Randi Minetor

Author and journalist Randi Minetor has written more than 90 published non-fiction books, ranging from histories and travel guides to reference books. She writes primarily about America’s national parks, birding, hiking, nature, and historic cities across the country. Her extensive collection of books on the national (and some state) parks includes Death in Glacier National Park, Death in Zion National Park, Death in Rocky Mountain National Park, Death in Acadia, Death in the Everglades, Death on Katahdin, and Death on Mount Washington, as well as Historic Glacier National Park and Historic Rocky Mountain National Park. Recently, she wrote Hiking the Catskills with co-author Stacey Freed, and the second edition of Backyard Birding and Butterfly Gardening. New releases in 2024 include The Complete Language of Birds for Wellfleet Press (Quarto); Birding Texas: Where, How, and When to Spot Birds across the State (Falcon); and second editions of her Best Easy Day Hikes books on Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany, NY (Falcon).

Randi began her career as an entertainment journalist in Rochester, NY, and soon moved into public relations and marketing—first at Geva Theatre, a regional professional theater, and then at an advertising agency. While at Geva, she met her husband, Nic Minetor, a theater lighting designer and photographer. They took a honeymoon trip in 1992 in which they drove cross-country to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, among others, and Randi got her first glimpse of the natural wonders that America’s national parks system protects. Soon she knew she wanted to make them a much greater part of her life.

In 1998, after more than ten years at an advertising agency, Randi realized that despite her high income, she had taken a wrong turn in her career—so she resigned and went into business for herself. For her first book, Breadwinner Wives and the Men They Marry (New Horizon Press, 2002), she conducted primary research about women who made more money than their husbands did. Four years later, she made a connection with Falcon Guides (now an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield) that led to the career of her dreams: writing books about America’s national parks. Soon she had the opportunity to bring Nic’s nature photography into her work as well. Together they have produced more than 40 books. 

Randi also writes for trade and niche magazines, including North American Birds, Birding, Building Stone Magazine, Projection, Lights and Staging News; Stage Directions, Theatre Design & Technology, Lighting and Sound America, Auditoria, Western New York Physician, Waterworld, and others.   

Randi often speaks at universities, conferences, libraries, and clubs about her work and her books. She serves as president of the Rochester Birding Association, and she has been a board member of Genesee Land Trust, Housing Opportunities, Geva Theatre, the Advertising Council of Rochester, and Women in Communications. A W.T. Grant Scholar, she is a graduate of the University at Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology, and she earned her master’s degree in film studies at the University of Rochester.



info Subjects


Health & Medicine
Nature & Environment


America’s national parks, birds, wildflowers, trees, conservation, theater technology, architecture, municipal water management, medicine, healthcare

notepad Skills

  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Content marketing
  • Editing
  • Feature writing
  • Fundraising appeals
  • Speechwriting
  • Books
  • Articles

notepad Writing Credits

Building Stone, Western New York Physician, Projection Lights and Staging News, Lighting & Sound America, North American Birds, Birding Magazine, Waterworld, Stage Directions, Modern Medicine, Rosco Spectrum blog

notepad Book Credits

Breadwinner Wives and the Men They Marry (978-0882822150, New Horizon Press, 2002)

Passport To Your National Parks Companion Guide: North Atlantic Region (978-0762744701, Falcon Guides, 2008)

Passport To Your National Parks Companion Guide: National Capital Region (978-0762745104, Falcon Guides, 2008)

Passport To Your National Parks Companion Guide: Southeast Region (978-0762744732, Falcon Guides, 2008)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pocket Guide (978-0762748068, Falcon Guides, 2008)

Acadia National Park Pocket Guide (978-0762748020, Falcon Guides, 2008)

Strength In Numbers: A Concise History of the Eliezar and Ligaya Nocon Family (private client, 2008)

Timeline Guide: Gettysburg (978-0762753314, Globe Pequot Press, 2009)

Timeline Guide: Washington, DC (Globe Pequot Press, 2009)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Rochester (978-0762754410, Falcon Guides, 2009)*

Best Easy Day Hikes: Buffalo (978-0762754649, Falcon Guides, 2009)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Syracuse (978-0762754656, Falcon Guides, 2009)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Albany (978-0762754632, Falcon Guides, 2009)

Everglades National Park Pocket Guide (978-0762751334, Falcon Guides, 2009)

Gulf Islands National Park Pocket Guide (978-0762753093, Falcon Guides 2009)

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks Pocket Guide (978-0762749430, Falcon Guides, 2009)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Hudson River Valley (978-0762755455, Falcon Guides, 2010)

Fredericksburg: A Guided Tour Through History (978-0762753307, Globe Pequot Press, 2010)

Timeline Guide: New York Immigrant Experience (978-0762757435, Globe Pequot Press, 2010)

Timeline Guide: New Orleans (978-0762757398, Globe Pequot Press, 2010)

Backyard Birding: A Guide to Attracting and Identifying Birds (978-0762771660, Lyons Press, 2011)

How To Start a Home-based Public Relations Business (978-0762773435, Globe Pequot Press, 2012)

Birds of New York City and Long Island (978-1936913169, Quick Reference Publishing, 2013)

Trees of New York City and Long Island (978-1936913183, Quick Reference Publishing, 2013)

Wildflowers of New York City and Long Island (978-1936913190, Quick Reference Publishing, 2013)

Understand Alzheimer’s: A First-Time Caregiver’s Plan (978-1623153007, ghostwritten, Calistoga Press, 2013)

Memory Tips and Tricks (978-1623153779, ghostwritten, Calistoga Press, 2014)

Divorce Survival Guide: The Roadmap for Everything from Divorce Finance to Child Custody (978-1623153793, ghostwritten, Calistoga Press, 2014)

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Beginners (978-0989558693, ghostwritten, Calistoga Press, 2014)

Birds of New York State (978-1936913589, Quick Reference Publishing, 2014)

Hiking Waterfalls in New York (978-0762787500, Falcon Guides, 2014)

Scenic Routes & Byways: New York (978-0762786510, Globe Pequot Press, 2014)

Day Trips: Hudson Valley (978-1493007899, Globe Pequot Press, 2015)

Historical Tours: Gettysburg (978-1493012954, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)

Historical Tours: Fredericksburg (978-1493012947, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)

Historical Tours: Washington, DC (978-1493012732, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)

Historical Tours: New York Immigrant Experience (978-1493012978, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)

Extra Mile: 500 Customer Service Tips for Success (978-1623155940, ghostwritten, Calistoga Press, 2015)

Robert’s Rules of Order in Action: How to Participate with Confidence in Parliamentary Procedure (978-1623156213, Zephyros Press, 2015)

Cursed in New York: Stories of the Damned in the Empire State (978-1493013760, Globe Pequot Press, 2015)

Hiking Through History: New York (978-1493019533, Falcon Guides, 2016)

The New England Bird Lovers’ Garden (978-1493022342, Lyons Press, 2016)

Death in Glacier National Park (978-1493024001, The Globe Pequot Press, 2016)

Historic Glacier National Park (978-1493018079, The Globe Pequot Press, 2016)

Wildflowers of New York State (978-1943334346, Quick Reference Publishing, 2016)

Trees of New York State (978-1943334339, Quick Reference Publishing, 2016)

Wildflowers of the Mid-Atlantic States (978-1943334254, Quick Reference Publishing, 2016)

Trees of the Mid-Atlantic States (978-1943334353, Quick Reference Publishing, 2016)

Essential Oils of the Bible (978-1623157388, Althea Press, 2016)

Death in Zion National Park (978-1493028931, Lyons Press, 2017)

Swagger: The “Way of the Sway” to Sales and Life Success (978-0692823828, ghostwritten, private client, 2016)

Hiking New York’s Lower Hudson Valley (978-1493029891, Falcon Guides, 2018)

A Better, Not Bitter Divorce (978-0692994566, ghostwritten, private client, 2018)

Blowing Up: The Psychology of Conflict (978-1440844676, Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2017)

Death on Mount Washington (978-1493032075, Lyons Press, 2018)

Medical Tests in Context: Innovations and Insights (978-1440860973, Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2019)

Death on Katahdin (978-1608934171, Down East Books, 2018)

Birding New England (978-1493033881, Falcon Guides, 2019)

Hiking Waterfalls in New York, 2nd (978-1493041039, Falcon Guides, 2019)

Death in Acadia National Park (978-1608939091, Down East Books, 2019)

Historic Rocky Mountain National Park (978-1493038763, The Globe Pequot Press, 2019)

Death in Rocky Mountain National Park (978-1493038787, The Globe Pequot Press, 2020)

Historic Disasters of New England (978-1608937134, Down East Books, 2020)

Debating Your Plate: The Most Controversial Foods and Ingredients (978-1440874352, Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2021)

Best Easy Bird Guide: Acadia National Park (978-1493055180, Falcon Guides, 2020)

Best Easy Bird Guide: Cape Cod (978-1493055203, Falcon Guides, 2020)

Birding Florida (978-1493055159, Falcon Guides, 2021)

New York Off the Beaten Path, 10th (978-1493053575, reviser, Globe Pequot, 2021)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Rochester, 2nd ed. (978-1493056392, Falcon Guides, 2021)

Scenic Driving New York, 2nd ed. (978-1493058228, Globe Pequot, 2021)

Essential Oils: Your Questions Answered (978-1440877841, Greenwood, 2022)

Hiking the Catskills (with Stacey Freed) (978-1493062997, Falcon Guides, 2022)

Dedication: Commemorating the Opening of the William P. Van Wagenen Conference Room at the University of Rochester Medical School June 18, 2010 (University of Rochester, private client, 2022)

Confer Plastics corporate history, title to come (private client, 2022)

Backyard Birding and Butterfly Gardening, 2nd ed. (978-1493066094, Lyons, 2022)

Death in the Everglades (Lyons, 2022)

Feathered Marvels: The Development of Birds, with Domonic Sherony (McFarland, 2023)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Buffalo, 2nd ed. (Falcon, 2024)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Syracuse, 2nd ed. (Falcon, 2024)

Best Easy Day Hikes: Albany, 2nd ed. (Falcon, 2024)

Hiking New York, 5th ed., reviser (Falcon, 2024)

Birding Texas (Falcon, 2024)

The Complete Language of Birds (Wellfleet Press/Quarto, 2024)



star Awards, Honors, Appointments

Public Relations Society of America PRISM Awards (Regional): “Making It” video script and production, 1992

Rochester Business Journal 40 Under 40, Class of 1996

Public Relations Society of America PRISM Awards (Regional): “Never Shake a Baby” video PSAs, 2001

Rochester Advertising Federation: “Scensibles” packaging and promotional copy, 2005



Selected Work

As author, unless indicated otherwise.


Death in the Everglades: Accidents, Foolhardiness, and Mayhem in South Florida

Hidden in the tall grasses and shallow waters of the Florida Everglades are true tales of mysterious deaths, clandestine crime, and disasters, both natural and manmade. Desperados fled here after escaping from prison, rum runners gunned down their enemies, and killers slipped their prey into canals as food for reptilian wildlife. Commercial airlines crashed and burned in the sawgrass, while smaller planes vanished from view. Hurricanes tore through the region, forcing Lake Okeechobee to overrun its banks and wipe out entire towns. And every once in a while, an alligator made someone its lunch. Collected here are some of the most gripping accounts in Everglades history, caused by natural forces, crime, operator error, or human folly.


Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks Wander to the North

When Dianne Doherty spotted a Roseate Spoonbill near the Androscoggin River Dam in Gorham, New Hampshire on 30 Jul 2021, the sighting became the state’s first record for the species. It was far from an isolated incident, however. Spoonbills have appeared throughout the U.S. this summer (2021), and two other states (Massachusetts and Michigan) and the District of Columbia have all recorded the species for the first time. Wood storks, a bird closely associated with south Florida, also is appearing in the north with great frequency. What is causing these iconic Florida bird to make their way northward? I interviewed experts to find out.


AJR Show at Rock Lititz Featured Synchronized Show Elements

With their 2020 tour schedule cancelled, the three lead members of AJR — Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met, brothers with a 15-year performance history — found themselves with massive amounts of creativity to burn and no immediate outlet to burn it. They came up with the idea of a single night’s 90-minute performance with all of the wonder of an arena show, but with a ticketed audience watching from their homes or offices.


Bon Jovi's Un-Tour

On a Night Like This: Bon Jovi 2020, a non-concert video available for free on YouTube at plsn.me/bonjovi, provides an unusually intimate performance experience in a studio in Nashville, on what Jon tells us is Day 167 of the Covid shutdown.


Southwest Magnet: Oklahoma's McKnight Center for the Performing Arts is designed to draw patrons statewide

Here’s proof positive that a city doesn’t have to be a major metropolis to draw the world’s most accomplished performing artists. In Stillwater, Oklahoma, a city of about 50,000 residents halfway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, a series of enlightened individuals saw the potential for attracting top artists, and they determined the most likely way to make this happen. Oklahoma State University (OSU) president Burns Hargis became the driving force behind the movement for a new, on-campus performing arts center, one that would reflect the scope of the university’s strong music and theatre programs. “I thought we needed a showplace, both for the university and for Stillwater,” he told OStateTV, the campus television network. “We really went round and roundabout, trying to figure out how to make it happen.”


Under the Sparkling Veil: San Antonio Gets a World-Class, Multipurpose Performing Arts Center

At the geographic center of San Antonio's Riverwalk—a five-mile lane of shops, restaurants, hotels, and nightspots along the city's San Antonio River—the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts connects directly with the footpath, inviting visitors to stop at this newly revived and reimagined cultural center. The 120-foot-high structure is wrapped in a metal veil, a shimmering mesh that becomes a spectacle on the city's skyline and complements the environment. If it's early morning, the twinkling veil reflects the pale rose and blue of a Texas desert sunrise; if it's twilight, the entire building turns a deep blue to match the darkening sky. Every visit the Tobin Center brings a different perspective, thanks to the ingenious design by Seattle-based LMN Architects, in association with local architecture firm Marmon Mok, which unites the center's historic facade with new construction in the blend reminiscent of the Beaux-Arts style.


Birding Florida: A Field Guide to the Birds of Florida (Birding Series)

Birdwatching is for everyone. No other outdoor pursuit yields so much knowledge of nature's ways with so little effort--if one knows what to look for. Birding Florida opens the world of birding to the novice and expert in this complete guide to getting the most out of birding in Florida. Birding Florida includes sections on birding technology, equipment, identification techniques, birding "by ear," where to view birds, field guides, optics, and other essentials to get birders of all skill levels into the field to identify birds throughout Florida. Especially valuable are descriptions of habitat, feeding, nesting, and migration--informing the reader not only about what kind of bird is on the other end of the binoculars, but what it is up to as well. Includes: GPS coordinates for each species of the top three to five locations where you're likely to see the bird and what time of year is best for this Full-color photos Over 300 species


Scenic Driving New York: Including the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the Finger Lakes (Second Edition)

To enjoy all that New York state roadways have to offer, jump in the car and drive to sweeping lake or ocean views, lush vineyard landscapes, or breathtaking mountain vistas. Featuring more than 1,900 miles of scenic routes and byways, this indispensable highway companion maps out unforgettable trips for exploring New York’s natural beauty. Scenic Driving New York features thirty separate drives through the Empire State with delicious ice cream stops and fun side trips along the way. Buckle up and begin your next journey!


Hiking Waterfalls New York: A Guide to the State's Best Waterfall Hikes (Second Edition)

From the top of the Adirondack Northway to the precipitous drop that creates Niagara Falls, Hiking Waterfalls in New York State provides all of the information readers need to find their way to waterfalls --all on public lands, hidden in the crevices of the Catskill Mountains, high on the faces of the High Peaks, flowing through magnificent gorges into the Finger Lakes, or deep in the backcountry of the Southern Tier. Detailed driving and hike descriptions include slices of history and glimpses of geology. GPS coordinates, maps, and color photos of over 200 of the state's best waterfalls on more than 100 hikes make certain that hikers and sightseers will find their way to these sparking gems, whether they can be seen from the roadside or at the end of a lengthy trail.


Blowing Up: The Psychology of Conflict

Why does conflict surround us in everyday life, from spats between individuals to major conflicts involving large groups? Is conflict inevitable? Why are conflicts and differences of opinion often so hard to resolve? Blowing Up: The Psychology of Conflict focuses on interpersonal conflict and the ways that this level of conflict can move beyond the original relationship to permeate larger constructs―small groups, large groups, whole organizations, and even entire nations. By examining both the positive and negative consequences of conflict―and by documenting its existence as normal and common―readers can appreciate how conflict does not immediately equate to negative feelings and how it also can be useful in creating rules and laws, aiding in negotiation, and bringing people together to work toward a common goal. This clear and accessibly written book in Greenwood's Psychology of Everyday Life series provides students with an understanding of the important role conflict plays in our lives, the many forms conflict may take, and the ways that conflict can actually be constructive and useful as well as destructive to relationships, discussions, and groups. The historical overview of established theories and the study of conflict to date provides readers with invaluable perspective into the subject by identifying and analyzing specific conflicts, including well-publicized conflicts in foreign countries. The book also charts conflict throughout the life cycle to help students identify the reasons for conflicts that occur in their own lives―with parents, friends, siblings, employers, romantic partners, and people in authority.


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