I never realized just how fitting Jason Whalen’s nickname was until I sat down to write this post.

J-bird.

OF COURSE the man who covers all things nature has a nature-themed nickname. Of course the guy who knows the land like the back of his hand and travels all over to get the right view, would be called J-bird.

We are lucky to have J-bird, er Jason, as the newest addition to the Big Foot Media family. Sure, he’s  Tim’s brother and has worked with us for years now, but now it’s officially official. Like, leave your independent contractor status and move to Chicago official. And with Jason’s help, we’re hoping to make Big Foot Media an even greener place.

“I view this as a great opportunity to work with a talented team of people that I can grow with as they help me grow my relationship with the clients I’ve maintained in the realm of science, nature and the environment.” Jason Whalen

“I view this as a great opportunity to work with a talented team of people that I can grow with as they help me grow my relationship with the clients I’ve maintained in the realm of science, nature and the environment,” Whalen told me over email. “I’m excited to put all my time and energy into Big Foot Media and to see what the future holds for us all!”

Jason is a part of that future. He was no joke flying solo, but recognizes he’ll be stronger with a flock (metaphor taken too far? I was tempted to work this in somehow but that seemed like the line.).

Jason comes from a background in photography and environmental biology. Over the past four years he’s  worked with The Nature Conservancy chapters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky and New York on photography and short form info-doc videos about conservation projects. Now, The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization that focuses on biodiversity conservation, is one of the clients Jason will bring with him to Big Foot.

And that’s something he’s particularly excited about.

“They work in every state and 33 countries on everything from preserving and restoring rare and important habitats around the world to pulling invasive weeds at Montrose Beach, here in Chicago,” Jason explained. “Just like the infamous Big Foot, every living thing relies on healthy forests, rivers and lakes and we are excited to work with an organization that does so many great things for the environment.”

That’s truly where J-bird’s passion for working with nature-focused clients comes from.

“I want to be able to provide a voice for the dedicated people that work to provide a future for these things that are often taken for granted,” Jason told me. “There’s a lot that goes on outside of the human world that might not be around much longer without the work of groups like The Nature Conservancy and I want to do all I can to advance their mission.”

Part of advancing that mission is where Jason has spent his time and energy recently. In the last two years, his focus has been on a co-production between The Nature Conservancy and Detroit Public TV. It’s a television program called Great Lakes Now Connect.

His latest shooting trip was to Copper Harbor in the Keweenaw Peninsula, at the very tip of Michigan. His assignment was to explain how special this area is through the words of long time resident of the area, Don Keith.

“I spent three days in and around Copper Harbor, battling the mosquitos to capture the images that supported Don’s positive words about the Keweenaw and to create a piece that I am very proud of,” Jason said.

That video will air alongside another piece he produced for Great Lakes Now Connect. Both will premiere on Detroit Public TV on August 5th at 1pm EST. You can check it out here: http://www.greatlakesnow.org/wild-places/

Until then, you can take a look at some of J-bird’s other work from the past and imagine what else you’ll see from him, and Big Foot Media in the future!

It’s spring in Detroit, Michigan. Millions of birds are migrating through the area. Time for Bob Anthony to take his binoculars and camera on a trip to Belle Isle in search of the perfect shot.

This film was produced for Detroit Public TV’s Great Lakes Now Connect series. Watch Mike Werling explain what it’s like to be a conservation-minded farmer in the Great Lakes basin.

Take a journey through the frozen landscapes of Northern Michigan in the winter. This film features scenes from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Eben Ice Caves, Presque Isle Park and a number of frozen waterfalls in Alger County. Music by Youth Lagoon.


I write in any weather – JS

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