Natural Habitat Adventures

Wendy Redal

Born and raised near Seattle, Wendy got her first backpack from the original REI store when she was 7, a gift from her P.E.-teacher dad who made sure she used it plenty on wide-ranging forays into the outdoors during long summer vacations spent on trails and in canoes. She grew up exploring Puget Sound at her doorstep, the Cascade Mountains behind her, and the wilds of British Columbia to the north.

Wendy isn’t exactly sure when Alaska first took hold of her heart. It might have been at age 10, when the family adopted a stray Alaskan malamute that became her constant companion (a few decades later, she’s now on her fifth one). Or it may have been in her early teens as she scoured maps of the Alaska Highway and dreamed of a road trip north with her dad, who was keen to fish for salmon on the Kenai Peninsula. But one thing is certain: her love for the Last Frontier became a lifelong passion once she landed her first summer job in Alaska aboard a sightseeing boat between Skagway and Juneau at age 19. That entree led to many summers directing tours throughout Alaska and the Yukon Territory as Wendy honed a deep knowledge of northern natural history, geography and wildlife. Other guiding stints evolved in the Pacific Northwest, Canadian Rockies, New England and Maritime Canada.

Wendy’s travel career took a detour into academia when she moved to Boulder to pursue a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Colorado. That plan morphed into a Ph.D. in media studies, and on completion of her doctorate, Wendy continued teaching at CU-Boulder with a focus on environmental communication. She held a simultaneous post as program coordinator for the Center for Environmental Journalism and has been a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists while pursuing various freelance writing projects in the arena of conservation, natural resource management, sustainability and eco-travel.

Eventually, the call of the wild—specifically, the Alaskan wild—became too strong to resist any longer. Once her son and daughter fledged for college, Wendy set her sights on getting back up north, this time as an Expedition Leader with Nat Hab. Her love for Alaska has been unflagging, and she finds joy in facilitating others' discovery of America’s grandest wilderness. When she’s not traveling (her friends insist that is never—her travel resume is pushing 70 countries, and her life goal is to visit at least 100), Wendy enjoys time with her family, hiking and skiing in the Colorado Rockies, reading, cooking, singing in community choirs, attending music and film festivals, and working on behalf of public lands conservation. She lives with her husband in Boulder but divides her heart with her native Northwest, which she will always call "home."
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