Did You Know?

Making a difference for wildlife conservation using art at The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, NY

What is The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) and who is Roger Tory Peterson? Ever wonder who wrote and illustrated all those guide books helping us identify bird species? We used the Peterson Field Guides growing up but didn’t realize there was an actual person named Peterson. Roger Tory Peterson was not only one of our nation’s pre-eminent bird artists and most influential naturalists, he also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Remarkable!



The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) in Jamestown, NY was established in his honor in 1984 with over 1200 of his original works of art. The Institute’s mission is to preserve Roger’s legacy while connecting people with nature through Art, Education and Conservation.

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute displaying a painting of snowy owls by Roger Tory peterson

A Painting of snowy owls by Roger Tory Peterson.

A recent new initiative, ‘Project Wild America’, promotes experiencing nature in your own backyard. RTPI encourages young people to get involved in conservation work with threatened wildlife, especially in urban environments.

Dale and I are especially interested in their research on Eastern hellbenders and migratory birds, not to mention their discovery of a population of spiny softshell turtles in Jamestown. Talk about a cool looking turtles!


Our Experience with The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

Dale had the honor of meeting Roger Tory Peterson several times when he accompanied his father, M.C. Weiler (a renowned conservationist and sporting artist in his own right) to art exhibits in New York City. And this spring (4-21-17 through 7-2-17) Dale and his father will have a 2 person show at RTPI called The Weiler’s Evolution: A Father and Son’s Artistic Journey. The exhibit will showcase Dale’s sculpture career over the last 20 years alongside the art of his dad including watercolors, sketches and wood carvings.

Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Opening Reception of Dale’s Show at RTPI

The facility in Jamestown is stunning. On a recent visit to the Institute, we were impressed with the knowledgeable and passionate staff.  The beauty of Roger’s paintings up close and personal and the archives of Roger’s letters, photography equipment and yes, even Presidential medals is inspiring to us both.

What Can You Do to Help The Organization?

First, try and visit The Institute if you are in Western NY.

Or become a Citizen Scientist and help with one of the RTPI programs such as the winter raptor monitoring , dragonfly studies or frog watches.

And finally, donate your time and/or money. Dale carved a snowy owl to commemorate Roger Tory Peterson’s work. It is being cast into a limited edition of 50 bronzes sculptures. We are donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the bronzes to the RTPI ‘Project Wild America’ program. For more info, contact us.

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

Roger Tory Peterson studying one of his field guides




Learn More About The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute http://www.rtpi.org

Roger Tory Peterson Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Tory_Peterson