Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


Explore Baja California in the company of top experts and photographers. Team specialties include marine and terrestrial biology, botany, geology, and more. Benefit from their knowledge and passion for Baja California to observe and understand more of all you’ll see. And enjoy the company of our Baja travel guides; 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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  • Annie Fiske

    Expedition Leader
    Hailing from the Pacific Northwest and spending her first nights in a tent at the tender age of six weeks old, Annie grew up with a love for the outdoors and adventuring. Raised in Tacoma, Washington, she considers herself lucky to have grown up in an area that allowed her to fall in love with the mountains and sea as one. Attending college in Alaska fostered an even stronger love for the untamed beauty of wilderness that Annie holds close today. After spending years working as a research assistant on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and teaching outdoor education, conservation, and guiding in places like Catalina Island, Denali National Park, and Olympic National Park, Annie transitioned into small ship exploration in 2012 and has not looked back.

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  • Heather Davis

    Wellness Specialist
    As a licensed massage therapist since 1991, Heather has spent her life immersed in the study of mind-body healing arts. She's lived in a yoga ashram in India, practiced meditation at a monastery in Thailand, and currently lives a mobile lifestyle which has taken her to over 30 countries and counting. 

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  • James Hyde

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    James is your typical free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsy type. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he is most comfortable in slightly cold and damp weather. James joined the Lindblad team in July 2016 as a dive buddy and has been in love with expedition travel since. On his own he has traveled to Europe, Asia, and Australia, but with Lindblad he hopes to continue his adventures across the globe, searching out the beauties of the natural world. An avid scuba diver James can’t help being excited about whales, sharks, and pinnipeds, but he will also happily bend your ear about underwater slugs and invertebrates. It’s best just to humor him about these things.

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  • Kayvon Malek

    Undersea Specialist
    Raised in Southern California, Kayvon has spent his whole life living by the sea. However, his passion for the ocean truly unfolded while obtaining his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There he majored in environmental studies and biology and began his scuba diving career. While at UC-Santa Cruz he became an AAUS Scientific Diver as well as a NAUI Divemaster. These certifications allowed him to begin working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium taking children diving in an open exhibit. He was also a research diver for various labs at UC-Santa Cruz, assisting in all manners whether it was obtaining fish samples, setting up experiment apparatuses, or taking salinity and sediment samples. Since graduating Kayvon continues to volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a feeding show and maintenance diver and assisting with research.

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  • Marylou Blakeslee

    Naturalist
    For the past 20 years, Marylou Blakeslee has traveled the world sharing her love of wild places. She lectures on a number of topics from the bears and wolves of the Arctic, to the leopard seals and whales of the Antarctic, as well as the turtles and fishes of the Great Barrier Reef.

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  • Matthew Ritenour

    Video Chronicler
    Matthew grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, where a love of geography, culture and history were instilled at a young age. He studied anthropology at California State University, Chico, and soon began working at the Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA), a documentary production studio that focuses on sharing the results of anthropological research with the public. As a cinematographer and editor at ALVA, he documented research on everything from the effects of drought in California, to looted petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada high desert, and the global trade in emeralds.

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  • Michael Nolan

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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  • Octavio Maravilla

    Naturalist
    Octavio was born in Mexico City and moved to La Paz at age 19, to study Marine Biology at the Baja California Sur State University. He began his field research on California sea lions, working at Los Islotes, a small rookery close to La Paz City. Later, he expanded his research to all the sea lion colonies in the Gulf of California and over the Pacific coast of the Baja California Peninsula — aside sea lions, he studied three other species of Mexican pinnipeds, harbor seals, elephant seals, and Guadalupe fur seals.

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  • Ralph Lee Hopkins

    National Geographic Photographer
    Santa Fe-based photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins is founder and director of the Expedition Photography program for the Lindblad-National Geographic alliance. For more than 20 years he has lead expeditions from the Arctic to Antarctica and points in between.

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  • Rich Kirchner

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Rich Kirchner has worked as a naturalist in Antarctica, Alaska, the Bering Sea, Baja and the High Arctic, including Greenland, the Canadian Arctic and Iceland. His 25 years as a professional wildlife photographer has granted him international publication credits included in magazines such as Geo Germany, Geo France, Natural History, Audubon, National Wildlife and Ranger Rick, as well as more than a hundred books.

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