Academic Director/Expedition Guide
While originally from Chicago, Jen can now be found wandering the bluffs surrounding the Mississippi River in Minnesota with her Husky, Kota. Jen has B.S. degrees in both Biology and Spanish from Winona State University, and a Master’s Degree in Instruction from Saint Mary’s University. Jen truly loves to learn about the world and will always see herself as an everlasting student. As a science teacher, experiential educator, and wilderness first responder for the past 10 years, Jen believes that the best way to learn anything is to get outside of your comfort zone and really let the world teach you everything it has to offer.
The desire to really understand people from all walks of life has provided Jen with the opportunity to lead both student and adult trips throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Southeast Africa, Australia, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. She has shared her passion for sailing by leading students on sailing ventures in the Apostle Islands, the Puget Sound, French Polynesia, and the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Australia. Living aboard a sailboat has provided rare moments to appreciate such as getting away from the mainland to watch playful seals or enjoy the colors of Aurora Borealis. Every place Jen visits simply reveals again and again how truly amazing the world is, and how there is so much of the world yet to be experienced.
Kyle received a B.S. in Geography from the University of La Crosse Wisconsin, an M.S. in Science Education from Montana State University, and a captains license through the U.S. Coast Guard. As the co-founder of Global Treks and Adventures, Kyle has lead both recreational and academic research trips to French Polynesia, the Apostle Islands, San Juan Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Caribbean. Kyle has always been drawn to the water; living on a boathouse on the Mississippi River to spending 10 years on a boat working as a Water Resource Director for a tribal nation. Kyle currently teaches Geospatial Science at a private college in Wisconsin and appreciates his time spent collaborating on academic research projects. In his free time he greatly enjoys sharing his passion for travel and adventure with others, teaching them to sail, barefoot waterski, kayak, or swim, and is always welcoming others to share in the next great adventure with him.
Stefanie received a Master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University and Bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Political Science from California
Lutheran University. She has worked with college students in a variety of capacities over the last 8 years including: facilitating international experiences, coordinating student events and
orientations, planning admission events, training professional and student staff, investigating Title IX claims, and managing crisis responses. She most recently served as the Dean of Students at a private midwestern university.
She has a passion for introducing students to new cultures through the lens of local and international experiential learning. Stefanie has been a facilitator for student international trips to the Cook Islands, Central and South America, and Qatar. She loves learning about new cultures through conversations and the arts. Originally from California, Stefanie, her husband Brett, and puppy Surly currently call Chicago home. She enjoys running, barre workouts, hiking, and catching up with family and friends around the world.
research Scientist/expedition Guide
Dan is a geographer and cartographer with an undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College and a masters from Penn State University. He started working in GIS in 1988, and his career has included jobs with local and tribal governments, educational institutions, as well as private companies. One of the things that he loves about being a geographer is that it has given him the opportunity to work on projects spanning a wide range of disciplines, including ethnography, botany, marine fisheries, epidemiology, forestry, wildlife biology, historical geography, language, and others. He has had the opportunity to teach for-credit classes at the University College of Belize and Penn State, as well as teaching GIS as an authorized ESRI instructor. He loves to travel, meet new people, and learn about new places and new things.
A native of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Jackie holds a bachelor's degree in English and communication studies from Hamline University. She became interested in journalism through Hamline's student newspaper, The Oracle, and served as editor-in-chief of the publication 2014-2015. Her work with Global Treks gave her the opportunity to connect more deeply with one of her favorite wilderness areas: the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. She has written for several Minnesota publications and currently works as a staff writer for a community newspaper covering the Forest Lake and St. Croix Valley area in Minnesota. Her areas of interest include arts, music, theater, literature, outdoors, wildlife, sustainability, conservation, and travel.
Amanda received a B.S. in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Ecological Restoration from Northland College on the beautiful south shores of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin. Over the past 10 years Amanda has spent much of her professional and personal time pursuing activities related to the preservation and protection of natural resources. During her time at Northland College Amanda worked as a Project Coordinator for the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute managing projects such as community rain gardens, wildlife monitoring, ecological surveying, grant management, wetland mitigation, and educational and outreach efforts. In 2009, Amanda travelled throughout Central America for 3 months as a part of a study abroad program whose mission statement was to strive to help society achieve a tipping point toward sustainability and to build bridges of understanding and cooperative action between business, environmental, and social interests. After college Amanda spent 3 years as an Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator with Oconto County and is currently employed by the Lower Sioux Community as their Environmental Specialist. Her personal interests include dancing, rock climbing, skiing, teaching yoga, learning to hunt with her two bird dogs, and exploring Minnesota. Amanda believes that true education has the ability to spur an inner transformation that inspires life-changing action. Amanda believes that experiential programs such as Global Treks and Adventures provides an opportunity for students to think more deeply, holistically, and compassionately about self, community, and the environment.
Jessica Vanderwerff Wilson
Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science and a Master’s degree in Water Resources Science, emphasizing in limnology and oceanography. She currently works for local government as a Water Resources Coordinator, helping to protect the community and its water; sometimes from each other. In a high school biology class, she sparked an interest in water resources that eventually led her to several field and research experiences, including a research cruise on Lake Superior. She is a lifelong learner, inspired by scientific discovery and thinking critically about the natural world – there is a lot yet to explore! Jessica is passionate about helping others make personal connections to science and nature, and also serves as an adjunct biology faculty member at Century College. In her free time, Jessica enjoys cooking, reading, camping, and spending time with her husband and their dog, River.
Jeana is passionate about wildlife conservation and education. She holds Bachelor degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies and Master degrees in Biology and Instruction. As an undergraduate student, Jeana did a semester-long study abroad program in rural Kenya where she completed multiple ecology projects and helped the local community improve their wildlife management and conservation strategies. Jeana also participated in a study abroad throughout Costa Rica for a Field Ecology program where she completed various research projects in different biomes. Jeana has also participated in numerous wildlife conservation internships, including cheetah research and husbandry with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Steller sea lion and harbor seal research with the Alaska SeaLife Center, and shark, ray, and skate research with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. Jeana now spends her time teaching upper-level biology and anatomy classes to high school students in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. In her free time, Jeana enjoys spending time with her dog, hiking, gardening, and traveling. Because of the positive influence on Jeana’s life that her study abroad programs had on her, Jeana believes strongly in students having such experiences!