Home How-To Interesting Stuff Member Art Galleries Events About Us

Richard 'Yukon' Dick's Biography

By Dick Kocan

Current status: Retired / Consulting

Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio B.A.
Michigan State University, E. Lansing, Michigan M.S./ Ph. D. Microbiology & Public Health
University of Washington School of Medicine Dept of Pathology National Institutes of Health Post Doctoral Fellow; Toxicology


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Dept. of Interior
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD (Avian Diseases)
Eastern Fish Disease Laboratory, Leetown, W.VA (Fish Diseases)
Fish & Wildlife Health Laboratory, Madison, WI. (Wildlife Diseases)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Department of Pathology; School of Medicine (Environmental toxicology)
Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences; College of the Environment (Infectious diseases)

Publications in Peer-reviewed scientific journals: 122
Presentations at National and International scientific meetings: > 80


My interest in knapping began with my looking for artifacts while in high school. Twenty years later with only two broken arrowheads in hand I concluded that I needed to change my strategy, i.e. make my own. Out of this came my interest in lithic technology, which expanded into geology, archeology, and anthropology.

Initially I was interested in the early inhabitants of North America, but this developed into many lines of inquiry, including how early hominins worldwide managed to develop hunting, farming, fishing, and domestic tools without modern technology. My objective was to try to duplicate these techniques using stone, bone, antler, shell, wood, and fiber, so as to appreciate what our ancestors experienced in day-to-day survival. From all of this came the endless wonders of discovery; finding and holding a stone tool last used thousands of years ago is magical, as is the realization that the pile of debitage at my feet looks indistinguishable from a 1,000-year-old pile of flakes. Our use of silicon has progressed from making stone choppers and hand axes to microchips we are truly that clever.