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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  • 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
    Raised in Southern California, Kayvon has spent his whole life living by the sea. However, his passion for the ocean truly unfolded while obtaining his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There he majored in environmental studies and biology and began his scuba diving career. While at UC-Santa Cruz he became an AAUS Scientific Diver as well as a NAUI Divemaster. These certifications allowed him to begin working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium taking children diving in an open exhibit. He was also a research diver for various labs at UC-Santa Cruz, assisting in all manners whether it was obtaining fish samples, setting up experiment apparatuses, or taking salinity and sediment samples. Since graduating Kayvon continues to volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a feeding show and maintenance diver and assisting with research.

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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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