Essays

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...

Commentary, Essays / 01.05.2019

Please join me in a meditation of blissful ignorance. For the next 30 days take the first hour of your morning and avoid all forms of electronic media. From the moment you wake up spend 60 conscious minutes doing anything else. Don’t turn on the radio or the TV. Don’t check your email. Don’t browse the Internet. Don’t update your Facebook status or peruse others’. No Instagram. No Twitter. No Snapchat, if that’s still a thing. Instead, devote your intentions to having a wonderful day. Wash your face. Brush...

Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Children In Nature Initiative, Essays, Kids in Nature, Madison / 24.03.2019

When did your love of the outdoors first begin? If you’re anything like me, you don’t remember. Even having grown up in a big city like Los Angeles, California, spending time outside was such a big part of my life that I can’t really say exactly when it all started. My parents made it a priority for me to have regular access to nature through hikes in local parks and camping trips to nearby wilderness areas. From a very young age my life included many opportunities for me...

Commentary, Diversity, Essays / 05.02.2019

Thank you to the many people who read, shared and commented on my recent reporting piece for SNEWS on the CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge. I felt compelled to write it and I am sincerely grateful for the support of my editor-in-chief Kristin Hostetter. She really held my feet to the fire, insisting that despite my personal biases and emotions I remain objective and write this story with the balance it demands. As I have received several complements from both sides of this issue I take great pride in...

Books, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, Madison, Outdoors For All, River Restoration, Special Events, Wisconsin / 08.11.2018

  At the end of October I had the great honor and privilege to host a distinguished guest to the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Author and explorer Eddy L. Harris made a rare appearance on campus to share his experiences paddling the Mississippi River from its source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its terminus in the Gulf of Mexico at the City of New Orleans. Depicted in his film “River to the Heart” Eddy paints an intimate portrait of what awaits those willing to venture out into the unknown...

Diversity, Essays, Grand Canyon, National Parks, Public Land, Whitewater / 03.09.2018

Several weeks ago a travel magazine contacted me out of the blue. The senior executive editor of  HereMagazine.com very graciously invited me to contribute to an upcoming issue dedicated to the theme of freedom. She was particularly interested in a story from me on the National Parks and the role that spending time in nature plays in my personal pursuit of happiness. It just so happened that I had given that topic a great deal of thought in recent months and I accepted the assignment with the intention...