Cheesy bio to follow:)
Tony Deis, Founder of TrackersNW and Trackers International
Tony has lived and studied skills and principles of sustainability his entire life. As a teenager he cultivated a 3/4 acre market garden based on principles of permaculture design and the study of ecology through tracking. The extensive Italian family Tony grew up with was one of the greatest influences on his core philosophy of the intrinsic of value community and family in all organizational and learning spheres. Tony's extensive backcountry experience includes multi-week self developed solo expeditions into the Oregon, Washington and Californian wilderness areas since the age of 16 when we graduated early with an accelerated high school diploma based on independent study work (he eschewed formal and didactic schooling). His focus at the Evergreen State College was how humans connect to the land around them through participatory experiences. This coupled with 16 years of extensive work and cutting edge development as a contractor and consultant in the field of environmental education lead him to found TrackersNW and the Trackers Family of programs. TrackersNW quickly became known as both a market and curriculum leader in the niche field of wilderness skills and bushcraft schools. It readily mixed both ancient craftsmanship and cutting social technology in collaboration to create a synthesis of pragmatic experience for participants.
Tony's personal intensive research and development into the cutting edge field of wildlife tracking both as a tool for wildlife biology, deep ecology and systems thinking is laterally applied to the curriculum, organizational structure and community development in which he works. Based on his work, research and experience in survival, bushcraft, traditional skills and tracking, Tony has also taught extensively for the graduate sustainability program at Portland State University, including their Naturalist Training Program, and other institutions. Tony has taught wildlife tracking, outdoor entrepreneurial and adventure education workshops for the Forest Service, Audubon Society of Portland, countless parks and interpretation agencies, universities, colleges and much more. He currently is a lead facilitator for the TrackersTEAMS Immersion program (of TrackersNW), a one-year, full-time adult immersion course in sustainability, tracking, bushcraft, survival, permaculture and traditional ecological knowledge. The final key element of this program is entrepreneurial development with a focus on the outdoor related business. Tony is also authoring a definitive guide and workbook on tracking and naturalist training with Michelle Keefer, set to publish in fall 2009.