Jim Blanchard holds a BS in general science and an MS in recreation and park management from the University of Oregon, where he has been a member of the faculty of Physical Education since 1979.
He developed the University of Oregon Outdoor Pursuits Program, which provides an integrated array of land-based and water-based skills, as well as an Outdoor Leadership Training Program.
He directed these programs until his partial retirement in 2002. He has taught most of the approximately 40 courses offered by the Outdoor Pursuits Program, including more than 400 outings, most if which were multiday adventures.
Blanchard has extensive experience in backpacking, mountaineering, and skiing, and has pursued these interests across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and in 36 other countries in Europe and Asia.
He has taught these activities for elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, park districts, and other public and private institutions in the United States and Europe, including several seasons with Outward Bound.
As owner and director of Best of the Alps Trekking, he spent 30 summers leading hiking and climbing adventure tours in eastern and western Europe and in Japan.
Blanchard was active for many years as a team member, rescue coordinator, and member of the Board of Directors of Eugene Mountain Rescue and in 1965 served as president of the Mountain Rescue and Safety Council of Oregon.
Through most of the 70s, he worked seasonally as a Wilderness Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, where he developed a biocentric philosophy and a sensitivity to the complex interactions of man and the natural environment.
He has applied his knowledge of environmental issues in a 10-part series for public television on the topic of wilderness and in numerous college courses and lectures.
Blanchard lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife, Robyn; son, Ian; and four cats, and he remains addicted to the Alps, where he returns annually to work on his Best of the Alps guidebooks.