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Chris Earley

Chris is the University of Guelph Arboretum’s Interpretive Biologist and Education Coordinator. He's been a 'nature geek' his whole life and truly loves sharing his interest with those around him. Chris teaches a variety of bird, insect and art workshops at The Arboretum as well as designing signage and leading tours. He also presents a variety of special lectures and labs for undergraduate and graduate classes.

Chris is the author of five bird books published by Firefly Books: Warblers; Sparrows and Finches; Waterfowl; Hawks and Owls of Eastern North America; and Birds A-Z. Two other books, Caterpillars: Find - Identify - Raise Your Own and Dragonflies: Catching – Identifying – How and Where They Live, were written with his children as co-authors. Chris has travelled to many places, sometimes for study purposes, sometimes for work, but always for pleasure! Exploring the world’s varied habitats and watching its wildlife is one of his passions.

Chris has been a part of many interesting research projects and field trips in places such as Australia, New Zealand, Bolivia, Nevis and Ontario. To expand his knowledge base, he recently completed a part-time Master of Science project studying an invasive paper wasp that may be competing with cavity-nesting birds for nest boxes. In 2013, Chris was awarded the Richards Education Award by Ontario Nature for “his significant contributions as an enthusiastic natural history educator over the past 25 years.”

These pursuits still leave him with enough time to go to the cottage, play basketball and soccer, and hang out with his awesome (and obviously very patient) wife and wonderful children.

Chris has been leading tours for Quest Nature Tours since 1999. These include destinations such as the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Galapagos, South Africa and Ontario.

Upcoming Tours

Current Projects

Many families are not spending enough time out in nature. To try and entice more kids and their parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents outside, my 11-year-old daughter and I have published a new book called Caterpillars: Find - Identify - Raise Your Own, with Firefly Books. It is a family guide to identifying, understanding and raising caterpillars. My 16-year-old son, two of his friends and I have also completed a book on catching and identifying dragonflies (Dragonflies: Catching – Identifying – How and Where They Live) to get older kids more connected to their natural world. We are currently working on more titles in the series on topics such as animal tracks, owls, feeder birds and pond life.

Memorable Moment

Having having a Blue-footed Booby show up on our yacht’s deck and seemingly fall in love with one of our participants.