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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 Gould
  • Owner/Guide
  • ACA Level 3 Sea Kayaking Instructor
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certified
  • Wilderness Medical Associates Instructor
  • Certified Interpretive Guide 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.

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

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.

Haley Terpenny
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

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.

Rachel Webb
  • Logistics Coordinator

Rachel grew up in the corn and soybean flatlands of northern Indiana and has been doing her best to make up for it ever since. She dreamt of open water and mountains and is now spending as much time as possible around them. While living in North Carolina, she earned her degree in Exercise Science and developed a love of trail running. She worked as both a zip-line guide and a swim instructor, to help people of all ages enjoy the outdoors, overcome their fears, and increase their confidence.

When life took her north to Long Island, she worked for a produce farm which gave her the chance to connect with the land in a new way and appreciate all that it provides for us. She also seized the opportunity to take up kickboxing, paddle boarding, and hiking, and quickly got some long distance and endurance runs under her belt.

Rachel is a fan of long days in the sun, winter hiking through the snow, eye-roll worthy puns, and sharing big laughs with those around her. She is very excited to be part of the team at KAW, and to help every guest seas the day!

Claire Marshalek
  • SWC Guide & Market Manager 
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

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 the 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. After 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 and into the mountains with KAW and SWC guests!

Richard Czaikowski
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

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 guests!

Shauna Werner
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

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.

Before guiding in Seward, she spent her summers working in Denali National Part and truly believes that Alaska is worth coming back to year after year. She is passionate about protecting wild places and the people who live there, after a lifetime of seeing what nature can provide. When’s she’s not outside, she enjoys playing guitar, cooking, and live music. She believes that the outdoors can teach us about the world as well as ourselves, and loves sharing what it has to offer with others.

Laban Wenger
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Laban grew up at camp in central Pennsylvania.  Having thousands of public forested acres around him, his childhood was spent in exploration with his two brothers. After a confusing few years studying saxophone, he spent his 20s in NC growing food in a horticultural therapy program and working operations at an outdoor ed center in California. Most recently, he’s worked natural resources at Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Laban loves the classic Type 1 fun: biking flowy singletrack and climbing wild scrambly peaks, though he often comes back to that gentle space of peacefulness and awe that comes from slowly exploring, birding, or just sitting in the desert sun playing music.

Having spent 15 years sharing the outdoors with youth and adults, Laban believes connecting with ecological systems of which we are part is a joyous experience that thrives with our innate senses of wonder and curiosity. That when we explore these spaces together, we become a community of reverence and gentleness.

Mac Utter
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Growing up in western North Carolina, Mac has grounded her roots in exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her imagination and creativity derive from the countless adventures she pursued in her home region during her childhood. These experiences led Mac to stay local and pursue an English degree at Appalachian State University. Upon graduating, her desire to learn more about our natural lands deepened, prompting her to embark on a journey out side of the state.

From backpacking across Maine, to biking the deserts of Utah, to navigating roads of the U.S., many have found Mac enjoying a crisp apple under the sun with a welcoming smile on her face. Carrying a desire to be present and listen to what our natural world has to say, Mac embodies a passion to help others build connection with the environment around them. She has worked many places around the country, finding value in learning new things and sharing experience with others.

Dustin Newman
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Dustin Newman (Unignax “Blueberry”) is Unangax and Deg Hit’an Athabascan. He grew up in King Cove, Alaska a small fishing community along the Alaska Peninsula. Dustin is a traditional kayak builder, storyteller and Alaska Native Artist.  In the off season Dustin works for his regional non-profit corporation in youth prevention services tying cultural activities to healthy ways of living.

Julia Adams
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Julia has spent the majority of her time romping around the Southern Appalachian mountains. She has worked as a guide in many capacities – as a wilderness therapy instructor, raft guide, environmental educator and ski instructor. In the past summer seasons she has worked as a Wilderness Ranger for the Forest Service in the Arkansas valley in Colorado. What all these jobs have in common is the opportunity to connect with folks of all walks of life, in the outdoors, in hopes of gaining a deeper sense of place and appreciation for our natural environment! Core values that drive Julia are growth, authenticity, lightheartedness, and grit.

When Julia isn’t guiding- she is on her mountain bike, climbing, skiing or paddling! Anything that makes her feel connected to the outdoors, her community, and bone tired at the end of the day. On rest days she makes darn good banana bread and tries to learn the guitar.

Trent Moulder
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Trent grew up on the waters of Pensacola, Florida where he enjoyed plentiful fishing, sea kayaking and competitive beach volleyball. He obtained a degree in Microbiology at Mississippi State University, where his passion for uncovering the curiosities of the natural world led him to study infectious diseases. After working in the pharmaceutical industry for a short time, Trent discovered that science could be communicated in a more meaningful way.

How did this beach bum find his way to the last frontier? Some say he rode on the back of a dolphin; others have heard he mistook the Alaskan snow for the white sands of Florida’s gulf coast. Either way, this change in latitude has provided Trent with a means to share his love for exploration and ecology. Being an adrenaline junkie, he never turns down a spontaneous adventure and thrives on sharing these memories with others. In his off time, you may find Trent lounging at a local coffee shop, trail running or mountain climbing. He may be the only one in Seward sporting flip-flops… that is if he has shoes on at all.

Erin Rowland
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Erin grew up in the country stomping through creeks and chasing waterfalls throughout Tennessee. In college she discovered her passion for guiding by working for the outdoors department on campus teaching fellow students: rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, mountain biking, and white water rafting. After college she drove West to spend the next several years leading multi-day trips through big cities and National Parks all over the US teaching guests about the local wildlife, geology, and the unique history of each region. Between guiding and personal trips she’s driven over 82,000 miles, crossed the country 20 times, guided in 32 different National Parks, and has visited all 50 states. There are few things she enjoys more than introducing people to new places and experiences.Drawn to Alaska for its ruggedness and abundance in wild spaces. She looks forward to showing KAW guests around and helping them interpret what mother nature has to show and tell us.

In her spare time extracurricular activities include; planning backcountry adventures for between guiding seasons, escape rooms, listening to true crime podcasts, and foraging for wild berries in the woods.

Sam Walker
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Sam attributes his love of the outdoors to the countless camping and backpacking trips he took throughout Northern California as a kid. This passion for experiencing and showing others the beauty of nature followed him to the University of Colorado where he received a Bachelors in Environmental Design.

He has been fortunate to hold jobs of many different capacities all over the US, learning different skills, lessons, and values from each one. After working as a Sea Kayak Guide in the San Juan Islands of Washington state he knew that he had to follow this passion to a new, breathtaking location – Alaska.

When not out on the water you will likely find him hiking, bouldering, or playing basketball. Additionally, it will be hard to find someone with a greater love of Orca Whales than Sam. He is thrilled to show and share the grandeur of the Kenai Peninsula with you!

Kassidy O'Donnell
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator

Originating from the suburbs of Chicago, Kassidy has had a deep connection to the planet from the start. While spending her days as a child outside, she quickly knew that a life surrounded by, and immersed in, nature was the only way for her. Kassidy went on to get an undergraduate degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation from The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. From there, she fled West where the mountains reign and the swift rivers carve what seems to be a limitless landscape. She spent a few seasons exploring the rivers of Montana and Idaho as a raft guide, then soaked up all the Southern California sun while teaching children the importance of a relationship with their environment.

Kassidy finds joy and fulfillment in educating students of all ages from an outdoor classroom. Her passions include living sustainably, playing and listening to music, cooking, reading, and photography. She is eager to share this exquisite landscape with others while learning and growing through wilderness adventure and great conversation.

Hillary Hunter
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Hillary was born and raised in rainy, Southeast Alaska. Her father worked for the recreational department of the Forest Service in the Tongass National Forest, providing her a special introduction to the outdoors; their family adventures jump started her love affair with wilderness. After getting her BA in photography in Bozeman, Montana, she has been lucky and privileged to have many opportunities to continue expanding her love of remote places in and outside of Alaska. These have included teaching in Madagascar for Peace Corps, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and deckhanding / assisting with tours in Molokai, Hawai’i. All of these adventures have led her back to Alaska and its one-of-a-kind expanses.

Hillary loves art, eating, backpacking, scuba diving, cross country skiing, and kayaking. Hands-on experiences in a place, balanced with wonder and knowledge, have created true connections throughout her life. She can’t wait to facilitate these feelings for guests while paddling the waters of her home state!

Adrian Carrio
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Adrian has always been driven to explore new places and seek adventure. Originally from Colorado, Adrian has had an eclectic assortment of passions from being a racecar driver, to more recently a farm-to-table chef in the remote southern Utah desert. While there Adrian developed a deep appreciation for land conservation. He feels the restorative power of wild places is worth protecting and sharing with others. Committed to building his relationship with nature Adrian is excited to share his love of adventure and the raw natural beauty of the Kenai Peninsula with KAW guests.

When Adrian is not kayaking he enjoys his time running, hiking, backpacking, taking pictures of nature and the night sky. His long passion for food also enables him to enjoy some of his favorite things like crusty artisan bread, chocolate, and charcuterie.

After many years of exploring different places he can’t wait to share what makes Alaska truly a unique and worthwhile place to discover.

Justine Bright
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Justine has a background in wilderness trail work and conservation, mostly in the Western Rocky Mountains and Alaska. She grew up in a city in the Pacific Northwest, and always found the greatest sense of wonder and “home” in the damp woods of the Cascades and on the Pacific Coast.

Her move to Montana began a journey that she expects will last the rest of her life, of pursuing the curiosity and deep respect she feels for the natural environment. She studied Wildlife Biology and worked in the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church Wilderness areas, and explored as much of the Rockies and surrounding mountain ranges as she could find time for. She learned backcountry planning and travel skills, lots of flora and fauna, history, and policy. More importantly though, she learned how it feels to learn to trust others, herself, and the landscape, and lean into wild and new experiences. She hopes to bring the joy and growth that she has found in all the landscapes she has traveled to each day this season.

Adam Marcinkowski
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Originally from the East Coast, Adam grew up running around the woods of Vermont. During his teenage years he started to become more passionate about technical adventure sports and began to seek out opportunities to push his comfort zone on rock, snow, and water. In addition to ‘yakin Adam enjoy backcountry skiing and rock climbing. He loves waking up early to see the sunrise, and dislikes cold water – but as he says, you never regret a dip!

Adam has been working in the guiding industry seasonally since 2016, for multiple organizations. He has lead bike and backpacking trips, canoe and sea kayaking voyages, and rock climbing expeditions from coast to coast. Adam has wanted to visit and guide in Alaska for many years and is excited for the opportunity to join the KAW team! In addition to guiding, he hopes to  pursue a career in technical rescue. Adam graduated from St. Lawrence University in the spring of 2021.

Sam Blair
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment 
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Sam grew up catching frogs and stinging nettles in the hills and valleys of Western Massachusetts. As he has gotten older, he has continued to find fun and meaning (as well as the occasional frog) in wild places.

Sam received his B.A. at the University of Vermont, where he designed his own major in Natural History. During his undergrad years, he worked seasonally as a hiking guide, environmental educator, and field biologist. Since graduating, he has worked as a naturalist in Aspen, CO, guiding visitors and locals into the mountains to discover their own connections with wildflowers, glacial valleys, and ground squirrels.

Sam loves reading nerdy books and making yummy food (often at the same time), and will gladly sing you a selection of his favorite bird songs upon request. A New England boy at heart, he puts plenty of maple syrup in his coffee, and sometimes takes little sips from the bottle just to check if it’s good. He can’t wait to share this special place with you!

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.