Leon Powers

Dr. Leon Powers was born on a farm hard-scrabbled out of desert shrub-land north of Shoshone, Idaho. His boyhood experiences growing up in the foothills of the Snake River country near Glenns Ferry fostered a lifelong love and fascination for the outdoors and wildlife biology. As a native son of Idaho, he remained true to the land he loves, centering his higher education also in the state, with degrees earned at Northwest Nazarene University, University of Idaho and Idaho State University. Throughout his 35 years as a professor at Northwest Nazarene University he followed his naturalist’s curiosity by directing his biology students into the outdoors for hands-on studies of Idaho’s diverse wildlife. Birds of prey, migratory birds, bats, native mice, rare snakes and lizards, and butterflies have all been subjects of investigation by Powers and his students.

Since 1983 Leon has taught a week-long Birds of Prey class, with the help of his friends, Tim and Erica Craig, introducing thousands of college students and educators to the hawks, eagles, falcons and owls of the S. W. Idaho Snake River Country. Much of his writings reflect this wealth of experience with raptors.

Throughout his career, Powers has received a number of Teaching Excellence awards which are a testament to his love for teaching biology, and his dedication to his students. As a part of his mentoring commitment, many of Dr. Powers’ 40-plus scientific publications are co-authored by his students.

Since 2003 Dr. Powers has redirected much of his writing toward non-fiction book form. In 2003 he published his first book, A Hawk in the Sun, and in 2008 released his second book, Dead Owls Flying. In the fall 2008, he began his “Doc Hawk” periodic nature stories in Boys’ Life, the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. All these nonfiction stories bear the enchantment and adventure of a long-time field biologist’s numerous face-to-face encounters with wildlife.

For his latest book (summer 2010), The Forgotten Expedition, Powers played history detective as well as expert naturalist to exhume lost 1907 field records and write this expose’ on a never-before reported pioneer biological expedition into Idaho and Oregon.