Mark Novak recently retired from a 35-year career with the US Forest Service throughout the west as a Forest Ecologist and Forest Silviculturist. He also worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He graduated with a forestry science degree from the Univ. of Idaho in 1976 and completed advanced silviculture training at the Univ. of Washington and Oregon State Univ. in the late 1980s.

Mark’s years of work include planning and implementing forest management projects such as reforestation; writing and leading many environmental reviews and assessments of proposed forest projects, prescribing actions for every kind of forest management project and working on several fire-fighting crews.

His flying began in 1990 after having been around aviation since childhood. His father flew with a Naval P2V squadron stationed at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego. He loved watching F4s practice touch-and-goes at Miramar Naval Air Station. “From my rooftop, I loved hearing and feeling those F4s break the sound barrier on a regular basis in the sixties – the good old days,” Mark says.

Most of his flying has been in a Cessna 172 and a Citabria. He currently is vice president and safety officer with the Manhattan Flying Tigers flying club stationed at Yellowstone International Airport in Belgrade, MT. Mark’s other pursuits include learning to speak French and Latin, playing the violin, reading WWII and ancient history, golf, bicycling, Nordic skiing, jogging and hiking.

Mark lives in Bozeman with his wife Tracy, and 12 year-old son Ian, who also likes to read, play the violin and sometimes fly with Dad.

The Recreational Aviation Foundation is pleased that Mark has volunteered his vast public lands experience and scientific background to serve the RAF mission.

Submitted July 9, 2013.

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