Expedition Team

Share the adventure with knowledgeable, engaging companions



Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Aaron Raymond

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    R. Aaron Raymond started his career as an underwater photographer, which blossomed from his love of the ocean. He grew up on a sailboat diving for abalone off the coast of California. He loves to photograph landscapes, nature, and wildlife—anything that allows him to capture fleeting moments and showcase the interaction of light and the natural world. Aaron has photographed life on all sides of the planet, from the depths of Madagascar’s oceans to the heights of the Himalayas, which he crested at 18,500 feet via motorcycle. 

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  • Ashley Karitis

    Video Chronicler
    Ashley was raised in the foothills of the Cascade Range in Central Oregon. After childhood careers in ski racing, equestrian sports, classical piano, and summer jobs on a dude ranch, she emerged as a unique hybrid of adventuress, hobby farmer, and storyteller. 

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  • Courtney Cox

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Courtney’s story is a little different than most of the Midwest kids she grew up with. Rather than settle down in her hometown of St. Charles, Illinois, she set out to make an adventurous life all her own starting in St. Augustine, Florida. It was there that she obtained a BA in journalism and film production while focusing on the marine environment.

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  • JIll Niederberger

    Naturalist
    Jill grew up in the suburbs of San Francisco, California. She has an incredible respect for the ocean that was founded on family vacations to Baja California, and nurtured in the tide pools along the coast of Big Sur.

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  • Julie Williams

    Wellness Specialist
    Julie is a certified massage therapist and got her start in northern Thailand in 1994 studying Thai massage. Since then she has studied massage in California, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. She practices several modalities: Swedish, trigger point therapy, acupressure, energy medicine and aromatherapy. She is a long-time meditator and has been practicing hatha yoga for many years.

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  • Katie Mills-Orcutt

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    Katie Mo started her career as a naturalist on Catalina Island where she taught marine science outdoor education and SCUBA diving. Her passion for conservation biology then led her to pursue a Masters degree in marine science at Western Washington University, studying restoration methods of the local pinto abalone. She has been diving around the world but some of her favorite spots include the Pacific Northwest, Mediterranean, and the beautiful kelp forests off the California coast where she was first certified to breathe underwater. It is her continued mission to educate and inspire others, and hopefully make an ocean lover out of everyone she meets.

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  • Sarah Friedlander

    Expedition Leader
    Growing up with a large backyard, Sarah spent her childhood exploring the woods and bringing home frogs. When asked not to bring frogs into the house, she learned the difference between frogs and toads and was soon asked not to bring toads into the house either. Raised just outside of Washington, DC, she considers herself lucky to have grown up with exposure to a combination of the outdoors and the city, as it helped her pick with certainty which one she wanted to spend all her time in - the outdoors.

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  • Travis Patten

    Naturalist
    Travis Patten grew up in Minnesota on the shore of Lake Superior where he was brought up in a family culture of appreciation for all things water related. He learned an appreciation for nature from his grandfather and works to echo the lessons he was taught at a young age. Travis earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Western Colorado State University and began a career in experiential education. Working with ski patrol during the winters and as a rafting and climbing guide during the summers, Travis honed his outdoor experiences and safety protocols through a variety of mediums. Returning to Minnesota, Travis earned a master’s Certificate in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota and moved to California where he worked as a marine science instructor on Catalina Island. Since falling in love with ocean life, Travis has worked on the Sea of Cortez as a sea kayak guide and marine biologist while living in Baja and has guided eco adventure tours in South East Alaska. Travis has studied and learned from close interactions with various indigenous cultures and feels understanding their history is an integral component of each voyage.

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  • Yann Herrera

    Naturalist
    Constantly on the move, Yann’s nomadic nature and his desire for exploration has led him to stumble in awe over and over again with the planet’s astounding wildlife, sceneries and cultures. Growing up in Morelos, Mexico’s capital for ‘eternal spring’, and the rainy coasts of the Pacific Northwest in the United States, the outdoors became an unavoidable home which nurtured his formation as a human being. But living in the chaos and excitement of Mexico City fed his interest in culture, art and people’s relationship to land.

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