Cliff Jacobson is one of North America’s most respected outdoors writers, wilderness guides, national and foreign consultants, and is the most published canoeing/camping writer of this century. He is a professional canoe guide and outfitter, a wilderness canoeing and camping consultant and the author of over a dozen top-selling books on camping and canoeing— numerous titles have been translated into Spanish, German, French and Turkish with sales approaching one million copies. His video, The Forgotten Skills, details the most important campcraft procedures. Cliff’s methods are proven by the sweat of pack and paddle and are reminiscent of the days when skills were more important than things. A retired environmental science teacher (34 years!), Cliff is respected by educators for his backcountry ethics, water quality, and wilderness navigation curricula. The Wilderness Meal, an outdoor ethics unit he wrote for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNR), is among the most successful environmental education activities of all time. You’ll find a copy in his book, Boundary Waters Canoe Camping With Style.
Erik Simula is a master birch bark canoe builder and wilderness paddler, museum director at the Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder, and chair of the Minnesota Canoe Museum in Ely. He was formerly a wilderness mushing guide at Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail and Denali West Lodge in Alaska, a park ranger at Grand Portage National Monument, and an instructor at North House Folk School and Voyageur Outward Bound School. Erik is currently writing the book Arrowhead Journey about his 2009 birch bark canoe voyage. He lives in the woods overlooking Lake Superior near Finland, Minnesota.
A singer/songwriter from Nashville, Jerry has songs recorded by Tim McGraw and The Oak Ridge Boys to name a few. He has song credits on over 15 million records and paddling credits on countless rivers and streams in North America. He'll be talking about how his BWCA experiences have inspired his songwriting and performing those inspirations for a new and unique BWCA Expo experience.
Natalie was one of the first two women to paddle over 2,000 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, recreating Eric Sevareid's route from Canoeing With the Cree. On that expedition, she was exposed to issues surrounding small town economies and societies, agriculture, industry, energy, and the environment. Her book about the journey, Hudson Bay Bound (University of Minnesota Press), will be out Fall 2020! Natalie was nominated for Canoe & Kayak’s 2012 Expedition of the Year and since then has paddled the length of the Mississippi River and won first place in the women's voyageur category in the 2016 Yukon River Quest, paddling 450 miles in 53 hours. She currently lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and dog and is getting her PhD in Environmental Communication at the University of Minnesota.
Licensed Wilderness Guide Rob Kesselring is a veteran of 23 arctic canoe expeditions, numerous BWCAW-Quetico trips and he has paddled over 150 rivers including the Zambezi, Nahanni and the Futaleufu. He is a writer for the Boundary Waters Journal and is the author of three books, Merlyn Carter Bush Pilot, River Stories and Daughter Father Canoe. For several years Kesselring has presented at paddling expos worldwide.
Canadian Sue Plankis is an expert canoeist and citizen naturalist. She earned a masters degree in science and education. She has a forty year history of canoeing and is a former distinguished and certified instructor/trainer. Her mentors include Omer Stringer and Tom Mckenzie. Her grace on the water captivates audiences young and old. A skilled citizen naturalist, Sue has 314 birds on her Minnesota life list and is an avid birder, bird bander, and wildlife researcher.