I've lived in Alaska for 40 years, and have developed a passion for writing nature books about the extraordinary wilderness and wildlife that surround our home near Fairbanks. When I look out my office window, I may see a moose walking by, chickadees or gray jays at the bird feeder, or a fox on the prowl.
During the early years, I taught school in Arctic Village, a small village in the Brooks Range. I learned about the fascinating culture of the Athabaskan Indians, the natural history of the region, and the wonders of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR. For many years our family has explored this incredible place, studied the great caribou herds, and observed wolves, grizzly and polar bears, migratory birds, and other Alaska animals. Our many outdoor adventures and encounters with wildlife have inspired me to write nature books for children and adults.
I work closely with Jon Van Zyle, an outstanding Alaska wildlife artist who has illustrated ten of my children's picture books. Jon has lived in Alaska for 40 years and he has a deep love for the wilderness and wildlife of our state. He turns simple words into captivating paintings that authentically reflect the beauty of Alaska's environment.
About the Author
My Goals as a Children's Book Author
- Fostering a child's curiosity and love of our natural world through the writing of creative and engaging nonfiction
- Teaching children about our environment and helping them better appreciate and respect the world around them
- Inspiring children to develop their own writing skills
- Integrating my nature books into the science curriculum of elementary schools
- Sharing the beauty and wonders of Alaska
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most extraordinary places on earth. Located in the northeast corner of Alaska, the Arctic Refuge is home for one of America's largest caribou herds, polar and grizzly bears, wolves and arctic foxes, muskoxen and Dall sheep, and hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. For the last two decades the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge has been threatened with proposed oil development. Conservation groups and members of Congress are currently working to designate the coastal plain as wilderness. Please click below to learn more about protecting this wild place.
The calves on our basketball court were born in May, and weigh about 35 pounds at birth. By the end of August when they came to play basketball, the calves weigh about 300 pounds.
Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America (20,320 ft.). The Wickersham Wall on the north face of Mt McKinley is shown in this picture. It's the highest vertical rise in the shortest distance of any mountain in the world, rising over 17,720 ft. from the valley bottom to the summit in less than 20 miles.