As a teenager, George Alderson visited his aunt, Lora Ives Kelts, a librarian at Oregon State College. Alderson attended Reed College and graduated in 1963 with a major in biology. Alderson worked in Washington, D.C. as a conservation activist and lobbyist for the Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth. He helped found the wilderness program in the Bureau of Land Management and wrote a handbook on being a citizen lobbyist, How You Can Influence Congress, published in 1979. He received the Sierra Club's Special Achievement Award in 1968. Alderson is a classical violinist and has played with several orchestras in the Washington, D.C. area.
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