Naturalist icon Naturalist

Sean Neilson

The summer after Sean graduated from college, he waited tables in Yellowstone to delay entering “the real world”. It was there, in the unending beauty of such a special place, where he realized the natural world was the real world—and it had captured him.

Several years and a second degree later, Sean found himself helping visitors with their bird lists rather than their menu selections as a ranger with the National Park Service. After several adventure-filled years at Yellowstone he sought an even bigger and wilder landscape in Glacier Bay, Alaska. For the next 15 years, Sean worked as a ranger and naturalist for Glacier Bay National Park.

While working in Southeast Alaska, Sean put down deep roots in the small bush community of Gustavus, adjacent to Glacier Bay. Here, he has built a handcrafted home where he lives with his wife and two children.

Sean is passionate about sharing the natural world with his kids, and others as well. This passion dovetails nicely with living a subsistence lifestyle. Whether it’s hunting deer, fishing for halibut and salmon, tending the garden, or gathering mushrooms and berries, Sean spends as much time as possible outside in the wet and wild country that is Glacier Bay and Icy Strait. While at home, he keeps plenty busy fixing things that his kids break.

Sean’s other passion is photography, which allows him to share the beauty of the natural world with others while providing an outlet for his creative expression.