Guest Hosts on Theme Departures

Theme hosts include individuals such as winery owners and winemakers, whale experts, photographers, and authorities in marine biology and ornithology. Depending on your theme, there’ll be dedicated presentations by the guest host—or hosts; hands-on learning opportunities; and wine or beer tastings that bring a whole new dimension to your adventure.

Alaska Insider


Amy Gulick

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | May 19, 2018
Alaska: Whales, Wildlife, & Glaciers | May 27, 2018

A self-described storyteller, Amy’s tools of the trade include pictures and words. An acclaimed conservation photographer and writer, she focuses on stories that connect humanity to wild places. Amy’s award-winning book, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest, shares the remarkable story of the Tongass National Forest and why this magnificent place matters to the world.

The recipient of many honors, she has received awards from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League, North American Nature Photography Association, and Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. She is a Fellow of both the International League of Conservation Photographers and International League of Conservation Writers.


Bob Armstrong

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | May 5, 2018

Since his first visit to The Great Land after taking a fisheries job in college over 50 years ago, Bob has had a devoted relationship with Alaska. Bob is a former fishery biologist and research supervisor for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game, and associate professor of fishery and ornithology at University of Alaska. He is also a prolific author of natural history, guidebooks, and articles and an accomplished, self-taught, professional photographer.

Calling Juneau home, Bob has out-the-front-door access to the birds and wildlife he enjoys writing about and photographing. An attentive “student” of Alaska, he carefully observes and tracks the patterns of local fauna, from beavers to dragonflies to Merlin falcons, learning the conditions and times when he can find and photograph them. Bob’s calm, conscientious style of photography allows him to capture elusive animals that could be easily disturbed into flight.


Caroline Fox

Alaska: Alaska's Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise | May 18, 2018

Conservation scientist and marine ecologist, Caroline Fox is as well-known for her talented storytelling, as she is for her meticulous research. Caroline has a bachelor’s in biology and environmental studies from the University of Victoria (UV) and her masters in science, with a focus on kelp forest ecology and the effects of climate change from Case Western Reserve University. She earned her PhD from the UV focusing on land-sea ecological interactions. Throughout her university years, she worked as a lighthouse keeper, creel observer, biologist for the Raincoast Conservation Fund, and aerial surveyor for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Caroline’s post-doc work has been focused on marine birds and she continues to work as a biologist for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Her book, At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast, was published in 2016. Learn more about Caroline’s work at


Daniel Francis

Alaska: Alaska's Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise | May 13, 2018

Historian and writer Daniel Francis has over 40 years’ experience telling tales of Canada. Along his journey, Daniel has gone on several sailing cruises along the British Columbia coast, including travelling this same route in the Inside Passage on his honeymoon 46 years ago. These days, he lives in North Vancouver. Daniel’s favorite places to explore are the islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC.

With a Masters in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Daniel dove into writing fresh out of grad school. Since then he has combined his knowledge of Canadian History with engaging storytelling in 30 books including the Encyclopedia of British Columbia and others ranging in topics from fur trading to Canadian stereotypes and myths. Daniel is the recipient of the 2017 Governor General's History Award (the Pierre Berton Award). He currently writes a book column and serves on the editorial board for Geist magazine and contributes reviews and articles to a variety of Canadian periodicals.


Fiona Hamersley Chambers

Alaska: Alaska's Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise | May 12, 2018

Fiona is an ethnobotanist, instructor of environmental studies and ethnobotany at the University of Victoria, and seed farmer on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria, has master’s degrees in science from Oxford University and in environmental design from the University of Calgary as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria. Outside of the classroom she has written several guides on wild berries and owned and operated Metchsoin Farm since 2004.

Her passion for land and sea comes from growing up in a boating family on the remote West Coast of Vancouver Island. Now, she thrives on connecting people with their home landscapes through her work on Metchsoin Farm. Fiona loves educating people about plants and how important they are for our existence and happiness. She craves Alaska’s spring wildflowers and fall berries and never travels without her water bottle and a journal.


Frank Katasse

Alaska: Whales, Wildlife, & Glaciers | May 13, 2018

Frank Katasse is from the Tlingit clan Tsaagweidí and grew up on Douglas Island in Southeast Alaska. As an accomplished actor, director, producer, improviser, and playwright, Frank enjoys sharing his cultural perspectives through the arts as a native Alaskan. His body of work as an actor includes many Alaska Native-themed plays. Frank’s writings often explore the differences and connections between his Tlingit heritage and contemporary society.

Frank received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Hawaii, Mānoa where he first studied cultural anthropology before choosing to focus on acting. He is currently the Board President of Douglas Little Theatre in Juneau where he lives with his wife and two children. He has received multiple awards for excellence in playwriting and acting. Frank is a Native interpreter with Alaska Native Voices, an educational institute dedicated to sharing and preserving Tlingit traditions, heritage, art and song with visitors to The Great Land, the community, and future generations.


Joe Upton

Alaska: Northern Passages & Glacier Bay | May 26, 2018

Joe made his way to Alaska for the first time in the mid-1960s when he landed a job as a crewman aboard a fishing boat. He was taken under the wing of an old-timer who not only showed him the ropes onboard, but filled days with stories about people and places throughout Southeast Alaska. On that first trip north, Joe fell in love with The Great Land. Throughout the 1970s, he lived in a tiny, roadless village fishing, making maps and photographing the area. In the 1990s, Joe started a publishing company and published his first book, Alaska Blues, based on his early years in Southeast.

With over two decades of experience working, living, and raising a family among small communities and fellow fisherman, Joe has amassed many sea salty stories of the area, as well as an intimate knowledge of the Alaskan coast, and its people, history, and lore. He shares his stories through his books—he’s published several guidebooks for Southeast, several memoirs from his years in the Inside Passage and historical figures, even a young adult fiction. He has produced an extensive series of videos that tell the stories of locals and places throughout the passage. An award-winning author and gifted storyteller, Joe and his wife now live an island life near Seattle.


Kate Troll & Bill Hanson

Alaska: Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers | May 12, 2018
Alaska: Northern Passages & Glacier Bay | May 19, 2018

Wife-husband duo, Kate Troll and Bill Hanson share a love of words and of Alaska. They moved north to The Great Land in the 1970s to pursue careers in natural resources and land management. In their retirement, both have focused on sharing their experiences and passion for Alaska through written word.

An author, adventurer, and activist, Kate was the executive director for Alaska’s largest fishing organization and pioneered a program to implement salmon stream protections in rural Alaska. In addition to her bi-monthly column in the Alaska Dispatch News, she has written a memoir and screenplays for several films. Bill spent his career as a supervisory biologist, forester, and fire effects specialists for agencies in Alaska including US Dept. of Fish & Game and Bureau of Land Management. Bill is an Alaskan blogger and social media storyteller, and is currently writing an adventure novel about a fictional Alaskan fisherman set in the 1890s.


Kim Heacox

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | May 26, 2018

Raised in the western states of Idaho and Washington, Kim got his first taste of Alaska as a naturalist ranger in Glacier Bay National Park. That first season offered plenty of adventure for test-your-metal expedition kayaking. He also met his wife there, who was also a park ranger. Photographer, conservationist, and award-winning author of over a dozen books, Kim’s work spans literary fiction to Alaska’s natural history and history of exploration, to memoir.

A resident Alaskan storyteller for more than two decades, Kim and his wife live in the small town of Gustavus, accessible only by boat or plane. Known for his passionate love of Alaska, his writing on his home state has appeared in many publications including National Geographic, Audubon, and Orion.


LaVern Beier

Alaska: Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers | May 26, 2018

Recognizable by his long grey beard, Alaska bear expert LaVern Beier has tagged and tracked more than 800 bears for research throughout his 35-year career as a field technician in the Alaska Fish & Game bear research program. LaVern first saw Alaska as a teen on a visit to see family. He was enthralled. When he turned 18, he moved north to live off the land in Southeast Alaska’s forests. In the early years, he held many guiding, hunting, and fishing jobs and was taken under the wings of renowned pioneers, guides, and conservationists.

While not educated as a wildlife biologist in a traditional sense, LaVern’s extensive, hands-on experience with wildlife in the backcountry has made him one of few experts in North America at tracking and trapping bears. He is respected greatly by his peers for his meticulous, precise skills, his conservation ethic, and his immense compassion for bears. Over the years, he amassed epic tales, including surviving a helicopter crash and multiple bear attacks.


Lee Vale

Alaska: Northern Passages & Glacier Bay | April 28, 2018

Lee Vale is an Alaskan Tlingit native and culture ambassador extraordinaire. After spending part of his childhood aboard a 43-foot fishing vessel in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, Lee graduated from high school in the small town of Yakutat, north of Glacier Bay with a wealth first-hand stories.

Lee has since explored Alaska as a paramedic, backcountry kayak ranger, cultural expedition leader, national park ranger and naturalist. His indigenous perspective on the animals, land, and sea of Alaska brings to life the unique Tlingit culture. Sit back and soak in Lee’s stories of living in the wilderness. Lee is a Native interpreter with Alaska Native Voices, an educational institute dedicated to sharing and preserving Tlingit traditions, heritage, art and song with visitors to The Great Land, the community, and future generations.


Mary Stensvold

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | May 6, 2018

Botanist and ecologist Mary Stensvold never met a fern she didn't like. Mary is wild about all things Alaska, from vast landscapes to the tiniest cluster of moss. A field botanist since 1978, Mary lives in Sitka where she retired as the regional botanist for the Alaska Region of the Forest Service. She holds a PhD in Botany from Iowa State University and a Master’s of Science and a Bachelor’s of Education from Central Washington University. In addition to her work in the wild, Mary has taught and lectured to a range of students from high-schoolers to university students to on-ship explorers.

Mary’s fieldwork has taken her to the most isolated parts of Southern Alaska, often as the first person to ever explore glaciated areas or do any botanical study. Mary never tires of Alaska’s dynamic landscape and won’t be caught travelling without a space blanket, lighter, knife, and bear spray.


Yolanda Fulmer

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | April 28 & May 12, 2018

Yolanda belongs to the T’akdeintaan (Raven-Seagull clan), from Xuna, Alaska and is a proud member of the Tlingít tribe of Southeast Alaska. Her fondest childhood memories were of her grandparents’ stories of summers in their ancestral homeland of Glacier Bay. Their rich descriptions and love for their land led Yolanda to become a storyteller herself.

Yolanda shares her stories to honor her ancestors’ memories and culture through storytelling, song, dance, and drumming. Yolanda is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a reminder that people belong to the land of Southeast Alaska. She’s happy to see guests leave with a deeper appreciation for the cultural history of Glacier Bay. Yolanda is a Native interpreter with Alaska Native Voices, an educational institute dedicated to sharing and preserving Tlingit traditions, heritage, art and song with visitors to The Great Land, the community, and future generations.

Birding / Ornithology


Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Pacific Northwest: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands | April 21, 2018

Naturalist, author, and speaker, Lyanda is working to help connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her belief is that no matter where we live, in a “forest cabin, suburban bungalow, or urban condo…connection to nature inspires our deepest imaginings, artfulness, intelligence, and activism.” Based in Seattle, she has written multiple books on how experiences with nature and wildlife can be found right outside your backdoor.

A master birder with a graduate degree in eco-philosophy, Lyanda has directed educational programs for Seattle Audubon, rehabilitated raptors, and conducted seabird research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her work has earned her honors including the Washington State Book Award and Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Learn more at

Marine Biology


Carolyn Bergstrom

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | June 10, 2018

Hailing from landlocked Phoenix, Arizona, Carolyn became fascinated with the marine world as a youngster, spending much of her childhood fishing, camping, and boating in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, she moved to British Columbia to earn her PhD in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Victoria. A desert dweller by birth, the Pacific Northwest felt like her natural habitat. She is currently an Associate Professor in Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Fueled by a passion to learn and teach about wild animals in wild places, Carolyn has studied the evolution of asymmetry in flatfishes, color change in sculpins, rocky intertidal communities, the lives of fishes in estuaries, and the impacts of melting glaciers on marine animals. Her recent PADI diving certification has sparked her interest in coral reefs and concern for their future. Whether in the classroom, in or on the water, or on intertidal walks with locals in her town, she finds the greatest joy sharing the marine world with others.


Jackie Hedgpeth

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | August 19, 2018

A “Jane-of-all-trades” and master of many, Jackie is a tenured Biology professor with two masters degrees. She has studied marine biology, physiology of animals and plants, anatomy, botany, biology, microbiology, environmental studies, genetically engineered food products, and other “-ology” subjects extensively. Jackie has sailed worldwide aboard ships as a guest marine biology host and naturalist lecturer for almost 20 years.

Jackie’s deep interest in Marine Biology has taken her to Alaska each summer since 1997, and around the globe from New Zealand to the Red Sea, Russia, Cambodia, and, extensively, to Central America. Throughout her research and travels, she has followed population dynamics of humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, sea otters, salmon, and sea birds. Her passion for studying marine mammals and ocean ecosystems has grown to include scuba diving and underwater photography. A PADI certified rescue diver, her most recent dives have been in Cuba, Thailand/Myanmar, Fiji, and Churchill, Manitoba with Beluga whales. While her strongest desire it’s to always be in the water, Jackie spends her downtime cultivating the vineyard she and her husband own in the Umpqua Valley AVA, Oregon. With such a strong background in science, it’s no surprise that the pair is in the habit of conducting “faux science experiments” on the vines and soil to find out what work best in their terroir.


Dr. Wallace "J" Nicols

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty | January 12, 2019

Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols has been called the “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and “a visionary” by Outside Magazine. An entrepreneurial scientist, water advocate, author, and well-known marine biologist, J. focuses on what he calls the Blue Mind—an mindset that values healthy oceans and waterways and our relationships with them. A prolific lecturer, J. has appeared in many media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, Animal Planet, Fast Company, Surfer, and Scientific American. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish from DePauw University, a Master’s in natural resource economics and policy from Duke University, and a PhD in wildlife ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. He was the recipient of a Bradley Fellowship to study sea level rise at Duke, a University of Arizona Marshall Fellowship, and Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico marine station in Mazatlán.

Work, play, and passion are intertwined for J. He lives with his family on the California coast, in an area known as the Slowcoast for its residents’ approach of supporting local artisans and farmers, and the marine environment. An avid traveler, he has trekked the entire Pacific coastline from Oregon to Mexico. In 2010 he received an honorary doctorate in science from DePauw, was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club in 2011, and in 2014 received the University of Arizona's Global Achievement Award. Learn more:

Music / Entertainment


Letters from Home

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | June 3, 2018 - book early! Last date sold out!

Bombshell singing sensations Letters From Home have been fondly referred to as "America's New Sweethearts." Across the country, audiences of all ages enjoy their beautiful harmonies, brilliantly choreographed tap dancing, side-splitting comedy, and audience interaction.

The group was created by Erinn Diaz, whose father served in the United States Coast Guard and suggested she produce an Andrews Sisters tribute show. Erin thought it would be a fun way to entertain and an opportunity to perform some great music and had no idea at the time that this "little show" would have such a significant impact on her life and on the lives of others. Together with Courtney Groves, Letters from Home tours the country to honor veterans, active military and their families through song. More on their website:



Elizabeth and Olof Carmel

Alaska: Alaska Fjords & Glaciers | May 5, 2018

Elizabeth and Olof Carmel are a photography team who own two successful art galleries. They love the landscapes of Alaska, where they have taken many of their best-selling images.

Elizabeth’s expressive landscapes and “waterscapes” of the natural world capture the subtle details with stunning clarity and color. Her award winning images are in numerous private collections and galleries including the Smithsonian Museum, California Museum of Photography, and Nevada Museum of Art. Elizabeth has two published books of photography, is a columnist for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, and her work has been featured in People Magazine, Professional Photographer, Hasselblad Forum, Sierra Magazine, Sierra Heritage, and Tahoe Quarterly. She was one of 12 photographers selected as a Hasselblad Master Photographer in 2006.

Olof began his photo career in a prominent San Francisco-area custom black and white lab in the early 1980s. During the 1980s and 1990s he worked as a Backcountry Ranger and photographer with the National Park Service in Yosemite, Denali, Glacier, Mt. Rainier and Rocky Mountain National Parks including a seven-year residence in Yosemite Valley. In addition to photography, Olof has a background in drawing and watercolors - an influence that can be seen in some of his images. His award winning prints are available in small open editions or as limited editions of 200.


Eric Lindberg

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | April 20 & 27, 2018

Specializing in adventure travel, culture, wildlife, and the natural world, California-based photographer Eric Lindberg travels to familiar and remote corners of the globe in search of the exotic, the exquisite, and the offbeat. His journeys have taken him throughout Asia, Africa, Antarctica, the South Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. Covering subjects ranging from foreign rail journeys and wilderness river expeditions to American road trips and urban cultural destinations, his award-winning photos and stories have appeared in magazines, guidebooks, calendars, newspapers, tourism websites, and promotional travel publications nationwide and overseas.

Eric is the 2013 and 2011 winner of the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year award, Society of American Travel Writers. He provides destination imagery for numerous tourism offices and visitors bureaus in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. For more information visit


Jacqueline Deely

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | May 27, 2018
Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | November 16, 2018

Originally from the United Kingdom, Jacqueline has lived in the U.S. for most of her adult life and calls northern California home. Specializing in wildlife photography, she is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association. With a deep interest in conservation, she utilizes her photos to raise awareness and funds for the causes that align with her values. Jacqueline’s images have been published by and supported Audubon California, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and the Wildlife Conservation Network. She has won numerous awards from organizations including the North American Nature Photography Association and the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory.

What began for Jacqueline as a hobby has become both an exciting way of life and a dream come true. Combining her lifelong passion for wildlife and the outdoors with her love of exploring, Jacqueline is driven to roam the globe in pursuit of nature's wonders. Among her travels are annual trips to the polar regions teaching photography on expedition tours. A natural instructor, she also conducts classes in her local area. You can view Jacqueline's website here:


Jaymi Heimbuch

Alaska: Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers | August 26, 2018

A San Francisco-based photographer and writer, Jaymi is passionate about creating engaging storytelling through her words and images. Her special focus has been telling the stories of animal life across the world, from the wildest wildlife to furry companions who run wild in our backyards. She has leant her skills to building awareness about the endangered Ethiopian wolf, river otter recovery, and documenting the urban coyote and gray fox.

Jaymi’s work has been published in National Geographic Books, Sierra Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, Huffington Post, and BBC Wildlife Magazine. She is a board member with the North American Nature Photography Association, an International League of Conservation Photographers affiliate and member of shelter animal advocacy and art non-profit, HeARTs Speak. In 2014, a photo she took of a rescue dog was selected by the United Nations Postal Administration as one of only six images to be made into a stamp for International Day of Happiness.


PF Bentley

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | May 20, 2018

CancelPF grew up in Honolulu and got his start in photography by snapping surf photos of friends and covering Hawaiian music concerts for Sunbums, a bi-weekly newspaper. Throughout his 30-year career as an award-winning photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, PF covered 70s rock and roll, and domestic and international politics. He is a former photographer and special correspondent for Time magazine and won five first-place Picture of the Year awards.

Sharing his knowledge, PF was a lead instructor for Platypus Workshops, training photojournalists on video-journalism production. He also taught visual journalism courses at the Brooks Institute of Photography. Today, PF lives on Moloka‘i, Hawaii, where he teaches one-on-one photography workshops for clients such as the International Monetary Fund, Golf Digest, and Hawaiian Airlines Magazine. He continues to shoot and edit work for clients including ABC Nightline, The Travel Channel, and Warner Books. Learn more on his website,


Steve Essig

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty | March 23, 2019

Steve Essig has been a professional photographer and cinematographer for over 35 years. An experienced racing sailor and scuba diver, his love of the outdoors began when he climbed his first mountain with his father at age seven. Similarly, he has been passionate about photography since buying his first camera at the age eight. Steve’s quest for adventure and unique images has taken him across the globe including assignments to Tahiti, Alaska, the Sea of Cortés, Cape Horn, and Micronesia.

With over five hundred magazine covers to his credit, Steve has a wealth of photographic experience. In addition the natural world, he’s shot for sports, celebrities, automobiles, and travel, and filmed award- winning documentaries, concerts and commercials. He loves teaching, sharing insights and helping other photographers create stunning images of the world around us in his relaxed, personalized and approachable style.



Lee Stetson

Alaska: Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers | July 22, 2018

Lee Stetson is a writer, John Muir scholar, and actor with a 50 year background in theater. Since hiking the John Muir Trail, he has become an authority on the “father of our National Parks” and celebrated the naturalist by writing and performing in theatrical productions about Muir. While Lee portrays Muir primarily with Yosemite National Park and The Yosemite Conservancy, he has toured across the country and in Canada, Scotland, and Japan. You may also recognize him from early appearances in episodes of Hawaii 5-0.

Lee has a certificate in arts administration from Harvard University as well as a B.A. in history and an M.A. in American studies from University of Hawaii. He wrote the introduction to The Wild Muir, 22 of John Muir's Greatest Adventures and is most proud of his participation in Ken Burns' documentary, Our National Parks: America's Best Idea. Let Lee’s love of Alaska and passion for preserving the planet infuse your adventure.


Susan Shillinglaw

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty | February 2, 2019

There aren’t many things that get Dr. Susan Shillinglaw as pumped as John Steinbeck. She has been a Steinbeck scholar for 30 years, and whatever your personal stance on his writing, her enthusiasm for this American author is infectious. She is intimately familiar with Steinbeck’s work including The Log from the Sea of Cortez—and will pepper your journey with stories from his classic 1940s voyage. Since 2015, Dr. Shillinglaw has been the Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California. Prior to that, she was a professor of American Literature at San Jose University where she also served as the Director of the University’s Center for Steinbeck Studies for 18 years and the President’s Scholar for 2012-2013.

With her husband, marine biologist William Gilly, Susan has co-directed five summer institutes for high school teachers, with a sixth institute coming in 2018. Dr. Susan has published extensively on Steinbeck, including two books and the introductions to several editions of Penguin New American Library books. She is currently working on a short biography of Steinbeck for Reaktion Books, London.



Alex Schimmel

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | April 29, 2018

The son of a yoga instructor, Alex was familiar with downward dog and happy baby from an early age, though in his youth, baseball was his big interest. He realized the mental and physical benefits of yoga in college after reading how much it could improve his ball game. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and found yoga to be the most effective treatment and he dove fully into the practice studying with some of the top teachers in the U.S. Alex is a registered yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, and Life Time studio manager.

Today, yoga is the basis for Alex’s holistic approach to life and he has seen the transformational effects it can have in himself and in his students. His practice has helped him reach a happier, healthier and more positive place. Alex believes yoga practice can benefit all people no matter their ability or background and leads to greater personal awareness, overall comfort, and being ready for anything life throws at you. He calls his practice “OMasis”—a combination of OM and oasis.


Anna Winton

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | September 2, 2018

Anna hails from Minneapolis where she grew up as a competitive gymnast. After college, her interests turned toward triathlons, and technique and strength-driven sports. A National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, and certified peak pilates trainer, Anna is passionate about helping people from all walks of life find their way to healthier lifestyles. She brings awareness of fitness functionality to all endeavors, focusing on athleticism, muscle focus, and postural awareness in all endeavors whether it’s a hike, kettlebell class, or Life Time TEAM boot camp.

Instructing a wide spectrum of courses from barre to strength training and cardio dance, Anna has taught group fitness classes for over a decade. She specializes in utilizing pilates to overcome injuries, joint replacements, chronic pain, and imbalances due to sports, overuse, and everyday life. Outside of her classes at Life Time Fitness, Anna spends as much time in the great outdoors as possible, whether paddling on the lake or enjoying happy hour on a sunny patio with friends.


Tessa Foss

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | April 29, 2018

Tessa found her way to a career in wellness after being her own first whole-health success story. After losing 80lbs, this mother of three was asked for help by friends and family. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, and Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach. Tessa provides one-on-one coaching and leads groups at Life Time Fitness that focus on heart rate zone, cardiovascular training and strength training.

Tessa’s approach is to provide accountability, friendship, and support to her students in pursuit of optimal health, with a balance of nutrition and exercise. She believes that nutrition and exercise don’t need to be complicated, a philosophy mirrored in her approachable style and welcoming energy. Motivated by seeing her students discover their own “a ha!” moments, she is committed to helping each along their individual, lifelong path of wellness.


Tracy Jennings-Hill

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | September 2, 2018

Tracy discovered yoga after sustaining an injury on active duty with the US Air Force. She discovered the balance of a healthy lifestyle in vinyasa style yoga. Retiring from the military after serving 20 years, she pursued her dream of becoming a yoga and fitness professional. Tracy is a registered yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer specializing in vinyasa, yoga philosophy, and Ayurveda. She has taught in India, Taiwan, Germany, and Egypt. In addition to yoga, she has taught group fitness for twenty years and holds NASM and ACE personal trainer certifications.

Tracy believes in meeting her students where they are and helping them grow, and is continuously inspired when she sees the “lightbulb” come on in their eyes as they find new personal growth. Currently, she is the studio manager at Life Time Fitness in Georgia, where she instructs classes with a focus on functional training and daily meditation and yoga practices for longevity and to perpetuate total wellness. In addition to yoga, she teaches indoor cycling, dance, and strength and endurance training.



April Reddout

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | October 27, 2018

Motivated by her curious nature, April Reddout dove headfirst into a career in wine in 2008. Over the years, she’s come to realize the more she learns, the more she realizes there’s even more still to discover. One of her biggest drives in her work is finding ways to debunk wine myths and help people feel confident while they learn about wine. As the wine program director for the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center in Prosser, WA, she designs and oversees the wine education programs provided by the center. Programs provided by the center include topics from Washington vs. German tastings to the region’s history of wine.

Thoroughly involved in the industry, April judges 10 wine competitions per year and has served as a panelist for Great Northwest Wine. In 2017 she will serve as a judge for the SavorNW Wine Awards, one of the largest competitions highlighting Pacific Northwest wines.


Don Corson

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | November 3, 2018

Don Corson is the winemaker and co-owner of Camaraderie Cellars with his wife Vickie. Located on the Olympic Peninsula, it’s one of Washington’s oldest wineries. Founded in 1992 when Washington’s wine industry was just beginning to blossom, Camaraderie Cellars wines have earned more than 400 medals and awards. Don started out making only Cabernet Sauvignon and has expanded to over nine varieties from five recognized viticultural areas.

Don’s PhD in Geography also gives him a unique perspective on the wine regions of Washington and Oregon, in particular on how the unprecedented Missoula Floods helped shape the Pacific Northwest into an ideal wine region. Passionate about wine and teaching, Don has held positions with the Washington Wine Institute and Washington Wine Commission. Don can’t wait to bring his energy and wine expertise to the Columbia and Snake Rivers.


Jade Helm

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | November 10, 2018

Jade Helm is a wine writer and educator. Born and raised in Georgia, she now calls the Pacific Northwest home and has travelled throughout Washington and Oregon teaching about wine. After a career in sales and public relations, Jade took a year to explore dance and wine and got hooked on the grape. Now she’s most passionate about helping people explore wine through travel and the Northwest Wine Studies program at Chemeketa Community College.

Jade has a Bachelor of Science from Georgia College and State University and a diploma in wine and spirits from Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She is a certified sommelier from Court of Master Sommeliers and a certified specialist in wine from Society of Wine Educators. Jade is a frequent contributor to a number of wine and travel publications including Oregon Wine Press and Northwest Travel & Life Magazine. She is a fearless cook and primary author of Tasting Pour, a blog about wine, cocktails, and food.


Mimi Martin

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | November 24, 2018

Mimi Martin is the director and wine educator at The Wine & Spirit Archive. She holds a WSET diploma in wine & spirits and a master of arts in food studies from New York University where she was also the director of the undergraduate food studies program. She has trained restaurant and winery staff in Oregon and Washington and regularly teaches and travels to the Columbia Gorge, Willamette Valley, Walla Walla Valley, and Yakima Valley.

Mimi enjoys sharing the world of wine with students and the complicated and delicious ways food and wine interact with one another. She says no one is ever unhappy when they're tasting and learning about wine. She raves about the Pacific Northwest's broad range of amazing wine styles and the fact that within such a short distance we have the opportunity to learn about and taste a broad range of wine styles.


Sarah Wolcott

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | October 20, 2018

Growing up on farm near the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers and attending college in Walla Walla, Washington, Sarah is intimately familiar with the rich, wine-growing regions of Washington and Oregon. After leading tours in the Walla Walla wine country during her college years, she continued on to earn her wine-specific master’s degree from Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France. Her “hands-on” education includes travels and tastings in wine regions throughout the U.S. and the world including Latin America and Europe.

Sarah is an instructor of wine marketing and tourism at Washington State University and is a wine-business strategy consultant. She is passionate about telling the story of wine and has written about wine for over fifteen years, including for Bend Lifestyle Magazine and spoke about busting the myths of wine at TEDxSpokane. Residing in Bend, Oregon with her fly-fishing guide husband, she spends her downtime rafting the rivers near home whenever she can.