Cathryn Hoyt

Connecting people to their natural and cultural heritage, image by image, story by story.


Dr. Cathryn Hoyt is an award-winning writer and photographer with over 30 years of experience connecting people with their natural and cultural heritage. As an archeologist and paleoecologist, Cathryn loves searching for the magical intersection of nature, history, and place.

Cathryn grew up around the world but now calls the tiny town of Fort Davis, Texas, home. Her passion for nature and history comes directly from her mother and grandfather. Snakes temporarily detained in the laundry hamper, tadpoles in an aquarium in the bay window, and the joy of planting a garden in the spring were all part of growing up. Her grandfather, one of the first soil conservation scientists, took her out looking for arrowheads, introduced her to conservation, and played endless games of “Name that Wildflower” as they sped down country roads, windows wide open. She was destined to be a naturalist or an archeologist and ended up being both.

After completing her Masters degree at Texas A&M University, she excavated shipwrecks in Bermuda and worked for the Office of the State Archeologist in Austin, Texas. She eventually went back to school to study the impact of climate change on desert landscapes over the past 40,000 years. She taught cultural geography, biogeography, and physical geography at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin before moving to far West Texas to run the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute for 13 years.

Today, as a freelance writer and photographer, Cathryn’s interests take her throughout the western United States. She’s always on the lookout for the backstory.

In 2015, Cathryn’s work appeared in Texas Highways, Bighorn Magazine, Texas Gardener, and the Matador Network. She is currently working on an illustrated book about the natural history of the Chihuahuan Desert.


  • Ph.D.   Physical Geography, University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A.    Nautical Archeology, Texas A&M University, College Station
  • B.A.     Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • MatadorU Fundamentals of Travel Photography Certificate, 2015
  • MatadorU Fundamentals of Travel Journalism Certificate, 2015

Publication Examples

  • Books: Hispanic Texas: A Historical Guide [with Helen Simons], 1992, University of Texas Press
  • Academic Articles: Pollen Signatures of the Arid to Humid Grasslands of North America, 2000, Journal of Biogeography
  • Popular Articles: over 100 articles in newsletters and magazines. See Publications for examples.


    Cathryn A. Hoyt | PO Box 215 | Fort Davis, TX 79734 | 432.249.0670 | cathrynahoyt@gmail.com