Magazine article National Parks

Connecting the Dots

Magazine article National Parks

Connecting the Dots

Article excerpt

When 1 tell people what I do for a living, many of them assume I spend my days hiking mountain peaks, visiting historic battlefields, or gazing at endangered species through high-powered binoculars. Sure, I wear hiking boots to work once in a while, but I spend most of my time sitting at a desk-sending emails to colleagues, moving words around a page, or interviewing people on the phone.

In June, my five-week sabbatical in Washington's North Cascades gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in a world that I generally see from a distance (see page 48). A teacher invited me to join her students as they each grasped a single piece of yam and learned about the web of life. A local photographer took me up in his plane, and showed me more glaciers than most people will see in a lifetime. And a park biologist invited me to come along as he ran an errand-hiking up a mountain to set up a camera trap for a wolverine. …

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