Expedition Team

No more experienced team exists in travel


Our experienced expedition leader and a team of eight naturalists are your conduit to an extraordinary experience. And the certified photo instructor on board, 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 benefit from the tonic of wildness. And our video chronicler will record the entire voyage creating a permanent record for you. 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, the Pacific Islands, across the United States and up to Alaska.  She is fascinated by ice in all its forms and loves to revel in the vastness of the polar regions and is thrilled to take her adventures to the sea after many years of hoofing it across various continents.

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  • Alison Wright

    Photographer
    Alison Wright, an award winning documentary photographer and visual anthropologist, travels to all regions of the globe photographing endangered cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition. Alison has led numerous photo expeditions from land and sea on all seven continents and is an Explorers Club member. She has been named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year as someone who travels with a sense of passion and purpose, is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography and a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award. She is a National Geographic contributor and has produced ten books including three for the National Geographic Traveler series. 

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  • Carlos Navarro

    Naturalist
    Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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  • Christine West

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    Christine was fortunate to grow up in the Pacific Northwest on the shores of the Puget Sound. After graduating from the University of Washington, she decided to pursue her love of the ocean and exploration. Her passion for marine biology has inspired her through over 4,000 scuba dives around the globe in temperate and cold-water conditions, as well as snorkeling and freediving in extraordinary habitats such as in river beds with spawning salmon, in recently de-glaciated bays and lagoons filled with ice and glacial silt and in deep blue water with large marine animals including humpback whales, hammerhead sharks and pilot whales.

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  • Dana Johnston

    Naturalist
    Dana Johnston is a geology specialist with particular expertise in plate tectonics, volcanism, metamorphism, and mineral deposits. He received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota and was then a professor, department head and dean of the natural sciences division during his 33-year career in the Center for Volcanology at the University of Oregon. Along the way he served as both associate editor and editor of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. He is an author or co-author of 100 scientific publications, many arising from research in the laboratory he ran in which he and his graduate students partially melted rocks at pressures up to nearly 500,000 psi, aiming to elucidate magmatic processes in geologic environments including mid-oceanic spreading ridges, hot spot volcanoes, subduction zones and in thickened continental crust.

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  • Dennis Cornejo

    Naturalist
    Dennis began scuba diving during the mid-1970s as part of a research project. At the time he was a research associate at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, studying the population of winter hibernating sea turtles.  What began as a scientific study soon became a conservation project that expanded to three species of sea turtles along the entire Pacific coast of Mexico.  This project received major funding from the World Wildlife Fund and was eventually taken over directly by that agency with Kim Clifton and Dennis Cornejo as co-principal investigators.

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  • Edward Shaw

    Naturalist
    Edward Shaw has travelled widely as a naturalist and guide. For the past 29 years he has lived with his family in northwestern Patagonia, initially working as a teacher and subsequently working in community projects before returning to expedition ships. Edward is deeply committed to the principles behind sustainable development. He is happily married and the father of five children.

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  • Ella Potts

    Naturalist
    Ella’s passion has always been in marine conservation, with a childhood spent swimming, kayaking or boating in the chilly waters of the UK, or surveying the marine life of those waters from windswept headlands. She has numerous, distinct early memories of shivering adults, wrapped up in jumpers and cagoules, looking down at her with slight horror through sheets of rain and commenting on her short sleeves. A phenomena that persists to this day.  She graduated with a Masters degree in Marine Biology: Conservation and Resource Management from Swansea University, setting her up for a career protecting those marine ecosystems that she so loves. Ella has worked for several British whale conservancy charities, including ORCA and the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) and is a British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) marine mammal medic. She has a real passion for lecturing, and during her time in these different organizations has presented to vastly ranging audiences; from groups of young children right up to filled auditoriums at the headquarters of HWDT partner, WWF. 

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  • Eric Kruszewski

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    An editorial photographer and videographer based in Washington, D.C., Eric Kruszewski's multimedia work focuses on reportage and travel. His work is represented by National Geographic Creative, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic's Image Collection.

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  • Karen Velas

    Naturalist
    Karen Velas cares deeply about protecting the environment and its wildlife.  Over the last 15 years, she has been involved with numerous conservation projects, including working as the Lead Project Coordinator on the California Condor Project with The National Audubon Society, managing projects in the flooded rice fields of California’s Central Valley with The Nature Conservancy and surveying the distant cliffs of Iceland to aid in puffin recovery with the South Iceland Research Centre.

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