Botanist | Mentor
Born in Berkeley, Chris Thayer spent his life as an East Bay denizen, a place he loved dearly and often referred to Mount Diablo as the center of his universe, always with an eye on the natural world, his true passion. After working as a chef for several years, he left to pursue his dream job as a botanist. He was happiest tromping through the woods hunting for chanterelles and rare plants, and he knew every ridge of Contra Costa County like the back of his hand.
His endless interests included natural history, mycology, botany, and wildlife. He was quick to share his knowledge with anyone and made fast friends with those willing to go with him in the field to explore its wonders. Through these friendships Chris connected many people, especially biologists, who continue his legacy through their bonds; including Heath Bartosh and Erin McDermott.
As a mentor Chris was patient, lighthearted, kind, and always willing to retell a story, hypothesis, or plant name when asked. He embodied the classical botanist, travelling far and wide to meet new plants, and his knowledge of the flora of California was enviable to many. Chris provided his expertise on many Nomad projects. He is dearly missed. Nomad would not be what it is today without him.