Faces of Polynesia: Fiji to Tahiti

October 15, 2015 - October 31, 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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Lisa Wurzrainer

Lisa Wurzrainer

A love of travel brought Lisa to Zegrahm Expeditions in 1993. Since then, she has held a variety of positions within the company; both in the office and in the field--from Program Manager, to Cruise Director and Expedition Leader, and most recently as Director of Field Staffing responsible for hiring all of our expedition staff. She earned a master's degree in International Studies from the University of Washington. Since joining Zegrahm, she has had the opportunity to visit all seven continents numerous times.

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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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Brad Climpson

Brad Climpson

Brad was born in Sydney, Australia and has lived for the last 20 years in North Queensland, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. In 1996 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in marine biology and zoology at James Cook University, Townsville. With the Great Barrier Reef serving as both playground and laboratory, Brad has developed an intimate knowledge of how complex reef systems work.

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Brian Gibbons

Brian Gibbons

Brian grew up in suburban Dallas where he began exploring the wild world in local creeks and parks. His childhood was occupied chasing butterflies and any animal that crossed his path. A wooden bird feeder kit sparked a flame that was stoked by the Golden Guide and family camping trips to various Texas state parks. Though birds are now his primary interest, he is captivated by all things wild. After college, Brian undertook a variety of field biology research jobs that have taken him to the Caribbean, the Bering Sea, and arctic Alaska.

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Annette Kuhlem

Annette Kuhlem

After starting to study archaeology, ethnology, and political sciences at the University of Bonn, Annette set off on her own to work on excavations in a variety of locations, including the Rhineland, Netherlands, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, and Bolivia. She received her doctorate for work on a hitherto little known cultural complex in the Amazon lowlands of Bolivia, developing the first typology for bone tools in the entire Amazon region. Soon afterwards she moved to Chile, where she became interested in Polynesian archaeology, especially Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

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George Lake

George Lake

Inspired from a young age by world-traveling grandparents, George developed a love for travel, adventure, and nature - especially pertaining to the sea. He became a certified scuba diver at age 14 and worked many years as a commercial diver, assistant dive instructor, and sailor working on charter vessels. He retired in 2006 from a successful career in computer network security and cryptography and returned to a life of travel and his passion for the sea.

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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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Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy

Mike was born on the Isle of Wight, England, and raised just a stone's throw from the once largest passenger ship terminal in the world. From there, his travels have taken him to most countries around the globe, where he has served as cruise director and expedition staff on both small and large luxury vessels. Mike's recreational scuba diving unintentionally led him to a career as a deep-sea commercial diver. He has dived in almost all of the world's seas. After ten years he left commercial diving to captain his own charter boat along the inland waters of British Columbia.

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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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Brent Stephenson

Brent Stephenson

Brent was born in New Zealand and has been a birder since childhood. In 2005 he completed a goal he had from a young age, with the conclusion of his Ph.D., studying the breeding biology of Australasian gannets in New Zealand. This further heightened his interest in seabirds, and in 2003, along with Sav Saville, he rediscovered the “extinct” New Zealand storm-petrel, a bird known previously from only three museum specimens collected during the 1800s. With support from National Geographic, he led a team conducting further research on this enigmatic seabird.

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