Guides

Our guides are more than guides; they're our most important asset. Our staff is trained under the most extensive program of any company we know. They begin sharing their knowledge with each other weeks before our first guests arrive. They love what they do and return to work with us year after year. They are specialists in Alaska's natural history, they are great people to travel with and to get to know, and they'll inspire you with their enthusiasm. They'll guide your way to great adventuring.

Though not all of our guide staff is listed here, these are certainly representative of the excellent staff you'll find on all of our trips.

Adam Maire

Adam Maire grew up in rural Nebraska spending most of his time outdoors, exploring, hiking, kayaking, riding horses and camping. It was during this time that he became passionate about seeing the world and combining this with spending time in the wild. He began on the path to working with nature when he graduated from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture with an Associate’s degree in Animal Science and then graduated from the University of Nebraska with a double major in History and Criminal Justice. In 2010, Adam spent a year in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army as part of a Long Range Surveillance team, working with and training the Afghan National Security Forces. Upon returning from Afghanistan, he moved to Hawaii to begin a career as a naturalist interpretive guide on the Big Island as a Divemaster, working on boats, leading scuba diving tours and working with the Manta Advocates of Hawaii.

In 2014, Adam began traveling full-time, working in several countries at a variety of jobs including managing a guest ranch and guiding horseback adventure tours in the jungles of Nicaragua. In the summer of 2015, Adam started working with Alaska Wildland Adventures as a Kenai Guide where he learned to raft the Kenai River and lead hikes around Cooper Landing. Adam spent the last few winters teaching scuba diving, driving boats, and guiding in Central America, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Florida and most recently Hawaii. While in Florida he completed the United States Coast Guard Captain’s course and upgraded to his Master Captain’s License.

He has also proudly worked at establishing Fins to Spurs, a project and website dedicated to helping others find opportunities for adventure work all around the world. Much of his time on the project is spent traveling, finding incredible jobs, trying them out, and then writing about them to offer a first-hand account of what it’s like to take work in similar opportunities. In 2016, Adam co-organized and incorporated the Sea Star Foundation, a non-profit company dedicated to developing programs that build confidence, strengthen family relationships and make connections in active communities for veterans and those with PTSD and disabilities through aquatic recreational therapy activities such as scuba diving.

Christine West

Christine is a naturalist who was fortunate to grow up in the Pacific Northwest on the shores of the Puget Sound. After obtaining her BA from the University of Washington, she decided to pursue her love of the ocean and exploration by beginning a career working on expedition boats worldwide. Christine is now a USCG 100 Ton Captain and has traveled internationally full-time as an expedition guide, educator, writer, PADI Scuba Diving Instructor, and Certified International Tour Director for over a decade.

Since 2013, Christine has spent her summers working as a naturalist in several regions in Alaska including the Kenai Peninsula, Ketchikan and Denali National Park. She has guided week-long tours with Alaska Wildland Adventures since 2015. Her experiences working in remote locations around the state have taken her hiking through lush riparian forests, kayaking alongside orca whales and canoeing through ice chunks below calving glaciers. She has also enjoyed working as an in-water guide educating about echinoderms and other invertebrates in the kelp forests of Southeast Alaska.

Christine’s passion for travel and wildlife has taken her to work above and below water in over 30 countries, spending significant amounts of time in Alaska, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Turkey, Vietnam and Thailand. Her passion for aquatic life has inspired her through over 4,000 scuba dives around the globe in warm and cold-water conditions, as well as snorkeling and freediving excursions in more extraordinary conditions such as in river beds with spawning salmon, in recently de-glaciated areas filled with glacial silt, and with large marine animals including humpback whales, hammerhead sharks and pilot whales. She is also the President and Co-Founder of Sea Star Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to instructing scuba diving as a form of aquatic therapy for veterans and other individuals with PTSD and disabilities.

Alex Harper

Born and raised in Miami, Alex's interest in the natural world began in the Everglades and Florida Keys. He attended the University of West Florida, where he received a degree in Environmental Science and has since pursued a variety of field work with nonprofits and environmental consultants. This work has taken him to California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and the Florida Keys. In addition to field work, he has guided in the Amazon of Brazil and recently started a small guiding operation with friends in Nevada.

Alex's work background outside of Alaska is heavily focused on bird and reptile ecology (although he doesn't expect to see many reptiles with you in Alaska!). Among his interests are birding, traveling internationally, NBA basketball, salsa dancing and rock climbing. He has returned to Alaska for his third summer guiding with us and promises a high five to anyone who can help find him his first wolverine.

Chennery Fife

Chennery grew up in Littleton, Colorado and that is where her love of the outdoors was first cultivated. She received her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Though city life was great, the mountains were calling. She moved to Alaska for the first time in 2013 to work in Juneau. She guided hiking and whale watching tours in the area surrounding our capital city. Through her Alaska experiences, Chennery has gained certification as an Alaska Tour Guide Naturalist Interpreter and Coastal Kayak Day Trip Leader.

For the past couple of years Chennery has explored Antarctica, New Zealand, South America and many US National Parks, but continues to be pulled back to Alaska. Last summer, she worked for Alaska Wildland Adventures as a kayak guide at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. She cannot wait to share her passion for Alaska with all of you this summer! She is also thrilled to share her favorite Alaskan wildlife with you: the black bear and the killer whale!

Julie Hinkle

Julie grew up in Arizona and has wanted to live in Alaska since she was three! That was when her uncle took her on her first fishing trip and told her the big fish lived in Alaska. Her first summer in Alaska was thirteen years ago when she was awarded a memorial scholarship from the Yosemite Institute and paddled 480 miles of the Inside Passage of Alaska with a friend. Julie says she had only been in Alaska waters for minutes when she awoke on the ferry at 1:00 am and wrote in her journal that her head and heart were finally in the same place.

Julie currently makes her home in Eagle River, Alaska and loves all that this great state has to offer. From fishing and clamming in the summer to hunting, snowshoeing, snow machining and ice fishing in the winter, she feels she is where she was destined to be. Before moving to Alaska, Julie spent five years teaching environmental education throughout the lower 48 and leading outdoor leadership programs for teens. Since moving to Alaska she has worked in Special Education and just recently finished her teaching credential. Now she teaches at one of the most diverse elementary schools in Alaska. For the past five years her students have been involved in the “Salmon in the School Program,” working in partnership with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to raise and study silver salmon. This is Julie’s 12th summer with Alaska Wildland Adventures and she says she has the best summer job in the world: “I get to show people the magic that brought me to Alaska. Every day I live the dream.”

Wayde Carroll

After receiving a B.A. in Art with an emphasis in photography from San Jose State University in 1993, Wayde fled to Alaska to hone his photographic skills. He spent a year documenting the lives of the Yup'ik people in the village of Eek, then two years assisting some of Anchorage's top photographers such as Clark James Mishler and Tom Bol whenever he had time to join them. He returned to California in 1998 to assist award-winning photographer Keith Sutter in Auburn, CA. He also worked for The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, CA for two and a half years shooting assignments and advertising images.

In 2004, he made the leap and started a full time career in photography and in the summer of 2006 returned to Alaska (a place he just can't get enough of). Wayde's been regularly published in numerous regional and national magazines, books, calendars, and maps including: National Geographic Maps, Alaska Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, Sonoma Magazine, California Tour and Travel, Sierra Heritage, Sierra Alive, Sierra Outdoor Recreation, The Sacramento Bee, The Milepost, and numerous county visitor's guides. In 2006, he was fortunate enough to spend much of the year photographing for Placer Grown, a non-profit organization formed to assist farmers and ranchers, in Placer County California; his photography assisted with their marketing produce and farm product efforts. One image ended up hanging in the State Capitol Building in Sacramento.

In 2007, Wayde began leading our Alaska Photo Journey. He finds guiding and sharing his knowledge of photography to be extremely rewarding and is looking forward to continuing on with AWA. His love for discovering new places and providing fresh looks for familiar ones has kept clients coming back again and again. You can view more of Wayde's photography on his website.