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Creature of collaboration: Doug Chadwick is ‘Four Fifths a Grizzly’

Doug Chadwick
Doug Chadwick

This week, Lauren chats with wildlife biologist and journalist Doug Chadwick, the author of Four Fifths a Grizzly: A New Perspective on Nature That Just Might Save Us All (Patagonia Works), a book that challenges the idea that humans are separate from nature, from the non-human world. Four Fifths a Grizzly presents human and non-human DNA as fundamentally similar. “I relate to the world,” he writes, “in an ‘I, me, mine’ frame of mind, but in reality, I function as an ‘us.’ Everybody does. […] Taken together, the invisible multitudes on and in us redefine every person as a kind of compound creature, […] a combination of organisms.” This is a philosophical text that approaches Nature from a scientific lens.

About Doug:

With a master’s degree in wildlife biology, Douglas Chadwick studied mountain goats among the peaks of the Rockies for seven years. He also carried out surveys of grizzly bears and of the harlequin ducks that breed along the Rockies’ fast-moving rivers and streams. In his other role as a journalist, Doug has reported on wildlife around the world, from right whales in the sub Antarctic to snow leopards in the Himalaya, producing close to 50 articles for National Geographic magazine. He has written thirteen books about wildlife and conservation, including Yellowstone to Yukon, which prominently features Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as well as the Banff, Yoho, and Jasper national parks region. He also contributed the lead chapter in a 2014 book entitled Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies, a photographic celebration of the region’s wildlife and scenic majesty. Douglas Chadwick is also the author of The Wolverine Way and Tracking Gobi Grizzlies. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.

Doug Chadwick recommends:

The writing of Loren Eiseley (Library of America, Penguin Random House)

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (Penguin Classics)

The Overstory by Richard Powers (W. W. Norton & Company)

Lauren Korn recommends:

The Grizzly in the Driveway: The Return of Bears to a Crowded American West by Rob Chaney (University of Washington Press)

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions)

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram (Vintage Books)

Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies by Steven Gnam (Braided River, Mountaineers Books)

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt & Co.)

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now an Arts and Culture Producer at Montana Public Radio and the host of it’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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