Author, naturalist, guide, photographer, videographer, and Smithsonian Journeys tour leader 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 of Natural History in New York, 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 has published six books:
Adirondack: Life and Wildlife in the Wild, Wild East (State University of New York Press, 2014) combines memoir, nature, and regional history told through family history in the mountains dating back to 1797. An enthusiastic full-length review in the Wall Street Journal called the book "revelatory." Philip Terrie, distinguished Adirondack historian and author of Contested Terrain and other books, found this book "beautifully written and utterly engaging---I savored every incident, every well-wrought sentence." Best Memoir of 2014: The Adirondack Center For Writing
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 dubbed Ed "an Adirondack Thoreau."
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. Bill McKibben called the book "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."
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, hardcover 1992; paperback, 1993) 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's continents 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.
"All Things Natural," Ed's weekly newspaper column, has been published since 1987. It currently appears in the Bedford, NY "Record-Review" and ran for 21 years in the Connecticut-based Hersam-Acorn Newspapers. To date, he has written more than 1,400 columns totaling about a million words. 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, 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" column for each issue of Adirondack Explorer.
An audio version of "All Things Natural" was produced by Josh Clement and Ed 2013-2015 in association with Plattsburgh-based Mountain Lake PBS and distributed through the station's website, www.mountainlake.org.
Ed also produces videos for Mountain Lake PBS in partnership with his friend and neighbor Josh Clement, a producer at the station. Two eight-part seasons of their series, "Curiously Adirondack," the first produced under a grant from national PBS, can be seen on YouTube and via links on the station's website. The most viewed of their programs, about a moose calling contest, has been watched as far away as Zimbabwe, China, Malaysia, the Maldives, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and over much of Europe.
A naturalist and proprietor of the Adirondack Naturalist Company, a licensed Adirondack guiding service, Forbes Life magazine pronounced Ed "the Adirondack guide nonpareil." Ed has 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; as Senior Naturalist at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, NY; and as Curator of the Trailside Nature Museum in Cross River, NY.
A much-published wildlife photographer, Ed Kanze illustrates lectures with his digital images and slides and has been widely published in textbooks and magazines.
Ed is a popular public speaker. He has presented lectures and keynotes at a wide range of venues, among them the American Museum of Natural History, the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Adirondack Museum, the Adirondack Ecological Center, the Adirondack Park Visitor Interpretive Centers, the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, the New York Botanical Garden, the State Universities of Albany and Oneonta, Paul Smith's College, the Mohonk Mountain House, the Westchester chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and professional conferences, garden clubs, and Audubon societies in many states.