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Mike Hillman

Mike grew up in the North Woods of Michigan and spent his early years learning all he could about the natural world. As an Eagle Scout, he led groups through the wilds while identifying plants and animals along the way.

While earning a degree in Zoology from Michigan State University, Mike found his two greatest passions: watching wildlife and teaching others about the natural world. Since then, he has focused professionally on sharing his enthusiasm for science and nature with his audiences. Beginning his career as a zookeeper and presenter, Mike has worked for various zoos, aquariums, nature institutions and eventually tour companies, including Nat Hab.

Mike has a special interest in birding, sparked by his ornithology professor in college. He has been birding all over North America and took first place in his division in the Great Texas Birding Classic. He has also been interested in photography since childhood. His first digital camera was a Nikon D50, and he has been an avid image-maker since. Reflecting his fascination with the natural world, Mike's photography focuses on landscape and wildlife.

Mike holds a special interest in the public lands of the United States and has been to countless state and national parks and wildlife refuges. His expertise serves him well in his role as a Nat Hab Expedition Leader with a focus on North America’s national parks. When he's not showing them off to his guests, Mike can still be found in the outdoors hiking, birding, kayaking, backpacking, camping, snorkeling or scuba diving.

Upcoming Adventures with Mike:
Polar Bears of Churchill
East Greenland Arctic Safari

Praise from Nat Hab travelers:

M. Kraemer
“Mike was extremely personable and knowledgeable about everything pertaining to our trip. He was the perfect guide, and everything ran absolutely perfectly. His photography skills are incredible, and the photos he shared with our group were stunning. I can't say enough great things about Mike.”

K. Mickam
"Mike was an excellent guide with extensive knowledge of the Yellowstone ecosystem. He made an effort to know each of his fellow travelers and to provide information about our passions. Being a novice birder, I was interested in finding a golden eagle, which he was able to spot on our last day together. We had an amazing trip and saw all the apex predators. As a zoologist, Mike was able to go into great detail about the wildlife that we saw. He also takes great photographs!"

M. Heads
“Mike’s enthusiasm for his job makes him an excellent guide. He also happens to have a wealth of knowledge, which made him an excellent Expedition Leader. I cannot praise him high enough.”

D. Sarazin
“Mike was a wonderful leader, and he made sure to go out of his way to accommodate everyone’s requests. He also made the group feel very safe at all times. He was very attentive to us and made sure to spend time with each of us individually. Mike is very knowledgeable about the area, wildlife and photography.”

S. Ponsford
"Mike and Jean were both excellent. Their knowledge of the wildlife we saw, the flora and the special geothermal features of the area was truly amazing. They also knew the areas where we might find specific species. They were both more than pleasant and fun to be around. We could not have asked for anything more from them. We went to see wildlife, and we definitely achieved that goal thanks to our excellent guides. We would have been pleased to see anything, but I was hoping to see grizzly bears and wolves. We saw both. Mike spotted a bison about to give birth. We especially liked that Mike and Jean were never in a rush to move on to something else. You learn so much about wildlife by simply observing them. We truly appreciated the respect the guides showed for the wildlife by maintaining our distance, keeping quiet, etc."

K. Wenngatz
“Mike was an exceptional guide. His knowledge and enthusiasm about Churchill and its wildlife were limitless. He was warm and personable to each of us. I appreciated all that he did to make my Churchill adventure a success!”

L. Carr
"Mike and Jeremy were extremely knowledgeable, highly entertaining and they made the trip really fun! We had incredible wildlife sightings, and much of that was due to their experience. I love photography, and even though this was not the photography trip, their knowledge of and help with my equipment was welcomed. As an added bonus, their photos are stunning! It was clear that Jeremy and Mike actually enjoy what they do and were 100% focused on making the trip meaningful for everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge and stories they shared. You truly have two gems working for you!! Because of our experience with them, we would absolutely consider taking another trip with Nat Hab."

R. Fredrick
“Mike was very attentive to all the members of our group. I loved how he gave very helpful photography tips to travelers on our trip. He was also extremely knowledgeable about Churchill wildlife and demonstrated genuine enthusiasm for the environment we explored. Mike is an excellent Expedition Leader, and we would love to take another trip with him. He’s that good.”
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