Posts tagged ‘Frank Craighead’

A Bear-y Scary Encounter for the Craighead Brothers

craigheads bears

Photo via The Craighead Institute

Our Jan./Feb. 2017 issue features a story on the Craighead siblings, a trio of Penn Staters whose lives’ work stemmed from a dedication to nature. One project of the two Craighead brothers—Frank ’39 and John ’39—was a 12-year study of grizzly bears at Yellowstone National Park. According to the official Craighead Institute website, the duo “developed field techniques to attach the collars and track the movements of the bears.”

During one encounter, the mix of drugs they used to sedate the bear wore off before they could collect all of their data, which led to an especially scary run-in with the animal. There is video of the incident, which you can watch here. It illustrates both the dangers of their research and how close they got to the animals they studied.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

February 7, 2017 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Inside Our January/February 2017 Issue

jf17_cover_blogLook for a welcome pop of color inside your mailboxes soon: You won’t be able to miss the striking aracari named Beatrice gracing the cover of our Jan./Feb. issue. This toucan is just one of the magnificent models featured in “Critter Close-Ups.” Michael Faix, a wildlife photographer and staffer at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, shares his pictures and the stories behind them starting on p. 42.

In “Learning in the Dirt” (p. 24), Dana DiFilippo ’92 discovers the Penn State students who are managing their own working farm on campus. (It turns out that they’re learning as much about themselves as they are about growing food.) Also in the issue, we take a look at the profound legacy of the Craighead family, which includes two leading conservationists and a bestselling author, in “Three of a Kind.”

We also asked readers for memories of getting mail at college and received dozens of great responses. Whether it was a sweet surprise, like mom’s baked-from-scratch cookies, or a love letter in a long-distance relationship—we learned that, years after opening these envelopes and packages, they still remain some of your most special deliveries. Start reading the letters on p. 32.

More from the issue: a profile on Kaia, the adorable golden retriever puppy who is making her mark as a full-time employee at Hershey; a story about Nike CEO Mark Parker ’77; and a recap of the amazing season for the 2016 Nittany Lion football team.

What do you think about the new issue? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at

Amy Downey, senior editor

December 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm 4 comments

The Craigheads’ Pennsylvania Roots

The Craighead brothers, early in their career.

A pair of interesting stories in the Carlisle, Pa., newspaper caught my eye this week. The home where famous siblings Frank, John Jr., and Jean Craighead grew up is still standing, and there’s a move afoot to preserve it.

The 120-year-old Victorian house in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County, was where the three siblings first learned to love nature—a love that would inspire their careers. All three went on to attend Penn State; Frank ’39 and his twin brother, John ’39, would become renowned wildlife scientists and conservationists working in the Rocky Mountains, while Jean Craighead George ’41 became an award-winning writer of nature-oriented books for young adults (My Side of the Mountain and Julie of the Wolves being her best-known).

John Craighead is still living; Frank died in 2001; and Jean Craighead George died this past May—her obit will appear in our Nov-Dec issue.

Check out the Carlisle Sentinel’s story “Saving Craighead House” and a short companion article about the famous Craighead family.

And below is something I found from our 2004 profile of Jean Craighead George: a sidebar in which she listed her own favorites of the more than 100 books she had written. Click on it to get a bigger version that you can actually read.

Tina Hay, editor

September 6, 2012 at 9:26 am 1 comment

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