Kimery Duda, Founder and Executive Director
Kimery’s base camp is Austin, Texas – but, she’ll be the first to tell you that her home is where her heart is – and, that is, in the field. Her passion for adventure was ignited in 1996 by an expedition set out to climb the highest peak in Mexico, Pico de Orizaba.
Dr. Mark Ackrell, Medical Director
Mark was born in 1965 in Honolulu Hi to parents with a bad case of wanderlust He has been traveling ever since (50+ countries and counting). While growing up in Leicester, England and San Francisco most of his athletic endeavors revolved around playing soccer. Since completing his residency in Emergency Medicine he has utilized his skills while working, traveling and playing throughout the world.
Seth Plunkett, Alaska Guide
Seth has made Southeast Alaska his home since 1994, where he worked as a backcountry ranger for the National Park Service on the Chilkoot trail for 5 years. He currently guides rafting, hiking and kayaking trips, and spends every spare moment exploring and photographing the vast wilderness, mountains, ocean, and glaciers that surround and inspire him.
Kerstin Wiggins, SUP Instructor
An avid stand up paddler, Kerstin has been paddling the Texas waterways for over 5 years. A surfer at heart, she has surfed waves in Texas, California, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
Morgan Faulkner, Professional Surfer/Surf Instructor
Morgan has been a surfer from day one. He graduated from high school in 2004 and immediately decided that surfing was the only way to go. He moved out to Hawaii and has been attending college at Hawaii Pacific University while not surfing the famous waves of the North Shore. Traveling to many places around the world has given him a great appreciation for new cultural experiences and he continues to expand his world through traveling and surfing.
Blandonn Smith, w-EMT / Safety Educator
Blandonn loves adventure whether he’s guiding an expedition; working as a medic for an adventure race or competing in one.
Jeff Brown, Ornithologist / Naturalist
Jeff leads the field as an ornithologist, a naturalist and, an incredibly talented educator. With 10 years experience in the Cincinatti and Brookfield Zoos; 15 years of working in museums around the country; and over 17 years of teaching experience –Jeff brings a brilliant foundation of knowledge, wisdom, and skill in every expedition.
Josh Trutt, MD
Josh is an Emergency Room Physician who currently works in a Trauma Center in New York City. Josh is a true expeditionist.
Jon Kalb, Paleontologist
Jon Kalb was raised in Houston, Texas, and studied geology at American University, Carnegie Institution, and Johns Hopkins University. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and along the Texas-Mexico border.
Brad Kaylor, Boat Captain
Captain Brad Kaylor is a native Padre Islander who has spent his whole life in and around the oceans of the world. Born just up the beach from Port Aransas Texas he has established himself as an experienced waterman. He has been surfing his entire life, been an open water lifeguard, Captained both sailing and power yachts, and taken his love for the water and adventure to such places as Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and Hawaii.
Chris Caselli, Professional Photographer
Chris Caselli has been a freelance photographer for twenty years. He is based in Austin, Texas, and has traveled and photographed extensively throughout Texas.
Nelbert Niemi, River and Expedition Guide
El diablo mas sauve…”Nelbert” is a 50 year veteran of bush flying, considerable business and commercial guiding experience in organizing and leading climbing, whitewater rafting and overland ice expeditions on several continents, Nels brings tempered experience to the schemes of getting better at what any expedition is all about.
Megan Kimble, Latin America Guide
Megan is currently living in a small fishing village in Nicaragua and teaching English. In the coming months (and years), she and her trusty backpack will forge more trails throughout Central and South America, and you can find her either scribbling in her notebook or reading histories of the country she visits. She hopes to help guide you through the wonders of the fantastic and diverse Spanish-speaking world.
Tracy Walker recently moved from California back to the heart of Texas where she was born. She loves being outdoors: playing soccer, kayaking, running, camping, hiking and any type of water activity! Her favorite sport is soccer and she had the honor of playing on the National Deaf Soccer Team. As a team they competed and trained across the USA, in Belgium, and won the gold medal at the Deaflympics in Australia. Tracy also loves traveling and experiencing new cultures; her travels have taken her to London, Paris, Corsica, Rome, Florence, Venice, Acapulco and Hawaii.
Kim Sorensen, ACA Kayak and USCA Paddling Instructor
In 2008, Kim completed the Texas Water Safari “The world’s toughest canoe race” with paddling partner Joy Emshoff. They completed the 260 mile canoe race in 82 hours with only 6 hours of sleep, earning second place in the novice class. Kim’s passion for paddling started at Pacific University where she learned how to kayak in the local lakes and bays of Oregon and Washington with The Pacific Outback program.
Jack is originally from Shropshire in the west of England. She started teaching Outdoor Education and Physical Education in 1989, at an outdoor activity centre which provided her the opportunity to travel to some of the most remote and challenging mountains in the United Kingdom. Her skills included rock-climbing, backpacking, ocean kayaking, rowing, and playing rugby at a regional and national level.
Joy Emshoff is a certified USCA canoe instructor, past president of Texas Outdoor Woman’s Network, an accomplished marathon canoe racer and a licensed nurse, residing in Austin,Tx. She has taught kayak and canoe instruction and led paddling trips for 10+ years.
Marisa graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelors in Kinesiology in 2005. Since then she has been practicing massage therapy in Austin and specializes in deep tissue, neuro-muscular, myofascial massage. Marisa is also an outdoor enthusiast.
Jason is a native of Austin and loves everything about it. In 2003, he traveled to the Dominican Republic to work with Haitian refugees and was forever changed by his experience. Beautiful scenery, beautiful people and lots of adventure surrounded him, and he knew that he had to share his experience with others.
To sum it up in one sentence, Graham is a modern day outdoorsman. Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay has given him a special connection to his surroundings, especially on the water. He grew up in a culture of “Save the Bay” and being personally connected to it, began his career as an environmentalist, naturalist and eventually educator.
Kelli Page, a native of Dallas has been educating children in diverse environments for a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, and is certified in Special Education. The main focus of her educational career, and her true passions lie in Elementary Wellness Education.
Nick Bannon’s involvement in the Personal Discovery Program, an adventure-based teambuilding program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., couldn’t have come at a better time in his life as he was making the transition from high school to college and from the hearing world to the deaf world. Faced with learning a new language, American Sign Language, and being among his new deaf friends was an exciting, yet a challenging time.
Carla Jennings, Kayak Instructor
Carla started paddling kayaks in 1996, after watching people paddle on the San Marcos River. She took a kayak class and got hooked and has been an American Canoe Association certified flatwater kayak instructor since 1997. Carla enjoys paddling in any body of water. She loves the challenges, freedom, peace, and tranquility that kayaking offers.