Our Guides

Our guides are what make our company so extraordinary. Take a tour with us and you’ll be inspired by your guide’s passion and knowledge. Our guides spend all day everyday in the rainforest of Southeast Alaska. They truly value the opportunity to share this precious place with you, here, where daily life and breath-taking nature still exist hand in hand.

A guide’s knowledge stems from simple, pure enthusiasm and appreciation for this magnificent place we call home. Coming from varied experiences and walks of life, each guide completes our annual Spring training. They immerse themselves in workshops, trail sessions, discussions, and books about Juneau’s natural and cultural histories. Many guides also complete a 20-hour course to become Certified Interpretive Guides. Each guide then adds his or her specific areas of interest, expertise, style and personal stories.

Truly believing in the privilege and importance of sharing Southeast Alaska’s nature with other people, many of our guides hit the local trails and waterways with visitors year after year. Our small company is a close-knit family of outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, whale whisperers, photographers, and local history buffs. We hope you will connect with our family, in some small yet significant way. Step Into Alaska with one of our guides below…

Addy R, Naturalist Photography Guide

Hey there! I’m Addy, and I’m thrilled for my summer in Juneau! Come fall, I’ll be a senior at the University of South Florida, majoring in environmental sciences and sustainability, with a minor in biology. Photography, especially capturing nature, is one of my passions. This summer, I’ll be a Nature photo guide, sharing the magic of the outdoors. At school, I lead adventure trips for our university’s outdoor recreation program, guiding fellow students through nature’s wonders.

Aleta Walther, Naturalist Guide

“Whalicious” fun and frolic is how I describe my job as a naturalist and interpretive guide for Gastineau Guiding Company. I enjoy sharing the cultural and natural histories and the mysteries and magnificence that make a trip to Alaska a unique adventure. Alaska’s vibrant landscape, meandering waterways and spine-tingling wildlife encounters are beyond “Wow ”. I look forward to summers of spine-tingling adventures throughout the Tongass National Forest and the waterways of the Inside Passage.🙂

 

Alyssa Hetherington, Naturalist Science Guide

Hello my name is Alyssa and I am one of the naturists science guides on the team! I am originally from Marietta, Georgia and graduated from Brevard College with a degree in Biology. If I am not working, I’m most likely hanging with friends, playing soccer, or on an adventure somewhere outdoors. I first came to Juneau in 2022, and was blown away by its landscape, wildlife, and plants. Now I am lucky enough to call the Tongass National Forest and the surrounding areas my office. Happy Trails!

Alyssa Muzquiz, Daily Coordinator

I am currently a student at Texas A&M University, and I will be graduating in August with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. Growing up, I spent a lot of time outdoors, camping across the U.S. This remains one of my biggest passions, and inspired my academic pursuits and my interest in working in Juneau this summer. This is my first opportunity to gain experience in the outdoor recreation and tourism industry which I am more than excited for!

Amanda Janes, Naturalist Photography Guide

Originally from Ohio, my photography journey has taken me across nearly all 50 states. While I spend the Summer season in Alaska, I’m thrilled to call the Rocky Mountains my Winter time home where I work as a ski patroller. Beyond my work on the slopes, I find joy in sharing my love for the outdoors and Alaska with others. My hope is that photography can serve as a tool for conservation effort through showcasing the beauty of our planet and inspiring others to take action in preserving it.

Amy Balagna, Office Manager

I moved to Alaska the day after completing my degree in Archaeology from the University of Nevada. Alaska has given me so much more than I could ever give back; my love of nature, a wonderful community, and my beautiful daughter Clara. I’m excited to rejoin the Gastineau team after we decided Juneau is the perfect place to raise my family.

Ashlynn Antoni, Director of Sales and Marketing

In 2011, I came to Alaska with plans to work a seasonal position, and when the adventure was over head off to the next new and exciting experience.  Yet, to this day, I’m still waiting to get my fill of Juneau.  At every turn, I find myself captivated by the breath-taking beauty of Alaska, and inspired by the incredibly kind and welcoming people. Being part of such a vibrant, engaged, and compassionate community is truly a privilege.

Ava Newel, Dock Representative

Hi! I’ve lived in Juneau for the past 8 years, but have also lived in a handful of other places such as Sitka, Homer, California, Connecticut and North Carolina. From moving around and living in so many cool coastal towns, I have been very interested in nature from a young age. Because of this I plan to study Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I also have a bunny, his name’s Louie.

Bob Janes, Owner / Operator

I have lived in Juneau since 1965. With my wife Dawn, we founded our little interpretive company in 1994 as a way to keep fit and stay in touch with nature’s lessons. In the summer, our guests are likely to find me roaming the trails with my camera, piloting a safari vessel, or sharing stories about Juneau with visitors on the dock.

Bryce Breslin, Boat Captain

Hello! I grew up running around barefoot in the swamps and beaches of South Florida. I’ve been in love with the outdoors my whole life. Which lead to me working as a whitewater raft guide for over a decade. (Not in Florida). As well as working on powerboats and sailboats. Traveling as often as I can in between. Such a big beautiful world to explore. Out in nature is where you’ll find me. Hope to see ya there!

Cam Byrnes, Naturalist Photo Guide / Driver Trainer

Born “outside” I moved to Alaska in 1974 and have never wanted to make my home anywhere else. I have been involved with photography for 40 years and have been leading tours in Juneau for 15 years. The two go together perfectly. Leading tours lets me share this wonderful place with our guests and keeps me on the trails and on the water during our long summer days. I like to travel and take pictures around the world but I’ll never run out of things to photograph here in Juneau.

Chloe Anderson, Naturalist Photography Guide

I was born and raised in Kansas, but I lived in Boulder for a year before coming to Juneau. I’m an award-winning photojournalist with work in Climbing magazine, The Denver Post, The Colorado Sun and many more publications. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, riding my bike and rock climbing. This is my first season with Gastineau and first time in Alaska. I love sharing the joy of photography and marveling in the beauty of nature, and I’m excited to be here doing just that!

Dana Golebiewski, Naturalist Science Guide

As a volunteer naturalist for Boulder County, I have dedicated myself to studying and preserving the natural world around us. That experience has provided me with in-depth knowledge of local ecosystems, wildlife, and conservation efforts. Guided by a fervent desire to share the wonders of the outdoors with others, I am committed to putting that passion to use in Juneau and helping to create meaningful connections between people and the land. Fun fact – I played roller derby for 12 years

Daniel Bauer, Naturalist Photography Guide

Born in Peru. I’ve been in the US for 24 years. With a media production background, decide to walk into the unknown in 2022 by thru hiking the Appalachian Trail, GA to ME in 200 days straight. A new me, thirsty of adventure brought me to Alaska to find a new home away from home. Aspiring to inspire people to go outside to explore the amazing world we live in, by sharing my experiences through photography and video content creation.

David Thomson, Naturalist Guide

Juneau has been my home since 1983. Originally from the Maryland/D.C. area, moved north after graduating college in Iowa figuring that if it didn’t work out, I could always move back to the Lower 48. Landed work with the State of Alaska in finance and spent 31 years with the last 14 managing the money for the Division of Wildlife Conservation within the Department of Fish and Game, retiring in 2015. I contacted Gastineau Guiding before retiring; what could be better than to go hiking and share my love of this area with visitors. I hope you savor your time in Alaska, once you have been here; a little part of you never goes home.

Dawn Wolfe, Owner / Operator

My two week vacation to Juneau in 1980 still hasn’t ended. I’ve somehow managed to become the company’s administrative lifeline. When not playing softball, working in the yard, or enjoying the outdoors with our twins, I’m likely to be planning our next company party, or buried in piles of paperwork at our downtown office.

Derek Mason, Boat Captain

Derek spends most of his time on the water, both as a whale watching captain as well as a commercial fisherman. He loves Southeast Alaska and is excited to share the waterways with you! 

Dirk Miller, Naturalist Guide

As a local teacher I’ve always had a passion for sharing the outdoors with my students and now guests visiting our great city. I’ve done a lot throughout my teaching career; from establishing active clubs and educational field trips, to raising grant money to provide materials such as bikes for kids. I’ve created programs that establish leadership, healthy habits, and overall provide a safe and exciting learning environment for students. I love my job and was recently recognized by Discovery Southeast (organization promoting education and nature exploration for kids in Southeast Alaska) with the 2019 Discovery Award. I’m super excited to spend another summer with Gastineau Guiding and share the many reasons I love Juneau.

Ernest Taylor, Naturalist Photography Guide

Ernest Taylor is a full-time student currently attending Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Originally from Ohio, Ernest moved to Montana in 2021, and started his first Summer in Alaska in 2023. Previously, he guided horseback rides and pack trips in Yellowstone, as well as sea kayak tours in Sitka, AK. Ernest studies film and photography in school and is excited to share his knowledge with his tours. His favorite medium to shoot on is 4″x5″ film!

Greg McCormack, Naturalist Science Guide

Greg has worked as a naturalist on small-ship adventure cruises from the Arctic to the Antarctic. He worked as a park ranger in a dozen national parks and California state parks and he did a recent educator stint with NOAA. He has worked as an Alaskan river guide, kayak expedition leader, and as a divemaster throughout much of the South Pacific. He currently resides in Monterey, California.

Jenna Stum, Boat Captain

Avid long distance backpacker- Completed the Pacific Crest Trail in ’18 and the Arizona Trail in ’22. Preparing for the Florida Trail at the end of the year!

Jessy Goodman, Naturalist Science Guide

In my regular life, I teach and run the Writing Center at UAS Juneau. My favorite classroom, though, is a boat. I don’t have a formal science background, but I love telling stories–and my favorites are about Alaska: the Tongass, the ocean, the wildlife (esp. my whale friends), and the cultural past and present of this incredible place. I’ve been working in AK tourism in AK since 2017 in Ketchikan, and I moved to Juneau full time in 2020. I also have an MFA in fiction writing.

Julian Caballero, Naturalist Photography Guide

Coming from a Cuban immigrant family in Miami, I always loved the outdoors and when I came of age spent my summers driving across the country and pursuing adventure! Studying film in New Orleans, I spent my time in the city as an educator and environmental documentarian(with a sprinkle of freelance photography). Now my next adventure brings me to Juneau, where I have the opportunity to show you how to capture the wonderful wildlife Alaska has to offer!

June Bunch, Naturalist Science Guide

Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, June followed her sense of wonder and collected new hometowns wherever inspiration beckoned. From Yellowstone to Taos, Moab to Maui, she coaxed her curiosity into exploring and learning, eventually landing her in Juneau where she gets to meet you and share the wonders of this magical landscape! 

Katie Nieuwlandt, Naturalist Science Guide

Hi y’all, me name’s Katie. I’m from Longmont, CO, where I grew up alongside my older brothers to love all things outdoors. I recently graduated from Colorado State University, where I grew passionate about conservation; I love learning about the world around us and how we can help protect it. I hope to one day help research the conservation of raptor species in North America (I love birds!). I love traveling and hope to keep doing so in the coming years, whether here in Alaska or somewhere new.

Kayla Heady, Naturalist Science Guide

Steve Irwin is my life role model and by working for Gastineau Guiding I feel like I am as close to living his life style as I can get and a bonus on top of that this is a place where I feel like my degree in biology and ecology is put to good use. I am a 36 year old mother of two boys. I love being outdoors and traveling. I am almost always in guide mode, ready to share what I know with people and try to help people engage with the natural world around them.

Keith Pahlke, Lead Naturalist Guide

I am a retired fish biologist from Colorado and have lived in Alaska for the past 35 years. I love animals of all sorts and even owns 7 pets ranging from dogs to snakes and lizards.

Kelby Randall, Naturalist Science Guide

Howdy y’all! Coming at you from Juneau, the place I call home. Originally, I’m from Illinois, but I left in search of the mountains, glaciers, & oceans – I haven’t looked back once. I have guided for 3 years in Alaska, & I am a full time student at UAS, studying Biology. Outside of work and school, you’ll find me exactly where I want to be – at the end of a rope, maybe on a dancefloor, jumping crevasses, bushwhacking in the woods, or behind the wheel of my little red 85 Corvette.

Krichelle Kerbow, Boat Captain

Maui and Alaska have always been my home which amazingly enough it’s the same for the humpback whales! Following their migration and traveling back and forth each year has opened so many doors and led to some insane experiences! I’ve back packed through the Andes, lived on grungy fishing boats in high seas, sailed through the Carribean, snow machined days into the back country and got horribly lost, and survived on an uninhabited island in Papua New Guinea. Out of all the world I’ve seen, Alaska is the most wild and free place I have found and has become my forever home, most of the time at least, I still desire to see the world and follow my whale friends back to warmer waters during the cold months.

Catch me on the water and I’ll show you how amazing this place can be!

Larry Talley, Naturalist Guide

I was born in Ketchikan and had my childhood in a floating logging camp in the Ketchikan vicinity. Growing up on the water I didn’t learn to ride a bike or play basketball — and in fact am still somewhat inept in those areas — but I learned to love the water and the outdoors. Later I worked for forty years for Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and National Marine Fisheries Service, teaching computers to count fish. As a retired bureaucrat I am making up for lost time on the water and trails.

Laurie Clough, Lead Naturalist Guide

Linda Nicklin, Training Manager / Naturalist Guide

As Director of our in-house training program it is my job to help insure the quality of our tours by providing guide training in natural history, cultural history, and interpretive skills. Gastineau Guiding’s commitment to quality has kept me coming back for more than twenty years!  When not working for the company, I teach, author books and act as a naturalist in various parts of the world. I also work with a humpback whale research project in Maui called Whale Trust. I feel fortunate to have a job that allows me to support our guides in creating the best possible experience for each visitor, and one which is the source of such inspiration and joy.

Marc Mintz, Naturalist Photography Guide

Born and raised in southern California, I traded a life in a cubicle implementing environmental policy for a life with a camera having real experiences with the people and environment around me, and never once looked back.  I came to Juneau for the summer of 2019 and never left.  (It happens a lot around here.)  I’m excited to show you a few reasons why.

Maryellen Bryson, Dock Representative and Naturalist Hike Guide

I grew up here in Juneau and gradually fell in love with what my home has to offer as I got older. I’m very excited to join the Gastineau Guiding team so I can share the wonders of this town with people either on the trails, or talking to them on the docks! When I’m not working I love to be skiing, hiking, reading, or embroidering!

Matthew Borhanian, Naturalist Science Guide

What is life without adventure. Hi, my name is Matthew Borhanian. I am an avid fan of the outdoors and spend as much time in it as possible. I love hiking, scuba diving, camping, and all thing nature. I am a trained educator and love to teach.

Michael LaMonica, Boat Captain

After the Coast Guard stationed me in Sitka and then Juneau, Alaska, I decided I didn’t want to live anywhere else. I have worked on a variety of boats including the Alaskan ferries and a passenger ferry contracted to a local mining company. Now I am raising two sons while getting to share the beauty and history of “my backyard” as a boat captain at Gastineau Guiding.

Mike Hekkers, Lead Naturalist Guide

I left Colorado in the late 1990s to find a bigger and wilder place. Alaska fit that bill, and Juneau became my home base with a ski area, glaciers, water access, and a great community. After my mortgage banking career, I wanted to turn my love of mountaineering into a vocation especially after naturalist guiding in Denali National Park. I have a masters in geography (glaciology) and have instructed environmental science and geography courses at UAS for six years. I enjoy taking cabin trips and family adventures in the state. In the winter I can be found striding on Juneau’s cross country ski trails.

Nick Karr, Lead Naturalist Photo Guide

I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska but grew up in Southern California. I surfed, snorkeled and hiked around California and Baja where I developed a love for the outdoors, and respect for animals and the environment. Coming to Juneau is a chance to explore a new environment, and feels like I’m back home.

Olivia Kraft, Lead Daily Coordinator

Originally from Southwest Virginia, I moved to Juneau in the summer of 2022 to work seasonally here at Gastineau Guiding. Like many others, I immediately fell in love with everything that is Southeast AK and have since decided to call Juneau home. I work behind the scenes at our office – coordinating with our cruise ship partners, creating the daily schedules, and dispatching tours. I thrive in the fast past environment of the tourism industry and feel so lucky to be apart of the GGC family.

Phil Gutleben, Naturalist Guide

After a long and varied job history in the private and public sectors, I found the ideal encore career as a naturalist guide for Gastineau Guiding. With a background in science education, I love the outdoors and all things Alaska, my adopted home. I am enthusiastic about sharing my knowledge and experiences with visitors.

Rachel Levy, Naturalist Photography Guide

I moved to Juneau last year from South Florida and I’m a filmmaker and have produced two documentaries in Hawaii and Tanzania focused on environmental justice. Recently I’ve gotten into block-printing and I host “open-carve” nights on Douglas once a month. You might even find some of my prints in shops downtown! My two truths and a lie: I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Juneau, I once worked at a circus and now know how to climb silks, and I rip the saxophone with my band Papaya.

Richard Stokes, Lead Naturalist Guide

Richard has been a naturalist guide with Gastineau Guiding for 21 seasons. He was born and raised in Georgia. He was a charter member of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in 1971 and retired as the DEC Regional Supervisor for SE Alaska. He is also a poet and has published four chapbooks of poetry. He is married to Jane, a Juneau artist. Annika, one of their five grandchildren, also guides for Gastineau Guiding.

Robie Janes, General Manager

I grew up in Juneau and love everything it has to offer.  When out of the office during the summer, you can find me out hiking, boating, or camping with friends.  During the winter I’ll be up at Eaglecrest, our local ski area.  I started working at Gastineau Guiding at 14 and for a couple years the most common question I would get was if I was legally old enough to work here.  I graduated from Washington State University with a business degree but after I couldn’t stay away from Alaska.  My favorite part about working at Gastineau Guiding are the enthusiastic, outgoing, and friendly employees that make this company Juneau’s premier whale watching and guiding company. 

Rylee Gibbs, Naturalist Science Guide

Hi! I am Rylee Gibbs (she/her) I come from the panhandle of Florida. While there, I worked at a Wildlife Sanctuary after graduating from the University of West Florida. I have always had a strong passion about the conservation of our natural world, especially our creatures that inhabit it. In coming to Juneau, I wish to expand my role in showing how beautiful this planet is, and why it is so important that we protect it. When I am not working, I love to read and bird-watch!

Samuel Allison, Naturalist Photography Guide

I’ve served as a wilderness guide in New Zealand, the Amazon of Peru, Vermont, and now my most exciting landscape yet — the temperate rainforest of coastal Alaska. Wildlife photography has been an obsession of mine for over two decades. I specialize in macro images of bugs and amphibians, and closeup portraits of larger critters on land and sea. I enjoy teaching the fundamentals of photography, and the techniques of capturing wildlife imagery in particular, to intrepid guests out in the wild

Scott Moore, Naturalist Photography Guide and Social Media Coordinator

From California, I now spend most of my time traveling and living on the road. I am addicted to nature and wildlife and want to spend as much time as I can outdoors. Juneau has everything a Nature and Wildlife photographer would want to shoot and one of my core beliefs is in the preservation of our planet’s natural wonders. Our public lands are invaluable treasures that deserve our respect and protection. They offer us solace, adventure, and a chance to connect with the raw beauty of our Earth.

Scott Ranger, Lead Naturalist Guide

I came to Juneau to visit my daughter and son-in-law in the summer of 2008. It rained the whole time and I’ve been in love with the place ever since. I love to share my passion for the natural environment with others — whether running a nature center, working as a park ranger, or hiking the trail with guests. If I’m not hiking the trails in Juneau, you can find me in Georgia editing the newsletter for the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, or heading up a Habitat Humanity team in Southern Africa with my wife.

Stella D, Naturalist Guide

I began guiding to combine my love of wild nature with my skills as a journalist for communicating great stories. I have led backpacking trips in the White Mountains and Green Mountains of New England and trekked widely in Europe and the Americas. I trained as a naturalist on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where I volunteer to preserve the wetlands and barrier islands on the Atlantic flyway, and I’ve studied geography, so I geek out on glaciers. In my other life, I train my German Shepherd.

Theresa Miller, Naturalist Guide

I’ve lived in Juneau over 40 years, where I married and raised two sons. I was a stay at home mom and homeschooled my boys from crib to college. In 2020, I retired from teaching and now spend winters traveling in the southwest visiting and hiking national monuments and parks. During the summers I love to hike, fly fish and garden, including adding hardscape.