Heather is a spirited ecologist, adventurer, saver of animals, and professional photographer. She has a background in wildlife ecology with a keen interest in behavioral sciences. After working with various mammals in North America as a terrestrial wildlife field technician, she moved to the Pacific Northwest where she worked on the Salish Sea as a whale watching captain and marine educator for four years. During this time, she shifted her focus from terrestrial wildlife to killer whales and other marine mammals. She specialized in killer whale identification, behavior, and biology. In 2017, Heather logged her first season in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park working as a vessel captain and marine science educator. She shifted gears again and worked in Alaska for a second season (2018) this time inspiring those in search of epic adventures and education through Austin Adventures! This will be Heathers second year guiding for AA and she is super stoked to stay in the lower 48 this time, surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes and humans.
Though her adventures have taken her far and wide, she was raised in small town Vermont and is still every bit of a small-town girl. When she’s not traveling or spending time with her favorite killer whales, you can find her off an old dirt road at a quiet barn spending time with her horses and dogs. As for the ‘real-world-goodness’, when she is not guiding she connects people and horses professionally (otherwise known as horse training), is helping to build the first ever eco-therapy center in Texas, works as a veterinary technician at a high intake animal shelter, and works diligently at rescue options for shelter dogs in central Texas where she currently lives. Though we live in a world where wild spaces are becoming increasingly rare to explore, Heather envisions a bright future for us all; one full of life, color, and the endless possibilities of becoming lost, and finding oneself, in and amongst nature (with an adopted dog by your side)! She can’t wait to connect with you!
What’s Your Favorite Vacation Destination?
Alaska, Norway, South Africa, and Antartica.
What’s Your Favorite Hike?
So many to choose from…I’m going to bend the rules here and add in my favorite places to hike: Denali National Park, Jasper National Park, Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island, and the Firry Furnace in Arches National Park.
What’s Your Favorite Bike Ride?
The west side of San Juan Island, easily. Anywhere where you can see whales, terrestrial mammals, birds of prey, amazing scenery and sunsets has my vote!
I’m definitely in love with the Outland series, don’t lie, you know you are too!
His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
Ends of the Earth by Lord Huron
When Did You First Catch the Travel Bug?
I was literally born to travel! I live to experience diverse wildlife, new cultures, and wild landscapes.
What are your Hobbies?
The better question is what aren’t my hobbies?! I’ve been known to try anything, but my most favorite activities are always outside. These are a few of my favorite things: working with horses and trail riding in the mountains, whale watching at sunset, fishing, slacklining, hiking, snowshoeing, photography, swimming, camping, teaching, gardening, getting to know new people, traveling…you get the idea 🙂