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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  • David Spiegel

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    David grew up in the Seattle area, where he fell in love with nature through outdoor sports in the Pacific Northwest. He first picked up a camera during a 14-day Grand Canyon river trip at the age of 18. Little did he know that his hobby would morph into a lifelong passion and career. He moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in International Political Economy from Colorado College. After receiving his degree, he applied his passion for media to documenting watershed conservation issues in the Colorado River Basin states through the lens of a 900-mile-long river expedition in 2012.

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  • Emily Newton

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    Emily was raised in the mountains of Central Oregon, where she spent much of her time on the back of a horse. Her fascination with marine science began with family vacations to British Columbia, where she explored tidepools, captured sculpins, inspected limpets, and watched resident killer whales hunt, play, and rest in Johnstone Strait.

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  • Jay Dickman

    National Geographic Photographer
    Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jay Dickman's career has spanned a multitude of experiences. As a photojournalist for more than 40 years, Jay has covered topics as diverse as the Salvadoran civil war, Olympics and Super Bowls, national political conventions, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for National Geographic, he lived in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea and spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack submarine. Jay has been joining National Geographic Expeditions for over a decade and has traveled to all seven continents. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Forbes.

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  • Johanna Werminghausen

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Johanna grew up landlocked in a small town in Southern Germany. She realized at an early age that she wanted to see more of the world than the foot of the Swabian Alps and every year, she would beg her parents to spend the summers near the sea.

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  • Kike Calvo

    National Geographic Photographer
    Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos.

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  • Maya Santangelo

    Undersea Specialist
    Maya was born and raised in Southern California, where her curiosity for the natural world was encouraged from an early age. Relocating to Sydney, Australia with her family at 11 years old, she learned to scuba dive, eventually becoming a PADI Instructor. Her fascination for the underwater world undoubtedly fueled her interest to study marine biology at James Cook University. Working as a professional guide in some of the world’s top dive destinations, including Palau and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island and Revillagigedo Archipelago, Maya realized a passion for sharing her love for the ocean with others, and the value of citizen science in the dive industry.

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  • Peter Wilson

    Expedition Leader
    Peter comes from the town of Cobh, County Cork, on the south coast of Ireland. He is both a working archaeologist and a naturalist.  Growing up and living next to the sea, he developed a fascination with whales and dolphins, along with birds and the broader natural world. Ever varied in his interests, he studied English at University College Cork and went on to complete a master’s degree in Old English. 

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  • Ralph Lee Hopkins

    National Geographic Photographer
    National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins is the founder and director of the Expedition Photography program for the Lindblad-National Geographic alliance. For more than 20 years he has lead expeditions from the Arctic to Antarctica and points in between.

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  • Russell Evans

    Expedition Leader
    Russ Evans is a sixth-generation Falkland Islander now living in Orkney, Scotland. In 1997, he was drawn away from his work on the family farm by the lure of the sea. Since then, he has made his living at sea. As a licensed captain, Russ has been part of a variety of marine endeavors, including commercial tugs, dive boat support, scientific research, sightseeing tours, cruise ships, and since 2003, an expedition leader on expedition ships worldwide but specializing in the polar regions.

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  • Sheri Bluestein

    Naturalist
    Native New Yorker, Sheri Bluestein has lived, worked, volunteered, and traveled on all seven continents including 3.5 years in Amsterdam, where she learned to speak Dutch fluently and became a citizen of the Netherlands. 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 (before learning how cruel this type of tourism activity can be).When not enjoying the pleasures of French rural life, Sheri works on a variety of Lindblad ships and itineraries as an Expedition Leader, Cultural Specialist and Naturalist in geographies ranging from Europe to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to Antarctica and the South Atlantic.Though fascinated with almost everything on our amazing planet, she is particularly interested in the human story and how it intersects with the natural world.

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