As a lifelong Californian, Robert Hanna spent most summers growing up in or very close to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He is the great-great-grandson of the famous conservationist, John Muir, and has eagerly and enthusiastically continued his family’s commitment to protecting and preserving all places of natural beauty. He is committed to preserving the legacy of his great-great-grand- father, the breadth of his intellect, and his contribution to many disciplines related to the natural and human communities he studied or visited in his travels.
In 2011 Robert undertook the charge to save 70 California State Parks that were in danger of closing. The effort was a success, and through the process he was able to unite both Democrats and Republicans to stand together in solidarity to fight for our parks. He also championed legislation that would forever contribute to the betterment of California’s state park system. His approach to solving problems is very practical and hands-on, a style that would be sure to make John Muir proud.
Robert is the owner of Range of Light ®, a company built on his vision to share over 100 years of the Muir-Hanna family’s love of the outdoors. He is an avid outdoorsman and proud defender of our parks.
In 2003 Ken became a rancher in the Yosemite National Park gateway community of Greeley Hill, CA. In that role and in support of his rural community, he started the John Muir Highway Geotourism Project as its founder and Chief Evangelist. He then started and funded, along with his wife, Teri, the John Muir Geotourism Center and as an adviser contributes to strategic projects and planning and measurement of geotourism’s impact on the local community.
With the launch of “Darwin’s Chiloe”—a tour in southern Chile set for 2013—he recently began expanding the positive role of geotourism internationally as one of the most environmentally friendly and cost effective strategies for protecting economically endangered rural communities. These treasures of cultural heritage often surround America’s national parks and preserved ecosystems around the world. Prior to the Highway Project, he participated in Mariposa county projects as Vice Chair of the Agri-Tourism Committee and North County representative leader for the Economic Development Corporation.
Ken earned a BA with Honors in English Literature from SUNY-Buffalo. He also served as an Editor/Writer for the Speaker’s Office of the NY State Legislature for several years. After gaining an MBA from SUNY-Buffalo, he focused on strategic software system sales, online learning management software and content development systems.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1951, Bill Swagerty grew up in the ranching community of Union County, distinguished by its dearth of people and trees and its large population of cattle. A graduate of public schools, Swagerty began his college life as a music major, but social science professors at The Colorado College refocused his direction, leading to a History degree in 1973.
Three years at U.C. Santa Barbara on the beach and in graduate classes convinced him he needed to find fellowships or employment. The Newberry Library in Chicago provided both. He lived in the Windy City for five years, serving as Associate Director of the Center for the History of the American Indian. Returning to the West in 1982, Swagerty taught at University of Idaho prior to joining Pacific’s faculty in 2001 to direct the John Muir Center for Environmental Studies.
He is currently Director of the Muir Center at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA and Professor of HIstory. In addition to teaching, his position includes organizing bi-annual conferences, publishing a newsletter, working with visiting scholars interested in John Muir’s Papers in the university library, and serving as liaison with Muir family descendants to promote the good name and message of the father of the modern conservation movement.
Swagerty has been a visiting scientist at the National Museum of Natural History and a Fulbright Senior Scholar, visiting New Zealand and Australia in 2007 following John Muir’s Trail from his 1903-04 World Tour. His recent courses have focused on the history of California, the North American Conservation Movement, and the American West. In addition, Swagerty teaches regularly in the Pacific Seminar series for freshmen and is active in the annual freshman orientation trip to Yosemite National Park each fall.