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Narratives Worth Exploring

Diversity, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 31.05.2018

 My class Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies is a 12-day course presented over 4 weeks. I'm presenting each day as a series of chapters like a book.  In Chapter 5 my students are learning about the Green Book. Written by a U.S. Postal Service employee named Victor Hugo Green, this travel guide for African-American motorists was an essential tool for the ability of Black people to safely navigate the highways, small towns and big cities of the United States from...

Diversity, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 24.05.2018

Over the past several months I've been preparing materials to teach a college course on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. Despite having spent the last decade of my life working to unravel the mysteries behind the desparities of those who spend time in nature and those who don't, I still struggle to understand what we can do to correct them. Having literally written a book on the topic I suppose it was inevitable that would be asked to more thoroughly...

National Monuments, National Parks, New Century Vision, Politics, Public Land / 08.05.2018

Within minutes of my flight touching down at McCarran International Airport I felt that unique buzz of kinetic energy. Like a force of nature the city of Las Vegas, Nevada seems to vibrate with the thrum of living creatures writhing in a primeval forest of tall buildings. Throughout an ecosystem whose atmosphere teams with the smell of cigarettes, the sound of slot machines and the fuzzy glow of neon lights, the temperature was relatively cool, even pleasant on this day in early spring. A gentle breeze wafted across the...

Books, The Joy Trip Project Reading Circle / 03.05.2018

 At the core of her 2015 book Trace, author Lauret Savoy aspires to reconcile a profound contradiction. Though settled under the belief that all people are created equal, the American landscape is fraught with cultural restrictions that deprive both individuals and communities of the right to live and travel freely throughout the natural environment. As a writer and educator Savoy explores her own family’s experience and history to better understand the disparities between the various expressions of humanity and their ability to form an enduring and substantive relationship...

#BlackLivesMatter, Environmental Justice, featured, Interview, Podcast, TED, Walking / 16.04.2018

  Hey everybody! Yeah I know it’s been way too long since the last edition of the Joy Trip Project podcast. As it happens I’ve been crazy busy traveling, writing and yes conducting interviews. But most of the audio I’ve been recording over the last several months has been going toward a series of profiles for Outside Magazine. Check out the May 2018 cover story, which I wrote, called “The New Faces of Adventure”. This wonderful spread edited by Michael Roberts with photographs by Joao Canziani features 12 emerging...

Uncategorized / 11.04.2018

Typically when I write about diversity in outdoor recreation I get hate mail. Ever since I started following this topic more than a decade ago, with every story I’d publish, either in print or online, I could count on a steady stream of haters from across the country detailing with very colorful language how I’m what’s wrong with America. In my all-time favorite rant a reader referred to me as “an articulate douche bag with good literary skills”. Truthfully I was flattered as I had nonetheless impressed him...