Michael P. Branch is Professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has published five books and more than 200 essays, articles, and reviews, and his creative nonfiction has appeared in magazines including Utne Reader, Orion, Ecotone, Hawk and Handsaw, and Whole Terrain. He has had pieces recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His essay series, Rants from the Hill, appears monthly at hcn.org. A confirmed desert rat, Mike lives with his wife and two daughters at 6,000 feet in the remote western Nevada desert, where the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada meet. For more, visit Mike’s website.