Meet Our Team

We are a tight-knit community of passionate outdoor enthusiasts

Inspiration Through Education


We are all connected by a deep love of Alaska and the wilderness around us – as well as the desire to share these wonders with you.  Each spring we conduct a 3+ week intensive guide training for our staff (new & returning), and 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 local experience with a deeper understanding of the flora, fauna, and history of the area. Most of our guides have completed higher education in this field and hold degrees in Adventure Education, Outdoor Education, and other related areas. We are all here to provide the best experience possible for you, and we work very hard to that end… both behind the scenes and while on the job.

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Trenton Gould
  • Owner
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 3 Sea Kayaking Instructor
  • 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 Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Tracer 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.

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Suzanne Hassanein
  • Logistics Coordinator

Raised in New England, Suzanne is well versed in backpacking the White Mountain National Forest and galavanting through the many paths of New Hampshire in trail shoes, snowshoes and roller blades. She received her B.S. in Business Management from Keene State College and has a knack for coordinating logistics. She is a resource for all information related to Kayak Adventures Worldwide and can be found at the front desk of our shop most days. As an avid learner of all things nature, science, and culture related, Suzanne aspires to learn something new everyday. This includes learning new things about you, our incredible guests! As an early riser, and a coffee drinker Suzanne is ready to help facilitate your Kayak Adventures here in
Seward!

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Joe Kiefer
  • Guide Manager
  • Guide
  • 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!

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Erin McDowell
  • Day-Trip Manager
  • 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. She can be found enjoying long walks on a slackline, snowboarding, or marveling at the beauty of life from the comfort of her kayak.

Graduating from Bucknell University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Erin has developed a passion for the natural world and sharing it with others. As a wilderness trip leader for Bucknell, she gained four years of experience guiding kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, rock-climbing, skiing/snowboarding, and caving trips.

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 have now brought her to Alaska, where she enthusiastically awaits the opportunity to share some of Alaska’s beauty with all of KAW’s guests!

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Garrett Phelps
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Garrett digs wild weather, wildlife, and wild places. Since arriving in Seward back in 2015, he’s realized you don’t have to pick a favorite between the ocean, the rainforest or the mountains, when you can find them all in one incredible place. 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 is happiest in the off-season camping in the desert, filming music festivals, journaling at coffee shops, playing folk guitar with friends, surfing at sunset, meeting new animals, impromptu cross-country road trips, goofing with his awesome niece and nephew, and can’t wait to start kayaking through ice again with people from all over the world – 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!

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Bekah Sanders
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Bekah is really excited to share all that this little corner of Seward, Alaska has to offer. A born and raised Washingtonian, from Des Moines, WA, Bekah joins us again this summer afer a year in Lander, Wyoming. Like many people, she found her ‘happy place’ in the outdoors, with paddling being her most favorite of all the things that can be done outside. This will be Bekah’s sixth year working as a guide / instructor / educator. Her favorite part of any tour is getting to share a moment of awe with guests; be it awe of nature in its rawest form, awe invoked by curiosity and learning, or awe of the people we get to cross paths with. Bekah is of the opinion that any time in Alaska is time well spent, so whether you are here for a day or a lifetime, she want to help guests have the experience they’re looking for.

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Aidan Lee
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 3 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Leave No Trace Trainer

Aidan fell in love with Alaska on a month-long NOLS course, backpacking in the Alaska Range. Since then, he traded his pack for a paddle and spent three seasons as a sea kayak guide in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, whilst completing his degree in Ecology at the University of Minnesota.

He has also worked as a field technician on a long-term field study of the effects of climate change on plant communities. Aidan found his excuse back to the 49th state via an internship at Seward’s Alaska SeaLife Center in the avian husbandry department, where he nurtured a fondness for uncommon waterfowl.

On the water, he is always quick to put down the paddle and pick up his ‘nocs in hopes of spotting a lifer. In his free time, Aidan enjoys building yurts, strumming chords on his guitar, and cross-country skiing. He firmly believes that there is no bad day on the water, and loves to share his passion for paddling and the outdoors with others.

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

Glo really, really loves outside. A native of the central Colorado Rockies, she grew up crosscountry skiing, paddling on the Arkansas River, and backpacking in California, Maine, and a few states in between. She has a degree in Writing from Columbia College Chicago and has taught sea kayaking and coastal paddling skills on Lake Michigan. Glo is passionate about protecting the Great Lakes and other beautiful waterways in North America. More recently, she worked as an EMT in Chicago. Since then, Glo has made her way north to Seward, and she is so excited to share Alaska with our guests. She also loves Jeopardy! way too much.

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Nelson Brown
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Another East Coaster that moved West for a big adventure. Nelson was born in a small town in Vermont and later moved to New Hampshire, where he grew up playing in the woods and fields. With a true love and passion for recreation and the outdoors he went to the University of New Hampshire to study Recreation Management and Policy. After a great four years at UNH he traveled west to Sun Valley, Idaho where he lived for a summer interning at the Blaine County Rec Dept. He returned East and accepted a job as the Assistant Director for the Waterville Valley Recreation Dept in the beautiful White Mountains of NH. Here Nelson coordinated teen summer adventure camp, community events, after school programs, promoted adult fitness programs, and welcomed vacationers into the valley. In his free time you will find him hiking, backpacking, fly fishing or skiing with his partner, Suzanne. A true passion of his is photography so you’ll always find him behind the lens documenting adventures. Nelson couldn’t be more stoked to share his excitement with our guest and experience the epic landscapes and natural beauty of Alaska together.

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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!

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Jac Sanborn
  • Guide
  • ACA Level 2 Sea Kayaking Skills Assessment
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Alaska Tour Guide

Starting at a young age, Jac began traveling and exploring various national parks throughout California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Montana with her adventurous family. She then spent her college years on the central coast of California, navigating coastal hikes and beaches in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. Most recently Jac finished up a two month road trip through Western Australia camping, hiking, kayaking and otherwise exploring from Perth to Darwin in her 4×4 vehicle equipped with a roof tent. When she’s not enjoying the great outdoors she enjoys dancing, live music, playing soccer & volleyball, and learning to draw on her iPad. Jac loves sharing her enthusiasm for nature with others and is stoked to lead some unforgettable tours this summer!

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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.