The Azores & Canary Islands

April 28, 2015 - May 14, 2015

Especially chosen for this voyage, our team of expert leaders and lecturers serves to bring a comprehensive educational component to your adventure through lectures, guided excursions, and daily recaps.

Mike Messick (Expedition Leader)

Mike Messick

Mike was raised in Switzerland and began working in expedition travel during a summer break from college. He graduated in 1985 from Skidmore College with a degree in bio/psychology. One of the best expedition leaders in the business, Mike embarked on a full-time career in adventure travel shortly after graduation and has since visited more than 170 countries around the world. Mike has conducted research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in its onshore laboratory and aboard one of its research vessels. He is a member of The Explorers Club, holds a U.S.

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Kelsey Simmons

Kelsey Simmons

Kelsey is a graduate of the University of Washington Art History program and came to Zegrahm Expeditions with a passion for travel. After graduating from UW in 2006 and studying abroad in Rome, Kelsey spent time traveling in Europe and living in various places along the west coast. Ultimately, her love for the Pacific Northwest brought her back to the Seattle area where she currently lives, with her Alaskan malamute. By nature Kelsey is very friendly, dedicated, and detail-oriented.  

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Jack Grove

Jack Grove

A marine biologist and professional naturalist, Jack has spent much of the past two decades traveling on, and lecturing about, the world's oceans. Cofounder of Zegrahm Expeditions and research associate in the Section of Fishes at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Jack is a leading authority on the fishes and marine environments of the eastern tropical Pacific. For seven years he lived in the Galápagos, where he carried out extensive marine biological studies.

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Peter Harrison

Peter Harrison

Peter Harrison, MBE - A professional birder, artist, author, and screenwriter, Peter is widely considered the world's foremost authority on seabirds. Often credited with having seen more seabirds than anyone, past or present, Peter has written and illustrated over a dozen books, of which Seabirds: An Identification Guide is considered the bible of seabird identification. Peter has led expeditions the world over and is noted for his quick thinking and derring-do in tight situations.

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Shirley Metz

Shirley Metz

Shirley is a modern-day adventurer and explorer. In 1989 she became the first woman, and one of the first Americans in history, to ski overland to the South Pole, a journey of over 800 miles. She has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records, and in 1989 the Soviet minister of polar research and exploration bestowed his country's prestigious Polar Award upon Shirley, the only woman to receive this distinction. Shirley is a cofounder of Zegrahm Expeditions and a member of both The Explorers Club and the Society of Woman Geographers.

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Mark Brazil

Mark Brazil

Mark developed his fascination with the natural world, especially birds and mammals, during his boyhood in the landlocked English county of Worcestershire. He pursued academic interests in biology during studies in England and Scotland, while exploring the coasts and mountains of Britain in search of birds. Mark earned his PhD from Stirling University, Scotland, for his work on avian behavioral-ecology in Iceland and Scotland.

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Ralph Eshelman

Ralph Eshelman

Dr. Ralph Eshelman was director of the Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, Maryland, from 1974 to 1990 and is a specialist in maritime history, polar exploration, vertebrate paleontology, and cultural resource management. He received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Michigan with a major in geology and vertebrate paleontology and a minor in ecology. Ralph is a research associate in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He is widely published and lectures on maritime and military history, polar exploration, and paleontology.

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Ellen McIlvaine

Ellen McIlvaine

Ellen grew up exploring the mountains and rivers of Idaho where she whet her curiosity for adventure. She completed her degree in theater and sociology in India and has studied, lived, worked, and traveled extensively throughout Asia. Eager to work with intrepid travelers and on true expeditions, Ellen joined the Zegrahm team in July of 2012 and has worked as an Expedition Advisor, Project Manager, and Cruise Director. When she isn't in the Zegrahm office or on an expedition, Ellen teaches yoga and explores the Pacific Northwest from her home base in Seattle.   

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Michael Moore

Michael Moore

A Chicago native, Mike earned both his B.S. in biology and an M.S. degree in ecology, ethology, and evolution at the University of Illinois. Since then he has spent 10 years conducting research around the Pacific Rim, where he lived in the highlands of New Guinea, logged hundreds of hours beneath its waters working for conservation organizations, and taught field biology courses for the University of PNG.

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Rich Pagen

Rich Pagen

Rich first became enthralled by the wonders of the natural world around the tide pools and forests of his native New York. Since then, he has embarked on a career in conservation biology that has ranged from teaching science and environmental awareness to teenagers from Los Angeles, to traveling the coast and river deltas of Alaska’s North Slope by Zodiac to reach remote wetlands where he monitored loon nests.

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Rick Price

Rick Price

Rick Price began his career as a marine biologist in 1978, working for the British Antarctic Survey. He spent five winters at the BAS base on Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands, two of them as Base Commander. In 1988, he was awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Life as a marine biologist sparked an interest in underwater photography that evolved into a career as a freelance wildlife cameraman.

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Ron Wixman

Ron Wixman

Ron is a specialist in world cultural geography and is well-versed in both the ancient and modern societies of the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Ron is conversant in several languages, including Croatian and Bulgarian. For 20 years, he spent the summers living in shepherds' villages in the Balkans. His extensive knowledge of the region has led to his work as a consultant to the State Department and CIA on ethno-cultural conflict.

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