The Author

John Griffith spent his childhood along the creeks and rivers of Northern California catching and releasing turtles, tadpoles, crawdads, and frogs. He has spent his adult life working to keep those creeks and rivers healthy so future generations can enjoy the same discoveries.

When he turned eleven, John began his career as a naturalist. He volunteered at the Suisun Wildlife Care Center near Fairfield, California, where he cleaned the cages of injured animals, fed baby birds, and assisted older volunteers in general care-giving to the furred, feathered, and sometimes scaled patients. Caring for wildlife that was injured and/or orphaned due to human activities opened John’s eyes to the plight of animals and their habitats and eventually inspired him to write Totem Magic: Going MAD.

For the past 22 years he has held a variety of jobs: working seasonally as a field biologist collecting information on bird, fish, plant, and amphibian populations; planting trees along the Sacramento River for the Nature Conservancy; and building trails for California State Parks in Humboldt County. He has been a wildland firefighter, a farmer, environmental educator for teenagers and young adults, and has worked on a fishing boat in Alaska. John regularly writes and publishes short stories and articles for outdoor adventure magazines and environmental organizations’ newsletters. He created his own B.S. degree at California State University at Chico, combining the disciplines of botany, agriculture, and Latin American Studies. Today he is a crew supervisor for the California Conservation Corps, a state youth program that employs young people to plant trees, create salmon habitat, and build trails in the wilderness. And dance. Yes, I meant to say dance. Dance and music evolve with each generation, and John tries to keep up with the moves of the current generation. See for yourself in this candid video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKNhCjA0pdU&feature=plcp

When he’s not working, reading, or writing, John can be found snorkeling in the nearby Eel River. At age 40, he still catches and releases turtles, tadpoles, crawdads, and frogs.

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