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Court Whelan sq

Court Whelan

Nature has been a constant in Court’s life. Spending much of his youth outdoors fostering a strong love and appreciation for wildlife led him to attend the University of Florida, where he received his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in both Ecotourism and Entomology. As the creator of his own discipline and major, he was able to design his coursework, research and teaching to focus on, as he puts it, “conserving the world through nature and educational travel experiences.” Throughout his graduate school career, Court also ran an ecotourism company through which he planned and led more than 60 expeditions to nature destinations on all seven continents. One of the key expeditions that set Court on his lifelong journey of conservation was his own annual pilgrimage to Central Mexico to guide others in observing the grand monarch butterfly migration. The monarch, its migration, and its miraculous life history even wove its way into his PhD curriculum, as he studied the monarch and its relationship with ecotourism. Now nearly 20 years later since guiding his first monarch migration adventure, he continues to take eager naturalists to view the spectacle, inspiring and educating generations old and new with one of mother nature’s greatest spectacles. In addition to guiding expeditions on all seven continents, Court is Chief Sustainability Officer for a Natural Habitat Adventures, elevating it to become one of the most sustainable and eco-conscious travel enterprises in the world. From ensuring complete carbon neutrality to guiding the world’s first zero waste adventure, saving the world via travel is at the center of Court’s career, as well as day-to-day purview. Throughout his travels he has also developed a keen sense for photography and videography. This has led to a true passion and profession, as he now guides many photo expeditions each year to the world’s most iconic areas and ecosystems. Whether it’s an expedition to the arctic for polar bears and northern lights, to Africa for the world’s most charismatic megafauna, deep into the remote jungles of Borneo, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea, or to the extraordinary winter home of the monarch butterfly, he cherishes his time teaching and extending his love of conservation photography to anyone eager to learn.