John Miles grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in anthropology. He earned an MA at the University of Oregon in Recreation and Park Management and a PhD in Environmental Studies and Education at the Union Institute. While at Dartmouth, John attended a talk by David Brower, then Executive Director of the Sierra Club, who spoke about the threat of dams to Grand Canyon National Park. Inspired by Brower’s talk and books, such as Stewart Udall’s The Quiet Crisis, John was hooked.
After grad school he landed in Bellingham, Washington, where he became involved in his first conservation issue, the establishment of North Cascades National Park. At Western Washington University, John was in on the founding of Huxley College of Environmental Studies, where he taught environmental education, history, ethics, and literature, and ultimately served as dean of the College. He taught at Huxley for 44 years, climbing and hiking all over the West, especially in the North Cascades, for research and recreation. Author and editor of several books, including Guardians of the Parks, Koma Kulshan, and Wilderness in National Parks, John served on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Washington Forest Practices Board, and he helped found and build the North Cascades Institute.
Retired now and living with his wife Susan near Taos, New Mexico, he continues to work on national parks, wilderness, and rewilding the earth, and he hikes, bikes, and skis whenever possible. He contributes to the nationalparkstraveler.org, as well as Rewilding Earth, and is writing a history of the North Cascades Institute.