Raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Judy’s interest in and awareness of the natural world led her to attain a bachelor's degree from the University of Manitoba, where she majored in animal and plant sciences. She followed up with an MBA at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Studying with some of Canada's top nature and wildlife photographers, she realized that the pull of nature and creativity were her true callings, but life’s twisty path led her initially in other directions. She became part-owner of her family’s fourth-generation furniture business in Winnipeg, running her own photography business, and marketing the business school at the University of Manitoba. Yet Judy has constantly had her fingers in various research and conservation efforts, both through her work and as a volunteer. In addition, she teaches kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, is Paddle Canada certified (Level 3 sea kayaking), and has taught and organized numerous photography workshops for people of all ages.
Once she fell in love with Churchill, the rest is history. Countless trips north to experience, photograph, learn and volunteer in the Churchill region have allowed Judy to bring her passions, energy and talents together. She has volunteered countless hours at the Churchill Northern Studies Center, where she is an executive member of the board. Whether sea kayaking or running rapids in remote areas, waiting with camera at the ready for a red fox to pounce on a lemming, ice fishing at 30° below, watching in awe as the northern lights burst over the tundra, or counting birds migrating north out of the marsh at sunrise in spring, Judy exudes infectious enthusiasm and pure enjoyment. Both are always fully matched with her commitment to safety for herself and her guests. She is keen to share her knowledge of northern nature and local culture, and grateful for every opportunity to learn something new with every nature immersion. Judy especially enjoys leading Nat Hab's women-only departures, offering a special opportunity to cultivate confidence and camaraderie for women travelers.
Upcoming Adventures with Judy:
Polar Bears of Churchill
Northern Lights & Arctic Exploration
Belugas, Bears & Summer Wildlife of Churchill
Praise from Nat Hab travelers:
“Wow! Judy was beyond fantastic.She was super kind to our children and kept us engaged the whole time. It was our first time doing a tour, and it far exceeded our expectations. Judy made us feel welcomed and at home the entire time. I did not want to leave.”
“We couldn't have been more pleased with our guide, Judy. My sister and I have taken a lot of trips and she rated among the best guides we’ve ever had. She was friendly, knowledgeable and always had interesting facts to share. Judy really made the trip for us!”
“Judy was upbeat in the perfect way. She was flexible, exceptionally knowledgeable, readily prepared for all situations and had great repartee with guests. It’s obvious that she has an abiding respect for polar bears and their environmental needs. She handled both her job and her responsibilities beautifully.”
“I feel like our group hit the jackpot with our Expedition Leader! All of Judy's future groups should feel lucky to have her as a guide. Judy’s enthusiasm for wildlife and energy were infectious throughout the trip. I really cannot say enough wonderful things about her.”
“Judy was very friendly, organized and attentive. She made our experience memorable with her fun-loving personality. Her hospitality blew me away, as I have never been taken care of so well before on an excursion. She was hands-down one of my favorite things about this trip.”