Dan's special connection to bears sprang from his work on an Andean Spectacled Bear study in Bolivia. He followed it up with four summers of living and working in Denali National Park, where he gained a deep knowledge of and appreciation for the region as he 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 cold North Woods, Daniel realized early on 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 completed a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a focus on Latin American archaeology. In graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, his focus turned to mountain ecology, agro-ecology and changing forest ecosystems in Bolivia’s high Andes. He remains keenly interested in botany, and in the practical and traditional usesof plants by both animals and people.
Currently, Dan lives with his family in Paonia, Colorado, surrounded by the mountains and irrigated deserts of the state's Western Slope. He spends his free time gardening, taking photographs and exploring the mountains and canyons of the American Southwest. In addition to gazing upon breathtaking mountains and fjords, Dan’s primary interests include ornithology and sustainable resource management for protected areas and wilderness.
Upcoming Adventures with Daniel:
Kingdom of the Monarchs
Patagonia Wilderness & Wildlife Explorer
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari
Praise from Nat Hab travelers:
"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 and submissive behaviors of the grizzlies as they unfurled at Brooks 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. Everyone in the group agreed that Dan is an exceptional guide. He was always willing to make our expectations happen or solve our concerns. His level of knowledge about the history, culture, animals, whales and frankly everything was unbelievable."
"Dan is an amazing Expedition Leader. He handles all trip details with ease and certainly ensured that our journey moved expeditiously. His knowledge of the area, its geology, 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 and always kind. I have been on many tours with a variety of companies, and Dan is the best Expedition Leader I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."
"Dan was a fantastic and kind Expedition 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."
"Dan was such an amazing asset to this entire adventure. He went above and beyond in every aspect of the trip. He's the BEST!"
"Dan is a tremendous Expedition Leader. He did a great job of sharing his extensive knowledge of all 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 he was beyond what I would expect of an Expedition Leader."
"Daniel is a keeper! He made it a point to spend time with each of us individually, whether it was during a hike or at a meal. He was wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable. He even sang 'Hey Bear, Ho Bear' for us!"
"Daniel was a fantastic guide. He had a great depth of knowledge, was terrific with logistics and was very good at dealing with an assorted cast of travelers and their individual issues. I also very much enjoyed watching him interact with staff at lodges, parks and restaurants. He made 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 Nat Hab."
"Dan went above and beyond from the moment he picked us up from 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 for knowledge. In addition, he is kind to all the bus drivers, guides, park rangers, etc., which ensures future Nat Hab trips will receive great service. He moved easily between members of the group, ensuring everyone was comfortable. If an individual expressed a food preference, he would pop up and consult with the kitchen 'in the background' so as not to disrupt the flow. He was up late and early, preparing for the day. Dan is experienced, knowledgeable, easy to be with, fun and in short, a gem."