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THE EXPLORERS CLUB

CANADIAN CHAPTER

"To promote exploration by all means possible..."

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CHAPTER EXECUTIVE (ELECTED)

Jett Britnell FI'16

Canadian Chapter Chair

Sunniva Sorby MI’19

Regional Director BC/Yukon

Robin Brooks MI’14

Regional Director Ontario/Nunavut

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Dr. Marlon Lewis FI’16

Regional Director Atlantic/Quebec

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Mackenzie Collette MI’21

Regional Director Prairies/NWT

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Jett Britnell FI'16

Canadian Chapter Chair

Jett Britnell FI'16, FRCGS, FRGS, is a British Columbia based Explorer, Underwater, Wildlife & Expedition Photographer, internationally published Writer, Scuba Diver and Speaker. He also a Fellow in the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (Ottawa) and the Royal Geographical Society (London). Together with his wife, he co-authors an adventure & exploration column for Luxe Beat Magazine under the banner Third Age Expeditions. Jet is also a member of the Ocean Artists Society, an ambassador for the “League of Underwater Explorers.” and also a consultant to Elephanatics, an elephant advocacy organization residing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Much of his work is focused upon undersea exploration, globally protecting endangered species, preserving natural habitats, supporting marine & wildlife conservation efforts and environmental education. From 2019 / 2020 Jett served as the Explorers Club’s Regional Director for British Columbia/Yukon and effective Jan 1, 2021, he assumed the role of Chapter Chair for The Explorers Club’s Canadian Chapter.

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Sunniva Sorby MI’19

Regional Director BC/Yukon

Polar Ambassador, Author, and Explorer, Sunniva Sorby made history in 1993 as part of the first team of women to ski to the South Pole. She was also the first Canadian woman in 1999 to ski across the Greenland Icecap and in 2021 as the first duo of women to overwinter solo in the Arctic. With over 25 years in the Arctic and the Antarctic as historian, naturalist guide and zodiac driver she is a passionate advocate through storytelling, active citizen science, youth engagement and visual inspiration. An accomplished keynote speaker she co-presented at the UN COP26 together with Maria Pia Cassarini from Polar Educators Int’l on the “Importance of Polar Education to understand climate change”. In 2002 she was nominated as "Woman of the Year" by San Diego council member Christine Kehoe where she flew to the State Capital to accept her award for her volunteer work and community service outreach to kids and young women as part of her efforts to promote sports education and healthy lifestyles. Sunniva has been sought after as a keynote speaker for numerous companies and special interest groups. Her recent keynotes have included: GOOGLE, Right-Mesh (Block chain company), PEER Summit (Bitcoin CEO’s). City of Ft Meyers, Calif. Science Educators Conference, American Society for Training and Development, Telus and BC Hydro, Royal Canadian Geographic Society and GLEX- Explorers Club Summit among others. Her topics range from :”Citizen Science to inspire care and action” , “Importance of Risk-taking in a time of Change”, “Leadership’s Final Frontier- Collaboration”, “Coping and thriving through hardship and Isolation “and “Why we all have a mountain to climb”. Sunniva’s goal is to continue to inspire better service to the earth and to each other through a project co-created with Hilde Falun Strom “Hearts in the Ice (HITI).Through HITI they have reached over 100,000 youth globally on subjects all related to climate change with the goal of turning climate despair into hope and action.

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Robin Brooks MI’14

Regional Director Ontario/Nunavut

Robin Brooks FI’14 is a proud member of the Explorers Club based in Toronto and Georgian Bay Ontario. Director of Marketing for Travelopia’s Exodus Travels, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and supporter of the Africa Wildlife Foundation, Rewilding Europe, and the eBioAtlas. She has coordinated logistics for EC flag expeditions to Madagascar, Turkmenistan, and has a cultural census project in Myanmar documenting the tattooed faced females of the Chin Tribes. While far more comfortable in the background, Robin has appeared as a travel expert on NBC, ABC, the Washington Post, and New York Times. An advocate for the power of relationships, staying positive, empowering local communities and marginalized groups, and supporting gender equality across the globe, she believes that exploration should improve life for the people and places we explore.

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Dr. Marlon Lewis FI’16

Regional Director Atlantic/Quebec

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    Mackenzie Collette MI’21

    Regional Director Prairies/NWT

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      CHAPTER DIRECTORS & COMMITTEES (APPOINTED)

      Marlis Butcher FI’16

      Membership Director

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      Maeva Gauthier FI’13

      Communications Director

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      Lee Treloar MI’09

      Editor, Monthly Newsletter

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      David Byng FI’07

      Awards & Honours Committee Chair

      Marlis Butcher FI’16

      Membership Director

      Marlis Butcher, FI'16, FRCGS, C.Dir., MBA, CPA-CMA, is an environmental conservationist, author (Park Bagger – Adventures in The Canadian National Parks), speaker, and photographer. She is the first visitor to all 47 national parks. Marlis is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and of Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and an Ambassador for Canadian Geographic Adventures. She is a director on the board of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Marlis served on the board of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, was a Trail Maintenance and Development Director, and still volunteers to protect the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

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      Maeva Gauthier FI’13

      Communications Director

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        Lee Treloar MI’09

        Editor, Monthly Newsletter

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          David Byng FI’07

          Awards & Honours Committee Chair

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            David Galbraith FI’18

            Treasurer

            Head of Science, Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), Burlington, Ontario David is a wildlife and conservation biologist, historian, writer, and artist. At RBG since 1995, he’s been head of science since 2006, responsible for research, library and herbarium collections and programs, and cultural and landscape heritage studies. He’s an adjunct prof. at McMaster University, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and Fellow International of the Explorers Club. Since 2018 he has been honoured to serve as Treasurer for the Canadian Chapter.

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            Rogier Gruys MI’10

            Webmaster

            Rogier Gruys manages the visitor program for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and is a published nature photographer focusing on remote wilderness locations.

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            Nathalie Lasselin FI’21

            Website Committee

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            Jessica Lindsay Phillips MI'12

            Website Committee

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              OTHER CANADIAN EXPLORERS

              Test Team

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              Kathryn Britnell FI'19

              Canadian Explorer

              Todd Mintz FI'20

              Canadian Explorer

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              Jon Higgins MI'22

              Canadian Explorer

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              Joseph Frey FI'02

              Canadian Explorer

              David Welch FI'22

              Canadian Explorer

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              Rob Butler FI'08

              Canadian Explorer

              Tony Mayo MI'14

              Canadian Explorer

              Cody Friesen Fcl’22

              Canadian Explorer

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              Vilhjalmur Stefansson

              Canadian Explorer

              George Kourounis FI'09

              Canadian Explorer

              I'm a global explorer, adventurer and storm chaser. Here you will find many unique images of my incredible journeys from all 7 continents and 75 countries. I've spent years photographing some of Mother Nature's most elusive and dangerous phenomena. I've chased tornadoes, giant hail, dust storms, hurricanes, avalanches, volcanoes and lightning among other things. This site contains a variety of photographs and video images of these encounters with wild weather and other forces of nature.

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              Kathryn Britnell FI'19

              Canadian Explorer

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                Craig Minielly MI'18

                Canadian Explorer

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                David McKown MI'21

                Canadian Explorer

                Canadian artist David McEown has used the medium of watercolour for the past 30 years to explore and express many of this earth’s wilderness areas. His paintings from Antarctica to the North Pole are represented in collections worldwide. David is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, which in 2005 and 2018 awarded him the society’s prestigious A.J. Casson Medal. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a member of the Explorers Club. A sought after teacher, David has conducted workshops and multimedia presentations for numerous art societies and museums sharing his reverence for nature and passion for the creative act of painting.

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                Jill Heinerth FI'10

                Canadian Explorer

                JILL HEINERTH FN'10 is an underwater explorer, writer, photographer, speaker, and filmmaker. Jill was a lead diver on a ground-breaking US Deep Caving Team project piloting the first accurate, 3D cave mapping device - technology bound for space. A pioneer of technical rebreather diving, she led the first dives into underwater caves inside Antarctica's massive B-15 iceberg. From desert oases of the Sahara to Baffin Bay's cold waters, Jill Heinerth becomes the hands and eyes for climatologists, archaeologists, and engineers. Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a presenter on radio and TV broadcasts worldwide. Her memoir, INTO THE PLANET, has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times. Her children’s book THE AQUANAUT is a Blue Ribbon Selection for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Jill is a Fellow of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, Women Divers Hall of Fame and the Explorers Club, which awarded her with the William Beebe Award. Jill is the 2021 recipient of the Explorer’s Club Canadian Chapter’s Stefannson Medal for her lifetime work in exploration.

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                Todd Mintz FI'20

                Canadian Explorer

                Todd is an accomplished Explorer and international award-winning underwater photographer from Canada that has dove under the Arctic ice and icebergs and, nearly been run over by a Bowhead whales and Grizzly bears. He is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. He is also a member of the Ocean Artists Society. He has been awarded Best of Show in the internationally prestigious Nature's Best-Smithsonian-Oceans Views competition. His images have been part of two exhibits in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC. In addition they have been featured on the exhibit hall banners and promotions throughout the Smithsonian. Other award highlights include being selected part of the International Conservation Photograph Awards exhibit in conjunction with the Burke Museum in Seattle and, part of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Nature Museum, and Saskatchewan Science Center collection. Todd has also completed two solo exhibits of his work at the Saskatchewan Science Center and Kramer IMAX Theatre in 2015 and 2017 with over 45 pieces on exhibit. (His exhibit was extended due to popular demand.) His work continues to be published in numerous media throughout the world including Canadian Geographic and the Magic School Bus series.

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                Natalie Schmitt FI'22

                Canadian Explorer

                Natalie is an empathetic ecologist, conservation geneticist, and documentary presenter (Discovery, Nat Geo Wild), deeply passionate about protecting biodiversity using hard science, public education, and community empowerment. Studying elusive, endangered species, like snow leopard and Antarctic whales, she has empowered grass-roots conservation, and enabled policy education and management improvement at various scales, including that of the International Whaling Commission. Natalie is developing a portable leading-edge technology to detect DNA from biological samples in real time, at low cost and easy-to-use. She leads an extremely skilled, synergic team of geneticists, conservationists, communicators, business partners, and institutions to develop this technology. WildTechDNA will categorically revolutionize the way how customs, law-enforcement, field monitoring practices, citizen science, and locally based conservation are conducted around the world.

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                Jon Higgins MI'22

                Canadian Explorer

                Jon Higgins is an architectural technologist, photographer, and heritage resource conservationist based in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Passionate about heritage resources, he is focused on sustainable design and technology and its use in tandem with heritage resource conservation and indigenous archaeological preservation in Southern Alberta. Jon is currently a board member of the Heritage Resources Working Group in Medicine Hat and the South Eastern Alberta Archaeological Society. He has had the opportunity to visit over 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with plans to visit many more.

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                  Ken McGoogan Fl’15

                  Canadian Explorer

                  Ontario-based Ken McGoogan (Fl’15) is a globe-trotting, history-chasing storyteller who survived shipwreck off Dar es Salaam, tracked the ghost of Jane Lady Franklin from Russell Square to Van Diemen’s Land, and placed a John Rae memorial plaque in the High Arctic. Ken has published fifteen books, among them five bestsellers about Arctic exploration, and won such prizes as the Pierre Berton Award for History and the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography. Ken is an ambassador for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian, and writes for leading magazines and newspapers. In autumn 2023, he will publish a book about Sir John Franklin.

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                  Joseph Frey FI'02

                  Canadian Explorer

                  Joseph Frey, CD, FRCGS, FI’ 02 is a former Director and Vice-President of The Explorers Club and Chair of the Club’s Canadian Chapter. He is a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Joseph was a RCGS member of the Parks Canada-led expedition which discovered Sir John Franklin’s flagship HMS Erebus in the North West Passage. Some of the other expeditions he has actively participated in include the US National Parks Service’s search for the Spanish slave ship Guerrero off Key Largo, Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Battle of the Atlantic marine archaeology survey of the German submarine U-576 off North Carolina's Outer Banks. Joseph co-led an Explorers Club coral reef biodiversity mapping expedition in the Bahamas’ Peterson Cay National Park and engaged in another with the University of Havana in Cuba’s Punta Francis National Park. With a passion for archaeology, an important focus of Joseph’s is on 17th Century Huron-Wendat sites. He was an archaeologist on Ontario’s first winter archaeological excavation which searched for Fort Frontenac. Fascinated by polar sciences, Joseph has taken part in expeditions to the Antarctic, Greenland and across the Canadian High Arctic with various organizations including the National Science Foundation, Antarctica New Zealand and the Meteorological Service of Canada. He was one of only seven international journalists chosen to report from the Antarctic on field sciences during the 2001-2002 research season. An accomplished science writer, he has been published in the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany and New Zealand in TIME, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Geographical, Canadian Geographic, Medical Post and DIVER to name a few. Joseph has contributed to five books on exploration and polar topics, including the Canadian best seller Franklin’s Lost Ship: The Historic Discovery Of HMS Erebus.

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                    David Welch FI'22

                    Canadian Explorer

                    David Welch is a marine biologist and oceanographer living in Nanaimo, BC. He specializes in studying the ocean life of Pacific salmon, with a particular focus on how global warming affects survival at sea and how that may be distorting broader resource management initiatives. In 1990 David founded Kintama Research, addressing many of the key biological research questions of the coming decades concerning the survival of salmon at sea. In addition to his research, David is a passionate technical diver, using a tri-mix closed circuit rebreather to dive deep ocean wrecks and reefs around the world. His next goal is to dive with his ancestors, namely the deep ocean coelacanths living off the west coast of Africa.

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                    Rob Butler FI'08

                    Canadian Explorer

                    Over half a century of watching, writing, drawing, listening and living among birds, Rob Butler’s views have transformed from ecology and behaviour of birds to a unifying vision of nature and human culture which he calls Nature Culture. Dr. Rob Butler holds a graduate degree from Simon Fraser University (MSc) and the University of British Columbia (PhD). He is a fellow of The Explorers Club, Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and American Ornithologists Society, an outstanding alumnus of Simon Fraser University and Capilano University, and Signature Member of Artists for Conservation. His research career includes the social behaviour of crows, ecology of herons, and migration of birds. Rob is an adjunct professor of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University and has published over 150 works for scientific and popular audiences. He has scores of appearances on television, radio and in newspapers. He wrote and co-produced with Mike McKinlay two films on nature and culture. He has served on many boards including The Nature Trust of British Columbia, the Pacific WildLife Foundation, and Vancouver Bird Advisory Committee and Vancouver International Bird Festival. He is Honorary Director of Nature Kids and Pacific WildLife Foundation that he co-founded.

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                      Tony Mayo MI'14

                      Canadian Explorer

                      Mayo has traveled to some of the most remote parts of 96 countries studying endangered human cultures and collecting artifacts which are well documented with original information obtained from elders as well as from in-depth personal research. His collections are contained in many museums. Mayo is an internationally recognized artist and a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation https://www.artistsforconservation.org/programs/art-for-conservation Much of Mayo’s artwork portrays endangered or threatened species and/or environments. You may view his work on his website at: https://tonymayoart.com

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                      Cody Friesen Fcl’22

                      Canadian Explorer

                      Friend of the Club .Cody Friesen grew up in Revelstoke, British Columbia and currently resides in Calgary, Alberta. The passion for the outdoors and adrenaline-induced adventure has always sparked an interest for him. Over the past 9 years, Cody has been climbing, hiking, canyoning and exploring the most that the province of Alberta has to offer. In 2020, Cody began a new goal of filming and documenting every hike and adventure he embarked on, no matter the size, from start to finish. Fast forward three summers and Cody has now documented and filmed 144 unique hikes throughout Alberta, including several peaks no one has fully documented before. To put that into perspective, the distance and gains Cody has conquered in three summers has been 1,453km with elevation gains of 109,395m. In December 2022, Cody will complete his Divemaster certification with hopes to move from documenting mountain peaks to undocumented mountain lakes for Summer 2023.

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                      Vilhjalmur Stefansson

                      Canadian Explorer

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