Sneed Collard

Sneed B. Collard III grew up in Santa Barbara, California. With two parents working at the university as biologists, Sneed developed an early curiosity and love for science and the natural world. When his parents divorced, Sneed's father moved to Florida and his mother married another scientist. During high school Sneed's mother and stepfather took him on a research trip to Asia, an experience that would inspire him to travel extensively as an adult.

After high school graduation Sneed took a job as a cook at Mount Rushmore. Once he saved enough money, he flew to Israel, worked on a kibbutz, and then hitchhiked across Europe. After returning to the U.S., Collard enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley and studied marine biology. After electro-shocking and weighing fish one summer for the California Department of Fish and Game, Collard decided he'd rather earn a master's degree in scientific instrumentation than work as a biologist. Yet while working as a computer consultant for biologists, he finally realized exactly what he wanted to do: write about science for young people.

Collard's first published piece was an article for Highlights for Children magazine about a deep-sea shrimp. After writing more magazine articles for the next four to five years, he published his first children's book, Sea Snakes. Through a combination of persistence, first-hand research, and travel, Collard began to carve out a niche for himself as a nonfiction science author for young people. Research trips to places like Costa Rica and Australia led to books about interesting topics such as cloud forests and coral reefs. In 2006 Collard received the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for a body of work that "has contributed significantly to the quality of nonfiction for children."

Today Sneed B. Collard III lives in Missoula, Montana with his wife and children. When he is not writing, conducting research, or visiting schools, he likes to hike, garden, and play Frisbee with his dog.

Books by This Author

A Platypus Probably

Illustrated by: Andrew Plant
Age Level: 6-9
What has a bill like a duck and the body of a beaver? Probably a platypus! These unusual creatures are suffering from a loss of habitat. Meet this marvelous egg-laying mammalsl in brief but readable text and realistic images.

Animal Dads

Illustrated by: Steve Jenkins
Age Level: 3-6
Lush collage illustration and clear text share information about male animals and how they care for their young. Text is presented so that it can be shared readily briefly or in greater detail.

Animals Asleep

Illustrated by: Anik McGrory
Age Level: 6-9
Fascinating sleep habits of various animals are presented in short text and full-color, appealing illustrations. The text can be read in a shorter form in a larger typeface or in its entirety.

Creepy Creatures

Illustrated by: Kristin Kest
Age Level: 3-6
Animals look and behave as they do for a reason. It's for communication, to help get food, or for defense. Detailed illustrations and crisp text provide brief information about the topic of why animals look like they do.

Deep Sea Floor

Illustrated by: Gregory Wenzel
Age Level: 6-9
Rich, realistic illustrations accompany clear text as readers explore what lives in the ocean, the geology of the ocean floor, and the biodiversity. Additional resources are suggested to learn more about he subject.

Flash Point

Age Level: 14-16
Luther, a high school sophomore, works for a vet who rehabilitates falcons. His work with these birds leads him to support forest preservation and puts him in conflict with his stepfather, a long-time logger.

Forest in the Clouds

Illustrated by: Michael Rothman
Age Level: 6-9
The rain forest of Costa Rica comes to life in vivid paintings and readable text. Readers are introduced to the rich and diverse ecosystem that exists in the misty tops of the forest of trees of the Monte Verde cloud forest.

Many Biomes, One Earth

Illustrated by: James Needham
Age Level: 6-9
The biomes of North and South America are introduced clearly and briefly, describing how flora and fauna have adapted to the particular climate. Lush illustrations evoke place and extend information.