Your perceptions and awareness add to an ever refining map of the world around you. Once you see, no feel the synthesis of the interlocking and moving relationships, the invisible parts take on a shadow-like form, eventually revealing themselves in even more detail. The gaps in the map naturally fill in. Then, in another seemingly thoughtless moment, vital wisdom reveals itself congruent to the evolving questions you have about the world around you.
We find connection by actually feeling the sinuous curve of a cougar track, appreciating the shear weight of an bear, watching a squirrel build a winter nest, lazily sitting in the ferns watching deer feed and even becoming entranced by the office worker on a break who grinds their cigarette into the sidewalk. The goal is to see everything as both an individual and a player in a greater moving puzzle.
Tony has lived and studied skills and concepts of sustainability his entire life. Even 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 value of community and family. 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. Based on his work, research and experience in survival, bushcraft, traditional skills and tracking, Tony also taught extensively for the graduate sustainability program at Portland State University, including founding their Naturalist Training Program. He has facilitated 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. Currently, he is a lead facilitator for the TrackersTEAMS Immersion Program. Tony is also authoring a definitive guide and workbook on tracking and naturalist training with Michelle Keefer, set to publish in fall 2009.