Paul Twardock

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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

Alyeska Volunteer Ski Patrol stories | Outdoor Explorer

Alyeska decided to end their volunteer ski patrol last fall. To celebrate the patrol's history, folks gathered to tell stories and reminisce.

Ice skating on Solstice in Southcentral Alaska | Outdoor Explorer

Host Paul Twardock visited the Anchorage Solstice Festival at the Cuddy Family Midtown Park interviewing organizers, politicians and the events and ice rink founders.

What’s New in Avalanche Forecasting for Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula? | Outdoor Explorer

With record amounts of snow comes lots of interest in recreating in the mountains. Hear from avalanche experts about staying safe outside.
Skiers head down a snowy valley.

“Snow Stories” | Outdoor Explorer

Get stoked on winter with these stories about avalanches, skiing and mountaineering.

Hope for Prince William Sound | Outdoor Explorer

The Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation and Mission Blue have teamed up to designate PWS an Ocean Blue "Hope Spot."

Made in Alaska: Revelate Designs | Outdoor Explorer

Eric Parsons started designing bags that fit on bike frames to enable his epic trips. Eventually he quit his day job and made it a business.

Outdoor Explorer: New book examines how hunting and being outdoors with your dog can nurture the human spirt

Authors of "The Land We Share" discuss their holistic approach hunting and their relationship to the natural world.

Outdoor Explorer: Creating an outdoor clothing company in Alaska

Jen Loofbourrow started Alpine Fit to produce base layers for Alaskans. She discusses her path to building a thriving business.

Outdoor Explorer: What makes an outdoor trip successful?

What makes an outdoor expedition successful? Most trips in the outdoors, whether one day or two weeks, are enjoyable and fun, that's why Alaskans, even on wet summers like this one, flock to the outdoors. But some outings turn into epics and even tragedy. On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock talks about what makes a good expedition happen with retired Denali Mountaineering ranger Daryl Miller and current South District Ranger for Denali National Park Tucker Chenoweth. They discuss what made some of their expeditions succeed despite life-threatening weather and what they've learned advising and observing expeditions on Denali.

Outdoor Explorer: Author Don Rearden on writing about Alaska

Alaska author Don Rearden grew up in Southwest Alaska living and observing rural life. His books "Raven's Gift," a novel, and "Without A Paddle," a collection of poems, reflect his Alaska experiences and life. Don also co-authored books featuring two of Alaska's professional military rescuers. Don joins host Paul Twardock to discuss Alaska's culture, history and environment and how they influenced his writing.

Outdoor Explorer: Mountain biking Eagle River and the Mat-Su, the Alaska Mountain Bike Summit

On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock welcomes Will Taygan with the Chugach Mountain Bike Riders and Rene Dervaes with the Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers to discuss what is happening in Mat-Su Valley and Chugiak/Eagle River and the upcoming Alaska Mountain Bike Summit.

Outdoor Explorer: A field geologist’s life with Joe Kurtak

Joe Kurtak embodies a modern day Alaskan. He was raised at a remote mining camp in eastern California, went to college, then came to Alaska in 1971 for a summer job. He quickly fell for everything the Great Land had to offer, especially its geology. Joe worked for 40 years mapping Alaska's geology while working for both private firms and the federal government. Along the way he also pursued his love of skiing and sea kayaking. On this Outdoor Explorer Joe shares his wealth of knowledge of Alaska's geology, including Prince William Sound, and some of his many adventures with host Paul Twardock.

Wheels on Ice: Cycling in Alaska 1898-2021

This Outdoor Explorer features the book "Wheels on Ice," a collection of stories from the gold rush to present day. The book is a compilation of stories edited by Jessica Cherry and the late Frank Soos. Jessica and author Andromeda Romano-Lax join host Paul Twardock to discuss the book and its stories.

Movers and Shakers: Peg Tileston

Peg Tileston has been active in organizations including the Alaska Center for the Environment (now called the Alaska Center), the Alaska Women’s Environmental Network, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Alaska Water Resource Board, Trustees for Alaska, the Alaska and Alaska Common Ground. She has also been on the board of Chugach Electric Association, the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Council, and the Anchorage Recycling Task Force to name a few. She has received numerous awards including being inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Along the way she explored much of Alaska. She joins host Paul Twardock to discuss her many contributions and adventures.

Search and Rescue in Southcentral Alaska

Summer in Alaska brings a plethora of outdoor adventure opportunities. Boating, hiking, climbing, fishing, wildlife viewing, fishing, and hunting ramp up — and so do the calls for help. On this episode of Outdoor Explorer, host Paul Twardock speaks with representatives from various rescue groups to learn about what they do and how to avoid needing their help.

A Tongass Odyssey: John Schoen

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. He is a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in field science 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."

Breaking Trail: Arlene Blum

A few scientists and outdoor pioneers are studying and advocating for changes in the outdoor gear industry. Arlene Blum is one such person. Arlene is a groundbreaking mountaineer and scientist. She led the first all female ascent of Denali and Annapurna, and was the first American woman to attempt Mt Everest. While breaking stereotypes in the mountaineering world she did the same as a scientist, publishing research that led to the banning of toxic chemicals in children's pajamas for starters. Arlene is still at it working on "forever chemicals" (PFAS) that are found in the remotest parts of Alaska. Arlene and Pam Miller with Alaska Community Action on Toxics join host Paul Twardock to discuss Arlene's contributions to mountaineering and science.
Map and Gear

Gearing up for Summer

The first migratory birds are showing up and bear tracks have been sighted in the Chugach. That means it's time to dust off the backpacks, boats, and tents and start planning for summer! Join host Paul Twardock and guests on this week's Outdoor Explorer to get a start on summer.

Outdoor Explorer: Onward and Upward helps kids through adventure and learning

There are many organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life of Alaska's youth. Many use the outdoors and nature to help kids overcome the challenges they face. Onward and Upward is a nonprofit based in the Mat-Su Valley and is one such organization. The group offers programs that use the concept of "one health" that incorporates adventure, challenge by choice, experiential learning and place based education while being sensitive to trauma. Randy Dowd, Executive Director and founder, and his staff join host Paul Twardock to discuss the programs they offer and benefits that youth receive from their program and ones like it.

A Denali Himalaya connection

Denali and the Himalaya have attracted mountaineers since the early 1900s. Many climbers, including Alaskans, got their start on Denali's bitterly cold and windy slopes, then moved on to the Himalaya. This show features Steve Mock with the Denali Rescue Volunteers, the Alex Lowe Foundation, and the Khumbu Climbing Center.