Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


Explore Baja California in the company of top experts. Benefit from their knowledge—team specialties include marine and terrestrial biology, the undersea, botany, geology, and more—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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  • Carlos Navarro

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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  • Jack Swenson

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Jack is a Seattle-based guide, wildlife biologist and professional photographer. For the past thirty years his photographs have appeared in prominent magazines, calendars and books including publications by Smithsonian, Audubon, and National Geographic. He has co-authored a photographic book on Baja California, and also a photo identification guide to the killer whales of Southeast Alaska.

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  • James Hyde

    Undersea Specialist
    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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  • Octavio Aburto

    Naturalist
    National Geographic Explorer and photographer Octavio Aburto focuses his photographic outreach and scientific research on the conservation of marine habitats and commercially important species and their fisheries. He has been photographing marine ecosystems off the coastal waters of Mexico since 1994, and also works in Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and the United States. Octavio earned a Ph.D. at the Center of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), where he currently serves as an associate professor and research scientist. His images have been part of several conservation projects worldwide and have won international photography contests.

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  • Rikki Swenson

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Since 1995, Rikki Swenson has traveled widely with Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic, and was a founding member of the Photo Expedition program. A graphic designer for 20 years, Rikki owned a small agency, handling projects for large corporate clients. In 1995 she began a book project for Lindblad Expeditions that changed the course of her career. Working as photo editor and designer, she collaborated with Jack Swenson, Sven-Olof Lindblad, and Ralph Hopkins, to produce Baja—A Special Expedition to Baja and the Sea of Cortez. After that, her focus and passion moved to the expedition travel industry.

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