When not working on improving climate change education, I participate in a number of hobbies and activities. Some of my activities are listed below
Canoeing is in my blood, and sailing is in my soul. I am never completely happy unless I have the next big trip on the agenda. Come look at some trips from the past, and maybe inspire one for the future.
In 2014 and again in 2017, I led a group of four in an attempt to break the record for the fastest decent of the Mississippi River by canoe. While we did not break Bob Bradford and Clark Eid's 2003 record, we learned an incredible amount the experience did a lot to shape who I have become. While we did not set the record, we did manage to paddle over 1000 miles in ten days, multiple times.
In 2018 I purchased a 1976 Willard 8 Ton World Cruiser, a heavy displacement cutter rigged sailboat, and have been sailing it around the Great Lakes in the summers ever since. In times and places when canoeing is not practical, sailing is the ultimate form of transportation.
The Michigan State University Outdoors Club put on the 160 mi canoe race annually between when I founded the trip in 2010 and 2020. This race drew well over a hundred participants every year. Putting this event together is my life's greatest accomplishment to date. The above picture was taken before the start of the second Campus to Coast.
Every year, the Quiet Adventure Society puts on the Quiet Adventure Society symposium which attracts thousands of people to Lansing, Mi to learn about paddling and other human powered means of travel from expert presenters. I was invited to speak at the 2015 and 2016 symposia about the Mississippi River Challenge, and then Campus to Coast. The society hosts the symposium to fund its granting program which supports projects that help fulfill the Society's mission of promoting outdoor recreation and conservation. I have been a volunteer with the group since 2013.
Mississippi River Challenge
Sailing the Great Lakes
Campus to Coast
Quiet Adventure Symposium
"What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature." -- Pierre Elliott Trudeau
"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing." -- Henry David Thoreau
Birding provides a challenge to explore the natural world looking for specific animals. Every new species seen is a special experience, and the old favorites are fun to watch as they change throughout the year.
The International Ornithologist union divides the birds of the world into 10,612 species. Keeping a list of all species you have seen is a fun way to keep you looking into bushes, and visiting new places. I keep a list of all bird species I have seen; It is available here. I have had the privilege to go birding on four continents, and look forward to a lifetime of searching, and the world to explore.
I am very honored to have had the opportunity to be a general falconer, though I have not been practicing since 2018. I apprenticed under Master Falconer Hamdy Kassem, and have flown Red Tail Hawks, a Cooper's Hawk, an American Kestrel, and a Peregrine Falcon. I have been a member of the North American Falconer's Association, the Michigan Hawking Club, and the Potomac Falconer's Association. Falconry is the most regulated field sport in the US. Its practice requires a license, and a permit for possession of a raptor. The Michigan DNR is in charge of Falconry Regulation in Michigan. Falconry has been designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, to show its significance to our history.
Birding and Life List
"A satisfactory hobby must be in a large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant...all in all, falconry is the perfect hobby." -- Aldo Leopold