Biography - Seth Wotten

Seth has spent time in the outdoors since his grandmother, Alice, brought him on nature hikes as a toddler. Throughout the rest of his childhood, he was fortunate enough to have opportunities to go on at least one canoe trip per summer. At the age of 17, he began organizing backpacking and canoe trips for himself and his friends with his spare time and money.

At the age of 21, Seth decided he needed to make working outdoors his profession rather than his hobby. He began to work for Camp New Moon as a senior canoe tripper in 2000. In 2002, he started to direct the canoe tripping program as the head canoe tripper. He returned there for a few more years to nurture his outdoor and leadership skills and earn money to lead his own expeditions.

Education

After graduating high school and spending a few years in the Information Technology program at York University, Seth decided he needed to get serious about the outdoors and was inspired to pursue an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism at Lakehead University. During that time, he narrowed his efforts into taking courses that focused on outdoor leadership skills, parks management, and environmental issues. This enabled him to improve his leadership skills, gain experience in a wide variety of outdoor activities other than canoeing, and develop and expand his ecological literacy and awareness. He graduated in the spring of 2005.

During the summer of 2004, Seth took a leave of absence from Camp New Moon and paddling expeditions to diversify his education as a native studies student at the University of Manitoba. He attended the Pangnirtung [Panniqtuuq] Summer School Program, the bulk of which took place in Panniqtuuq, Nunavut, a traditional Inuit community located on Baffin Island. He was immersed in the Inuit lifestyle for over a month, while learning in the classroom, in workshops, and experientially. His studies involved learning about the history and culture of the Inuit from a variety of perspectives, the traditional ecological knowledge of Inuit elders, the ecology of Baffin Island, and environmental issues facing the north, in addition to learning some basic Inuktitut (the language of the Inuit). He considers this to have been one of his most enlightening educational experiences to date.

Work Experience

Seth has generated positive results in a variety of positions of employment. Over the 6 years prior to the Water for Future Generations Expedition, he balanced simultaneous careers in the outdoor industry and community-based campus radio. He spent the summers leading canoe trips and canoe tripping programs, while working at radio stations during the off-season.

He began his radio career as programmer for Radio Glendon (York University's Glendon campus radio station) in Toronto in 1999. A year later he was hired as the technical director and was eventually promoted to the position of station manager. While working at Radio Glendon, Seth was involved in the process of bringing an FM radio station to an internet audience.

When he left Toronto for Thunder Bay, Seth started fresh as a programmer for LU Radio, Lakehead University's radio station, which was entirely internet based at the time. He later became the station manager of LU Radio who was instrumental in bringing the station to the FM airwaves at 102.7 FM. LU Radio was and still is the first and only community-based campus radio station to broadcast in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Seth left his career in radio behind to plan and paddle the Water for our Future Generations expedition. He worked for Chaltrek Geological Supplies, northwestern Ontario's largest map retailer until March of 2006. Between year one and two of the expedition, he worked for World Travel Protection, a travel insurance company based in Toronto.

Expedition Experience

A to the K
In May of 2002, Seth organized and completed A to the K, a 26 day canoe trip that began at Opeongo Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park and ended at Georgian Bay in Killarney Provincial Park. Seth and his paddling partner, Nick Petty, crossed Algonquin Park in a horseshoe shape and exited via the South River. They crossed the southern shore of Lake Nipissing to reach the French River which brought them out to Georgian Bay. The trip totaled over 500km.

AuyuittuqNational Park
After completing the University of Manitoba Pangnirtung [Panniqtuuq] summer school program on Baffin Island in the summer of 2004, Seth backpacked across Auyuittuq National Park through the Akshayuk Pass, from the north to south Pang fiord, on an expedition he organized in co-ordination with 3 other students.

Other Outdoor Experience

Seth has organized canoe trips in Muskoka, Haliburton, throughout Algonquin Park, in the Magnetawan River area, the French River, Georgian Bay, Killarney Park, the Temagami area, Lake Superior, Quetico Park, Wabikimi Park, The Kopka River, Lake Nipigon, and in Quebec's Reserve Faunique LaVerendrye. He has kayaked on the north shore of Lake Superior, backpacked in Algonquin Park, Killarney Park, Sleeping Giant Park and Auyuittuq National Park, and winter camped and dogsledded in northwestern Ontario. Seth also enjoys rock climbing, whitewater canoeing, ice fishing, snowboarding, and downhill, classic, skate and backcounty skiing.

Seth's Interest in Water

Like any citizen of the world, Seth lives his life dependent upon water itself and the resources it sustains. He has come to realize that water knows no boundaries and is ecologically connected with everything on Earth. He has developed a special, close relationship with water during what now amounts to years of his life that he has spent paddling in it. While others have organized paddling trips to raise awareness about issues of concern of all kinds, Seth has and wishes to continue to use water as a vehicle to raise awareness about water itself.

Post Expedition

Since the expedition, Seth has continued to make presentations for primary, intermediate, and senior school groups, university and English Language Learning students, conservation and paddling groups, and the general public.

He is still guiding canoe trips and has been organizing expeditions to the Lake Nipigon area of Northwestern Ontario and the Northwest Territories. In 2012, he paddled on the Coppermine Expedition.

In the spring of 2009, Seth graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Education in the Outdoor and Experiential Education stream. As a component of this degree, he was able to apprentice a birch bark canoe builder in northern Minnesota for two weeks in 2009. He returned to work with Erik Simula again in the summer of 2011. He taught kindergarten and outdoor education in Fort Hope Ontario from 2010 to 2012. He is currently a kindergarten teacher in Wha Ti, Northwest Territories.

Seth's current educational objectives are focused on the learning and teaching of bushcraft. He believes that the traditions of bushcraft have much to teach us with regard to living sustainably in the future, particularly in the field of outdoor recreation.

 

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