Following studies on black bears in Northern California during 1969, Steve became one of the first biologists to earn his PhD studying grizzly/brown bears in North America -- in part by analyzing demographic data collected by the field’s pioneers Drs. John and Frank Craighead.  His study focused on ways in which adult male bears (boars) affect production and survival of cubs.  Traditional wisdom held that boars kill so many cubs that harvest of boars by sport hunters (allegedly) leads to dramatically increased rates of cub survival.  His research confirmed that rates of cub production and survival to adulthood were highest when boars were scarcest, and lowest when boars were most abundant in the Yellowstone population.  However, infanticide apparently had much less impact on cub survivorship than did competition for the foods most important to sows and cubs.  Competition for those foods was fiercest during periods when the alternative food sources preferred by boars were unproductive.  Although there may be circumstances where harvesting boars increases cub survivorship, there may also be circumstances which hunting can have just the opposite effect.
    Over the ensuing two decades, Steve has remained interested in the Yellowstone population because of its precarious viability.  Although government researchers claim that the population has recovered and no longer merits protection as a Threatened Species, under the Endangered Species Act, he believes that the population will likely plummet once delisting allows human impacts to greatly intensify.  He submitted over 300 pages of testimony on that during spring 2006 to document gaps or flaws in the government’s arguments, and to try to assure that grizzlies are not delisted before they can sustain themselves despite human impacts and climatic change.
    Population studies are now a smaller component of Steve’s research, which focuses on bear behavior, especially aggression, communication, reproduction and maternal care.  He has hand-reared orphaned bear cubs, wolf pups, fox kits, and moose calves.  
    Early in his career, Steve studied the behavior of grizzly/brown bears on the Alaska Peninsula, and of black bears in Interior Alaska.  He also studied population ecology and behavior of moose in Alaska and of red deer (elk), roe deer, and chamois (mountain goats) in the Tirolean Alps of Austria.  He earned a Masters degree in Wildlife Management and a Bachelors degree in Biological Oceanography -- with minors in physical sciences, math, and philosophy of science.  
     His earliest research project was analyzing effects of the alkaloid chemical colchicine on development of sea urchin embryos.  Those findings helped cell biologist W. E. Berg unlock the secrets of embryonic protein synthesis.  By his Freshman year in college, Steve was recognized as an expert on cold water marine aquarium systems.  As an Oceanography student, he went developed a novel theory about development of ecological diversity in marine estuaries.  He collected marine specimens from around the world.
    He worked his way through in college in a variety of jobs.  At various times, he, was employed by Dow Chemical Co. in pesticide development; the U.S. Forest Service analyzing pesticide impacts in the Bitterroot Range bordering Montana and Idaho; and the U.S. Geological Survey prospecting for marine deposits of gold and other precious metals.  He also held jobs harvesting and selling farm produce, ranch work, building construction, commercial fishing, pulling green-chain in a lumber mill, an assortment of odd jobs, and teaching.
    Steve career as an educator began as a teaching assistant in high school, then in college courses on biology, physiology, ecology, animal behavior, and mammalogy.  That led to Instructorships and then Adjunct Professorships in general biology, general physiology, pre-med physiology, wildlife habitat, soils, outdoor recreation, outdoor leadership, Alaska Mammals, bears and bear safety, etc.  He occasionally visits K-12 classrooms to teach about bears and bear safety, and to inspire students toward careers in science and ethical management of natural resources.
    Steve’s “honorary Grandma” Teetzineela Bell was Cherokee.  His promise to her to help Native peoples with wildlife and natural resource issues led him to teach at the Salish-Kootenai College and the Blackfeet Community College; to help found the Blackfeet Environmental Office, and to join the Alaska Native Brotherhood.  He and his wife Jacqueline met on the Blackfeet Reservation.  Both have a deep and abiding interest in Indigenous science -- in reliable, verifiable knowledge of Nature by Native peoples.  Applying those insights to knowing bears inspired Steve’s next book Becoming Bear: Adventures Learning to See Nature Through The Eyes of Western and Indigenous Sciences.
    Jackie was trained as a missionary and as a concert musician, specializing first in piano and then in bassoon.   Early in her career, she edited the newsletter of the New Jersey State Legislature and worked on the floor of that body.  She served as campaign manager for a congressional candidate.  Jackie later served as liaison for the League of Women Voters to both the New Jersey legislature and the United Nations.  After moving to Alaska, she earned her M.A. degree in Bilingual/Bicultural education, focusing on Russian-American and Native American cultures.  She spent one summer as a visiting professor at Magadan University in Siberia.  In the United States, she has taught in both mainstream and Native colleges, as well as at high schools in Native communities.  She and Steve were participants in the Fetzer Institute’s Dialogues Between Indigenous & Western Scientists.  She was editor of Words of Wisdom, a compendium of anecdotes and advice by Native elders in the Nana region of Alaska.  She is also co-author of the biography of Kotezebue elder Ray Skin.    
    Steve and Jackie live on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, where they run WildWatch -- a private business with divisions in consulting, education, video production and guiding wildlife watchers.  Their videos and other educational materials on bear behavior and bear safety are distributed through the Bear Viewing Association, which they founded. Steve is Director of BVA  and of the Bear Communication & Coexistence Research Program.
    Steve’s father Robert was a patent agent and an organic chemist -- a field in which he earned his MSc degree, following a BSc degree in Mining and Petroleum Engineering -- a field Bob chose in hopes of spending his career in the mountains he loved, exploring for minerals and collecting crystals. At age 80, swimming butterfly, Robert and three other members of a Medley Relay team together broke the world record in their Masters’ division.   Steve’s mother Joyce is a sculptor and painter -- inspiring Steve’s own love of sculpture and sculpting.  His other favorite hobby is playing and composing piano music.  His parents’ physical and moral courage remained strong even as their bodies began to fail -- setting an example that inspires all five of their children and several grandchildren.
PhD Behavioral and Population Ecology.  Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN  97996-1610.
MSc Wildlife Management.  Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK  99701.
BSc Biological Oceanography.  Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA 99521.
Consulting Clients and Colleagues
Louisa Willcox, Director. Natural Resource Defense Council, P.O. Box 70, Livingston, MT
59047-0070.  406/222-9561 email (Long-term consulting client).
Doug Honnold, attorney.  Earth Justice Defense Fund.  209 S Wilson St, Bozeman, MT  59715
406/586-9699  FAX -9695  (Long-term consulting client)
Dr. David Mattson, PhD.  National Biological Survey.  Colorado Plateau Field Station, Northern
Arizona Univ, P.O. Box 5614, Flagstaff, AZ  86011.  928/556-7466-245 email (colleague of many years; we interact frequently on assessment of grizzly bear population viability)
Dr. Val Geist, PhD.  P.O. Box 1294 Port Alberni, British Columbia, V9Y 7M2 Ph./Fax
250/723-7436  (colleague of nearly 30 years)
Jim Faro, Alaska Dept. of fish & Game, Sitka, AK (colleague of nearly 30 years): 907/966-2932
Susan Morse, Program Director, Keeping Track.  Wolf Run, 55a Bently Lane, Jericho,
    VT 05465.  Ph 082/899-2023 (colleague and occasional
    Steve’s sculptures focus on the trials and tribulations of life in the Alaska wilds.  Some of his finest pieces can be viewed by clicking below
    Old Timer
   Endless Winter
    Black Flame                                    
   Sun Dance
Bio & Artwork 
Stephen F. Stringham, PhD
Self Portrait
with White Ears and Whipple
 (c) 2000.  S. Stringham