Greetings. As of June 2011, I have a new web site. Please go to:


Stories In Stone:
Travels Through Urban Geology

My new book was published in June 2009 by Walker and Company. For more information, please go to the Stone page of this site or you can read about my varied interests in the cultural and natural history of building stone, and few other thoughts on geology, at my blog.

In fall 2010, Stories in Stone was named a finalist for the 2010 Washington State Book Award in the general non-fiction category. I think that's pretty cool and I am honored to be in such august company with the other finalists and winner.

Stories has received favorable reviews in the Seattle Times Science News, Earth, Seed, and the Providence Journal, as well as on various blogs, such as Fossils and Other Living Things, Laelaps, and Clastic Detritus.

On May 3, 2009, the Boston Globe ran a story that addressed the building stone of Boston and was based on information from the book. If you are interested, you can download the story titled Boston Rocks as a 450KB PDF file.

"Geologist Williams takes the study of “urban nature” in a new and pleasurable direction by conducting a geological survey of the stones used in city buildings... as richly textured and full of life’s imprints as a fossil-rich piece of travertine."
Booklist - July 1, 2009

Stone buildings are symbols of urban denaturation, but in this engaging popgeology excavation, Williams sees them as biological entities...Williams’s lively mixture of hard science and piquant lore is sure to fire readers’ curiosity about the built environment around us.
Publishers Weekly - May 3, 2009

Makes Stone Sing
"Stone speaks volumes with great beauty, the author avers. Each line of inquiry coaxes out some expressive scientific, emotional or philosophical nugget from a piece of travertine, slate or, in one Pop Art extravaganza, a gas station made of petrified wood."
Kirkus Reviews - May 1, 2009

The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist:
Field Notes from the City

(new title, same great book)

The Street-Smart Naturalist:
Field Notes from Seattle

A beautifully photographed excerpt from The Goose chapter ran in the Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine on July 17, 2005.

“Former park ranger David B. Williams discovers a salmon sanctuary in the shadow of a shopping mall, watches a pair of bald eagles build a nest in a well-trafficked Seattle park, and traces his drinking water "from forest to faucet." Just as nature has created unlikely urban niches, Williams's keen observations allow him to make a place in city life for his wild heart.”

Sierra Magazine - January/February 2006

"Even if you are not familiar with Seattle -- I've been there for one relatively brief visit, so I'm definitely in that category -- there is plenty to relate to in this book...Williams' essays demonstrate that a keen eye is as useful as an unlimited travel budget in studying the natural world."

Tom Palmer - The Ledger, Lakeland, Florida review - 9/08/05

"Bird-watchers, bicyclists, organic gardeners, rock hounds, tree huggers, weather nuts, history buffs, community activists and downtown office workers — that covers just about everybody in Seattle, doesn't it? — will find plenty to embrace in "The Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from Seattle," an inviting new book by David B. Williams"
Barbara Lloyd McMichael
- Seattle Times review - 6/10/05





A Naturalist’s Guide To Canyon Country
A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated trailside reference to plants, animals, and geology of the Colorado Plateau, home to nine national parks and monuments

Grand Views of Canyon Country
Twenty essays and 65 stunning photographs provide an introduction to the canyon country around Moab, Utah, highlighting destinations that can be reached in a car.

A Naturalist’s Guide to the White Rim Trail
A handy little guide to the natural and cultural history of one of the meccas of mountain biking.