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Exotic traveler, author, and environmental scientist Jon Turk presents The Raven’s Gift

The Raven's Gift
@ Oxygen Art Centre, Friday, March 4, 7:30 p.m.

By Fiona Brown

Jon Turk received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1971 and co-authored the first environmental science textbook in North America.

Even as he continued a successful academic career, he wandered through some of the most exotic and remote landscapes of the world – across the great oceans, mountain ranges, and vast tundras.

He has worked in street circus, kayaked across the North Pacific and around Cape Horn, mountain biked through the Gobi desert, and made first climbing ascents of big walls on Baffin Island.

“In the beginning I merely considered my travels to be a series or physical challenges to overcome and goals to attain. That was a long time ago,” Turk said.

Since then he has returned from his transformational adventures to write and speak about them, the people, and the environments he has encountered.

“In Siberia, the harshest of lands, I met Moolynaut, a shaman of the Koryak people. Through her teachings, and the patient conversations of many men and women from the South Pacific to the Arctic, I began to see the world as our ancestors saw it, sustainable and full of wonder,” said Turk.

His website ( and The Raven’s Gift tell the story of his journey among people of forgotten seas and tundra.

His media resume includes 25 environmental and geoscience books, and three adventure books: Cold Oceans (HarperCollins), In the Wake of the Jomon (McGraw Hill), and, most recently, The Raven’s Gift (St. Martin's Press).
He has published many magazine articles, presented hundreds of slide shows, and recorded countless radio interviews.

Jon Turk’s visual presentation and reading is part of Oxygen Art Centre’s Ideas Café Series and is co-hosted by Oxygen and the Kootenay School of Writing.
Admission is $5. More info about Oxygen’s programming can be found at