Second generation Quest leader Ian Shanahan was exposed to the natural world from the very beginning alongside his father Don. A particularly special moment involving a Peregrine Falcon ignited a passion for birds that eventually led to him being named the ABA/Leica Young Birder of the Year at age 16, becoming a guide for the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO), and serving as Co-Editor of the longstanding publication OFO News.
Ian’s 13 seasons as an interpretive naturalist at Presqu’ile and Algonquin Provincial Parks in Ontario included a stint as Senior Park Naturalist at Algonquin where he penned an outstanding article that was featured in Algonquin Park's acclaimed newsletter, The Raven. These years also saw his initial interest in birds gradually spread to all life forms. Now, Ian and his wife Sofía are especially focused on discovering the intricacies of different habitats during their nature explorations.
Among his visits to 15 countries and all 13 Canadian provinces/territories, Ian’s favourite destinations include Yukon, Canada's Northwest Passage, the Canadian Maritimes, Iceland, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Panama and the Yucatan peninsula.
Ian's formal training as a teacher, visual artist, singer, actor, and writer influence his guiding method that combines storytelling, extensive knowledge and a keen sense of the moment.