Rogier Gruys - Naturalist

Rogier Gruys

Naturalist

Rogier is a passionate protected area specialist with a background in ecology and tourism. He loves sharing his passions with visitors and through his photography.

Rogier was born and raised in the Netherlands, but emigrated to Canada when he was seventeen. He completed an undergraduate degree in Arctic and winter ecology, which took him to Devon and Prince Leopold islands in Nunavut to study seabirds and the boreal forest in Manitoba to assist with winter research on caribou. For his master’s degree he lived in a small cabin on the British Columbia Yukon border for two winters, studying willow ptarmigan.

Upon graduation he worked for a decade in various international development projects in remote parts of Asia before returning to Canada. Here, he spent five years working for Destination Canada, travelling to all provinces and territories to research, promote, and present on Canada’s top adventure travel experiences.

He finally combined his passions for tourism and conservation with Parks Canada, first in tourism development in Jasper National Park, and for the past three years, as the manager of the visitor program for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in Haida Gwaii. He has also worked on various national initiatives to improve visitors’ experiences, and last fall he spent time on Sable Island, assisting his colleagues with preparations for a planned cruise ship visit.

Rogier thrives on sharing his passion for the places he lives and works in with visitors, either in person or through his photography. His photos have been used extensively by Parks Canada and tourism organizations, and his work has been published in Canadian Geographic, Explore Magazine, National Geographic books and maps, as well as several international travel magazines and books.

When not working, Rogier spends as much time as possible in the outdoors hiking, backpacking, biking, sea kayaking, packrafting, backcountry skiing, and snowshoeing. He considers himself semi-nomadic, having worked and lived in thirty-five towns and cities in nine countries on four continents. Over his lifetime, he has studied a dozen foreign languages and still speaks about six of them, some better than others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and an International Member of The Explorers Club.