Over 85 students and staff enjoyed hearing from renowned Canadian adventurer and author Adam Shoalts, who visited our Outdoor Education class through Zoom on Friday. Adam shared tales of his adventures and his wildlife and nature photography. His latest book, Beyond the Trees, details his harrowing 4000 kilometre solo traverse across the Canadian Arctic by canoe.
Next to the woods, Shoalts’ second favourite place growing up was the library. If he wasn’t exploring woods, he was exploring books which led to him graduating from Brock University with an Honour’s B.A. and being named top student in the Humanities. He subsequently completed a Master’s degree and PhD at McMaster University, where his research combined an interest in wild animals, the natural world, history and geography. In 2016, Shoalts was named a national champion of the Trans-Canada trail and in 2018 Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Shoalts has a particular concern for preserving wild places. In 2008, he was presented with the Niagara Region’s environmental award for his work on local watersheds (Adam Shoalts - About).
Adam spoke about growing up with a passion for the outdoors and how he continues to share his love for Canada’s wilderness through his books along with his work for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Most of his expeditions take place in the largest wetland in North America, the Hudson Bay Lowland. He talked about some of the challenges that come with expeditions and why he remains passionate about his work. “Doing these journeys, especially alone, means I get to see a lot more wildlife. I get to have some pretty amazing encounters with all sorts of animals.”
Adam shared details about his 4000 kilometre journey across the Canadian arctic by canoe, which he wrote about in his latest book, Beyond the Trees. His story of perseverance and grit is an inspiring one, showing how to be driven by your personal passions to pursue goals. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and learned about how to be good team members on expeditions, such as helping around camp or, most importantly, adopting a positive attitude even in more challenging situations.