I was raised in Brookings, Oregon on the southwest coast, where I grew up playing in tide pools, climbing trees, and swimming in the Chetco River. At the age of seventeen, I worked my first season as a forest fire lookout (Quail Prairie Lookout) for the U.S. Forest Service, where I discovered the amazing complexity of and developed an endless fascination with the natural world. I never looked back.
Since then, I have had a myriad of field-based jobs, working my up from a grunt digging fire trails, to a scientific field-technician, to a project coordinator. I received my bachelors of science degree from Portland State University in biology (emphasis in botany) and a minor in geology in 2003. While attending PSU, I worked as a Peer Mentor as part of the Columbia River Basin - Freshman Inquiry program. For three consecutive years, I worked one-on-one with a group of thirty students for the entire length of the school year.
During my summers off from school, I worked as an interpretive park ranger for Redwood National Park -- leading guided walks and Junior Ranger programs, conducting evening “campfire talks”, and guiding kayak trips down the Smith River. I also volunteered for a number of various local events as a guide and guest-speaker, along with teaching a non-credit Natural History summer series for Southwestern Oregon Community College.
In between field jobs, I have traveled abroad extensively. From 2007 to 2009, I lived on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, where I helped a group of friends start an adventure company specializing in rock-climbing and SCUBA diving -- Goodtime Adventures. It was hard leaving, but the pristine wilderness of the Aleutian Islands were calling me back.
From September 2010 to April 2011, I was one of two coordinators for the shorebird research (Bird5) projects being conducted along the Louisiana coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It was a challenging, moving and amazing experience, and I was fortunate enough to work with the best people I have ever had the pleasure of working with -- I had the most dependable and solid crews I could ever hope to work with, and the best local boat captains the world has ever known.
I graduated from Southern Oregon University with my Master's in Teaching degree in 2013 - conducting my student teaching at North Medford High School and Hedrick Middle School. I am forever indebted to the amazing mentorships I received from Jeff Almanza and Becky Plankenhorn - these two people are everything a teacher should be and more...Jedi, Ninja, Zen Masters! Also - give a shout out to every single one of my former students - thank you all so much for the best student teaching experience!
I now teach at Tillamook High School on the northern Oregon coast. Bringing it all back to the coast in a region overflowing with natural resources - and in a welcoming community that has retained its true Oregon spirit and integrity. Solid. GO MOOOOKS!
Banding Birds - Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska.
Red-legged Kittiwake on egg. Saint George Island, Alaska.
Removing a Least Auklet from a noose-carpet. Saint Paul Island, Alaska.
Thick-Billed Murre. Buldir Island, Alaska.
Mr. Sapora at the field office. Saint George Island, Alaska.
Northern Fur Seal breeding colony - Saint Paul Island, Alaska.
Summer on Aiktak Island PODCAST Listen to four podcasts that Mr. Sapora produced with fellow field biologist Allyson Larned while working on the Alaskan Aleutian Islands.
Mr. Sapora and colleague collect data on and band a red-legged kittiwake - Saint George Island, Alaska.