Essays

Commentary, Essays, In Memoria, Outdoors For All / 25.05.2020

In late afternoon on July 18, 1863, Sergeant Major William Harvey Carney stood on a beach in South Carolina. Shoulder to shoulder with more than 600 men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, this formation of troops on Morris Island near the port city of Charleston, would later be described as “like giant statues of marble”. With sand sifting through their feet Carney and his men marched forward at the command of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Under a barrage of heavy rifle and cannon fire they quickened their...

Commentary, Covid-19, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Essays, Outdoors For All, Private Land, Public Land, Wisconsin / 18.05.2020

Over the weekend I packed up the Jetta Wagon for a short Joy Trip. After almost two months of working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown I was eager for a long car ride to go someplace pretty. A good friend had recently purchased a piece of property on a lake with a series of hiking trails about an hour east of Madison. Loaded with my boots, hip wadders, a backpack and a fly rod I set out on the open road under a clear blue sky through...

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Essays, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All, ReThinkOutside, The Adventure Gap / 24.04.2020

Through the  hive-mind of social media I was reminded this morning on LinkedIn that yesterday was my third work anniversary at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies. It just so happened at that moment I was deep in thought on a series of 12 sessions I am preparing for my summer class called Outdoors For All. Over the course of four weeks my students and I take a long look back in time at the racial disparities that separate those who spend time in...

American Rivers, Environmental Justice, Essays, ThinkOutside / 20.10.2019

Over the last several weeks I’ve enjoyed many opportunities to reimagine the outdoors. I’m not suggesting that the natural world should be seen as landscapes with purple skies or orange grass populated by prancing unicorns ( as cool as that might be). But rather I envision an environment in nature where everyone is not only made to feel welcome, but encouraged to become active participants in its long-term preservation. I want to see everyone outside. Recent reporting projects included stops at the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, the Willamette...

Commentary, Essays, Madison, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 03.07.2019

Much of last Friday morning and afternoon I spent cooking and cleaning house. To celebrate the last week of class I invited my students to enjoy a home cooked meal and the shade of my backyard on a beautiful summer’s day. Though it would have been easier to order the same food items as takeout from Chipotle, I’m not about that it. Grilled chicken, beef and vegetables, tortillas, fresh mango salsa, cilantro rice and vegan pinto beans was the least I could do to reward all the hard...