A Tongass Odyssey: John Schoen

Man poses with a tagged bear while doing field work in Alaska.
John Schoen poses with a bear while doing field work. Schoen spent 20 years working for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game in the 70s and 80s. (Photo courtesy of John Shoen)

What was it like to be a field scientist in Alaska during the 1970s and 80’s? John Schoen spent 20 years working for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game as a scientist studying Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats and brown bears in the Tongass National Forest. John’s research influenced the prevailing thoughts on the effects of clearcutting on deer habitat, and added to our understanding of Brown Bears importance to their ecosystem. His strong conservation ethic, influenced by Aldo Leopold and others, melded with science and advocacy continued after he left Fish and Game to work for Audubon Alaska. John is a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in field science, the Tongass temperate rainforest, and conservation. John joins host Paul Twardock to discuss his fascinating career and memoir titled “Tongass Odyssey: Seeing the Forest Ecosystem Through the Politics of Trees, A Biologist’s Memoir.”

Photos from John Schoen’s career as a field scientist working for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game.

HOST: Paul Twardock

John Schoen, author, former Fish and Game field scientist

“Tongass Odyssey: Seeing the Forest Ecosystem Through the Politics of Trees: A
Biologists Memoir”

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council
The Landmark Trees Project
Audubon Alaska
Prince William Sound Natural History Symposium

BROADCAST: Thursday, May 4th, 2023. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST: Thursday, May 4th, 2023. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

Paul Twardock is a Professor of Outdoor Studies at Alaska Pacific University, where he has worked since 1988. He is the author of Kayaking and Camping in Prince William Sound and help found the Alaska Sea Kayaking Symposium/Paddle Sport Fun Day. At APU he teaches a variety of undergraduate classes included Sea Kayaking, Recreation Program Design, Nordic Skiing, The Business of Recreation, and Wildland Ecosystems and Human Impacts.  Paul received his BS in Outdoor Recreation from Western Illinois University, went to work instructing for NOLS in Alaska, then received his MBA from APU.  Paul’s  research includes monitoring of campsites in Prince William Sound and Chugach State Park for human impact, trail use in Chugach State Park, and the Alaska Recreational Boating Safety Incident Database. His passions include sea kayaking, river boating of all sorts, hiking, mountain running, climbing, skiing of any kind, and birding.  One of his last adventures involved a mule ride.

Paul is one of several hosts for Outdoor Explorer

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