A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Geo Beach: One Tough SPJ’er

By Quill

So, just how tough is living in Alaska? SPJ member Geo Beach will show you each week on the History Channel. Beach hosts the new weekly series “Tougher In Alaska With Geo Beach,” which began airing in early May.

Inspired by George Plimpton’s participatory journalism, Beach profiles jobs and workers across The Last Frontier — including gold miners, plumbers, fishermen, firefighters, garbage men, troopers, linemen, loggers and truckers — in the 13-part nonfiction documentary series.

“Beach demonstrates an exhaustive knowledge and understanding of Alaska,” said former Los Angeles Times and NPR reporter Bill Drummond, professor at the School of Journalism, University of California‑Berkeley.

Beach writes columns for Anchorage Daily News and is an NPR commentator. His “World of Mouth” radio essays have aired on shows including All Things Considered, Savvy Traveler and Living on Earth. Most recently, he was honored as a 2007 Best Columnist by the Alaska Press Club for his “Top O’th Planet” columns in the Anchorage Daily News. He is a member of the Farthest North Chapter of SPJ and a 1996 Sigma Delta Chi winner for radio commentaries.

Beach, who stands 6-foot-3 tall and weighs in at 225 pounds, has been living large in Alaska for 25 years, according to his bio on History.com. He grew up on the New England coast and moved to Alaska on the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice.

The History.com bio goes on to read: Since then he’s worked as an Alaskan logger, firefighter and medic, and commercial fisherman — including winter crabbing on the Bering Sea. He knows his way around oil spills and industrial kitchens, construction sites and law enforcement. Like most Alaskans, Beach has endured plenty of big waves, winds and blizzards. He’s survived in a neighborhood filled with earthquakes, avalanches, floods and fires. Plus, his house in Homer, Alaska, overlooks three steaming volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula, two of which have erupted on him.