JD Tanner is an accomplished instructor, speaker, guide, and writer. The 46-year-old has traveled extensively throughout the lower 48 states as an outdoor education instructor for 3 different Universities, as a Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and as a Top Author for Falcon Guides.
In the “real world” JD is responsible for cultivating the resources necessary to make Southern Illinois University’s Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center successful. With over 20 years of experience in outdoor and environmental education, JD received a bachelor’s degree in outdoor and therapeutic recreation from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO and a master’s degree in recreation administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.
JD was born and raised in Sparta, IL, and now resides in Carterville, IL. He enrolled in Southeast Missouri State University in 1995 with plans of a lucrative business career but made a mid-course correction after numerous after-hour discussions with white water raft guides while working in Frisco, CO. Today, he’s fortunate to have made his adventurous lifestyle into an occupation.
Making this lifestyle all the more sweeter is that fact that he has introduced hundreds of beginners to the outdoor sports of hiking and backpacking. Many of the students he has introduced have gone on to careers in the field as well.
Joining JD on many of his adventures are his wife and coauthor Emily and his daughters Zoey and Sophie.