Expedition Team

No more experienced polar team exists in travel


Our experienced expedition leader and team of eight naturalists are your conduit to an extraordinary experience. And the National Geographic photographer and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor onboard, ours exclusively, are there to help you capture the incredible wildlife photo ops. The undersea specialist will reveal the deep, while our wellness specialist helps you feel the “tonic of wildness.” And our video chronicler will record the entire voyage. Count on the Global Perspectives guest speaker to share the voyage and relevant insights with you.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Alexandra Van Nostrand

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Alexandra is happiest when chasing waterfalls, exploring wilderness, or reveling in a good story. Her travels have brought her from Asia, to Central and South America, to the Pacific Islands, and across the United States. Alexandra is thrilled to take her adventures to the sea after many years of hoofing it across various continents. Her day-pack includes local flora and fauna field guides, a blank journal, travel watercolor set, and dark chocolate at all times.

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  • Conor Ryan

    Naturalist
    Hailing from Cobh in the south of Ireland, Conor Ryan grew up on the shores of Cork Harbour where his fascination with the sea led him to study zoology at University College Cork. He continued his studies in marine biology in Galway, where he completed his Ph.D. thesis on the diet and population structure of baleen whales in the Celtic Sea using stable isotope analysis. His research also brought him to Cape Verde in search of the breeding grounds of humpback whales that frequent the coasts of Ireland. However these whales have not yet given up their secret!

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  • Doug Gould

    Expedition Leader
    Travel and adventure were an integral part of Doug’s upbringing in a small town on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Growing up on the Great South Bay, his family claims Doug learned to sail before he learned to walk. Whether it was camping, sailing, birding, traveling across country or spending most of fifth grade living in Europe, Doug’s formative years left him with a love of wildlife, the outdoors, and a desire to keep moving. 

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  • Eric Pohlman

    Naturalist
    Having grown up in the wilds of Northern Minnesota, Eric’s lifelong love of nature and a desire to explore was a forgone conclusion. His childhood summers were spent canoeing the lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and his winters were spent exploring those frozen lakes on skis. It was no surprise when he decided to spend his summers working in Alaska’s fishing industry on a four-person commercial salmon fishing boat in Prince William Sound while attending the University of Minnesota. He did take a break to study abroad for a year in Helsinki, Finland.

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  • Jonathan Irish

    National Geographic Photographer
    During his eight years on the National Geographic staff, photographer Jonathan Irish launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program. He specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures abroad. Jonathan has photographed on all seven continents, and has shot a variety of assignments in Antarctica, Patagonia, and beyond. His photography has appeared in National Geographic and The New York Times, on BBC, CNN, and elsewhere. For the 2016 centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, Jonathan is on a year-long road trip with an Airstream visiting and photographing all 59 of America’s national parks.

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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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  • Peter Webster

    Undersea Specialist
    Born in Scotland, Peter became fascinated with nature and wildlife from a very young age. This early interest led to him earning a degree in conservation biology followed shortly after by an M.Sc in marine and fisheries ecology. He is currently studying for another M.Sc in digital mapping. After working as a commercial diver for several years Peter was offered the position of Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey in 2012. He then spent the next 16 months in the Antarctic, stationed at Rothera Research Station, on the peninsula where he managed the dive operations and a team of scientific divers working on a wide range of research on climate change, ocean acidification, and increased seabed disturbance by icebergs. As well as diving Peter also spent several months in the Antarctic deep field working in aircraft operations, depot laying, and meteorological work whilst living in tents in conditions below -30oC. 

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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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  • Robert Alexander

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    Robert Alexander has quenched his thirst for exploring the world’s flora and fauna by captaining, interpreting natural history, and conducting research aboard ships.  He particularly developed a passion for the marine life below the water’s surface while attending the University of Oregon and becoming involved with their diving program.  The rich waters of the Pacific Northwest led Robert to change career paths, and locales, as a SCUBA Instructor based primarily out of Maui.  Utilizing any means of floating vessel, from kayaks and catamarans to small passenger boats and Zodiacs, Robert became a captain as he explored the behavioral patterns of the captivating marine megafauna throughout the world.  In between being a captain and naturalist, he strives to conserve and preserve all forms of life- be it our very own species as a firefighter and EMT, assisting in shark-tagging projects for NOAA, or researching hawksbill turtle populations with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.

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  • Sarah Culler

    Video Chronicler
    Sarah was raised in a small rural town in Lucas, Ohio. Growing up on "The Farm" not only gave her a strong work ethic but also a love of the outdoors and seeing things with a fresh eye. In 1997, Sarah received her bachelor's degree in visual communication from Ohio University. After college, Sarah went on to study photojournalism in Edinburgh, Scotland through The School of Visual Communications.

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