DAN KOEPPEL, ORGANIZER OF THE BIG PARADE, IS THE AUTHOR OF TWO CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BOOKS. His first, To See Every Bird on Earth: A Father, A Son, and A Lifelong Obsession was published by Penguin/Hudson Street Press in 2005. Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman, described it as “Marvelous. I loved everything about this book,” and the London Independent called it “[A] tender, beautifully written account by an outstanding nature writer.”
Dan Koeppel’s second book, Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World, was published in 2008, and is now in a fourth printing; it has been translated into five languages. The book was the subject of Dan’s full-length appearance on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. His over 100 radio and television appearances have included NPR’s Good Food and Science Friday, WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show, and KPCC’s Talk of the City. On television, he’s appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. He has lectured at UCLA (Summer 2008 at the Latin American Institute), Northeastern University, Oregon State University, California State University Long Beach; California State University Channel Islands; the University of California at Berkeley, the Denver Museum of Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, Hampshire College, the Dwell Sustainability Conference, San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, the American Library Association conference, and dozens of additional venues, including bookstores and public libraries. His most recent appearance, on NPR’s Science Friday, was in July 2011. In October 2011, he will be giving a two-day seminar in New Zealand as part of a conference on diversifying the global fruit crop.
Both Banana and To See Every Bird on Earth were based on magazine features; the former from a 2006 story in Popular Science, and the latter on a 2003 story in Audubon.
Koeppel has been a full-time freelancer, writing for national magazines since 1997. His most recent story - on the future of light bulbs and lighting - appeared on the cover of the September 2011 issue of Wired Magazine. He is a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics and Bicycling magazines. Over the past two years, his feature stories have appeared National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Wired, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Organic Gardening, and The Scientist. Earlier, his writing appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Outside, The Utne Reader, The Scientific American, and many other publications.
PRAISE FOR BANANA:
Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times contributor Paul Krugman has three times cited Koeppel’s book in his columns, once describing at as – along with The Wealth of Nations, by John Maynard Keynes – “essential reading” for understanding today’s global economic crisis.
BOSTON GLOBE: “In the hands of a lesser writer, the book’s multiple personalities - it is at once a political and economic treatise, a scientific explication, and a cultural history - might have proved unwieldy. Koeppel, though, weaves all of these elements together seamlessly”
He is the recipient of a 2009 National Geographic Society Expeditions Council grant for a project that took him and a team of scientists to the Democratic Republic of Congo to search for unique banana species amidst the remains of an abandoned agricultural research station located on a remote segment of the Congo River. His story on that expedition will appear in the January 2012 issue of National Geographic.
In 2011, he won the James Beard Foundation best food related feature award, for a story he wrote for Saveur magazine.
His story “How to Fall 35,000 Feet - And Live,” originally published in Popular Mechanics, will appear in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011. This is his second appearance in the “Best American” series; in 2006, a story he wrote for Bicycling magazine appeared in that year’s edition of Best American Sportswriting.
He is a one-time winner and two-time runner-up for the Lowell Thomas Award of the Society of American Travel Writers.
In 2006, he was honored by the California State Senate, receiving an “Advocacy in Journalism Award” for his work on behalf of bicycles and pedestrians in Los Angeles. He received a certificate of recognition from the Los Angeles City Attorney for those same efforts.
In 2003, Koeppel was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.
Koeppel is founder and organizer of The Big Parade, a two-day community walking event in Los Angeles that attracted over 400 participants in 2011. His dream is to create a system of permanent pedestrian “black belts” – recreational rights-of-way that preclude automobile traffic along major boulevards, side streets, sidewalks, and public stairways.
Video recordings of his lectures:
Oregon State University: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cprTP_5LBhM
UC Berkeley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyXtaD28Zeo
Cal State University Channel Islands: http://esrm.csuci.edu/videos/seminars/2009/koeppel/index.htm
To the Point (KCRW): http://n.pr/obZH6y
Photo: Kristin Bedford
Contact Dan Koeppel.