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National Geographic Live with Ronan Donovan

National Geographic Live with Ronan Donovan



May 24
7:00 pm
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Mount Baker Theater
104 N. Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98225 United States
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What’s a human? We are, at our core, social mammals. We build relationships, communicate, reproduce, establish territories, and adapt to shrinking resources. In these ways, we’re no different than other social mammals. Chimpanzees, wolves, and gorillas are among the most charismatic of the mammals we know. We identify with them as species, groups, and even as named individuals. They’re also under threat. Join biologist-turned-photographer Ronan Donovan for an evening as he talks about his work documenting these animals and what we, as fellow social mammals, can learn from them.


The Whatcom Museum is proud to host National Geographic Explorer and acclaimed wildlife photographer Ronan Donovan at the Mount Baker Theatre. His work is also on display in National Geographic’s Greatest Wildlife Photographs, on view in the Lightcatcher building March 9 – September 8, 2024.


Photographer Ronan Donovan

National Geographic Explorer and Wildlife Photographer Ronan Donovan

About Ronan Donovan

Ronan Donovan is a born explorer. He inherited his sense of adventure and love of the natural world from his parents, who once sailed across the Atlantic. From his birth in rural Vermont in a cabin his father built, Ronan’s life has been a series of adventures. Donovan taught himself photography and filmmaking while working on a series of wildlife biology projects. In 2014, feeling he could make more of an impact through his visual storytelling than as a biologist, he turned to photography and filmmaking full time.

His photographic journeys for National Geographic include an entire year living inside Yellowstone National Park documenting the life of wild wolves, hiking volcanoes to photograph mountain gorillas and documenting the human-wildlife conflict between wild chimpanzees and humans in Africa. His film work has aired on PBS’s Nature and on the BBC. He’s traveled to all seven continents, and in 2017 he was accepted into the Photo Society of National Geographic. His photographs have hung on the walls of the Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington. His unique ability to tell the stories of the animals he focuses on elicits compassion in a relatable way and engages people for conservation. Photography allows him to give a voice to his subjects. Donovan now lives in Bozeman, Montana, where he loves to explore the Rocky Mountains.


The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.