Born and raised in Canada, Karen Copeland received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Waterloo and an M.D. from the University of Western Ontario. She interned at McMaster University in Hamilton. Detouring from hospital hallways, Karen soon became a whitewater guide and a published photographer, fulfilling a passion for knowledge that began with botany and led to geology and ornithology. Karen has worked as a full-time naturalist for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1991. She recently published a paper on the foraging behavior of gentoo penguins. Karen is intimately familiar with the seas and the shores of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Baja California and Mexico, and Central and South America. She has traveled the far reaches of the world from Iceland, Svalbard, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, the British Isles and the Baltic in the north, to the Azores and Mediterranean at mid-latitudes and Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula in the south. She loves sharing the joy of adventure and the natural world with others. Throughout 2018, Karen is acting as a National Geographic Year of the Bird Ambassador.
Naturalist, Year of the Bird Ambassador