Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


Explore Alaska in the company of top experts. Benefit from their expertise—marine and terrestrial biology, botany, geology, and more—and benefit from their passion to share the wonder of this incredible place. Enjoy their company; you’ll find them highly engaging and fun to share a drink or dinner with, as well as a hike.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Allison Yarne

    Wellness Specialist
    Allison has traveled around the world for work and play, loves the outdoors, learning new things, eating good food, and practicing yoga.  She is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga Instructor, and Certified Health Coach.  She draws on her background in wellness and hospitality to find ways to explore the world, connect to people, practice the healing arts, and grow.

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  • Annie Fiske

    Expedition Leader
    Hailing from the Pacific Northwest and spending her first nights in a tent at the tender age of six weeks old, Annie grew up with a love for the outdoors and adventuring. Raised in Tacoma, Washington, she considers herself lucky to have grown up in an area that allowed her to fall in love with the mountains and sea as one. Attending college in Alaska fostered an even stronger love for the untamed beauty of wilderness that Annie holds close today. After spending years working as a research assistant on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and teaching outdoor education, conservation, and guiding in places like Catalina Island, Denali National Park, and Olympic National Park, Annie transitioned into small ship exploration in 2012 and has not looked back.

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  • Ivan Phillipsen

    Naturalist
    Ivan is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He has participated in studies of a diverse assortment of organisms: aspen trees, cactus wrens, aquatic snails, frogs, and beetles. He holds a M.S. in biology from Cal State San Bernardino and a Ph.D. in zoology from Oregon State University. The population genetics of freshwater animals was his area of focus. He has published a series of papers on the evolutionary biology of amphibians and aquatic insects. Ivan’s scientific work invariably involved backpacking into remote wilderness areas to find his secretive research subjects in their natural habitats.

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  • James Napoli

    Video Chronicler
    Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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  • Jared Funderburk

    Naturalist
    Jared grew up in the Carolinas with a passion for exploring the natural world and helping others discover and appreciate it. Ever since he was a boy, he’s always felt most at home in nature. 

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  • Kayvon Malek

    Undersea Specialist
    In 2011 Kayvon’s life changed when he took his first breath underwater. After signing up for a SCUBA course on a whim while studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz he soon shifted his major and focus in life. He graduated in 2015 after studying Environmental Studies and Biology, focusing on marine conservation. By that time, he was an AAUS certified Scientific Diver aiding in field research, a NAUI Divemaster, and had begun working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium sharing the wonder of the ocean that captivated him four years prior.

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  • Luke Correale

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Growing up in Connecticut, a love of the outdoors was cultivated in Luke from a young age, as he spent most of his time on the water exploring its coast. His mother, a laboratory scientist and master naturalist, and his father, a fine-woodworker and sailor, enrolled him in Audubon summer camps, encouraged and nurtured his fishing skills, and allowed for hours of uninterrupted time in the woods. Throughout high school and college Luke worked as a first mate on a classic Sportfishing vessel out of Montauk, NY. He also worked in guest services at a local seaside hotel where he developed a rich appreciation of all peoples.

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  • Marc Lapadula

    Guest Speaker
    Marc Lapadula is a Senior Lecturer in the Film Studies Program at Yale University. He is a playwright, screenwriter and an award-winning film producer.

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  • Michael Nolan

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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  • Michael Sparer

    Guest Speaker
    Michael Sparer is a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Professor Sparer is also the Chair of Health Policy & Management. He is a two-time winner of the Mailman School's Student Government Association Teacher of the Year Award, as well as the recipient of a 2010 Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.

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