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Jonathan Cooley

Jonathan grew up on the south shore of Long Island where time spent exploring the bays and estuaries behind Fire Island sparked an early interest in aquatic biology. Although the Colorado Rockies seemed a strange place to pursue a formal education in marine biology, the study of paleontology and geology allowed Jonathan to combine the three disciplines to complete a degree in marine paleo-biology at the University of Colorado.

The mountains spell held Jonathan for another year as a white water raft guide and rock-climbing instructor. But five years in the mountains had left a desire to return to the sea, and fixing up 30 year old, 25 foot sailboat Jonathan set out on a three year odyssey sailing from New York to Venezuela, returning via the Mississippi River, Great Lakes, and Hudson River. Because most of the time on this trip was spent island hopping in the Caribbean, Jonathan's love of the marine environment was rekindled. Snorkeling and diving both for pleasure and food meant a good part of three years was spent under Caribbean waters learning about reef ecology. But the Mountains called again and Jonathan attended graduate school at the Montana State University, studying the geology of the dinosaur fossil rich Morrison Formation. Jonathan currently lives in western Colorado where he is building a straw bale house and runs a small business leading educational expeditions for academic travel programs including those of National Geographic, Johns Hopkins, Yale, USC and the American Museum of Natural History, and has led groups to Mongolia, the Artic, Mexico, and South America. Jonathan has traveled with Lindblad since 1991 to Alaska, the Sea of Cortez, Central America, the Caribbean, Indonesia, and the Pacific Northwest