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
Religion Christian (CRC)[2]
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]