Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


Explore Alaska in the company of top experts. Benefit from their expertise—marine and terrestrial biology, botany, geology, and more—and benefit from their passion to share the wonder of this incredible place. Enjoy their company; you’ll find them highly engaging and fun to share a drink or dinner with, as well as a hike.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Amy Brummit

    Naturalist
    Amy has spent several seasons working in Antarctica at both McMurdo Station and Palmer Station, where she supported scientific research for the United States Antarctic Program. Wintering at McMurdo Station and experiencing 24-hours of darkness and -60°F temperatures, she found a true passion for the polar regions and is devoted to sharing this with others.

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  • Chelsea Leven

    Naturalist
    Time among frogs and hardwood forests established Chelsea’s love for the outdoors as a child in the snowbelt of northeast Ohio. Impelled by curiosity about the natural world, she signed up for field trips in college, earning a geology degree from Amherst College, and studying marine ecology in New Zealand. Snapshots from ensuing science positions include scuba diving research, paleoclimate studies in Chile’s Atacama Desert, and warming bags of live bats against her belly.

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  • Dave Katz

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    As a family growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, free time was spent in the outdoors. Dave’s mother, an earth science and biology teacher turned weekend hikes into informative lessons. The beautiful gorges, lakes and forests made a lasting impression.

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  • Eric Barnes

    Video Chronicler
    Eric is a native of Southern California and has been taking pictures for as long as he can remember.  He made a career as a news photographer, working for local and national news agencies.  As a photojournalist, Eric has documented some of the most important news events both nationally and around the world.  He has covered everything from the tsunami in Thailand to the war in Afghanistan and countless other compelling stories.

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  • Ivan Phillipsen

    Naturalist
    Ivan is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He has participated in studies of a diverse assortment of organisms: aspen trees, cactus wrens, aquatic snails, frogs, and beetles. He holds a M.S. in biology from Cal State San Bernardino and a Ph.D. in zoology from Oregon State University. The population genetics of freshwater animals was his area of focus. He has published a series of papers on the evolutionary biology of amphibians and aquatic insects. Ivan’s scientific work invariably involved backpacking into remote wilderness areas to find his secretive research subjects in their natural habitats.

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  • James Coyer

    Undersea Specialist
    It was Malle and Cousteau’s The Silent World, viewed in a dusty meeting hall on a wintry day in central Wisconsin that forged Jim’s dream and commitment to become a marine biologist.  Never mind that he was only 8 at the time and that it would be another 13 years before I finally felt the spray of an ocean on my face.

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  • JIll Niederberger

    Expedition Leader
    Jill is an aquatic biologist, naturalist, divemaster, and captain with a love for everything living in and depending on water. Whether sailing catamarans, leading snorkeling tours, or assisting with cetacean field research projects, she enjoys connecting others to the wilderness around them. Her most recent adventures have led her into a focus on marine mammals – those creatures with fur and blubber that defy the odds by living in or depending on an environment in which they cannot breathe.

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