2016 Australia Research Expedition

The Project

During June of 2016, a team of 12 researchers sailed around the Whitsunday Islands archipelago on the inner Great Barrier Reef off Australia's east coast. The expedition focused on documenting the island groups marine life, wildlife, plant life, geography, natural resources, anthropology, and economics. The ultimate goal of the research expedition was to collect enough information to develop a field guide/naturalists guide to the islands in order to provide travelers with a resource that helps them interpret the natural world that they will be encountering while out exploring this wondrous world heritage site. 

Meet the Researchers

John: John is from Aldie, Virginia and is pursuing a degree in Geography with a GIS minor from Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. In his free time he enjoys fitness, the outdoors, hanging with his dog and traveling to new places.

Katherine (Katie): Katie is from Meriden, Connecticut and is approaching her senior year, pursuing her Media Studies degree and a Minor in Italian at Quinnipiac University. In fall of 2015, Katie studied Travel Writing in Rome, Italy. She visited countless other countries, while in Europe. In her free time, Katie loves hiking, traveling, driving, making music, seeing old friends and making new ones. Katie enjoys traveling to remote locations and foreign countries. When she graduates, she hopes to be a travel writer!

Angela: Angela is from Jacksonville, Florida and is currently pursuing her degree in Environmental Science at Florida State College of Jacksonville. She has a passion for the ocean and environment, and hopes one day to help make an impact on the pollution in the ocean. She loves to travel to new places, and is always looking for her next adventure. In her free time she enjoys playing with her dogs and hanging out with friends. 

Sierra: Sierra grew up in Highland, Indiana and will soon be a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She will have a B.S in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science and Society with a minor in Urban Regional Planning. After college, she plans to take time off to travel the other side of the hemisphere and eventually return to obtain her M.S. in Sustainability Management. Growing up she always dreamed of traveling to Australia, and now one of her dreams has come true. 

Paola: Paola is from the island of Puerto Rico and is currently attending university in Milan, Italy. She is an intrepid traveler and every free moment she has she is off exploring new places. 

Wilson: Wilson is from Hingham, Massachusetts. He is majoring in economics at Middlebury College with a minor in Mathematics. Wilson is pursuing a career in finance, and enjoys playing on the Middlebury College Rugby team and fishing in his spare time.

Bethany: Bethany lives in Helena, Montana. She graduated this year from Carroll College with a degree in Anthrozoology (study of the human-animal relationship). Bethany loves swimming in the ocean, hiking with her dogs, and watching baseball.

Zach: Zach is from Watertown, Massachusetts and currently attends the University of Vermont where he is pursuing a B.A in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. Zach enjoys watching sporting events of any kind, with a particular interest in the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. He also has a special interest in new experiences, particularly those related to new cultures. This was Zach’s first sailing experience as well as his first hiking trip. He says it is surely not his last trip of either variety.

Shelby: Shelby is from Robbinsdale, Minnesota and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geography at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

Expedition Leaders

Jen Herdina: Jen works as an Instructor for a  private University in Minnesota as well as an Expedition Leader and the Academic Director with Global Treks and Adventures. Jen loves learning new languages and trying to live in her "challenge" zone as much as possible.


Jeana Albers: Jeana works as a scientist and expedition leader with Global Treks and Adventures. She has a passion for all forms of wildlife and marine life. Jeana's enthusiasm for identifying species if certainly contagious!

Kyle Herdina: Kyle works as the Program Director and Expedition Leader for Global Treks and Adventures. Kyle enjoys exploring remote places and their unique environments. 

Expedition Pictures