BEARTREK Producer and Featured Conservationist. Wildlife Media Executive Director, Co-Founder, and Board Member
Bear ecologist, conservationist, adventurer, author, and TV host.
Ecologist Chris Morgan is no stranger to adventure. Over the last 20 years he has worked as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide, and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist. From icy polar bear country at 81° North to tropical Andean bear forests sitting on the equator, Chris has sought adventure among the focus animals of his life – the bears of the world. Carnivore work has also taken him to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Scotland, the Pakistani Himalayas, northern Spain, Turkey, and Alaska – destinations where his infectious enthusiasm for wild places and people has rubbed off on others.
Chris is the featured character, host and narrator in the PBS NATURE special that he helped to create, 'Bears of the Last Frontier'. This major three-hour mini-series follows his epic journey across Alaska by motorcycle in search of black, grizzly, and polar bears, documenting a year-long immersion into their world, and the beauty of Alaska's rugged wilderness. He is also the author of the accompanying book of the same title – a large format publication that describes the experience, the bears, and even behind the scenes insight from the production of the film. More recently Chris has become a narrator for the NATURE series produced by THIRTEEN/WNET.ORG for PBS. Narrations have included films that draw audiences into stories of the Himalayas, an elephant herd in Kenya, Australia's outback pelicans, and Elsa, the world's most famous lion cub.
He is the Executive Director of Wildlife Media – a non-profit conservation organization that oversees BEARTREK, a global campaign and independent feature documentary for bear conservation. This epic, big-screen film about a global natural history adventure brings untold stories of bears and colorful cultures in Borneo, Peru, Alaska, and the Arctic. In addition to documenting Chris's motorcycle conservation quest across four continents, BEARTREK is a giant experiment that brings a new approach to raising awareness and funding for conservation through a high end theatrical film, a campaign, and a social media movement.
Chris owns an ecology and environmental education organization in Bellingham, Washington State and is the co-founder of the acclaimed Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (GBOP). GBOP has been praised as a model for effective education outreach in the North Cascades and Selkirk mountains and has taken great steps to engage rural communities in grizzly bear information dissemination since 2002. The approach has recently been expanded to also include cougar and wolf education needs.
Chris has also been a frequent lecturer at Western Washington University's Huxley College of Environmental Science in Bellingham. He has a B.S. in Applied Ecology (East London, UK) and an M.S. in Advanced Ecology (Durham, UK). In 2003, the Environmental Education Association of Washington honored Chris as Outstanding Environmental Educator of the year. In 2008 his contributions to grizzly bear conservation in the USA were honored with an award from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, a government panel responsible for recovery of the great bear.
Chris knows that conservation depends on people and if people don't see the connection between their own well-being and wildlife, then nothing will change. "What's good for bears is good for people," you will often hear Chris say at one of his many public events. Chris also has an acute sense of the power of media to bring hearts, minds, and resources towards conservation. As one of the most gregarious, personable, and good hearted larger-than-life scientists you'll ever meet, the response to his on-camera appearances has brought him incredible opportunities to promote the value of conservation for us all.
Chris spends much of his work and play time in the North Cascade Mountains one hour from his home. Despite his varied activities within the realm of wildlife conservation, Chris says that he is never happier than when immersed in bear country – "the real world" as he calls it.
He has a B.S. in Applied Ecology (London, UK) and an M.S. in Advanced Ecology (Durham, UK). In 2003, the Environmental Education Association of Washington honored Chris as Outstanding Environmental Educator of the year.