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Peter Lourie

Explorer, Writer, Teacher, Historian.

Peter has always been fascinated by the great mysteries and adventures of the world. Never content to simply read about them, he undertakes missions across the globe then shares his experiences and passion through books and talks. Whether hunting for ancient Incan treasure in the cloud forests of the Andes Mountains, following scientists as they track polar bears in the Alaskan Wilderness,  living in Tierra del Fuego at “The End of The World”, or traveling to the Arctic in an Canadian Icebreaker, Peter’s passion for adventure and storytelling is insatiable. When he isn’t traveling or writing, he’s teaching at Middlebury College or visiting classrooms across the country to show students how they can forge their own paths into the wonderful unknown.

The Usual Stuff. Peter holds a BA in classics from New York University, an MA in English Literature from the University of Maine, and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He has taught writing at Columbia College and the University of Vermont. He now teaches Adventure Writing & Digital Storytelling at Middlebury College and makes his living traveling, writing, and photographing. He visits schools to share his adventures with students and teachers. He and his family live in Weybridge, Vermont.

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"A gripping and harrowing true adventure story and a penetrating look into the formative experiences of a writer." —Kirkus

Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush

By Peter Lourie

“A gripping and harrowing true adventure story and a penetrating look into the formative experiences of a writer.” —Kirkus

Here is a compelling middle grade nonfiction tale of how one classic writer drew upon a rugged life of adventure to create works of literature, punctuated by stunning black-and-white art by Wendell Minor and illustrative photographic material.

Swept up in the Gold Rush of 1897, young Jack London headed north to strike it rich in the Klondike and discovered something more precious than gold―the seeds of the stories that would flower into his classic novels The Call of the Wild and White Fang, and timeless short stories such as “To Build A Fire.” This gripping tale follows London as he treks up the ruthless Chilkoot Trail, braves the lethal Whitehorse Rapids, survives a bad case of scurvy, and conquers many more dangers of the Yukon during his quest for gold.

Writing To Explore

By Peter Lourie & David Somoza

In Writing to Explore, David and Peter demonstrate how to teach adventure writing, which integrates nonfiction and fiction and motivates students to write with imagination, curiosity, and a hunger to learn everything about their topic. The book starts with a solid foundation in the basics of good writing: setting descriptions, writing atmosphere, and character development. The authors then explore the specific elements of adventure writing—from setting the stage to conducting research; from combining history and geography to effectively utilizing technology. The result is an adventure-based paper that is “rooted in real places, supported by facts, and developed with detailed description of images from real locations.”

Teachers will find handouts, sample activities, student writing examples, research sources, and tips to help them create a nonfiction writing program based around the adventure writing model. Research papers don’t have to be boring to read or to write. This book will show you how to get vibrant papers from your students—papers that teach both reader and writer something new.

"An informative, vicarious trip to the Arctic for polar bear enthusiasts and future scientists."
—Booklist

The Polar Bear Scientists

By Peter Lourie

“An informative, vicarious trip to the Arctic for polar bear enthusiasts and future scientists.” —Booklist​

Follow scientists as they scan the Alaskan wilderness for these magnificent creatures.
 
It is springtime on the North Slope of Alaska, and the U.S. Geological Survey team—the polar bear biologists Kristin Simac and Mike Lockhart—is gearing up for polar bear capturing. During a capture, all information is collected on the sea ice. The scientists locate bears from a helicopter, tranquilize them, give them tattoo ID numbers and tags, and collect data such as height, weight, and body fat measurements and samples such as blood, hair, feces, and even teeth. All this information goes into a large database studied by scientists such as Drs. Steven Amstrup and George Durner, the former and current leaders of the Polar Bear Research Project. For more than forty-five years, scientists have been capturing bears in order to get information. What has this information been telling scientists about polar bears and global warming?

Arctic Thaw

By Peter Lourie

“A somewhat sobering, yet upbeat examination of the probable effects of global warming on the culture of the Iñupiaq whale hunters of Alaska’s North Slope. Lourie, in company with atmospheric chemist Dr. Paul Shepson and three of his students, made three journeys to investigate the problems presented by climatic change on the human and animal ecologies of this remote, challenging landscape. His lively, straightforward text describes the mixture of traditional and modern ways of the present-day Iñupiaq, as well as the work of Shepson and his team to record weather and climate changes and to predict what effect they will have locally and globally. The author also explores the efforts of BASC (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium) to assist researchers and encourage a sharing of information between scientists and native people. Numerous full-color photos and helpful maps and diagrams enrich the package. Lourie presents a serious look at the local intensities of a global problem. Grade 5-8”

For more information on Peter Lourie, his story, philosophy, books, media materials, and so forth, visit him at peterlourie.com

For more information on Peter Lourie, his story, philosophy, books, media materials, and so forth, visit him at peterlourie.com

Contact Peter