In October of 2016, Athia and Steven Schaller, the Supervisory Park Ranger for Glacier Bay National Park, worked together to identify a balance of species for the Glacier Bay National Park Area Starter Deck.
Steven provided some much needed insights and photos, and shared some pretty cool information about his favorite animals, the seabirds, especially about the Kittlitz Murrelet, a species of seabird that has been declining in numbers recently and uses the Glacier Bay area as a primary nesting ground.
Here are Steven’s Answers to our Humans in EDGE questions.
What is your full name and title?
Steve Schaller, Supervisory Park Ranger
Where do you work and reside?
I work at Glacier Bay National Park and I reside in Gustavus, Alaska
What is your educational background?
I graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Wildlife Management.
What was your life like growing up?
My life was filled with exploration and discovery. I come from a large family, six children and very supportive parents. They always took us on trips to explore the country and to learn new things about the natural world.
What are you currently reading? Why?
I love reading Lonely Planet books about traveling to other countries. These books provide little snippets about each country and I enjoy planning trips to these countries to learn about their natural world.
What are you curious about or exploring in your field of expertise at the moment?
I am always curious about the National Parks located in other countries. Another good reason, I read these books published by Lonely Planet. They often have chapters about the National Parks for these other nations and the natural wonders, flora, fauna, and historic significance of these places.
What is your favorite Movie? Why?
Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie. I always envisioned myself traveling around the globe to explore jungles and finding hidden treasures.
What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your profession?
Passion for the outdoors and respect for all living creatures.
What advise you to offer to parents who want to help their children get involved with the natural world?
Be patient with your children when they are out exploring. When you take them on a hike, let the children decide what to look at and how fast to go. The reward is not the end of the hike, it is the time spent outside together, especially without any electronic devices.
Is there a daily routine you enjoy?
One of my favorite daily routines is to wake up early (5:00 am) to share my first cup of coffee with my wife on the couch. We take this time to slowly wake up, talk, and to discuss what we want to accomplish with the new day.
How do you integrate technology in your profession?
I created a type of Long Distance Classroom, where Glacier Bay can be visited by school through video-conferencing hardware.
How do you disconnect from technology?
Luckily, I live in one of the few places on earth that does not get Wi-Fi or cellular service. So when I am at home, I can only be reached by my landline. I rarely use the computer when I am at home.
Are there specific wildlife or science clubs you find interesting? Why?
I enjoy going to Audubon Society meetings. Participants are interested in watching birds and provide me with lots of information where to find birds and the species of birds in the local community.
What could a visitor expect to see when they come to visit you at work?
Lots of water, both marine and freshwater. This park gets a tremendous amount of rainfall, which contributes to the growth of these giant trees. The marine ecosystem provides habitat for a variety of marine mammals to survive here. Marine mammals such as humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, seals, and sea otters can find the appropriate habitat to survive.