Most of you know us as Ghost Bear – an organization or a vision or a collection of stories. Allow me to pull back the curtain and introduce you to my co-founder, Jill Cooper.

Growing up in rural Ontario, Jill discovered her passion for the outdoors at an early age and realized in her teens that her professional calling was in education.

For a decade, Jill worked to create connections between technology and nature as a high school geography and media arts teacher, promoting experiential education and leading numerous excursions, including a science-focused field trip to Nicaragua.

When she found resource gaps, Jill worked to fill them – first off the side of her desk and eventually in the full-time pursuit of system-wide education resource development. Jill has advised the establishment of a school council for the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada and helped design of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition’s award-winning education program. And for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity she worked to build a new multi-faceted training program that seeks to better equip teachers to execute STEAM techniques.

No matter the project, Jill’s hallmark has been an approach that strives to be fair in her research and communication: Presenting unbiased facts to ignite a passion in others to think critically, work collaboratively and demand better of themselves and our world.

For each endeavour Jill has journeyed, she has proven an understanding of how to develop innovative programming from development to curriculum integration to classroom implementation.

This, new friends and old, is the person who has been leading the conversation on social media, developing an understanding of how we can do education better and driving every single kilometre (literally) of our journey to document nature and share these stories in communities far and wide. And it’s her unique insight that is at the heart of all that we do.

Great grey owl peeking from behind a tree truck