Harlan Kredit in 2007
|Known for||Conservation biology|
|Spouse(s)||Linda Kredit (née VanderKooi)|
Harlan Kredit (born 1939) is a multiple award-winning Dutch-American high school teacher from Lynden, Washington. He was the first Washingtonian teacher ever to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He has spent the majority of his career at Lynden Christian High School. Kredit is also a ranger at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming during the summer and a prolific photographer for the National Park Service.
Kredit has gained renown for his "investigative" approach to teaching secondary biology and emphasis on leadership, and for his efforts in fish and wildlife conservation, particularly along Whatcom County's Fishtrap Creek (which eventually dispenses into Puget Sound). His students know him for his familiar exclamation of "It's a great day to be alive!"
History and work
Kredit graduated from Calvin College in 1961 and taught high school science education in Hudsonville, Michigan from 1962 to 1972. In 1967 he gained a master's degree in Science Teaching from the College of William and Mary.
In the summer of 1972 he began working as a ranger naturalist and wildfire fighter for Yellowstone National Park (a job which he still holds today), and in 1973 he moved back to Whatcom County and began teaching at Lynden Christian High School.
Upon his return to Whatcom County, he discovered that Fishtrap Creek had "hardly any fish left." He began a salmon restoration project in 1976 which continues to this day, hatching over 2 million salmon since its foundation.
In 1980 he earned a degree as an Emergency Medical Technician from Calvin. In 1986, he also began teaching environmental education to teachers at the American Wilderness Leadership School in Jackson, Wyoming. He has continued his education at Western Washington University, Michigan State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Wyoming.
Projects worked on in Kredit's classes include raising 50,000 Coho salmon at the Lynden Christian Fish Hatchery every year, treeplanting (over 18,000 as of 2007), restoration, and litter disposal around Whatcom County, raising awareness of contaminating river drainage, channeling Fishtrap Creek for the safety of salmon, and mapping Whatcom's drainage basin.
In addition, Kredit served as Lynden Christian's athletic director and sat as a WIAA Executive Board Representative of the Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association. Kredit's hobbies include beekeeping, mountaineering, and repairing Ford Model T's and player pianos.
Honors and awards
- Field & Stream Hero of Conservation (2007)
- Lifetime Achievement Dribblie (2007)
- Washington's 2006 PDK/Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year (2006)
- SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Educator of the Year (2006)
- The Walt Disney Company Teacher Award (2005)
- Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (2004)
- National Conservation Teacher of the Year (2004)
- Washington State Conservation Teacher of the Year (2004)
- Washington State Science Teacher of the Year (2004)
- WFIS 2004 Best of Washington Teacher's Award (2004)
- Washington State Secondary Science Teacher of the Year (2003)
- Conservation Fund National Environmental Education Award (2002)
- Washington State Department of Ecology Environmental Excellence Award (2002)
- International Paper Environmental Education Award (2002)
- Adopt-a-Stream: Streamkeeper of the Year (2000)
- Calvin College Distinguished Alumni Award (1997)
- National Conservation Teacher of the Year (1995)
- Safari Club International National Educator of the Year (1995)
- Washington State Environmental Educator of the Year (1995)
- National Secondary Conservation Teacher of the Year (1994)
- Northwest State Regional Conservation Teacher of the Year (1994)
- Washington State Conservation Teacher of the Year (1994)
- Washington State Department of Fisheries Governors Award (1987)
Kredit has also twice been awarded the Department of the Interior's Special Achievement Award for his work as a ranger at Yellowstone Park. All in all, Kredit has won at least 25 awards and honors for his work in conservation ecology and secondary education.
Sources and further material
- A Real Fish Story: Students raise salmon and ecological awareness
- The Walt Disney Company Teacher Award
- Heroes of Conservation: Harlan Kredit, the Outdoors Instructor
- Lynden Christian Fish Hatchery
- calvin.edu, accessed 24 August 2008
- Congratulations to Mr. Harlan Kredit, wlfs.org, accessed 24 August 2008
- National Teachers Hall of Fame, KTKA.com, accessed 24 August 2008
- Hero of Conservation, fieldandstreamextras.com
- Lifetime Achievement Dribblie, tourneytown.com