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Dr. Peter Brookes escapes his Washington, D.C. “think tank” job in foreign policy to America’s woods and waters as often as possible to partake of Mother Nature’s bounty and write about it. (Considering international politics, one must do what one can to preserve one’s sanity.) As a part-time, freelance scribbler, his writings on the great outdoors have found a home with the Northern Virginia Daily, an award winning Shenandoah Valley newspaper where he’s written on topics from bonefishing in Hawaii, to rabbit hunting with beagles in Virginia. A prolific commentator on foreign policy, Brookes has made more than 3,000 TV and radio appearances, published more than 500 op-eds and articles and one book. He’s a graduate of Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Mark Johnson grew up hunting and fishing on his family’s Christmas tree farm in the rural Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. After a 10-year stint as assistant editor of a statewide agricultural publication in Tennessee, Johnson became communications director for the 70-year-old Tennessee Wildlife Federation in 2013. In addition to editing the organization’s magazine, Tennessee Out-of-Doors, Johnson directs e-marketing, social media, media relations and other communications needs. In early 2015, he created a public education campaign — “Tennessee’s Wildlife is YOUR Wildlife” — based on the public trust tenet of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Johnson lives in the middle Tennessee community of Kingston Springs with his wife, Holly, and the couple’s three children, Sam, 14; Ava, 13; and Pete, 8.
The adventures and grandeur of the mountains and the serenity of early mornings overlooking his favorite whitetail woods, drives Cody Metz’s creative passion for outdoor media. Metz entered the outdoor industry through a hunting-based television show that crafted his videography skills over a five year period. After writing his first published article in North American Whitetail, he quickly realized he wanted to spend more time and effort on the writing and photography side of media. He created his blog when he started submitting freelance articles to outdoor magazines. The blog has now become a point of focus not only for marketing his writing, but marketing key partners in the outdoor industry. While Metz is new to this industry, specifically the literature side, he is looking forward to the opportunities to not only grow his writing abilities, but also his list of outdoor friends through OWAA. You can find his work at www.calculatedsavage.com.
Benjamin Alva Polley is currently in the environmental sciences and natural resource journalism program at the University of Montana. His work has been published in Lake Superior Magazine, Whitefish Review, Written Rive magazine, Black Heart Magazine, Flathead Living magazine, Montana Headwall and in other publications. He is an associate editor of the Whitefish Review.
Krista Schlyer is a photographer and writer living in Mount Rainier, Maryland. Her work, which focuses on wildlife, natural history and conservation, has been published by BBC, The Nature Conservancy, High Country News, National Parks and Sierra. Schlyer is the author of three books including “Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall,” a winner of the 2013 National Outdoor Book Award. She is also the 2014 recipient of the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography and the 2015 Vision Award, from the North American Nature Photographers Association. Schlyer’s newest book, “Almost Anywhere: Road Trip Ruminations on Love, Nature, National Parks and Nonsense,” recently released by Skyhorse Publishing, chronicles a journey that begins in a small Kansas town and culminates in America’s National Park System.♦