James is a prolific writer, speaker, and geographer who is currently the Executive Director of The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario. For 19 years a Professor of Outdoor & Experiential Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, over the years he has produced 16 books and written for media outlets including Canadian Geographic, National Geographic, Explore, The Globe and Mail, as well as for CBC Radio and The Discovery Channel. He is a community activist and volunteer, a Fellow International of the Explorers Club, Past Chair of the Arctic Institute of North America as well as a Fellow and Past Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, service for which he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Camsell Medal in 2009, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Living a life on the go that at any time might involve a speaking gig on the other side of the world, an Arctic expedition, or a quick side trip down the Humber River by bark canoe (with a piper on board) or to a rodeo to watch his family perform death defying feats on horseback, there are things that happen that don’t always get shared. James has blogged on assignment for Canadian Geographic (with the untold story of travelling through the Northwest Passage on the Canadian icebreaker Louis S. St. Laurent, among other things) and he’s a regular contributor to the highly entertaining blog at The Canadian Canoe Museum. And now here. Most often James blogs on his own behalf but occasionally his attorney, confidante and campfire gourmand, Thelma Thwartbender, steps in and reports on his behalf. It’s often surprising what they have to say … and always fun.
As an award-winning teacher and conference convener in his own right, James is always interested in working with organizers to tailor his presentations to fit the audience, tone, theme and flow of a gathering, whether it is a one-time keynote or a presentation/panel/hosting combination in the context of a multi-day program. He’s happy to talk about mini-keynotes done in conjunction with a main talk, or to collaborate on creating workshops or other conference/preconference contributions that could add value to a conference presentation package. Based in the Rideau Lakes north of Kingston, Ontario, he travels within a 400 km radius by road or rail and expedites air travel from either Ottawa or Syracuse.
A recent client said this:
“As the organizer of the series, I can say it was always a pleasure to work with James, he was always calm, always prepared, always flexible, and always entertaining. He paces his presentations perfectly, not too long, not too short, using accessible and articulate language. He was probably the most low-maintenance ‘talent’ I have ever encountered.”
Seeley's Bay, Ontario, K0H 2N0