Pacific Northwest Expedition Team

Share the adventure with knowledgeable, engaging companions


Over the 20+ years of our history on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, the quality of our veteran staff and their companionship is the reason the Lindblad name is known and respected for top-quality expeditions. And, together with National Geographic, there is no better team anywhere.

The team composition
Every expedition sails with a veteran expedition leader, a historian, multiple naturalists, a geologist (Columbia & Snake Rivers only), an undersea specialist (Exploring British Columbia & San Juans only) plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and a wellness specialist. They’re engaging travel companions, and their various areas of expertise will illuminate this remarkable region.

More specialties and personalities
Our excellent ratio of one staff to 12 guests ensures more insight and personalities. You are never directed into groups or assigned when exploring with us, and when there’s an option for different activities—say a hike, kayak excursion, or nature stroll—you’re free to gravitate to the naturalist whose interests mirror your own. 

 

Featured Pacific Northwest Team Members

  • David Pickar

    Video Chronicler
    David Pickar is a native of Portland, Oregon. He studied anthropology at the University of Oregon, then spent several years working as a field archaeologist. Participating in excavations in countries like Jordan, Belize and Italy and in every corner of the US, allowed him to witness culture and the environment from an unusual perspective.

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  • Grace Winer

    Naturalist
    Geologist and naturalist, Grace is a Montanan now living in Seattle. Grace received her degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, she pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. Here 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 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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  • Jim Rawls

    Historian
    Jim Rawls, a native of Washington D.C., received his B.A. with honors from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley. He grew up in Washington State where he developed an early interest in the land and peoples of the Pacific Northwest. A Fellow of the California Historical Society and a recipient of the National Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas, Jim has taught at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Diablo Valley College. Since 1995 he has served as a historian with Lindblad Expeditions on voyages along the inland waterways of Alta California, the coastal waters of Baja California, and the Columbia and Snake rivers.

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  • Linda Burback

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

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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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  • Sharon Grainger

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Sharon’s degrees in Psychology and Anthropology from Eastern Washington University have given her a good base to pursue her profession as a naturalist and photographer. With five generations of artists behind her, she has developed a portfolio of images covering many interests including indigenous cultures, ethnobotany, natural and cultural history. Photography gives voice and interpretation to her experience of the world. Spending many years with Native peoples has dramatically affected her attitude towards how and what she sees. She recognized, through these experiences, the diversity of peoples around the world. This began a lifelong curiosity about the variety of ways in which different cultures relate to each other and this planet.

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  • Sheri Bluestein

    Expedition Leader
    Sheri has lived, worked, volunteered, and traveled on all seven continents including several years in Portland, Oregon and 3.5 years in Amsterdam, where she became fluent in Dutch and became a citizen. She currently resides in the French Pyrenees, living in a restored cow barn with her Dutch husband, whom she met while riding an elephant in Thailand.

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Overheard

All were just great.  Can't say enough about how impressed we were with captain, hotel manager, officers, and crew! Wonderful job.  Thank you!
Arthur S.

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