About Mr. O’Brien

Mr. O'B and happy student

Mr. O’Brien has enjoyed teaching the “Sciences” for the past 40 years… 2014 was, unfortunately, his last.  He finally retired on June 13th 2014!   Thirty-six of those years were spent right here at Polson High School where he was the chairperson of the Science Department.  Mr. O’B enjoyed teaching Biology, Field Biology, Zoology and Forensic Science.  During every one of those years he has had the pleasure of directing the world famous Polson High School Intramural Basketball Association!

You may view Mr. O’B’s credentials in the box below.  Be sure to click on the link to Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where he did his undergraduate work, met his wonderful wife, Mary, and where his equally wonderful daughter, Katie, earned her degree in the Environmental Sciences.

An accomplished author, Mary has written seven books about life during the “Pioneer Days”. Her sixth book, “Across Death Valley” is a fictionalized account of the harrowing journey of real life pioneer Juliet Wells Brier as she successfully guided her family across our hottest desert.  Book number SEVEN is called “May” and chronicles the adventures of twenty-three-year-old May Arkwright as she moved — alone — to the remote valleys of northern Idaho in 1883 and struck it rich among the silver prospectors.   Mary is employed at our own, kid friendly, North Lake County Public Library here in Polson and happily spends her days surrounded by thousands of her ink and cellulose friends!  (psst… she DOES use a Kindle too!)

Mr. O’B’s youngest daughter, Katie, graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon (like her mom & dad) is currently employed in Portland with none other than Survey Monkey!   Eldest daughter, Jenny, graduate of the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon is currently working in Salem as an attorney on the staff of the Oregon Attorney General.  Jenny’s husband, Tommy, has earned the much coveted “Father-In-Law Nerd Blessing” by being a former employee of Dell Computers and most recently by being part of the team that brought us the newly minted Internet startup, and sister company to Apple’s Siri, Trapit Inc.!

Son, Kevin, is a 2006 graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa on Oahu.  Kevin is employed by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  With NOAA Kevin spends weeks at a time sailing the tropical Pacific visiting pristine coral atolls where he uses a scuba tank and his degree in Zoology to help conduct various research projects and remove the debris that threatens the health of the reef ecosystem.  A rough life, but someone has to do it!

Read about one of Kevin’s various research vessels here.  We always chart his location in the Pacific Ocean with the ship location tracker.   Watch a video of the members of his NOAA Marine Debris Team in action .

In 2010 Kevin took a temporary leave of absence from his NOAA position to fulfill a lifelong dream… a sailing voyage to the southern hemisphere.

In April of 2010 he wrote… “… I will be setting sail along with several friends on an eight month journey from Hawaii down through the islands of the South Pacific to New Zealand.  We will make the trip aboard our 36 foot sailboat “Shannon“, a heavily-built blue-water cutter that we have been preparing for offshore voyaging since 2007.  Our crew consists of myself, Polson grad- Christina Hoe/Cross Guns (’98) (now SPOUSE!!), and two friends Ken and Alina Bwy (from Hawaii and England, respectively).

2013 Update: Kevin and Christina are now happily married in Hawaii and…
sadly (?) the Shannon, up for sale down in Fiji, has been sold

Our Sailblog address is:

We’ll be able to post entries to this blog via SSB radio while out at sea. This is for our friends and family to keep tabs on the progress of the trip.

We’ll be posting material for 3rd-6th grade students through an educational non-profit called ‘Reach the World‘. Our postings will be integrated into the curriculum of under-privileged schools in innner city New York and Chicago, as well as several schools in Hawaii, Montana, and Illinois. The content we post is for kids, but can be fun to read anyway.  We want to encourage kids to explore this planet (the wet part OR the dry part), and inspire them to protect it.”


Voyage of the Shannon

Home Port:   Honolulu, HI
:  May 6, 2010
Destination:   New Zealand
  November 9, 2010

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Photos of the voyage
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Click here to view a large map of the Voyage.

O'B Family

The O’Briens

Big Kitty and Little KittyThe real bosses of the O’Brien household… Big Kitty and Little Kitty!


— • Dan P. O’Brien • —
Polson High School
Science Department

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR
B.A. – Psychology
– Business Admin
– Biology

Oregon College of Education

( Western Oregon University )
Monmouth, OR
M.S. – Biology & Science Education

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OBTOTY.jpg (7196 bytes)

   Past Polson Chamber of Commerce

   “Teacher Of The Year”


Duties and Extra-curricular

(Full Year)

(Fall only)
Forensic Science
(Spring only)
Field Biology
(Fall only)
Science Department

Intramural Basketball

RSI Science Olympiad Advisor

Class Advisor
Knowledge Master Academic
Open Team
KECI TV Brain Busters
Team Coach

Polson High School
Technology Committee

Polson Schools
Technology Committee

Polson High School
School Improvement Team
Polson High School
Detention Room Monitor

Affiliations etc.

Montana Council of
Teachers of Mathematics

Montana Science
Teachers Association

Polson Education
National Science
Teachers Association
Montana Education
National Education