Edward Kanze Biography
Author, naturalist, wilderness guide, and photographer Edward Kanze is a 1978 graduate of Middlebury College, Vermont. He earned a B.A. in Geography and won the Bermas Prize for highest departmental honors. In April, 2005, At the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Ed's essay about the passenger pigeon, "In Search Of Something Lost," was named by the John Burroughs Association as the Outstanding Published Natural History Essay of 2004. The Burroughs awards, bestowed annually at the American Museum, are America's highest honors in nature-writing. The same essay earned a gold medal in environmental writing by the International Regional Magazine Association. Ed, his wife, Debbie, and children Ned and Tasman live on the Saranac River in New York's 6 million acre Adirondack Park.
Ed is featured in the two-hour documentary "The Adirondacks," directed by 7-time Emmy Award winner Tom Simon. The film was produced by WNED Buffalo and debuts nationwide on PBS on May 14, 2008.
An acclaimed author, Ed has published five books.
Over The Mountain And Home Again: Journeys Of An Adirondack Naturalist (Nicholas K. Burns Publishing, 2006) brings together stories of nature and adventure in New York State's Adirondack Park, the largest park in the Lower 48. "Ed Kanze has emerged as a fresh and joyful voice of the Adirondacks, with a merry eye, a sharp mind, and a deep heart," writes Bill McKibben, author of The End Of Nature and other books. Reviewing Over The Mountain for the Adirondack Explorer, historian and author Phillip Terrie, director of the American Culture studies program at Bowling Green University in Ohio, praises the work and dubs Ed "an Adirondack Thoreau." "Kanze has a vast knowledge of the natural world, and he complements it with a fine writing style, a sense of humor, and a joyful exuberance. His essays sparkle while they inform.... We are lucky to have Edward Kanze as a resident writer-naturalist in northern New York. His pedigree is long and his writing precise. But more than that, Kanze brings a tremendous enthusiasm and delight to his descriptions of everything he observes around him." &mdash Betsy Kepes, book critic, North Country Public Radio
Kangaroo Dreaming: An Australian Wildlife Odyssey (Random House/Sierra Club, 2000), describes a 25,000-mile journey Ed and Debbie Kanze made among the wild places and wildlife of Australia. "A superb chronicle of the nature of Australia in all the meanings of that word. You won't be able to read it without wanting to call your travel agent."&mdashBill McKibben. "This deliberate odyssey is a beautifully written narrative, rich in natural history observation, woven into a marvelous story fresh off Penelope's loom." — Ann Zwinger, author of Beyond the Aspen Grove and other books. "Ed Kanze is the John Burroughs of the twenty-first century - except that Mr. Kanze is a better writer.... What an amazing continent and what a grand book about it!" — Jack Sanders, author of The Secrets of Wildflowers.
The World of John Burroughs (Random House/Sierra Club, paperback 1999; Harry Abrams, hardcover, 1993) portrays the naturalist, philosopher, and literary critic John Burroughs, who lived from 1837-1921. Ed produced the book's 70 color photographs as well as its widely praised text. The late Dean Amadon, Curator Emeritus of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History, wrote of the book, "Mr. Kanze writes with a graceful style that would have pleased his subject.... Let us hope this volume has the wide circulation it so richly deserves."
Wild Life: The Remarkable Lives of Ordinary Animals (Crown, 1995) collects 50 essays from Ed's syndicated newspaper column. "Anyone with an interest in nature and a sense of humor will love Wild Life," says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Kanze speaks with several voices: that of the professional naturalist full of accurate information and scientific observations; the skilled writer with a grand sense of humor; the storyteller with a sense of drama; and the adult who has the capacity to view the world through the eyes of the curious child."
Notes From New Zealand (Henry Holt, 1992) tells of flightless birds, elusive primitive frogs, and three university-sponsored expeditions to study the tuatara, a superficially lizard-like reptile little changed from creatures that roamed the world before and during the Age of Dinosaurs. "Kanze writes with humor, attention to biological detail, and a love for nature that is contagious," says The Virginian Pilot.
Ed's first novel, about the tragic end of the life of the English explorer Henry Hudson, will be published by Nicholas K. Burns Publishing in 2008. The 400th anniversary of Hudson's voyage up the Hudson River, leading to the founding of Holland's New Amsterdam colony, will be celebrated in 2009.
At present, Ed is writing a book about wildlife, homesteading, home renovation, and his family's history in the Adirondack Mountains.
"All Things Natural," Ed's weekly newspaper column, has been published since 1987. Today it appears in nine Connecticut and New York newspapers and reaches more than 100,000 readers. To date, he has written more than 1,000 columns.
Ed's essays and magazine features have appeared in Adirondack Life, Audubon, Birder's World, Bird Watcher's Digest, The Conservationist, Garden, Lake Life, Living Bird, Middlebury, Morning Calm (Korean Airlines In-Flight Magazine), National Parks, Reckon, Utne Reader, Vassar Quarterly, and Wildlife Conservation. He is a contributing editor at Bird Watcher's Digest and writes "The Wild Side" for each issue of The Adirondack Explorer.
As proprietor of the Adirondack Naturalist Company, a licensed and fully insured Adirondack guiding service, Ed leads clients on day and half-day excursions into the Adirondack Mountain wilderness. Larger than the state of Massachusetts, the Adirondack Park contains mountains, lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, bogs, and vast areas of northern hardwood and boreal forest, along with diverse wildlife and grand scenery. Ed is a seventh generation Adirondacker and brings to his work a deep knowledge of the region's history as well as a an expert's first-hand knowledge of its wildlife. In earlier years, Ed served as a ranger and writer for the National Park Service in Maine, Florida, Mississippi, and South Dakota; as a field instructor for National Audubon Society ecology workshops in Connecticut; as Senior Naturalist at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, New York; and as Curator of the Trailside Nature Museum in Westchester County's premier park, the 4,700-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY.
A much-published wildlife photographer, Ed Kanze shoots for DPA, a natural history stock agency. He also does freelance shoots for publications and parks and uses his slides in lectures.
Ed Kanze has spoken at a wide range of venues, among them the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, the Buffalo Museum of Science (where he delivered a Hayes Lecture, in a series that also included Edward O. Wilson and Stephen Jay Gould), the Adirondack Museum, the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the Adirondack Ecological Center, the Adirondack Park Agency's Visitor Interpretive Centers, the Adirondack Mountain Club's Adirondack Loj, the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, the New York Botanical Garden, the State Universities of Albany and Oneonta, the Atmospheric Sciences Research Laboratory at Whiteface Mountain, Paul Smith's College, North Country Community College, Lehman College, the Great Adirondack Birding Festival, the Hamilton County (NY) Birding Festival, the Mohonk Mountain House, Acadia National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, the J.L. Scott Aquarium in Biloxi, MS, the Pensacola (FL) Historical Society, the Finger Lakes Land Trust, the N.Y. State Outdoor Education Conference, the Sound-Hudson Nature Center Conference, the Westchester chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and professional conferences, garden clubs, and Audubon societies in many states.
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