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Liz Gifford

Liz is a wilderness guide and photography instructor in some of the most remote parts of the world. With her undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology and her master’s in teaching, she is a natural and curious leader, always looking for an opportunity to teach and discuss what she sees around her. Most recently her “office” has included sea kayaking in Antarctica with humpback whales, teaching photography under the imposing edifice of Denali, and living her Pippi Longstocking dreams while immersed in the cultures of Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Liz has always had an affinity for living on or near water and currently calls Juneau, Alaska home. She first moved to Alaska almost 20 years ago to combine her love of the outdoors with her passion for education. She enrolled at the University of Southeast Alaska and obtained her Outdoor Leadership Skills certificate. Her favorite class was by far expedition sea kayaking. So, when offered a job with the U.S, Forest Service as a wilderness ranger traveling primarily by sea kayak, she jumped at the chance and spent three seasons protecting and educating visitors in the remote wildernesses of Glacier Bay National Park and Tracy Arm Wilderness Area.

Liz firmly believes in lifelong education and takes any opportunity to expand upon her skills. Most recently, Liz has been working on gaining more experience on the ocean and how to help people be safer in the outdoors. She earned her Master’s 100 Ton Captain’s license and is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician. Liz is certified through the American Canoe Association to be a sea kayak instructor and has taught kayak courses for the National Park Service. All of these certifications have helped her as a “bi-polar” guide in the Antarctic and the Arctic waters. She has been a sea kayaking and photography guide on small tourists ships that ply the remote ice filled waters of Svalbard, Greenland and Shackleton’s South Georgia for the last seven years. Liz is also a certified yoga instructor and has taught classes on the Big Island of Hawaii and amongst the penguins and orcas of Antarctica.

When she is not guiding, you can find Liz with a cup of coffee in one hand, her camera in the other, and if she had a third hand it would be holding a glass of her favorite wine, vinho verde from Portugal. She apologizes in advance for all of the puns and bad jokes she can’t help but share. It is a genetic fault which she blames entirely on her dad. Most importantly, Liz loves exploring wild places, especially in the company of amazing individuals who also feel compelled to visit them.

Upcoming Adventures with Liz:
Discover Greenland: The Natural Habitat Experience
Paddling Portugal's River of Wine

Praise from Nat Hab travelers:

W. Hoffman
"My wife and I have been on about 25 tours with various travel companies, but we have never, ever had guides as superb and competent as Liz and Anne! They are delightful women with a can-do attitude and a pioneering spirit appropriate to Alaska. We were in the wilds, but Liz and Anne worked together to make our tour absolutely smooth. They both were resourceful, thoughtful and superb in follow-up situations. Liz knows just about everything about photography. Anne has spirited tales of her annual work in Antarctica. Wow! You can't pay these two women enough!"

D. Dietrich
"Liz was amazing. She had everything under control throughout the trip but was also very patient with everybody in the use of the kayaks. She was entertaining with her commentary and her silly jokes. She was a great help in educating us on the culture, especially the language, throughout the trip."

S. Riley
"Liz, as well as being efficient and pleasant, put in enormous efforts to ensure that she enhanced everyone's photographic skills despite the group being individually at different levels. She provided support, workshops and photographic activities throughout the trip, and in two weeks has developed my photography beyond my wildest dreams."

M. Fox
"Liz is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and fun. She is a great Expedition Leader and is just the best! I'd go any trip with her."

C. Goodyer
"Liz was an amazing guide for our trip: enthusiastic, always a smile on her face and a joke to keep us laughing, helped improve my kayaking skills, provided an excellent commentary on the Portuguese countryside/towns/quintas we visited and very sympathetic to our needs/desires. She is a wonderful Expedition Leader."
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