Naturalist, Author, Guide
Ed is a naturalist, author, and Adirondack guide with more than thirty years' experience leading walks in wild places. A former National Park Ranger, he worked at Acadia National Park and Gulf Islands National Seashore, served as Curator of the Trailside Nature Museum in Cross River, New York, taught field ecology for the National Audubon Society, and was senior naturalist at the Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, New York. Ed has deep roots in the Adirondacks. His great great great great grandparents Daniel and Hannah Brownell carved a farm out of the woods along the Sacandaga River in 1795.
Ed has a keen personal interest in the challenges and opportunities the mountains and their climate present to living things, humans included. Ed is the author of many books as well as a longtime nature newspaper columnist, magazine columnist, photographer, lecturer, and videographer. He has won the John Burroughs Award for outstanding published nature essay of the year. (The winning piece, published first in Adirondack Life and reprinted in Ed's book, Over The Mountain And Home Again, celebrates native passenger pigeons that nested by the millions in the Adirondacks before their 1914 extinction.) Ed is nature columnist for the Bedford, NY Record-Review and writes the column "On The Wild Side" for each issue of the newsmagazine Adirondack Explorer. Ed was recently named Swarovski Optic/Bird Watcher's Digest Birder of the Year.
A graduate of Middlebury College, Vermont, Ed won the Byron Bermas Prize at graduation for top honors in Geography, which was his major. He is well-traveled in his 6 million acre Adirondack Mountain backyard and has made twelve trips to New Zealand, eight to Australia, and two to Europe. He has led trips to Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska and participated in field research sponsored by the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Victoria University of Wellington. In addition to the state of New York, where he was born, Ed has lived in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi.
About Ed's guiding, teaching, and speaking---the low-down
"What a splendid time we had with you on a beautiful Saturday morning. We are grateful for that time with you, and especially to know you. We really enjoyed ourselves and thank you for sharing 'your backyard' and knowledge with us. You provided the perfect balance that allowed us to exercise both body and mind, and selected precisely the level of difficulty we had requested in our email. We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the trees, flowers and animals of the Adirondacks, and your stories, bird and animal calling and anecdotes were incredibly insightful and interesting. What fun! I find it difficult to find the right words to express how very much we enjoyed ourselves." ---from New York City
"We all [are] still basking in our separate and collective remembrances of our 'seminar on the land & water' with you.... With admiration and appreciation"---from Middlebury, Vermont
"Thank you for making 'What's In The Winter Woods?' such a huge success! Your presence at our Nature weekends here at Mohonk always guarantees that our guests will have a delightful experience. Once again, thanks!"--- from the Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY
"A wonderful excursion starts with just the right (best) leader. Many thanks for teaching this great class!"---from Albany, NY
"Thank you so much for speaking at Aspetuck Land Trust's 50th Anniversary event.... Your talk on 'The Enormous Value Of The Small' was simply perfect for the occasion! All of the Land Trust members assembled really enjoyed listening to you and seeing your beautiful pictures.... You made our 50th Anniversary something to remember!" ---from Weston, CT
"Our day with you was a highlight of a great week in Lake Placid. When the time comes for our return, you’re the first person we’ll contact.... In all, we enjoyed ourselves immensely in the Whiteface/Lake Placid area, and we’ll look forward to our next visit. Thank you for a great experience!"---from Washington, D.C.
"In June 2013 our family gathered in the Adirondacks to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary. We were a diverse group, ranging in ages from six to over seventy. I organized all the activities for our group, and a few months before our trip was delighted to learn about Ed Kanze from the owners of our motel. I ended up hiring Ed to do a guided walk, asking him to keep in mind the varying fitness levels of the members of our group. None of us live in New York, and it was a bit of a leap of faith to hire Ed, but it was one of the best choices I made for that week. Ed was wonderful to work with in the weeks leading up to our event; when I was searching (long-distance) for a vendor to provide lunch that day, Ed's restaurant suggestion resulted in the what were probably the best sandwiches any of us have ever had in our lives--pathetic, I know, but we still talk about those sandwiches! The days leading up to our walk, weather became an issue, creating a muddy obstacle on one of the paths we had planned to take. Ed, thanks to his years of experience and his vast knowledge of the area, was able to adjust our plans, taking us first to the John Brown Farm State Historic Site. It was a perfect start to our day--learning nationally-important local history in a gorgeous setting. After spending some time exploring the farm, we moved on to the main event: a hike up and down Baxter Mountain. Ed paced the hike to make it comfortable and enjoyable for everyone, teaching us about local flora and fauna along the way. The views at the top were spectacular! At the end of the day, we were all tired and ready for dinner, and so, so glad we had made that leap of faith and hired Ed. He was professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and just plain fun to be with. If we ever make it back to the Adirondacks, we will definitely get in touch with Ed!"---from Athens, Georgia