Utah and spent the 2008-2009 academic year as a Wallace Stegner Centennial Fellow at the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center. His distinctive voice as a naturalist writer leads visitors through the new (2011) Natural History Museum of Utah (exhibit design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, New York); Steve added a humanities-based narrative to the exhibit labels.

Steve was born in Denver, his family's base for roaming the West with his geologist father. After a liberal arts education at Colorado College, he worked as a park ranger in Colorado and Utah, earned a master’s degree in ecology at the University of Arizona, served as director of the Museum of Northern Arizona Press, and for five years lived near San Ildefonso Pueblo in northern New Mexico. He has been a full-time free-lance writer and photographer since 1981. He serves as a consultant and writer for the conservation community, including a year with The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado Plateau Conservation Initiative and collaboration with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance on a Greater Canyonlands initiative.

As a citizen and community-builder, Steve is particularly proud of recognition from Salt Lake City's Catalyst Magazine (January 2013) as one of 100 "catalysts, inspirators--those who have made our Wasatch Front community a more sustainable, compassionate and vibrant place to live."

As writer, editor, and photographer Trimble has published more than twenty books. His bedrock focus is the land —western wildlands and natural history— including:
Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America
Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography
The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places (with Gary Nabhan)
The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin
Earthtones: A Nevada Album (with Ann Ronald)
Blessed By Light: Visions of the Colorado Plateau
Words From the Land: Encounters with Natural History Writing

Trimble spent ten years listening to Southwest Indian people, and their stories fill his books:
The People: Indians of the American Southwest
Talking With the Clay: the Art of Pueblo Pottery in the 21st Century
Our Voices, Our Land

He also contributes commentaries to local and national NPR shows. Trimble co-compiled (with Terry Tempest Williams) a landmark effort by writers hoping to sway public policy: Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness. On March 27, 1996, Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) read Trimble’s essay from Testimony, “Our Gardens, Our Canyons,” on the floor of the United States Senate during his plea to protect Utah wilderness. He concluded with, “That short piece of writing is so powerful…because it is a timeless statement about how people feel about natural places.”

Steve and his wife make their home in Salt Lake City and in the redrock country of Torrey, Utah. They have launched their two children into the adventure of young adulthood. From his attic studio in the city, Steve takes great joy in writing from his home on Capitol Hill, in Utah's oldest neighborhood, looking west into the tantalizing space of the Great Basin.


Stephen Trimble
70 West Apricot Avenue
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103 USA
Phone: 801-819-2448
Email: steve@stephentrimble.net