Ben Gadd, Naturalist
Ben Gadd knows the Canadian Rocky Mountains well. He is the author of ten books on the area. His best-selling Handbook of the Canadian Rockies is an award-winning guide to everything from geology, botany and bears to human history and backpacking trips. With a degree in earth science and over 35 years of teaching and writing about the Rockies, Ben Gadd is an acknowledged authority on the region. (Click here for Ben’s résumé, a short bio, his books in print, and more photos.)
Ben has been an independent natural-history guide since 1985. He is accredited by the Interpretive Guides Association as a Master Guide and fully insured. Ben can take your group out for a walk, put on a slide show, lead your tour—or just join you around the campfire to answer questions and swap yarns.
Many groups use Ben’s services: tours, conferences, field trips, schools, universities, non-profits, journalists, publishers, film and television companies, families, individuals. An after-dinner talk or a day outdoors with Ben could be the highlight of your Rockies visit. The cost is reasonable.
The wait is over. Ben's beloved novel Raven's End is now back in print with a new 2013 Canadian edition.
And also new, published in 2012, is Operation Bow-Athabasca: The Geological Survey of Canada Takes on the Rockies. This 72-page pictorial booklet is the catalogue and historical summary for an exhibit of the same name that Ben prepared for the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre.
For more information on these books and others, click here.
• Tours and field trips
Takakkaw Falls, Moraine Lake, the Columbia Icefield! These are all must-sees in the mountain national parks. Enjoy them with an expert all your own. Ben can lead your tour as the step-on guide for a morning or afternoon, a day or a week, passing along his intimate knowledge of the Rockies with wit and style.
Would you like to photograph animals? Bighorn sheep and mountain goats? A magnificent elk stag? With Ben along, you’ve got a good chance. Organizing a tour? Call Ben. He is a gold mine of local information, and his advice is free.
For college and university groups, or for any group interested in how the Canadian Rockies were built, Ben is renowned for his geology field trips. For an exceptionally good undergraduate biology exercise, bring your class to one of Ben’s seasonal ecology workshops.
• Guided walks
Ben is getting a bit too old to lead hikes to the high country or in winter, but you can still join him for a pleasant stroll along an easy trail. Whatever your interest—wildflowers, wildlife, birds, geology, photography—Ben can tailor an outing to suit your group.
• Presentations and talks
Ben has enjoyed a long career as a mountain-climber, back-country skier, caver, naturalist and conservationist. From the summit of Mount Robson to the depths of Castleguard Cave, and from the value of wilderness to the geology of the Rockies, Ben’s illustrated talks draw on a wealth of experience to bring the natural world to life.
These programs run from twenty minutes to an hour or longer, depending on the topic, and they’re done live. The tone is light, good for groups of any age. Naturalist themes are interwoven with the action and the humor, so there is learning as well as entertainment. Ben has developed several short talks that require no AV and are perfect for luncheon groups.
Is your group small? Consider an informal fireside talk. Ben leads off with anecdotes of his mountain experiences. Soon everyone is involved in the discussion.
• Author readings and school visits
Ben is the author of Raven’s End, a best-selling novel that has been translated into five other languages. Raven’s End is a wildlife story for readers of all ages, very popular with kids and used in schools. Reading to students and talking with them about writing, natural history and conservation gives Ben as much pleasure as it gives the classes who hear him. Aware of the tight budgeting requirements in education, Ben makes his school visits as inexpensive as possible—particularly when he can put together a tour of several schools in the same area. Call him at 403-609-4449 or e-mail him for more information.
• Interpretive consulting
Ben is renowned for his high-quality interpretive signs, nature trails, interpretive literature and museum exhibits. Since 1976 he has worked on dozens of such projects for national and provincial parks in the Canadian Rockies. Call him to discuss your needs.
• Editorial services
Writing something about the Rockies? Making a video or film? When you need to make sure that your text or script is right, call Ben. He has consulted with numerous studios and publishers (including the National Geographic Society) to ensure the accuracy and readability of their publications and releases.
• Contact info
202 Grizzly Crescent
Canmore, Alberta, Canada T1W 1C1
Ben has posted written material that you can download! To get the notes on one of his lectures, or his equipment lists for hiking, backpacking and back-country skiing in the Rockies, or the full text of one of his essays/speeches, please go to the downloads page.