Michael grew up at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, as the great grandson of a forty-niner, served as a US Army platoon sergeant during the Viet Nam era, and then earned his Ph.D. in Ecology in 1979 from the University of California at Davis for his pioneering research on wild chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, Uganda. In addition to teaching university courses in primate behavior and ecology and in human evolution and ecology, he has directed several semesters-overseas centers focusing on sustainable resource management (in Kenya, the Turks & Caicos, Palau, Far North Queensland, and on Vancouver Island), and has worked as a wilderness river guide and EMT. Since 1974, he has run more than 660 commercial whitewater trips and also treks in Ethiopia, Java, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda, Sumatra, Tanzania, Turkey, and the USA. These include 145, 2-week rowing or paddling trips through Grand Canyon and more than 44,000 miles of river overall on 40 river runs, a few in the Canyon as an NPS ranger. He has made several Kilimanjaro ascents and Kenyan foot safaris. Ghiglieri lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, is happily married, has three children, and has authored documentary screenplays and six books (two on wild chimpanzees) with his wife Susan, is a volunteer for the Coconino County Sheriff Department’s Search and Rescue Team.
Visit our Artisans of O.A.R.S. page to find out about First Through Grand Canyon, Michael's saga of John Wesley Powell's explorations, as well as a list of his other works.