Anne grew up in the Pacific Northwest, in a family that took every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. She spent childhood vacations camping out at the end of unmaintained roads and in nearly deserted forest service campsites. With her family, Anne hiked, cross-country skied and backpacked around many of Washington’s most beautiful wild places. Her love of the outdoors, and specifically wilderness, has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember.
While earning her biology degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Anne studied tropical biology and conservation in the lush cloud forests of Costa Rica. As a child, Anne had scavenged coins from couch cushions and her parents' jeans pockets to contribute to a classroom campaign to buy an acre of rain forest in the Children's Eternal Rain Forest in Costa Rica. Little did she know that more than a decade later, she would have the opportunity to walk under the canopy of that protected forest, realizing a lifelong dream of visiting a tropical rain forest, and in particular the one she helped protect! This experience launched her pursuit of ecological study and education.
Anne took her interest in plant ecology to research projects in Panama's Caribbean mangrove forests, where she built up her tolerance to mosquitoes and other "bothersome" insects. After a couple years spent mostly among thick tropical forests, she began dreaming of a life in the wide-open. It seemed a natural progression to move on to the tundra and glacially carved valleys of the Alaska Range. She began working as a naturalist guide in Denali National Park in 2002 and has called Denali home ever since. With over a dozen years leading intrepid and inquisitive guests on hikes and wildlife viewing trips in Alaska, Anne knows the country well and loves to share it with others. She is known to get up close and personal with the tundra, from burrowing her arms deep in the ground in search of permafrost to settling in for a tundra nap on the soft sphagnum moss. Anne is passionate about her adopted state and has traveled widely throughout Alaska, from the temperate rain forests of the southeast to its northernmost town of Barrow. While Alaska’s incredible wildlife is of particular interest to Anne, she loves interpreting the landscape as a whole, studying the interconnectedness of the state's ecosystems, including intersections with the human element.
Like the Arctic tern, Anne chases the sun south all the way to Antarctica during the boreal winters. She finds herself most at home in polar regions and uses her expertise in these realms to support scientific research at some of Antarctica's most remote field camps. From the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to the Transantarctic Mountains, Anne spends the austral summers alongside atmospheric and climate scientists, paleo botanists, glaciologists and other Antarctic researchers. Off the clock, Anne spends much of her time working on the home she built in Denali, gardening, traveling overseas, backpacking, skiing and baking. In an effort to share something she's passionate about, and to inspire children with healthy life choices, she volunteers as a ski coach for a week each spring with NANANordic, a nonprofit organization that supports cross-country skiing in rural Native villages scattered off the road system in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic.
Upcoming Adventures with Anne:
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"Anne always had a smile and helping hand to everyone. She has a talent of judging the abilities of each person and encouraged all to experience Iceland within their comfort zone. It was easy to trust her abilities as an expert guide. Anne engaged personally with every member of the group. She was always positive and enthusiastic! She handled changes with poise, calm and maturity seamlessly. What a skill! From lost luggage to changes due to weather, there was never a doubt that she would have it all worked out in no time - and she did. Thank you, Natural Habitat, for sharing this incredible young woman with our group. This trip was one of the best ever!"
"Anne was an amazing guide!!! I feel we were so fortunate to have had her as our guide through Iceland. I assume one of the best at Natural Habitat. She shared a wealth of information about Iceland: its history, formation, continuing formation, local birds, local plants, wildlife, and the wonderful people. She was eager to answer any questions and share information with visual aids of books and the iPad which proved to be so helpful. We left our trip feeling like we truly experienced Iceland because of Anne. Her enthusiasm about Iceland was contagious."
"Anne is an amazing leader. Not only is she really knowledgeable about everything Alaska and takes very good care of us but her personal life is really entertaining! We loved hearing about her life in Alaska! It added so much to the trip to hear about the adventures and experiences she has had! She loves Alaska and loves sharing her state with Nat Hab guests!"
"Anne was simply amazing! It was obvious that her care of the group was her priority. She made sure everyone was satisfied with their experience, and made an extraordinary effort to ensure a wonderful trip, including finding all the "stuff" we seemed to lose or misplace (from water bottles to wallets), making an extra stop for hot chocolate on a rainy day, and arranging special requests made by group members. Anne was very knowledgeable and organized. Plus, she was just a sweetheart - always happy and upbeat. She made the trip a joy!"
"Of my many trips, Anne is one of the top leaders if not the top. She is friendly, knowledgeable, has a sense of humor, looks for opportunities to show travelers things. She goes out of her way to help us. She took care of my CPAP when one of the airlines was fussy about carry on luggage. She was dependable and I could rely on her without question that she would have it. She was always making sure we were paying attention to safety especially in regard to the many bears we encountered. You could not have a more competent, professional, helpful, knowledgeable leader who goes out of her way to make sure we are comfortable as well!! Hip Hip Hooray for Anne."
S. Fox Elmer
"We LOVED Anne! She educated us about all aspects of Alaska - history, geology, ecology, wildlife, culture, etc. Her own personal experiences enhanced the education she was able to share with us. She was super helpful and attentive to each of us. Anne went above and beyond!!!!"