Commentary

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Environmental Studies, Nelson Institute, Public Land / 08.05.2017

When it comes to discussing complex social issues it’s hard to know where to start. This summer I'm scheduled to teach a course on diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation called Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. As a linear thinker my first inclination was to begin the class with an  in-depth exploration of the cultural circumstances that got us where we are today, a nation tragically divided alone racial and socio-economic lines. For a variety of different reasons there are...

#BlackLivesMatter, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, Guest Contributor, National Parks / 07.03.2017

Like much of modern America I was appalled by a seemingly innocuous line in a recent speech by the newly appointed Department of Housing and Urban Development Director Dr. Benjamin Carson. On his first day in office he addressed staff members with a lecture on the virtues of hard work and dedication in the pursuit of the American dream. With great reverence paid to the contributions of immigrants he particularly pointed out the efforts those forcibly brought to this country against their will. “That’s what America is about,” Carson...

Book Tour, Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Public Land, The Adventure Gap / 06.02.2017

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y host Dr. Kelli McMahan seemed to vibrate with enthusiasm. As she drove me from my hotel in Waco, Texas through the campus of Baylor University we watched an endless parade of young people in pursuit of knowledge and higher education. “There is nothing more exciting than life on a college campus,” she said. With obvious delight she smiled and shuttered with the tingling sensation of the very thought. Taking in the scene I couldn’t agree more as we rolled past white marble and red brick buildings teaming with impressionable...

#BlackLivesMatter, Capitol Christmas Tree, Commentary, Destinations, Diversity / 29.11.2016

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n a brisk afternoon in late November I walked from the United States Capitol Building to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History & Culture in Washington D.C. My legs were a bit sore having already spent a long morning on my feet taking pictures of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Just arrived from its home in the Payette National Forest near McCall, Idaho the People’s Tree had made a long journey of more than 3,800 miles over four weeks of travel to receive a hero’s welcome from a...

Commentary / 23.10.2016

Smack in the middle of the North American Association of Environmental Educators Conference my business card scanner started working again. Held this year in my home town of Madison Wisconsin the event brought into my world some of the finest minds working diligently on the critical issues of science in the natural world. Most inspired by the keynote from Dr. David Suzuki, a renown geneticist from British Columbia host of “The Nature of Things”, I took to heart his prophetic words of rebuke and encouragement. “It is un-American...

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Essays / 11.10.2016

Fall chores had preempted my regularly scheduled Sunday morning rituals. Yoga would have to wait as I raked the first round of fallen leaves from the lawn and prepared a pile of yard waste in anticipation of a Thursday pick-up. Sasha came bounding into the garden like a black scud missile on target to obliterate my efforts in a flurry of paws and her wagging tail. Our puppy loves the displacement of splashing puddles and swirling leaves as she turns every moment of our lives into a happy...