BAR HARBOR, MAINE — Two whitewater kayakers will provide wisdom on work-life balance, innovating, and the importance of having fun during the next and final Human Ecology Forum of the fall term at College of the Atlantic.

The talk will be useful for students and others interested in founding your own company or organization, following your passion, or how to design an adventurous and sustainable future.

A shared passion for kayaking brought these two friends together.

Dr. Jesse Stone and Eric “E.J.” Jackson will speak at the program, which begins at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in McCormick Lecture Hall. As with all Human Ecology Forums, the talk is free and open to the public.

Stone is a medical doctor and professional whitewater kayaker who founded Soft Power Health, a nonprofit organization she runs and directs, in 2004. Soft Power Health has two branches: a U.S.-based branch that teaches inner-city kids to kayak, and a Uganda-based branch that provides primary and malaria eradication and preventative health care to rural Ugandans.

She is a two-time member of the U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team and is a team paddler for Jackson Kayak. Stone, who has organized and participated in the Able/Disable Kayak Marathon in New York City, splits her time between Uganda, Europe, and the United States. Stone also serves on COA’s Council of Advisors.

According to his biography, Jackson “is to kayaking as Laird Hamilton is to surfing and Tony Hawk is to skateboarding.” He is the founder and CEO of Jackson Kayaks, one of the largest Kayak manufacturing companies in the world.

He has been a kayaker for more than three decades, accumulating a number of competitive titles and recognition including Olympian, World Champion, and inductee into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame.

Jackson invented such staples of the freestyle boater’s bag of tricks as the Splitwheel, McNasty and Lunar Orbit. Off the water, he — along with longtime design partner David Wright — has been designing some of the sport’s best-selling kayaks.

In 2003, Jackson and business partner Tony Lunt launched Jackson Kayak. With the widest range of boat sizes and trademark emphasis on comfort, durability and ease of use, Jackson Kayak quickly became the best-selling brand of whitewater kayaks for all ages and abilities. Jackson also is among the most prolific authors of instructional books and videos helping others learn everything from basic strokes and concepts to the most advanced freestyle moves.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit

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