James Edward Mills is a 2014 Fellow of the Mountain & Wilderness Writing Program of the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada and the 2016 recipient of the Paul K. Petzoldt Award For Environmental Education. In 2021 he was awarded the title of National Geographic Explorer. As a freelance journalist and an independent media producer in a career that spans more than 20 years he specializes in sharing stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. He is the author of the new book “The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors” and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film “An American Ascent”
James is a contributor to several outdoor-focused print and online publications such as National Geographic Adventure, Rock & Ice, Alpinist, SUP, Elevation Outdoors, Women’s Adventure, the Clymb, Park Advocate, High Country News, Appalachia Journal, The Guardian, Outside Magazine and Land & People.
In recognition for his work in sharing the important history and legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers and their efforts at the dawn of the National Park Service James was named a Yosemite National Park Centennial Ambassador in 2016
In 2020 James’s book The Adventure Gap was named by Outside Magazine as one of the 10 “Outdoor Books that Shaped the Last Decade”.
Currently as a faculty assistant at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies James teaches a summer course for undergraduate students on diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and public land management called Outdoors For All
James will be joining us to speak about his work and his journey towards inspiring a growing diversity of outdoor adventurists and stewards.