Keith Graham Harrison was born in Dowagiac, Michigan, the son of John Barnard and Maxine Pearle (Lewis) Harrison. He was first married to Linda Diane (Dodson) in 1976, of which one son, Nathan Lewis Harrison, was born. He was later married to Jean Ann (Whitmer) in 1990. He currently resides in Holt, Michigan.
Mr. Harrison is a 1968 graduate of Cassopolis (Michigan) High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (1972) in fisheries and wildlife biology from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts degree (1974) in ecology from Western Michigan University.
Mr. Harrison retired from Michigan state government in February 2005 after serving for 25 years. Prior to his state service, he had served as a Sanitarian with Cass County (Michigan) Health Department, Chief Environmental Planner with the Michiana Area Council of Governments, Environmental Programs Coordinator with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, and Senior Ecologist with an environmental engineering consulting company. During his state career, he served as a Public Health Consultant with the Department of Public Health, Senior Environmental Specialist with the Toxic Substance Control Commission, Environmental Affairs Manager for the Department of Corrections, Director of the Environmental Administration Division within the Department of Management and Budget, Director of the Office of Special Environmental Projects within the Department of Environmental Quality, Acting Director of the Office of the Great Lakes, and Executive Director of the Michigan Environmental Science Board. The latter two positions were gubernatorial appointments by then Michigan Governor John Engler. During his career, he received twelve Letters of Commendations and one certificate of Merit from the Governor Engler and, later, one Letter of Commendation from then Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Upon his retirement, his public service career was acknowledged with tributes from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan State Senate, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the U.S. House of Representatives, and then President and First Lady of the United States, George and Laura Bush. From 2005 - 2011, Mr. Harrison operated a small consulting firm, KGH Environmental PLC. He also served as a special federal employee on a subcommittee with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board during this time. He is now fully retired.
Mr. Harrison is licensed as a Registered Sanitarian and as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist, and is nationally certified as a Senior Ecologist. He is a member of the Michigan Audubon Society and an emeritus member of the Ecological Society of America. He served as Chair of the Michigan Bird Conservation Initiative from 2009 to 2011 and currently is the President of the Michigan Bird Conservation Initiative Foundation. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge #252 of Okemos, Michigan and is a life member of the Civil War Research Lodge #1865 of Highland Springs, Virginia. In 1988, he was appointed by the Michigan Historical Commission as the Official Representative for the State of Michigan to the 125th Anniversary Ceremony Commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg. Also in 1988, he was awarded the Michigan Minuteman Citation of Honor by the Greater Michigan Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of the state-affiliated Friends of Michigan History, Inc. and also as the Chair of the Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial History Partners, an affiliate of the Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
Mr. Harrison has been a Civil War reenactor since 1982 and rose through the ranks. He remains a member and former Captain of the 7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company B., Inc. and a Major, periodically serving in the capacity of Chief of Staff or Assistant Adjutant General with the Cumberland Guard, a nationally recognized Civil War reenactment association. Within the Congressionally Chartered SUVCW’s Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR), he served as the Commanding Officer (Brevet Brigadier General) during 1996/97 and currently holds the rank of Major (Retired) in the SVR. He has participated in more than 550 reenactments, parades, living histories, and ceremonies, and served innumerable times at reenactments as an infantry company commander, infantry battalion commander, and overall Union army commander. He has participated in most of the national 125th - 145th anniversary Civil War battle reenactments and is beginning to now participate in the Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th) national reenactment events.
Mr. Harrison’s professional research and work have resulted in more than 100 publications addressing a wide variety of environmental, environmental health, natural history, and natural resources management topics. He has been published in local, state, national, and international societal scientific journals. In addition, he authored a book on the Natural History of Cass County, Michigan (1979), and more recently, served as editor of three governmental publications on the State of Michigan's Environment (2003, 2005, and 2008). Mr. Harrison's interest in history and genealogy peaked with the 1983 birth of his son, and ultimately resulted in his publication in 1989 of a 350-page genealogy entitled, The Ancestry of Nathan Lewis Harrison. This first book identified more than 150 families and 1,600 individuals. In 2008, he published a 648-page update entitled, The Ancestry of Nathan Lewis Harrison - Revisited Nineteen Years Later. The second book documented over 1,500 ancestral families and over 6,000 individuals.
Listed In (Publications)
Conversations (with Keith G. Harrison) Michigan History Magazine , 2010.
Cambridge Who’s Who, 2010
Personalities of America, Contributions to Science and History, 1986.
Who’s Who in Frontiers of Science and Technology, Marquis Who's Who, Inc, 1985.