alan wittbecker
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During a brief career in astrophysics and astronomy at the
University of Arizona, where I worked on mathematical
models of stars and on spectrometric analysis, I spent my
daylight hours climbing trees and trying to track mountain
lions; my best friends were a mouse and squirrel, who
shared a small trailer near the observatory on Mount Lemon.

Encouraged by research budget cuts to pursue a different
direction, I returned to graduate school in psychology,
anthropology, philosophy, and ecology (my degrees are in
these fields). As a graduate student in 1970, I was a cofounder
of the G. P. Marsh Institute for Research in Ecology, where
I worked for 22 years (including 3 as Director by rotation).
When projects were sparse, I supplemented my income by
trying other occupations, such as librarian, systems engineer,
editor, graphic artist, typesetter, housepainter, television
repairman, cook, swimming coach, carpenter, clinical psychologist
(drug abuse clinic), auto mechanic (Austins), tree-planter,
and instructor.

In 1976, with three partners, I cofounded Nieman Ryan
Community Designs, specializing in private and urban local
landscape design—but, also designing books, posters,
journals, packages, landscapes, and buildings. I continued
his postgraduate education in landscape ecology, forestry,
conservation biology, zoology, and genetics.

As an ecologist, I have worked for over thirty years on a
variety of projects, from ecosystem restoration to country-wide
wolf monitoring, in many countries, including Bulgaria, Canada,
Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and Russia. I have used my education
and interests to explore the spectrum of ecological applications,
from research on forest pests (larch casebearers, cedar
powderworms, and bears) to the political implications of the
protection of species and habitats.

In 1992, I founded SynGeo ArchiGraph (, a firm
specializing in global and regional designs; I created designs
for several bioregions, as well as international frameworks. A
year later I set up the educational program for the new Ecoforestry
Institute (, becoming an Instructor in 1994,
journal Editor in 1995, and Director in 1997. I have worked on
public and private forests from British Columbia to California,
and on wildlife projecys, from Siberia to Norway. I am the author
of eleven books, including The Poetic Archaeology of the Flesh: An
Investigation into the Phenomenology and Ecology of Being
, and
over 100 articles.

I am a veteran of the US Air Force, as well as a returned Peace
Corps Volunteer from Bulgaria, where I monitored wolves in the
Central Balkan Mountains. When not engaged in preservation or
political activities, I enjoy walking, swimming, reading, and drawing,
at the Altazor forest in western Idaho. Finding that my experience
follows Auden’s prescription for poets, I have written in poetic, as
well as scientific, forms. I continue to work hard to keep to the
dictates of Wordsworth and Novalis to be a good poet.