Advisory Group & Special Thanks

Dr. Jane Goodall

Perhaps no-one is better known in the world of conservation today than Dr. Jane Goodall. Brian Keating has had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dr. Goodall for many years, and her support of our project started at an early stage, for which we are very grateful.

Dr. Goodall’s interest in getting kids to engage with nature is one of her passions. Her Roots & Shoots Program started with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991. The Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program has nearly 150,000 members in more than 120 countries.

Brawn Foundation

The Brawn Family Foundation is dedicated to fostering a better community in Calgary and surrounding areas with a focus on health, education and sports. The Foundation has been a supporter of the Great Big Nature project from its inception.

Dr. Dee Keating

Dee has a diploma in Fish, Wildlife & Recreation from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a BSc in Botany & Zoology from the University of B.C. She completed her medical training at the University of Calgary, and for 25 years, managed a busy family practice in Calgary. In 2014, she retired from her practice.

Dee is a skilled naturalist and co-leader of expeditions joining her husband, Brian. She is most excited about birds and botany.

She is also an accomplished back-country explorer. Many remote expeditions have taken her to some of the best wilderness and wildlife locations on all 7 continents, where she has traveled by kayak, canoe, horse, ski and on foot. Her medical and natural history knowledge and her insight and skills have made her an invaluable part of The Great Big Nature team.

Geoff Cumming

Mr. Geoffrey A. Cumming, BA (Hons), MSc (Econ), LLB (hc), is a well known philanthropist. Mr. Cumming has 30 years of experience in the investment business with the Royal Bank of Canada, Peters & Co., Gardiner Capital and his own international investment companies, Emerald Capital and Karori Capital. In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary, and in 2019 he became a Laureate of the Alberta Business Hall of Fame. It was Geoff’s enthusiasm and encouragement which got this project initiated!

Ducks Unlimited Canada

We have had the opportunity to collaborate with Ducks Unlimited for some time. They have been a wonderful supporter of Great Big Nature, and they do important work in helping to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. In addition, their philosophy is to educate and inspire people about nature. That’s where Great Big Nature can help!

Jenel Bode, B.Sc. B.Ed. Development Manager, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Jenel has been a huge supporter of ours. We don’t think we could have done it without her.

She grew up just south of Yorkton, Saskatchewan where the outdoors was her playground and her passion for the natural environment took root. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science, while playing as a NCAA athlete in hockey. Jenel continued with her education and graduated from the Masters of Teaching Program at the University of Calgary. She has worked as a secondary school science teacher in Calgary and New Zealand, while continuing to coach hockey.

Jenel has been a devoted advocate for nature as a fundraiser for the last 8 years. Her enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to conservation is born of her love for the natural environment and for connecting the people who are dedicated and inspired to conserve it.

Jim Warner: Head Writer / Researcher

Jim has been our go-to writer from the start. Many of the words you hear in our stories are from his pen. He has a wonderful talent and is a heck of a nice guy to boot.

Apparently when Jim was in his teens, someone told him “If you think you’re a writer, you’re a writer.” He’s been writing ever since. His passion for words and stories has led him to subjects as varied as Hutterites, grain elevators, Madagascar, pet heroes, booze, and football.

His relationship with MiMedia is long-standing, and his respect for Nature is growing daily.

Larry MacDonald: Location Sound extraordinaire!

In a field where pictures get the glory, Sound Recordists are best heard and not seen, but ask anyone in Western Canada who the premiere on-location sound guys are, and one of the first names mentioned will be Larry MacDonald. With thousands of hours of production experience under his wind sock, Larry has been in almost any situation possible, seen almost everything imaginable, and heard things few people ever hear.

His easy-going attitude combined with his unrelenting pursuit to provide the best sound possible, regardless of the situation, has made him a must-have for the Great BIG Nature project!