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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Ferris teacher stars on National Geographic survival series

SURVIVAL -- Survival instructor, wilderness guide and former Ferris High School science teacher Hazen Audel is starring in an innovative series on the National Geographic TV series called Surviving the Tribe.

The program debuted this summer and the shows are available "on demand" if you don't get Comcast Channel 273 or Time Warner 166. Episodes already out indicate the program is going to restore respect to the survival genre that's gone Hollywood loopie with recent series.

Audel, a native of Eastern Washington, travels to some of the world's most remote tribal communities to learn how they have survived for thousands of years in the planet's toughest environments. 

He joins tribes in the rainforests of Ecuador, the Kalahari Desert of Namibia, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, the mountains of western Mongolia, the frozen Arctic of Canada, and in equatorial Kenya to learn firsthand the skills and traditions of these masters of survival. 

Audel already has made an impression in Spokane and beyond, as an artist and naturalist. Audel designed the Montvale Hotel sign and much of the interior metalwork in Steelhead Bar and Grille in downtown.

Spokane Mushroom Club members rubbed elbows with the star in 2008, when Audel joined their annual Priest Lake foray. Audel brought a cameraman for a science documentary to be shown to all high school students in the US.

"It was a very informative and fun film showing all types of nature including animals, plants, mushrooms, birds and more," said Lynda Foreman, the club's leader.

Here's an earlier bio on Audel from his video program roots on his Wild Classroom website.

Hazen received his Bachelors of Science in biology from Western Washington University. He has also studied botany and zoology at Eastern Washington University and Northwest Indian College, and has completed advanced studies in tropical ecology at the University of Hawaii.

Hazen works as an instructor for Outward Bound Outdoor Schools and independently as a visiting speaker. He is a public school educator, concentrating on natural history, rainforest ecology, and biology. Hazen's passion for nature is an integral part of his character. He is a "hands-on" educator.

He has been guiding natural history trips in South America since 1993. He is heavily influenced by indigenous people and has pursued interests in outdoor survival and primitive skills.

In 1998, Hazen traveled to The Malocus and Irian Jaya, Indonesia, one of the most remote places in the world. He carried out independent biology and ethnobotany research which inadvertently tested this survival skills. (Ask him about it!)

Hazen's vision is to carry out adventure education to both young people and adults focusing on awareness, personal growth, earth skills, nature, and conservation. Because of this vision he helped co-found The Wild Classroom in 2003, with fellow scientist and filmmaker Rob Nelson.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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