Professional naturalist and award-winning environmental educator and author Ken Keffer was born and raised in Wyoming.
A vagabond naturalist, he’s done a little bit of everything, from monitoring small mammal populations in Grand Teton National Park, to researching flying squirrels in southeast Alaska, and monitoring Bactrian Camels in Mongolia’s Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area.
He’s also worked as an environmental educator in Wyoming, northern New Mexico, coastal Maryland, along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio and Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, and currently in Des Moines, Iowa.
Ken enjoys birding, floating on lazy rivers, fly fishing in the mountains out west, and walking his dog Willow The Wonder Mutt. One of Ken’s favorite childhood memories is building Fort Fishy along his Grandma and Grandpa’s creek.
Ken has penned seven books connecting kids and the outdoors, plus a hiking guide. He received the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education’s Nonformal Educator of the Year Award, and The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up was awarded a National Outdoor Book Award honorable mention.
His writing has also been honored with numerous Outdoor Writers Association of America’s Excellence in Craft Awards. Ken’s career is spent highlighting the importance of nature and encouraging people to explore the outdoors. The National Parks have been called “America’s Best Idea,” and Ken was thrilled to write the Ranger Rick: National Parks! book to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks Service.
Ken is returning for his second appearance at the Sheboygan Children & Teen’s Book Festival and we are excited he is back!
Learn more about Ken Keffer on his website.
Q1: OUR THEME THIS YEAR IS HERE'S AN IDEA! WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE FOR PONDERING IDEAS?
Ken: Nature! Even if it is just a short stroll in the park, being outside helps me think more clearly.
Q2: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
Ken: I especially enjoyed science and English, so perhaps it is no surprise that I ended up becoming a nature writer.
Q3: WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO DO?
Ken: I'm trying to learn how to play mandolin. I should also learn how to swim someday.
Q4: WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Ken: I have always enjoyed writing. I remember entering young authors contests in school and dreaming about one day being a published author.