first began working at Crater Lake National Park
in 1966 as a park ranger-naturalist. In
1967, he graduated from San Jose State College
and entered Oregon State University to perform
limnological research at Crater Lake, under the
guidance of Dr. John R. Donaldson.
Research was conducted on the zooplankton of
Crater Lake during the summers of 1967 and 1968,
while performing scheduled duties as a
ranger-naturalist. Owen completed his MS
degree in fisheries limnology in 1969 and went
on to be a park ranger-naturalist at Zion
National Park. That fall, he was hired as
a park ranger-naturalist in Yosemite, where he
worked as a year-round seasonal from 1969 to
1971. He was promoted to supervisory
seasonal naturalist for Yosemite Valley.
From 1971 to 1975, Owen worked as an
environmental scientist for the Institute for Reactor
Safety of Cologne, Germany and was a member of the
German Advisory Committee for Radiation Ecology for
evaluating the environmental and regulatory significance
of releases of radiation to air and water from future
nuclear power plants. In 1976, he returned to the
USA, joining the
Environmental Sciences and Health and Safety Research
Divisions of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
During the time he was employed at ORNL, he completed a
Ph. D. degree in ecology at the University of Tennessee
in Knoxville, TN.
In 1976, Owen presented a paper at the
First Congress on Scientific Research in the National
Parks on the value of Crater Lake as a Limnological
Benchmark for Scientific Research.
In 1998, he returned to Crater Lake to
take part in an
oral history interview with NPS park
historian Steve Mark and to spend a week in the park as
a volunteer park interpreter. This
experience inspired Owen to publish a Crater
Lake Nature Note on estimating the time it
took after the collapse of Mt. Mazama for Crater Lake to
fill to its present depth.
Owen returned to Crater Lake as either a
volunteer park interpreter or as a naturalist for the
Crater Lake Institute each summer from 1998 to 2004.
He has applied his professional experience in statistics
and uncertainty analysis to comment on the reported
maximum depth of Crater Lake. He has been
instrumental in promoting public service volunteer
sidewalk astronomy at the Rim of Crater Lake and
introducing park visitors to the unforgettable
dark pristine skies protected above our national
He has also collaborated with CLI director K. Rodney
Cranson to produce the Crater Lake Institute's Garfield
Peak Trail Guide. This brochure is
intended to enhance the experience of all those who may
choose to hike Crater Lake's most popular trail.
In 2004, Owen conducted an
National Park Service oral
history interview with renowned amateur astronomer
John L. Dobson, who returned to the park at
the invitation of the Crater Lake Institute to receive
the CLI Annual Award for Excellence in Public Service
for pioneering sidewalk astronomy in our parks and
he's not involved with activities of the Crater Lake
Institute, Owen is engaged as president and director of
SENES Oak Ridge, Inc., Center for Risk Analysis,
an environmental consulting firm that has been
conducting business since 1992 in Oak Ridge, TN and
which specializes in the evaluation of the environmental
and human health impacts of radioactive and other
contaminants in terrestrial and aquatic systems.
Related news items:
Owen recently attended the National Park
Service's Listening Session to give his opinion and
represent the Crater Lake Institute (see below) - Thanks
Exploring the "Other Half" of Our National Parks: Stargazing Under Protected Dark Skies -
June 14th, 2008
The renowned amateur astronomer and telescope maker, John Lowry Dobson, 92, once said, "National Parks are special places where dark skies and curious minds collide." Dobson and the famed
Sidewalk Astronomers have spent three decades taking their home-made telescopes to the national parks to meet park visitors willing to stay out after dark to help them explore the "other half"
of their parks.
the Deep: Crater Lake's ranking as one of the world's deepest
lakes varies by how list is determined
November 29, 2007
Is Crater Lake the seventh deepest lake in
the world, the eighth or the third?
Depends on how it’s figured.
How Deep is Crater
One of our own, board member Owen Hoffman, explores the question
of How Deep is Crater Lake...Really?
Park Service Listening Session Gatlinburg, Tennessee
I attended yesterday's NPS first "listening session" on the
National Park Centennial Initiative in preparation for the
2016 NPS centennial. The meeting was held at the Mills
Auditorium near the Gatlinburg Convention Center in
Look up - Skies above
Crater Lake are clear, too
September 25, 2003
Owen Hoffman with two park visitors, waiting for
nightfall at the Rim of Crater Lake and the 2003 perihelion
opposition of Mars.
May 26, 2006: Members of the Smoky
Mountain Astronomical Society at Unocoi Crest on the border
between Tennessee and North Carolina at an elevation of
4,500 feet. The telecope, named "Sasquatch," is a 20"
f5.2 truss tube Dobsonian recently rebuilt by Bob Arr, far
left, and Michael McCullough, second from left. Owen
Hoffman and Tim Hunt are standing beside the step ladder,
the only way to access the eyepiece when Sasquatch is
pointed near zenith. Through Sasquatch, the views of M-13
were truly spectacular; at high power, the ancient stars of
this famous globular cluster in Hercules were resolved to
Current Conditions at Crater Lake National Park
by Grovin Thewer)
Crater Lake Rim Webcam