In a journey inspired by climate change, Ken Ilungas walked nearly 2,000 miles across North America following the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to the Gulf Coast of Texas. Along the way he encountered stampedes of cows, charging moose, and climate change deniers. His adventure, which was featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, CBC News, Men’s Journal and more, is the world's first modern journey across private property, on which he trespassed over one of the most ignored, yet beautiful, regions of our continent—the Great Plains. He joins the University of Waterloo on November 7 to share his experience and perspective on:

  • How individuals can deal with something as big as eco-anxiety
  • Why climate change denial exists and how we can address those who deny
  • The significance of the Keystone XL as a watershed moment in the environmental justice movement, the current status of pipelines in North America and the evolving fossil fuel versus renewable energy landscape

More about Ken Ilungas

Ken Ilungas

Ken Ilgunas is an author, journalist, and backcountry ranger in Alaska. He has hitchhiked ten thousand miles across North America, paddled one thousand miles across Ontario in a birchbark canoe, and walked 1,700 miles across the Great Plains, following the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. He’s written for the New York Times, Time, Backpacker, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His adventures and books have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The New Yorker, National Geographic, and NPR. He holds a B.A. from SUNY Buffalo in history and English, and an M.A. in liberal studies from Duke. He is the author of travel memoirs Walden on Wheels and Trespassing Across America, and advocacy book, This Land Is Our Land. He is from Wheatfield, New York, and is presently living in Scotland.

About the event

This event is open to all students, faculty and staff across the University Waterloo community. It is proudly hosted by the Dean's Office during the Environment Student Society’s Wellness Week in an effort to support students in their self-care journey and navigate wellness concerns like eco-anxiety. We hope you will join us to pause and reflect on the ways we can deal with eco-anxiety as individuals and as a community, and learn from the experiences of Ken Ilungas.