Guide Bios

Guide Bios

When you join a Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventures program, you will have quality time in the field with some of the most knowledgeable and talented naturalists, historians and artists in Yosemite. Collectively, they’ve hiked tens of thousands of miles in the park, won numerous awards, authored dozens of books, and had their art or photographs published around the world. Our guides are excited to share their passion for Yosemite with you.

Allison Baggett, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide

Allison Baggett

Allison Baggett grew up in a small town at the entrance to Yosemite. She has backpacked from Mt. Whitney to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Portland, Oregon, to Missoula, Montana, following the route of Lewis and Clark. Allison has worked as a teacher, naturalist, mountain guide and artist since graduating from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She has been trained as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and currently holds a Wilderness First Responder certificate.

Andrea Canapary

Andrea Canapary

Andrea Canapary is passionate about teaching people of all ages to develop appreciation for the natural world. She spent ten summers in the Adirondack Mountains helping connect youth to wilderness, and has since instructed at numerous environmental education centers across California and Oregon. After being assigned to lead a California Conservation Corps (CCC) backcountry trail crew for five months in the Yosemite high country 20 years ago, Andrea fell in love with the region, settling just outside the park to raise her family.

Kylie Chappell, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide

Kylie Chappell

Kylie Chappell grew up in the Yosemite gateway, Mariposa. She has always enjoyed a love for the outdoors including rock climbing, backpacking, skiing and swimming. After traveling abroad to New Zealand, Australia and China she couldn’t wait to return to her roots and settle in Yosemite. She has worked as a horseback riding guide and packer in Yosemite for three years. As the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator for Yosemite Conservancy, Kylie is able to share her love and knowledge of Yosemite with visitors from all over the world.

Pete Devine, Yosemite Conservancy Guide

Pete Devine

Pete Devine is the Resident Naturalist for the Conservancy. Pete has lived in Yosemite for about 20 years, has hiked most of its trails, and explained Yosemite to thousands of park visitors. He has studied the Lyell Glacier, added to the park’s bird studies and trained rangers in history, geology and biology. You may have seen Pete’s work in the ‘Yosemite Frazil Ice’ video. 

Naturalist guide and photographer Ira Estin poses with his camera.

Ira Estin

Ira Estin's outdoor experience started early: When he was just one year old, his parents took him camping in Yosemite. Later, as a Boy Scout, he hiked most of the John Muir Trail and backpacked throughout the Sierra Nevada. While studying at University of California, Los Angeles, he honed his mountaineering skills during adventures with the UCLA Mountaineering Club, and developed an interest in outdoor photography. After graduation, he worked with the Apollo Space Program, but eventually transitioned from an engineering career to pursue photography.

Dick Ewart, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide

Dick Ewart

Dick Ewart a veteran hiker and skier, has been a ranger-naturalist in Yosemite for over thirty years. He has hiked most of the park’s 800 miles of trails. His BA degree in biol­ogy is from the University of New Hampshire and his New England accent is as strong as ever. Dick spends his summers presenting naturalist programs at Glacier Point, and his winters leading snowshoe hikes at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.

Margaret Glover

Margaret Glover grew up in Atlanta, and studied genetics and biology at the University of Georgia. After graduation, she worked in plant genetics research — but before long, wanderlust kicked in, and she left the lab to spend a year working, traveling and climbing in Southeast Asia. When she returned to the U.S., she moved to Yosemite to join the team at NatureBridge, a national environmental science nonprofit.

Kaleb Goff

Kaleb Goff

Kaleb Goff grew up in California’s San Diego County, where the suburban canyons, ocean shore and low-lying mountains to the east shaped his love for wild spaces. He developed a passion for science and conservation as a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, and has spent several years working as a National Park Service ranger-naturalist in Yosemite. As a naturalist and guide, Kaleb seeks to help people connect to the outdoors through art and science, whether through bird and botany walks or watercolor and poetry workshops.

Bill King

Bill King

Bill King and his wife Margarita live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, not far from Yosemite National Park. After earning a degree in geography from University of California, Los Angeles, Bill built a career as an urban planner in numerous California communities, where he focused on efforts to protect and provide natural habitats, aesthetic views, open space and pathways. After a near-fatal car crash in 2012, Bill traded city council chambers for high-mountain meadows, electing to share his passion for the outdoors by connecting people with nature, and nature to communities.

Lisa Murphy, Yosemite National Park ranger and Yosemite Conservancy Guide

Lisa Murphy

Lisa Murphy has spent her lifetime getting to know Yosemite National Park, beginning with family trips to the park as an infant and culminating in her career as naturalist ranger. Her love for the environment and for Yosemite National Park is apparent and infectious. Lisa has been living and working in the park for over twenty years, and continues to explore it with insatiable curiosity, always looking for new experiences and new things to learn and share with visitors and fellow park enthusiasts.

Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn

Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn

Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn began following birds around as an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz, in the 1990s.  After working as a naturalist at several outdoor schools, she made her way to the Sierra Nevada, and ultimately landed in Yosemite National Park, where she has worked seasonally as a ranger-naturalist since 2002. Kestrel has also served as a docent and trip leader for Yosemite Area Audubon, designed and led programs for Sierra Foothill Conservancy, worked as a middle school science teacher, and been a co-instructor for a California Naturalist course at UC Merced.

Julia Parker, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide and basket weaver

Julia Parker

Julia Parker has lived and worked in Yosemite for over fifty years where she is the park’s longest-tenured employee. As a “living legend”, Julia has dedicated her life to preserving and communicating traditional American Indian cultural history, inspiring visitors to be responsible environmental stewards. She has studied under master weavers and currently demonstrates basket weaving techniques at the Yosemite Museum. Her handiwork is highly sought after and several of her baskets are displayed in prominent museums and collections all over the world.

Lucy Parker, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide and basket weaver

Lucy Parker

Lucy Parker is descended from a long line of Yosemite cultural interpreters. Brought up in a traditional cradle basket, Lucy worked in the park as an Indian cultural demonstrator for many seasons. She has also performed living history at Bodie State Park, and demonstrated traditions of the Paiute people at the Lee Vining Visitor Center.

Nancy Robbins

Nancy Robbins

Nancy Robbins calls the mountains home. Growing up in San Diego, she knew she would someday make it to the high country and in 2004, she moved to Wawona, California inside the boundary of Yosemite National Park. Nancy graduated with a degree in Industrial Arts from San Diego State University with an emphasis in photography. While there, she was honored by her peers and professors as “top photographer.” She began her career shooting commercial images, weddings and sporting events. One of her rugby shots was even presented to Queen Elizabeth II!

Ken Rockwell, Yosemite Conservancy expert photography guide

Ken Rockwell

Ken Rockwell is a talented photographer and host of a popular website for essays, photo galleries, lessons and equipment reviews. Having fully the embraced digital age, Ken is equally adept with traditional 35mm, panoramic, medium and large format photography. An engineer by training, Ken has an artistic eye and is excited to share his knowledge and opinions about photography.

Micheal Elsohn Ross, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide

Michael Elsohn Ross

Michael Elsohn Ross has led Outdoor and Custom Adventures for Yosemite Conservancy since 1977. He is the award-winning author of 42 books for young people including “Baby Bear Isn't Hungry”, “The Happy Camper Handbook”, “The World of Small”, and “Snug as a Bug”. He teaches children’s book writing workshops and is a popular speaker at schools and conferences around the world. Michael is passionate about sharing Yosemite’s diversity to newcomers and long-time park enthusiasts. He lives with his family near the park in a home overlooking the Merced River.

Jon-Paul Salonen

Jon-Paul Salonen

Jon-Paul Salonen grew up in the Sierra foothills and fell in love with Yosemite and High Sierra as an adolescent, and has now been exploring and delighting in the Sierra for over 20 years. Well accustomed to recreational group camping with family and friends (he is a proud father of two fabulous, nature-loving daughters), he has led backpacking trips and has assisted with leading several day-trips each summer over the past five years. Jon-Paul is a registered Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace advocate and member of the Mariposa Search and Rescue.

Shirley Spencer, Yosemite Conservancy expert artist instructor

Shirley Spencer

Shirley Spencer is a renowned artist, musician/singer, athlete and educator. She is also the author/illustrator of Yosemite Conservancy’s Flowering Shrubs of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada and co-author (with her husband Mark) of Southern Yosemite Rock Climbs. Since the 1980s, thousands have been lucky enough to explore Yosemite with Shirley and share her infectious affinity for the outdoors.

Suzanne Swedo, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide

Suzanne Swedo

Suzanne Swedo is the director of W.I.L.D. and has backpacked the mountains of every continent. She has led groups into the backcountry for over 30 years and teaches wilderness survival and natural science for individuals, schools, universities, museums and organizations, including Yosemite Conservancy and the Sierra Club. She has authored numerous books and has appeared on radio and television to share her knowledge of backpacking, botany and wilderness survival.

Dan Webster

Dan Webster

Dan's first wilderness job in California was as a forest fire fighter. He now teaches about the role played by fire in forest ecology. These days, he is a Sierra Nevada-based naturalist, birder, hiker, and father of two boys who love being outside. In addition to enjoying and interpreting the wonders of Yosemite, Dan was the director of a summer camp in Western Maine where he led wilderness trips for 23 years. Dan's motto is, "Any day in the mountains is a good day." His guided tours weave together science, wonder and joy for a deeper appreciation of nature.

Dr. John Wehausen searches for signs of bighorn sheep in the eastern Sierra Nevada.

Dr. John Wehausen

Dr. John D. Wehausen is an applied population ecologist who has studied bighorn sheep populations in California since 1974, beginning with his Ph.D. dissertation work in the Sierra Nevada. In addition to working in the Sierra, he has studied bighorn sheep populations in the White and Inyo Mountains, and in the eastern Mojave Desert. His studies have had a strong conservation orientation. Dr. Wehausen helped found the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation in 1995, and has served as the foundation's president throughout its history.

Dave Wyman, Yosemite Conservancy expert photography guide

Dave Wyman

Dave Wyman is an accomplished photographer and author of three pictorial guidebooks (“Backroads of Northern California”, “Backroads of Southern California”, and “Yosemite in Photographs”). His photographs and articles have appeared in Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Backpacker, Sky and Telescope, and many other publications. He is an experienced guide, leading tours for environmental organizations and museums, in addition to photography tours and workshops through his company, Image Quest. He enjoys sharing his passion for photography and the outdoors.