Harlan Kredit

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Harlan Kredit
Harlan Kredit.jpg
Harlan Kredit in 2007
Born November 2, 1939
Lynden, Washington
Nationality  United States
Occupation Secondary teacher
Park ranger
Known for Conservation biology
Spouse(s) Linda Kredit (née VanderKooi)[2][3]

Harlan Kredit (born 1939)[4] 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.[5] He has spent the majority of his career at Lynden Christian High School.[6] Kredit is also a ranger at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming during the summer[4] 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,[7] and for his efforts in fish and wildlife conservation, particularly along Whatcom County's Fishtrap Creek[8] (which eventually dispenses into Puget Sound). His students know him for his familiar exclamation of "It's a great day to be alive!"[9][10]

History and work[edit]

Harlan Kredit was born and raised in Lynden, Washington, alongside Fishtrap Creek,[11] which contained "huge numbers of salmon each fall."[8]

Kredit graduated from Calvin College in 1961[12] and taught high school science education in Hudsonville, Michigan from 1962 to 1972.[1] In 1967 he gained a master's degree in Science Teaching from the College of William and Mary.[1]

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),[4] and in 1973 he moved back to Whatcom County and began teaching at Lynden Christian High School.[1]

Upon his return to Whatcom County, he discovered that Fishtrap Creek had "hardly any fish left."[11] He began a salmon restoration project in 1976 which continues to this day, hatching over 2 million salmon since its foundation.[11]

In 1980 he earned a degree as an Emergency Medical Technician from Calvin.[1] In 1986, he also began teaching environmental education to teachers at the American Wilderness Leadership School in Jackson, Wyoming.[1] He has continued his education at Western Washington University, Michigan State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Wyoming.[1]

Projects worked on in Kredit's classes include raising 50,000 Coho salmon at the Lynden Christian Fish Hatchery every year,[2] treeplanting (over 18,000 as of 2007),[13] 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.[7]

In addition, Kredit served as Lynden Christian's athletic director[14] and sat as a WIAA Executive Board Representative of the Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association.[15][16] Kredit's hobbies include beekeeping, mountaineering, and repairing Ford Model T's and player pianos.[15]

Kredit is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the Washington State Science Teachers Association, and the Nature Conservancy.[7]

In 2012, a campaign to elect Kredit as President of the United States began, though Kredit himself is not involved with the effort.

Honors and awards[edit]

Kredit has also twice been awarded the Department of the Interior's Special Achievement Award for his work as a ranger at Yellowstone Park.[4] All in all, Kredit has won at least 25 awards and honors for his work in conservation ecology and secondary education.

See also[edit]

Sources and further material[edit]