Commentary

Alaska, Commentary, Destinations, New Century Vision, Public Land / 20.07.2016

[caption id="attachment_2063930" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Photo by Carly Harmon[/caption] Ahead in the distance I saw seagulls. The birds swooped and dived over the remains of a butchered whale as we walked along a narrow gravel trail lined with ancient gasoline barrels that rimmed the landing trip. On Barter Island with time to kill before our flight back to Fairbanks, photographer Carly Harmon and I went in search of a rumor near the Inupiat village of Kaktovic at the edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “There was a polar bear sighting...

Commentary, New Century Vision, We are the Arctic / 21.06.2016

When you think of the Arctic it’s hard to imagine what that really means. The first images that come to mind likely include vast tracts of ice and snow expanding far out into an infinite horizon full of emptiness. Seemingly hostile to all forms life this northernmost sector of our country conjures up thoughts of a desolate wasteland meant to be avoided, even feared. But contrary to popular belief the region along the Alaskan coast of the Arctic Ocean is a diverse and thriving ecosystem. Rich with a wide variety...

Commentary, Diversity, New Century Vision, The Centennial Initiative / 09.06.2016

Like most of us, I have a lot to learn about diversity and inclusion. The very nature of this important work is fraught with more than a few opportunities mistep and tragically contribute to the very circumstances we are striving to overcome. As I am literally packing my bags for the next leg of my current mission I must pause  to express my sincere regret and to apologize for a profound error in judgement. I recently announced the launch of reporting project to explore the merits of efforts to make...

Commentary, Life Out Loud, National Parks / 09.05.2016

People tell me I have a problem. When I go out with friends or whenever I'm alone I am constantly working the buttons of my iPhone. Texting, updating my Facebook status, posting photos to Instagram I'm constantly plugged into to the Internet world of Social Media. But despite being so thoroughly connect with thousands of people around the planet I have never been so disengaged from the world in which I live. As a communications professional I enjoy the excuse of endulging this online obsession as acts of necessity....

Book Tour, Commentary, Kids in Nature, Outdoor Recreation, The Adventure Gap / 14.03.2016

In May of 2014 I received a private message via Facebook. It was the summer after Expedition Denali and I was in the final stages of writing the book that would become The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors. Stories of the first African-American climbing team to attempt a summit of Denali, the highest peak in North America, had been widely reported in the news. And many of the climbers upon their safe return home had begun a national speaking tour in the hopes inspiring, in...

Books, Commentary, Film preview, Madison / 03.02.2016

In the winter of 1993 I purchased three books. One changed my life forever. More than 20 years later just as I returned home from my latest series of talks and lectures based on a book of my own I sat in a coffee shop across the table from the author of the third title who may have most directly influenced my desire to become a writer. At the very least Eddy Harris was for me a role model who helped me to define my place in the...