Born in the Mountains
Have you ever been strolling through a mountain town, come across an interpretive sign pointing to something amazing and thought to yourself, “I want to be there, not here?”
Your captain started out in a kayak, guiding those who wanted to go beyond the sidewalks and the signs. His modus operandi was a mashup of wilderness education and backcountry adventure.
This ethic led to his founding of Island Trails Network, a highly energized nonprofit developing trails in the Kodiak backcountry, and is reflected in the design of our expeditions at Geographic Marine. Andy’s passion for the outdoors attracted him to adventure racing and Kodiak’s grueling Eco Challenge, winning most of those he entered. Interestingly, Island C Enterprises, the parent marine research company of Geographic Marine Expeditions, was born of a backcountry ski encounter with co-founder Trevor Jones. Thus, the company was truly formed in the snow-covered mountains of Kodiak’s backcountry and runs deep in its DNA.
Tested at Sea
Just as important is what Andy brings from his past. He is a marine professional shaped by America's greatest seagoing institutions. After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, Andy served two tours in Alaska as a Coast Guard officer. Andy was tested and confirmed by the best. Eventually faced with a choice between leaving Alaska or the Coast Guard, Alaska won. Now in his second career, these invaluable experiences are translated into the management of Geographic Marine expeditions, putting the mark of a professional mariner to all the operations of our vessels and guided trips.
As your guide—and quite possibly the only thing standing between you and that bear—I possess no formal biology background, but rather an abiding curiosity about all the life systems around me. In 15 years of guiding expeditions and leading backcountry crews I have worked, eaten and slept around bears and have had the opportunity to extensively study their behavior. In long watches on the Island C during at-sea expeditions, I’ve gotten a proper (if informal) education on marine life from subject-matter experts—wildlife biologists, ornithologists, oceanographers—those who have dedicated their careers to the study of a particular field or management of a particular species. Many of them have become close friends, and I can think of few professions more noble. Yet there is a broader interaction that is more fascinating to me—how everyday people relate to the natural world. It is this relationship, in the hearts and minds of all of us, that will shape the health of our ecosystems, future of wilderness, and the fate of our planet.
That’s where you come in, and that’s the conversation I want to have. In coming here, you are volunteering to leave the comforts of the manufactured landscape to be in a place that is entirely wild. Even if you’re already a world traveler, this place and these magnificent creatures will change you. I look forward to being with you in that space.
– Andy Schroeder
Meet the Team
Geographic Marine expeditions are made possible by an impressive line-up of seagoing professionals with tremendous breadth and depth of experience as mariners and wilderness guides. From the Arctic Circle to Dixon Entrance, our team has more than 50 years of experience operating in Alaska. Now entering our fourth season with no personnel changes, we feel we have hit our stride as a crew and work closely together to facilitate a safe and comfortable experience for you.