The About Galapagos team of contributors is made up of travel professionals with a passion for wildlife, nature, conservation, and all things Galapagos! Whether reporting from the field or reflecting on past adventures from home, our writers share their Galapagos experiences with unique voices. Learn more about the About Galapagos team below.
Peter Krahenbuhl – Contributor
Peter spent much of his childhood on the beaches of Ventura County, California. Favorite memories include body boarding and surfing, baseball and family camping wherever Dad found big fly-fishing rivers. After chasing nature and being chased by “development,” Peter completed a double BA in Economics and Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A global interest, particularly in deforestation and development, led him to pursue a Master of Public Affairs in Environmental Policy and International Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. During this time, his Latin American travels and conservation projects began. As a result, he developed an ecotourism company, worked in the adventure travel industry and guided trips globally, while authoring an eco adventure travel guide to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Hunter Publishing).
Peter is now a sustainability, business development and communications leader with years of experience in travel, tourism and related industries. As Co-founder and former President of Sustainable Travel International (STI), he also helped develop and grow a start-up organization into a global industry leader with outreach in the millions. He has implemented and continues to advise regarding best practice sustainability solutions for small to Fortune 500 Companies, destinations and governments in travel, tourism and other industries.
Prior to that Peter worked in the industry in all aspects of operations, sales, business and product development. His leadership experience extends to working on international community development and conservation projects, being a published author related to sustainability topics and travel, and as a recognized industry and public speaker. After living in Ireland for the last six years, Peter has recently returned to his other homeland in Boulder, CO.
Maia Wikler – Contributor
Maia grew up in Philadelphia, where the impacts of pollution and development were directly tangible. From a young age, Maia cherished moments in the outdoors and developed a special appreciation for conserving the beauty of precious ecosystems. Her love for the outdoors inspired a move to Colorado, where she graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. She focused on indigenous and human rights, cultural preservation, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. She is an active advocate for the connection of cultural and environmental preservation. Maia is currently an MA candidate in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Matt Kareus – Contributor
Matt is the Executive Director of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands through the promotion of low-impact, high quality tourism and the support of critical conservation and scientific research initiatives there. His career in the travel industry began in college when he spent a summer guiding groups of travelers across Alaska, the Yukon Territory and Nunavut. Since then, his love of adventure has taken him from the high Arctic to the Antarctic and to many wild and wonderful places throughout Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa, where he recently spent a year. In addition to his work in the Galapagos, he provides sustainability and marketing consulting services for nonprofit and for profit profit organizations in the travel industry. Some of his current and past clients include Natural Habitat Adventures, Sustainable Travel International, Friends of Serengeti and Adventure Collection. He is motivated personally and professionally by the belief that travel, at its best, is not only one of life’s great pleasures, but that it can be a transformative force for good in the world. He was born and raised in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Emily Deemer – Content Manager
Emily is a Hoosier at heart from Indianapolis, IN, but when it was time for college she chose to move all the way across the country to Boston. Majoring in psychology and environmental studies at Boston College, her passion for travel was sparked when she spent a semester abroad in New Zealand. After graduating, Emily joined EF Educational Tours, a travel company specializing in international trips for high school students. Working with EF allowed her to travel with students and teachers all over Europe, and to Jordan, Egypt, China, Japan, and Thailand. After four years with EF, she took the leap to go back to school to pursue an MBA in marketing and environmental sustainability at CU Boulder. As Director of Digital Marketing at Nat Hab, she loves making it possible for others to pursue their dream of traveling the world. In her free time you can find Emily jamming on the violin at wedding gigs with her string quartet, or hiking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.
Megan Koelemay – Web Designer
With a background in environmentalism and photography, Megan’s passions revolve around traveling and documenting the natural world. From backpacking in the rugged mountains of Colorado to exploring the Northwest coast, she has chronicled every adventure through her photography, and along the way, has learned a great deal about the challenges facing our environment. After working in the ski industry for several years, Megan embarked on a new journey with Natural Habitat Adventures. She is thrilled to be working for a company whose commitment to the environment is whole-hearted, and whose passion for travel is indisputable. As Nat Hab’s Director of Digital Marketing and resident computer geek, she is also working to make sure your online experience with NHA is a positive, informative, and engaging. Megan lives in Boulder, CO, and enjoys anything related to the outdoors, as well as music, art, funky bookstores, and good coffee!
Wendy Worrall Redal – Contributor
Wendy’s passions are travel, nature and communication, which intersect in her position as Editorial Director for Natural Habitat Adventures. Wendy has also worked as a journalist, copywriter, editor, tour leader and university professor specializing in environmental communication. A Seattle native who got hooked on the Colorado sunshine, Wendy lives in Boulder with her family. Before getting her master’s in journalism and Ph.D. in media studies at the University of Colorado, Wendy was a tour director in Alaska, Canada, New England and the western U.S. She also arranges custom trips for private groups, a pursuit that has taken her into the Bolivian Amazon by dugout canoe, through the jungles of Nepal on elephant back, overland by 4 X 4 on safari in Botswana, and across 115 miles of Mongolian steppe on a horse, sipping fermented mare’s milk with nomad families on the way.