Dr. Jeff Salz
“America’s Leading Anthropologist/Adventurer”
Jeff discovered his love for adventure early on, escaping his home in the suburbs of New Jersey and –unbeknownst to his parents – over-nighting in the remote corners of Central Park, befriending the homeless and sleeping on park benches. At age thirteen, he discovered the real wilderness, backpacking and rock-climbing in the Tetons of Wyoming and studying the ancient lore of the Hopi and Plains Indians.
At the age of sixteen he was attending Prescott College, in Prescott Arizona where he later graduated with a B.A. degree in Outdoor Education and Wilderness Leadership.
Jeff, however, “never let his schooling interfere with his education” and the majority of his coursework were adventures, officially titled “independent studies”.
At age seventeen he was already traveling the world alone, ice climbing in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and living on vampire bats in the jungles of New Caledonia. His nineteenth year was spent exploring the Andes of South America and completing some of the toughest climbs on the continent from Peru to Patagonia.
In 1977, Jeff received his Masters Degree in Experiential Education from International College and in 1981 his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and Folklore from Ryokan College. At the age of 23, Jeff was invited to join the faculty of San Diego State University where he was later recognized as “Outstanding Professor”. For ten years he was the Executive Director of YBI, Inc. an adventure-based learning organization leading “cross-cultural and executive training expeditions” in the Nepali Himalaya, the Tien Shan Mountains of Western China and the Sierra Juarez of Baja, California.
In 1990 he founded Salz and Associates – now Way of Adventure, Inc. – a speaking and training company. Over the last twenty three years, Jeff has become an internationally respected speaker and leadership coach, regularly presenting at prestigious leadership events around the world – from St. Petersburg, Russia to Phuket, Thailand. His book The Way of Adventure, Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and Vision has been called “an operating manual for every aspect of your personal and professional life” and is considered the ‘definitive word on adventure’.
Jeff’s work as Founding Correspondent of Escape magazine has sent him all over the world on adventures and led to an invitation to create and co-host investigative anthropological documentaries on the Travel Channel, the Discovery network and, most recently the History Channel. To date he has led over one hundred wilderness, mountaineering and anthropological research expeditions around the world, including a number of first ascents and first solo- ascents of summits in Southern Patagonia and the remote Western Himalaya of India.
He is the author of the popular book, Way of Adventure: Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and Vision, published by John Wiley and Sons.
In 2013 he was awarded the greatest honor of the speaking profession – induction in the the National Speakers Association “Speakers Hall of Fame”.
Acclaimed “America’s leading anthropologist/adventurer” by the Discovery Network and the History Channel, Dr. Jeff is equally at home sharing stories with gauchos around a campfire in Patagonia… leading C-Suite executives around a boardroom table in Silicon Valley … or coaching young presenters on a stage in his home town of Encinitas, California.
His latest book, The Age of Adventure – A Unique Exploration of the Aging Process will be published by Blooming Twig books in the Fall of 2016.
A partial list of recent corporate clients can be found here:
Fast Facts on Jeff:
- PhD in cultural anthropology
- Masters degree in experiential education
- 10 years as a university professor
- Guest adventure expert for CBS Early Morning Show
- Discovery, Travel and History Channel film-maker and host
- Creativity consultant for The Lion King production team
- Best selling author, adventurer and explorer
- Only man to successfully circumnavigate Lake Titicaca in a reed boat
- Leader of over 100 international expeditions
- Horseback traverses of Outer Mongolia, Tibet, Andes of Southern Chile, Patagonia, Siberia and the Tien Shan Mountains of western China