Jimmy Thomson - Naturalist

Jimmy Thomson


Jimmy Thomson is an Arctic-focused journalist from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He is also a naturalist, specializing in marine mammals.

Jimmy’s career has two major branches, of which he can’t decide on one: science and writing. He has successfully combined the two into a career in science journalism, first at the CBC and now at independent startup The Narwhal—but he also maintains close ties to the world of science.

Jimmy first went to the Arctic as a naturalist in 2010, fresh out of his undergraduate studies in biology. In addition to sharing his knowledge of marine mammals, he worked as a Zodiac driver and polar bear guard from Longyearbyen to Tuktoyaktuk. He kept that up for several years, eventually adding Antarctica to the roster as well.

Later, Jimmy returned to school to pursue a Masters in Journalism at the University of British Columbia, which opened new ways to see the North. He shortly thereafter received a fellowship to work in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia as a journalist, and—upon returning to Canada—got a job at the national broadcaster, based in the subarctic community of Hay River.

Jimmy has remained in the North ever since, and by now has worked in every Arctic country in the world at least once, either as a journalist or a naturalist. For his journalism work he has won awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists, The Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Canadian Online Journalism Awards, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the International Development Research Council and the Norwegian ambassador to Canada. For his naturalist work he has received a medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and healthy dose of saltwater spray in the face—though lately not as frequently as he would like.

His journalism has been published in National Geographic, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, theCBC, Canadian Geographic, the National Post, VICE, Geist, and others. He has also been on the other side of the microphone, interviewed by the BBC, TalkRadio UK, and CBC’s flagship news show, The National, and been a guest on several CBC Radio shows across Canada.