Dan is one of the very few real-life Wyoming natives, having been born and raised in the sprawling metropolis of Casper, WY. He spent much of his youth hunting, fishing, camping and exploring throughout the state. In high school, Dan had the opportunity to study Russian and a Rotary International grant allowed him to study abroad in Saratov, Russia. This experience didn’t diminish his sense of adventure or wanderlust, and Dan had to make some decisions about what he wanted to do with his life. (Un)fortunately he wasn’t that great at making a decision and ended up with two undergraduate degrees from the University of Wyoming, one in wildlife ecology and another in Russian. In his wildlife studies Dan has always loved ornithology, with a particular soft spot for waterbirds, and in his Russian studies: prepositions.
At the University of Wyoming, Dan was able to study under some of the preeminent wildlife scholars studying the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. As it turns out, neither seemed to matter at first, as his first job out of college was working as an archaeologist for a small cultural resource management firm based in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Dan was disappointed to learn that his new job involved a lot fewer bullwhips than he hoped for and a lot more time trying to define the color of sediment. Life as an archaeologist wasn’t all bad; Dan had the opportunity to travel throughout the rocky mountain region learning about the history and prehistory of many different peoples. Occasionally he would find some pretty neat artifacts, or attempt to determine how people utilized wildlife resources. But most importantly, that is where he met his future wife.
Before he became too comfortable as an archaeologist, the traveling itch hit Dan again and he moved to Tartu, Estonia to complete a Master’s degree at the University of Tartu in EU-Russia Studies. In graduate school, Dan worked very hard for the opportunity to intern with the US Department of State, and was given his choice of several opportunities across Europe and chose the political section of the US Embassy in Riga, Latvia. He finished up graduate school with a grant to complete his thesis research at the University of Glasgow in the UK, promptly returned to the US, and moved to Jackson, Wyoming where his fiancee got a job as an archaeologist with the National Park Service in Grand Teton National Park.
Since then, Dan has passed the Foreign Service Officer Test and is waiting for the opportunity to prove that he’ll make an excellent diplomat. He married the love of his life. Work now consists of happily locking guests in a car with him for hours as he prattles on about a remarkably esoteric knowledge base gathered from a lifetime of rambling curiosity and is able to share this magical place that he will always call home. When Dan’s not out guiding, he loves hunting, fishing, shooting sports, entertaining his friends and neighbors, eating, nordic skiing, reading, walking, feeding, fostering, and loving all of the rescue dogs at the Animal Adoption Center in Jackson Hole.
- Wilderness First Responder