"As a forester, I assess forest conditions and measure timber volume. Our clients are small forest landowners, large industrial forestry companies, pension funds, private investors, public agencies, and conservation groups.

Once I was appraising timber with a colleague along the Prince William Sound in Alaska when a brown bear walked straight toward us. It's always raining up there, and I had a yellow rain jacket on. I got up on a fallen log and flapped the jacket until the bear went away. My friend had his rifle drawn, but luckily he didn't need to use it." -- Thomas Hanson, Kirkland, Wash.

As told to Michael Patterson

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