Natural Habitat Adventures

Kenn Magowan

Kenn is the Assistant Base Camp Manager at Base Camp Greenland. Born in Rhode Island with a restless and adventurous spirit, Kenn spent his early years wandering between the ocean and rivers until his travels eventually landed him in Alaska. During more than two decades as a wildlife and kayak guide, Kenn has led hundreds of paddling trips throughout remote and pristine areas of Alaska, Canada’s Northwest Territories, Svalbard and Antarctica.

At the University of Alaska Southeast, Kenn pursued outdoor education and Alaska wilderness studies, and bolstered his knowledge of the natural surroundings by absorbing skills for remote self-sufficiency by studying diesel engines, marine electrical systems, boat building and woodworking—a fine accumulation of skills that should come in handy at Base Camp Greenland.

Remote living is something Kenn has done before. Living 65 miles from the nearest village more than 500 miles from the nearest road, he worked as a dog handler in western Alaska, training dogs to run the 1,100-mile Iditarod and managing 75 miles of trap line on the upper Anvik and lower Yellow rivers. He lived a subsistence lifestyle, without electricity or modern conveniences, where long hours in sub-zero conditions were the norm and a harsh environment left little margin for poor judgment.

Since 1993, Kenn has led kayak, rafting and canoe trips in remote areas of Alaska, arranging everything from food and equipment to pre-trip information for his guests. He takes great pride in his attention to detail, and has proven his mettle as lead guide in managing to be everything from natural history interpreter to camp chef. In addition, Kenn spent a year as the Kayak Master aboard the M/V Akademik Sergey Vavilov, leading close-up viewing of polar bears, walrus and other Arctic wildlife in Svalbard and Spitsbergen. On shore, Kenn has more recently led pack trips among the densest population of brown bears in the world on Admiralty Island.

Further demonstrating his logistical prowess, after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, Kenn traveled there as a volunteer to help assist 70 at-risk orphans who were in the midst of legitimate adoption processes without access to vital documents that had been destroyed in the Ministry of Interior. Kenn enjoys cycling and hiking, having hiked the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail and pedaled across North America, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. Gregarious and easy-going, he makes his home between the ocean and mountains in Juneau, Alaska.

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