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Meet Our Team

Our Guides Set Us Apart


Our guides are engaging, hardworking, and professional, but more importantly they’re passionate about facilitating meaningful outdoor experiences. They recognize that we won’t save our wild places until we fall in love with them, and they want to share their deep appreciation for Alaska’s rugged fjords.

Each spring we conduct the longest training of any sea kayak operator in the state, a 3+ week intensive guide training for all staff (new & returning). By the time our guides are leading trips, they each hold:

  • ACA Level 2 or higher skill assessment (sea kayaking skills & rescues)
  • ACA Day Trip Leadership assessment (trip leading skills for sea kayakers)
  • Wilderness First Responder Certification (wilderness medical skills)
  • Leave-No-Trace Training
  • Alaska Tour Guide Certification

In addition, our guides possess a wealth of knowledge about the local area and Alaska in general.  You’ll find that our tours incorporate as much of an educational component as you’d like, enhancing your experience of Seward with an understanding of its ecology, geology, and history. Many of our guides have completed higher education in the fields of Adventure Education, Environmental Science, and related areas. Not only that, they can also tell you where to find the best IPA on draught or where grab a bite to eat after your tour.

Our guides are at the heart of everything we do. Our application process is competitive and our training through, because we know that purposefully crafted tours provide more than just access to wild places – they have the power to change the way we look at the world.

Trent Guide Bio
Trent Gould
  • Owner/Guide
  • ACA Level 3 Sea Kayaking Instructor
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certified
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Alaska Tour Guide Trainer
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Trent considers himself a grand generalist who enjoys windy hikes, sleeping in igloos, empty surf breaks at sunrise and reading the New York Times with a fresh cup of coffee. He originally hails from Southern California and spent his college years in Vermont obtaining a B.A. in Adventure Education and Wilderness Leadership.

After opening and operating his own company, Out There Adventures in Vermont for three years, he starting traveling. He’s guided in New Zealand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Uganda and many more countries, but considers Seward and the surrounding area one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Trent is very passionate about sharing our beautiful backyard with people from all over the world. He has worked in the adventure business for the past 15 years. You can find him answering calls in the office, arranging community paddling days for Seward locals, leading multi-day trips in the fjords or walking his pup, Miss Jones, around town.

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Hannah Lafleur
  • Operations Manager/Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Instructor
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certified
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Hannah grew up outside, exploring the hills, ponds, and dirt roads of rural New Hampshire. Her passion for the outdoors led her to Colby College in Maine, where she received a BA in Environmental Science, focusing on conservation biology. She loves to travel and explore new places, but aside from her own personal adventures has spent much of her time leading trips for others. Getting to share her passion for the natural world and create a sense of community within each group are two of her favorite things about trip leading. After several years guiding hiking trips for teens and working in outdoor education from Alaska to Switzerland, she transitioned to the trip planning side, working first for a student adventure program and then a global active travel company, where she designed self-guided cycling and walking tours. When she’s not planning or taking backcountry trips, you’ll find her drinking hand-roasted coffee or going out for long trail runs.

Erin
Erin McDowell
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder

Native to the majestic lands of Northern New Jersey and a seasonal resident of the Adirondack mountains, Erin proudly holds the title of “the outdoorsy one” in her family. Her love of the outdoors was so strong, she embarked on a 5-month long thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail to completely immerse herself in the great outdoors. She successfully hiked from Maine all the way down to Georgia!

Erin’s travels next brought her to Alaska, where she enthusiastically guided at KAW for three years as a multi-day guide. Erin is continuing to grow & support KAW as our Logistics Coordinator this upcoming summer. Her incredible knowledge of this area, KAW’s tours and ethos makes her a triple threat in the office. She looks forward to the opportunity to help our guests plan their adventures in Alaska!

Joe
Joe Kiefer
  • Guide Manager
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certified
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder

Have you ever felt the magical feeling of being beyond your regular routine, when the world feels filled with wonder and possibility? Joe is WAY into that feeling and he’s been seeking and finding it through a life in the outdoors.

After a childhood of camping and climbing trips in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, Joe decided to commit fully and earn a degree in Adventure Education. His fascination with outdoor facilitation put him on a path that eventually pointed towards Southern California, where he spent seven years training young leaders and directing a non-profit summer camp/outdoor education facility outside of San Diego.

That SoCal time also involved sea kayaking trips on the Sea of Cortez, alpine peaks in the Eastern Sierras, and a lifetime’s worth of good climbing in the desert. For Joe, that aforementioned magical feeling is best when shared and he’s excited about finding ways to share it with you!

Glo Guide Bio
Glo Chitwood
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Instructor
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Glo is extremely grateful to be back in this wild, beautiful place. Originally from central Colorado, she grew up cross-country skiing, paddling on the Arkansas River, and backpacking in California, Maine, and a few states in between. While studying Writing at Columbia College Chicago, Glo taught sea kayaking and coastal paddling skills on Lake Michigan. She is passionate about protecting the Great Lakes and other diverse ecosystems in North America. More recently, she worked as an EMT in Chicago. Since then, Glo made her way north to Seward, and she is so excited to share Alaska with our guests. She also loves Jeopardy! way too much.

Garrett Guide Bio
Garrett Phelps
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Instructor
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certified
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Garrett digs wild weather, wildlife, and wild places. Originally from San Diego, Garrett has explored a life balancing outdoor education and film making. He grew up moving homes about once a year on both coasts of the US and in the Middle East with his wanderlust parents and later documenting ethnomusicology while traveling in the South Pacific and the Caribbean. He spent an important part of his life in the mountains of Southern California training youth in counseling, environmental stewardship and leadership skills, and later substitute teaching for at-risk youth. He loves to capture inspiring stories about Community, the Arts and Adventure through short films and photography, and hopes to never stop learning and pursuing new places and meeting new people.

Garrett believes in how important it is today for people to re-connect with wild places and is stoked to help share this incredible area with guests!

Claire Guide Bio
Claire Marshalek
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Claire enjoys waking up with the sun and drinking at least three cups of coffee before the rest of the world is awake.Trail running, backpacking and biking are a few of her favorite activities. When she’s not on move you can find her hanging in a hammock. Claire discovered her passion for Environmental Education afer spending two years as an Outdoor Educator in Pittsburgh, PA. Afer seven years as a competitive rower and three years as a rowing coach, Claire decided it was time to return to the water and so she found herself at KAW. She believes everyone deserves to feel welcome in the outdoors and can’t wait to get out on the water with KAW guests!

Sid Guide Bio
Sid Smullen
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certified
  • Wilderness First Responder

Sid has always been a wild child for animals and camping in the woods! He loves sea kayaking, hiking, biking, skiing, swimming, and really any kind of adventurous activity. Born in Maryland, every weekend his father would load up the jeep and head to Assateague Island for all day surf fishing and beach shenanigans.

Sid wound up in western North Carolina where he enjoyed skiing the Appalachian ski “hills”, hiking the breathtaking trails and tubing down the chilly New River in summer. Sid followed his love of rugged coastlines to Maine’s Acadia national park where he spent a few seasons guiding sea kayaking, biking, and hiking tours.

He fell in love with discovering and sharing the outdoors with others, and is so grateful he has found his true passion in life. Continuing on his quest for the most beautiful places on earth he is incredibly excited to be part of KAW family! He looks forward to drinking in the beauty of Alaska and sharing it with you.

Richard Guide Bio
Richard Czaikowski
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Richard grew up in the suburbs of Houston, spending childhood summers in the mountains of Colorado. His love of the outodors & adventure eventually brought him to the University of Wyoming, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology. Richard spent his time backpacking, snowboarding, and fly fishing in the Snowy Range of Wyoming.

He has had a variety of jobs, serving as a squad leader in a mountain infantry unit in the Army National Guard, working as a part of a research lab focused on nerve regeneration, working as a wildland firefighter, and a dog musher. In his time working and recreating in the outdoors, Richard found his true passion in guiding and sharing the outdoors with others. He is excited to share our little corner of pristine Alaskan wilderness with KAW guest!

Haley Guide Bio
Haley Terpenny
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Born and raised in south-western Virginia, Haley’s upbringing was centered around nature and the seasons. Spending most of her time outdoors, barefoot in the creeks and forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains and backpacking portions of the Appalachian trail, has instilled in her a great sense of environmental stewardship from the beginning of her life.

Haley has always been an active person in her free time, where you can find her snowboarding, rock climbing, trail running, roller skating, and swimming. She found her love for guiding in Colorado working with an outdoor adventure camp where she lead young people on rock climbing excursions, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking. She cares deeply about environmental education and empowering people through nature and adventure. Haley believes that the outdoors is the most powerful classroom, in which people can explore and most importantly, protect our planet.

Shauna Guide Bio
Shauna Werner
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Shauna likes good coffee, spectacular sunrises, and long walks in the mountains. She grew up in northwest Washington State where she spent her childhood camping, hiking, and exploring. She has since since backpacked, snowboarded, trail ran, and hiked all over, from Alaska to the Northeast to the Alps. Her last two summers were spent in Denali National Park where she made the executive decision that Alaska was worth coming back to time and time again. She graduated with a degree in fine arts from Tulane University, and puts that to use by carrying a camera and a sketchbook around everywhere she goes. During the past couple winters Shauna has lived in Colorado and Vermont, working as a snowboard instructor. When’s she’s not outdoors, she enjoys playing guitar, cooking, and live music. Discovering what the wilderness has to offer and sharing that with others has become her passion over a lifetime of doing so, and she can’t wait to continue in a place like Seward.

Candace Guide Bio
Candace Bracken
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Candace is a Las Vegas native who found her passion for outdoor recreation while receiving a Geology degree at UNLV. Shortly after graduating she found herself on a kayak tour with a local outfitter, and 3 months later she was working for said outfitter. She believes this to be a keystone moment in her life that set her on the path of pursuing guiding as a career.

Naturally, Alaska became a desired guiding destination and she worked in Skagway as a bicycle guide. This solidified her hunch that the seat of a kayak is her favorite medium for showing guests the wonder of the world around us. Candace is a desert born, taco loving, rugby playing, kayak guide whose passion is sharing the awe of the natural world while challenging and changing herself and her guests.

Miss Jones
Miss Jones
  • Shop Dog

Miss Jones is a rescue pup from Vermont. She has been an assistant guide to Trent on canoe tours in the Adirondacks, backcountry ski tours in New Hampshire, and many more! She loves long hikes, rolling in fresh snow, and treats of all shapes and sizes. She’s very excited to be our friendly, well-behaved shop dog here in Alaska.