With a seasoned crew this year consisting of eight returning guides, its taken us a while to highlight one of our newbies. And since she was the first rookie to show up in April, what better place to start than our very own first year sea kayak guide Jen Gardner!
Jen listed her hometown as planet Earth and eventually gained a degree in Wildlife Ecology & Management. After a winter being a ski bum in Colorado, she decided to take up sea kayaking and join us for her first summer as a paddling guide in Alaska. She loves helping others be amazed by the outdoors and she leads well by example as her awestruck body language upon seeing the beauty of Alaska was clearly evident from day one.
Jen is our resident bird expert/nerd and can usually be found monitoring and posting to any and all online birding applications. Fortunately we have a ton of unique birds up here and there is a really cool birding community that comes to Alaska just to see certain species. True to form, she identifies with the Tufted Puffin as her spirit animal because just like the puffin, when she gets nervous in a kayak, she likes to escape into the water and go for a swim.
You are responsible for your own happiness is the mantra Jen likes to live by. And when Jen is happy, she can be found crying tears of joy. In fact, Jen is known for her tears as she cries when she is happy, sad or just feeling bored. Her next big goal in life is to do a big thru-hike. And we are not only grateful for having Jen on staff, but grateful for her service to our country as a member of the United States Navy. Happy to have you aboard Jen and if you too are a bird nerd, request Jen as your guide and she will happily ignore whales with you to hopefully spot a Belted Kingfisher or an Arctic Tern. Come join Jen on the water!