Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible experience


Let our expert staff weave a narrative on a Columbia and Snake River tour and, turn what would otherwise be merely a string of extraordinary days, into an immersive experience of the rivers’ natural history. Benefit from their specialized knowledge—geology, history, photography, and more—and enjoy their company on hikes or over a drink or dinner. 


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Grace Winer

    Naturalist
    Geologist and naturalist Grace grew up among woods, rivers, and mountains, loving the outdoors, nature and rocks. After high school she became a Registered Nurse and was soon studying midwifery at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital in London, England. Back in the United States she served as an officer in the USAF Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. In a major career change, Grace turned to the Earth Sciences and received degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, Grace pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. In her study of basaltic volcanism in the Bering Sea region, she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

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  • Jeff Litton

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Jeff is an environmental filmmaker and adventure cinematographer. His passion for adventure has led him through rural Kenyan villages, atop erupting Guatemalan volcanoes and to the enchanted Galápagos Islands to film Hammerhead Sharks. Being an expedition filmmaker enables Jeff to combine his love for capturing beauty with his drive to protect the environment. In the words of Jacques Cousteau, “people protect what they love.” Inspired, Jeff created UGENA.org, the United Global Environmental News Agency, an online resource to inspire people to care about the environment.

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  • Jeff Phillippe

    Expedition Leader
    Jeff was raised in upstate New York and completed his B.A. in geography at Middlebury College in Vermont. He attained his master’s degree in water resource science at Oregon State University where his research focused on glacier hydrology in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. He spent most of his 20's teaching Earth sciences and geography at the secondary and university level, while taking his summers off to lead wilderness and climbing expeditions throughout the continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada.

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  • Melissa Farlow

    National Geographic Photographer
    Award-winning photographer Melissa Farlow has worked extensively for National Geographic magazine in the American West for stories ranging from public lands and environmental issues to wild horses. Primarily known for her personal approach when photographing people, Farlow has documented diverse cultures and landscapes from South America to the Alps, Alaska to Quebec, and beyond. Her work has also been published by National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, LIFE, Marie Claire, GEO, and The Nature Conservancy. Melissa earned a Pulitzer Prize with the staff of the Louisville Courier-Journal and won Pictures of the Year portfolio honors while at the Pittsburgh Press. Her images are printed in over 70 books including Day in the Life series and a number of National Geographic’s books, such as The Photographs, Best 100 Wildlife Photographs, Women Photographers at National Geographic, and Wild Lands of the West and Long Road South on the Pan American highway. Based part-time in the Pacific Northwest, she has hiked and camped on the Oregon coast over the past 25 years and photographed stories for National Geographic in Olympic National Park and the Rouge River Valley. Melissa has led numerous photo workshops in Italy, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, served on the faculty of the prestigious Missouri Photo Workshop, and taught National Geographic Photo Camps, which use photography to help youth and young adults in underserved communities around the world to develop their own voices.

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