As a kid, Katie wore mom-made, whale-covered jumpers (the uniform of the cool kid, right?!). In high school, she developed a study abroad program so that she could travel to Spain and see what more of the world was like. In college, she spent six weeks on a tall ship, sailing from Massachusetts to the Caribbean using a sextant. Through these experiences, she started to piece together the planet from a cultural and environmental perspective.
Katie earned a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where a yearning for adventure in higher latitudes implanted itself in her imagination. She blames it on library procrastination, where she stumbled upon a book about the ecological impact of decaying ships. The feature article was about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, The Endurance
, which was beset in the Antarctic sea ice in 1914. And thus, her journey began.
In 2014, Katie sold her home and hit the road. Starting in Antarctica, she traveled from 68 degrees south to 82 degrees north—just 500 nautical miles from the North Pole. Her modes of transport included a 400-foot-long Russian research vessel and a converted Toyota Matrix car-home, which she drove to Alaska with her dog as co-pilot.
When she isn’t chasing higher latitudes, Katie seeks higher elevations at her home along the Cascades in Hood River, Oregon, where she lives with her dog, Mollie. She finds ice wherever possible, and works as a porter for glacier cave research expeditions around the Pacific Northwest. She is eager to share Greenland's northern reaches with her guests, and looks forward to exploring more of the polar planet.
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"It was really great, and unexpected to find a leader so passionate about her job, intelligent and knowledgable. A wonderful cheerful personality and a great presenter. She was a rare find. I find it difficult to suggest improvements but seeing her drive I am positive she will. Don't lose her!"
"I have traveled extensively and found Katie to be one of the best tour leaders I have ever had. You are so lucky to have her on your team and we so lucky to have her as our guide."
"Katie was genuinely concerned about each one of us. She interacted with all of us, told us many facts regarding the scenery and subject animals. She answered questions in a very knowledgeable way. She made each of us feel important. She kept us on a schedule in a friendly and reasonable manner. She kept us entertained when the environment was more mundane which in turn kept us interested. Plus she is adorable and has a continuous and friendly smile and personality."
"Katie was extremely knowledgeable and very articulate--no hem or hawing!! She did everything in an excellent and kind way. She was responsive to requests by anyone. She was delightful and I would love to travel with her again! She made this one of my best trips--and I have done many around the world."
"I cannot say enough good things about Katie. She was the perfect guide: knowledgeable, attentive, organized, but not overbearing. She did a great job of filling in the "down time" on the Rover with knowledge about earth science topics, additional polar species (that we would not be seeing on the trip due to different habitat/etc), and information about the local community. Her passion about polar regions was inspiring and definitely makes me want to take one of her trips in Antarctica or Greenland. Katie's leadership was THE BEST aspect of the trip and the part of the trip that MOST exceeded my expectations."
"Katie was by far the best guide I've ever had on any short or long trip. She's energetic, enthusiastic, patient, smiley and pleasant, as well as incredibly knowledgeable. When she didn't know something she was always willing to look into it. As a scientist, I loved that she had a good scientific background as well. She was also open to hearing more about the biological aspects, since those are areas of knowledge of my spouse and me."
"Katie was so interactive with our group and also facilitated group interactions that made the trip top-notch by my account. She shared so much relevant information about the region and wildlife that truly intrigued the group throughout the entire trip. It was wonderful to have a guide with a great sense of humor, warm hospitality skills, and such a sweet honest caring side for the groups overall safety."
Upcoming Adventures with Katie:
Polar Bears of Churchill