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Daniel Hagaman

Since 1992, Daniel has passed the seasons being drawn back and forth from the opposite ends of the earth. Living in Alaska and Patagonia, he has migrated with the sun and the birds, spending many of his northern summers with the bears in Alaska and his southern summers in Chile and Argentina’s Patagonian temperate rainforests. He is a naturalist and teacher who has lived and worked throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, and Costa Rica, and continues his northerly summer migration as a guide for Nat Hab’s Alaska wildlife safaris .

Daniel's special connection to bears sprang from having worked on an Andean Spectacled Bear study in Bolivia. He followed up with four summers living and working in Denali National Park, where he gained a deep appreciation and knowledge of the region and found ample time to observe bears in the wild. He started guiding in college, leading snorkeling and diving trips in the Florida Keys. He currently teaches university field study courses in Chile, an extension of programs that he has organized and led throughout the Central and Southern Andes in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina since 2008. He has also guided field studies in New Zealand.

Raised in Wisconsin’s frozen north woods, Daniel realized early that there were other, equally impressive places with larger mountains to climb and rich cultures to learn about. Mountains lured him to Colorado, where he studied anthropology and sparked his desire to travel. Daniel’s bachelor’s degree in anthropology had a focus on Latin American archaeology. In graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, his focus turned to mountain ecology, agroecology and changing forest ecosystems in Bolivia’s high Andes. He remains keenly interested in botany and the practical and traditional use of plants by both animals and people.

Currently, Daniel lives with his family in the irrigated deserts of western Colorado, where he spends his free time gardening, taking photographs and exploring the mountains and canyons of the American Southwest. Aside from gazing upon breathtaking mountains and fjords, Daniel’s primary interests include ornithology and sustainable resource management for protected areas and wilderness.

Upcoming Adventures with Daniel:
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

K. Kelly
"Dan went over and above, from the moment we met him when he picked us up at the airport (even though we were a day early.) He answered questions thoughtfully, and if he did not know the answer he researched the answer and informed the group. He is constantly trying to improve, and it shows! He takes notes when other guides give information, makes notes about the bears at Katmai, and basically is a sponge who anticipates sharing with guests in the future. In addition, he is schmoozing all the bus drivers, guides, Park Rangers etc so that ANY future Natural Habitat trip gets great service. He moved easily between members of the group, ensuring everyone was comfortable. If an individual expressed a food preference (e.g. "I don't eat pork"), he will pop up and consult with the kitchen "in background", so as not to distrupt the flow. He was up late and early, preparing for the day. Dan is experienced, knowledgeable, easy to be with, fun to be with… in short a gem."

M. Neff
"Dan is an amazing leader. He handles all trip details with ease and certainly ensured that our journey moved expeditiously. His knowledge of the area, its geology, and the flora and fauna ensured that the trip was always detailed and fascinating. But beyond his high level of expertise, Dan is just a great human being. He is funny, patient, always kind. I have been on many tours with a variety of companies and Dan is the best leader I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."

C. Hebertson
"Dan was a fantastic and kind leader. Throughout the entire trip, he assisted and made accommodations for us so that we could participate in all activities. He even took off his own coat to give to my husband when we were delayed in the rain while we waited for bears to move from our path. Dan was very knowledgeable about the animals, vegetation, the people, and life in Alaska. Dan is an excellent teacher, and he showed that he is passionate about Alaska."

P. Marks

"Dan was such an amazing asset to this entire adventure. Above and Beyond in every aspect of the trip. Without his knowledge, enthusiasm, and kindness this adventure would have been an absolute failure! He's the BEST!!!!!"

R. Campbell
"Dan made this trip extraordinary! He was always offering information and observations about the flora, fauna and activities of the animals we were observing. I would have missed the aggressive behaviors/submissive behaviors of the grizzlies as they unfurled at the falls, if he had not alerted me to watch as the dominant bear arrived. I would not have seen the bald eagle watching the salmon morsels and then swooping in to take them from the gulls at the falls. Everyone in the group agreed that Dan is an exceptional guide and leader of the tour. He was always willing to make our expectations happen or solve our concerns or find a lost or left behind article. His level of knowledge about the history, culture, animals, whales, frankly everything was unbelievable."

D. Friedman
"Dan is a tremendous Expedition Leader. He did a great job of sharing his extensive knowledge of all the pertinent subjects, and I was especially impressed by his ability to interact in a friendly, professional and invariably patient way with our group of travelers. Dan took great pains to ensure that everything went well and went beyond what I would expect of an Expedition Leader, even making sure (for example) that people were happy with their food."

C. Griffiths
"Daniel is a keeper! He made it a point to spend time with each of us individually, whether it was during a hike, at a meal, whatever. Wonderfully friendly, knowledgeable. He even sang "Hey Bear, Ho Bear" for us! :-)."

W. Carter
"Daniel was a fantastic guide. Great depth of knowledge, terrific with the logistics, and very good at dealing with an assorted cast of travelers and their individual issues. Also very much enjoyed watching him interact with staff at lodges, parks, and restaurants. Makes a concerted effort to get to know their names. Consequently they remember him from past trips which translates into personal attention at the places visited. He is a great ambassador for NHA."
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