Elise’s passion for travel and interpretation is obvious when you learn about the places she has chosen to live, work and travel. A degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College in Arizona introduced her to the world of interpreting nature, which has evolved into both a passion and profession.
Since 1993, Elise has worked as a naturalist-at-large in latitudes both north and south. Her naturalist career started in the jungles of Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador working as a resident naturalist at remote jungle lodges. After discovering Alaska, Elise’s path shifted north, and for 20 years she has been leading natural history-focused trips on both land and sea. Outside of Alaska Elise leads polar bear trips in Churchill, Canada and has worked as a staff member on expedition ships traveling to the Arctic, Antarctic, Russian Far East and the Sea of Cortez, Baja. There is nothing she enjoys more than integrating biological, cultural and historical information and sharing that with intrepid travelers. When she is not working or traveling, Elise resides near the entrance of Denali National Park or depending on the season, the island of Kauai.
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"We felt SO LUCKY to have been assigned to Elise's group. Her knowledge of the arctic flora and fauna, climate science and basically all of our earth's creatures and habitats is extremely extensive, and her visual aids on the ipad and posters were very informative. We had a professor of polar studies in our group, as well as several teachers, naturalist volunteers and experienced travelers. No question stumped her, she could give you a thorough but succinct answer, while still focusing on finding as many bear viewing opportunities as possible for us."
"Elise was terrific .. upbeat, accommodating, knowledgeable, approachable, interesting, funny, easy to chat with, and very flexible. I admire her way of life and how she lives what she loves."
"Elise was a joy to be with. She is a born teacher and communicator and her knowledge about Polar Bears and all things related to them was enormous. She is easy going and friendly. You are indeed fortunate to have her as a guide."
"Elise was attentive to every detail, question, situation and if she didn't know it, which I think only happened once, she got back to us. I asked if the ability for sighting wildlife was part of the job requirements. She was always looking and still present with the group, constantly interacting. She could sight things out of nowhere. There was never a time, even upon trying to get in the extra activities in Churchill at the last minute that we ever felt that she didn't have it all together and that we were her most important traveler. It is amazing the knowledge she has on Canada, the history, the current culture, the animals, and the interest she has in learning from her clients, espeically since she is not from the area. She is an outstanding employee and because of her and the rest of the staff we encountered I would not hesitate to recommend your company or take another trip with her or even another guide."
"Obviously, all "excellents" gives you a pretty clear idea of how I feel about our personal guide. Elise is just a gem. She is first and foremost completely amazing in her knowledge about Churchill, polar bears, flora, fauna, history, etc., etc. Our group was very inquisitive about everything under the sun, and Elise seemed to know everything. If she wasn't sure of an answer, she checked rather than guess, and we knew the answer by the next morning. She did a great job delivering the material. I never felt she talked on and on, although I now feel knowledgeable beyond my expectations. I watched how Elise related to all the different participants in our tour. She was warm, friendly, professional, humorous, and helpful. Elise went out of her way to please and assist everyone, and best yet, she made every thing seem effortless. I hope to have another opportunity to travel with Elise in the future."
"In all of our years of travelling we have never had a guide as dedicated, knowledgable, hard working, pleasant, helpful as Elise. Elise made this trip extra special and without her it would not have been the best trip we have ever had. We hope Nat Hab realizes what a remarkable lady Elise is."