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Obi Kaufmann

Obi Kaufmann grew up in the East San Francisco Bay Area as the son of an astrophysicist and a psychologist, and he spent most of high school studying calculus and breaking away on weekends to scramble around Mount Diablo, mapping its creeks, oak forests, and sage mazes. Kaufmann’s passion for adventuring in California’s unique, natural world did not subside into adulthood, as he continues to spend most days in its rugged backcountry, enjoying more nights without a roof than under one. Ten years ago, Kaufmann walked away from a burgeoning career as a gallery artist to produce his first book, a love letter to his home in the wild, his thesis writ large – The California Field Atlas (Heyday, 2017). The 552-page volume topped the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list for more than three months and was the recipient of many awards including the 2018 Gold Medal from the San Francisco Commonwealth Club for Significant Contribution to Publishing and the 2018 NCIBA Book of the Year. Continuing what he has termed the “investigation into the infinite creativity behind the world’s most beautiful place,” Kaufmann is producing what will be a six-volume series on his own take on California natural history. The five books to follow the Atlas will each focus on one aspect of California’s natural world, including Water, Forests, Coasts, Deserts, and Fire. The second in the series, The State of Water, Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource, is available now from Heyday Books.