Ivan Erchak

Nature enthusiast Ivan Erchak offers a lot to his students in his various teaching posts. Drawing upon his education at Skidmore College and The University of New Mexico, Erchak has been a professional instructor of animal tracking and wilderness survival for over 15 years. In addition to his collegiate education, Erchak continues to update his learning by taking hundreds of classes at schools like A Naturalist’s World, an organization run by Dr. Jim Halfpenny, which is devoted to teaching about the natural history of North America. Ivan Erchak has also studied at the Tom Brown, Jr.’s Tracker School and received certifications in animal tracking and wilderness survival from James Bruchac, an expert in the field. The experience that sets him apart from other wilderness trackers is the real-life tracking experience he gained tracking bears, wolves, and coyotes through Yellowstone National Park with field expert Dr. Jim Halfpenny. Before taking his career indoors, Ivan Erchak participated in tracking events in Tanzania, Argentina, and other natural wildlife areas. His greatest learning experience came from a tracking expedition in Nambia, where he tracked leopards, hyenas, elephants and other animals with the Ju’hoansi Bushmen in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy. Ivan Erchak spent nine years with The Ndakinna Education Center in Greenfield Center, New York, an organization dedicated to increasing understanding and knowledge of Adirondack culture, improving wilderness skills, and expanding awareness of the natural world. Erchak served as Director of Ecology and Skills as well as Head Instructor, roles in which he maintained a diverse group of responsibilities. On a daily basis, he maintained the integrity of the ecology and trail systems of the Saratoga Land Conservancy managed by the Center. Ivan Erchak also taught individuals of all ages, leading wilderness adventures that included snowshoeing, canoeing, hiking, and more. Erchak also managed the Track Museum, which offers thousands of molds of mammal tracks. In order to efficiently and expertly manage the museum, Ivan Erchak honed his ability to identify each track. Erchak also took his expertise outdoors, able to use tracks and other evidence to aid in animal identification. During his time, Erchak travelled to A Naturalists World in Gardiner, Montana where he assisted Jim Halfpenny and Jim Bruchac in teaching tracking classes. Part of his responsibilities sent Erchak to other organizations, such as the Brookside