Patrick Pynes is a native-born Texan. The son of a career U.S. Army officer and an opera singer, he had the good fortune to spend his boyhood and formative years living in the Panama Canal Zone, Mexico City, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he received a cross-cultural education.
He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Later published in Germany, his dissertation was an environmental-ethnohistory of the Navajo Nation’s ponderosa pine forests. He speaks, reads, and writes Spanish and Navajo, the former semi-fluently.
During the 1990s, Dr. Pynes lived in Albuquerque’s South Valley, where he first began gardening and beekeeping.
Since 2000, he has been living and working in Flagstaff, Winslow, and Sedona, Arizona. He was one of the first staff members for Northern Arizona University’s Center for Sustainable Environments, and co-wrote and co-edited a study of biocultural diversity on the Colorado Plateau with Gary Paul Nabhan.
An interdisciplinary scholar/practitioner, Dr. Pynes has taught graduate and undergraduate courses for three major colleges at NAU and for several different programs and departments, including Environmental Studies, Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities, and the Applied Indigenous Studies Department (AIS), for whom he was a Visiting Assistant Professor during 2008-2009. At present, he is an adjunct faculty member for AIS and teaches part-time for the First Year Seminar Program.
Since 2000, Pynes has been working as Gardens Manager for historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona, except for two years (2003-2005) spent as Director of Gardens and Horticulture for The Arboretum at Flagstaff.
Patrick has been a passionate organic beekeeper and gardener for more than twenty-five years.