Rebecca Lawton is an author, instructor, and natural scientist whose poetry and prose have won the Ellen Meloy Fund Award for Desert Writers, residencies at Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers in Langley, Washington, and The Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, Pushcart Prize nominations in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and other honors.
One of the first women guides on Western whitewater, Rebecca was an oarswoman on the Colorado in Grand Canyon for ten of her fourteen river seasons. Her collection of essays about whitewater guiding, Reading Water: Lessons from the River, was a San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area bestseller in 2008 and ForeWord Nature Book of the Year finalist in 2003. She is coauthor of four additional books on creativity and the outdoors, including the forthcoming Sacrament: Homage to a River with Geoff Fricker, photographer (Heyday, 2013). Her debut novel, Junction, Utah, explores the impact of oil exploration on American community and wilderness (van Haitsma Literary, 2013). She just completed a short story collection, Steelies and Other Endangered Species, based on her work on rivers and in watershed science.
As a scientist, she has led diverse teams of watershed researchers on northern California streams, worked with technical professionals investigating groundwater contamination, and written on nature and the environment. Her stream studies have helped inform the Sonoma Creek basin plan for U.S. EPA Clean Water Act guidelines.
Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for Friends of the River and as an external advisor for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Program at Sonoma State University.