Dipper Watching

Hocker-dipper-sketch-2 I've been assisting with research on American Dippers in the Juneau area for eight years now, and have co-authored a couple of books about them. I just never get tired of watching these great little birds–they're endlessly entertaining! Went out a couple of days ago to check on a nest site and found a pair busy establishing the next generation. Like most dippers, they've chosen fantastic real estate: the nest is tucked among some boulders behind a small but beautiful waterfall. Didn't have my sketchbook with me, so this drawing is from memory.

For more information about our books about American Dippers, see my books page.


In addition to sketching and illustrating, I do some writing. Here are a few of my publications.



A new children’s book about humpback whales–and about looking beyond the surface to see the connections in nature. A child and his mother share a conversation about “what it takes to make a whale,” as he learns to look for “the things you don’t see.”

Full color illustrations, 32 pages, 8.5X11 paperback, $11.95. It’s being printed now, and should be in hand by the end of June. Contact me if you’d like to pre-order or if you have any questions.

You can learn more about our When You See Flukes  book project, and about humpback whales near Juneau, at our “Spot the Whale” website.


Dipper cover for hearthside

American Dippers: Singers in the Mountain Streams is a concise natural history of dippers, and includes a chapter on how Mary and I conducted our dipper studies. 64 pages, full color. Contact me to order copies or share dipper stories.


Just cover

Since 2003, I’ve been working with my friend, ecologist Mary Willson, on a study of the habitat and habits of American dippers (Cinclus mexicanus)–marvelous little aquatic songbirds that live along mountain streams. One day while we were watching a pair of dippers feed their chicks, Mary suggested that we write a children’s book. So we did, and I illustrated it. The Singer in the Stream is a 32-page, full color picture book, full of dipper lore. Contact me if you’re interested in ordering copies.




I wrote Frozen in Motion for Alaska Natural History Association (now known as Alaska Geographic). It’s full of Alaska glacier science, and designed for older children and adults.




Mendenhall Glacier–Flowing Through Time is another book I wrote for Alaska Geographic. I grew up within sight of this glacier, and I used to bicycle to its face with my friends for summer picnics and explorations. The terrific photos in this book are by my friend David Job.