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Lei Lani Stelle

Dr. Lei Lani Stelle is a marine biologist with a focus on marine mammals.  Her research has taken her to some of the most amazing places for marine life encounters including Alaska, Baja, British Columbia, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Palau, and Tonga.  A Professor of biology, she teaches Marine Biology, Animal Behavior, Physiology, Ecology, and GIS Mapping, and has published research articles on gray whales, Steller sea lions, river otters, and citizen science.  She developed Whale mAPP, a mobile application, to involve the public in recording marine mammal sightings around the world.  Lei Lani has led study abroad courses, volunteer research expeditions, and alumni trips for over 20 years and loves to share her knowledge and passion for marine conservation.

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Shane Keena

Shane Keena, MFA, is a professional artist and award-winning wildlife photographer.  His childhood was spent exploring the California coast leading to scuba diving trips around the world.  These marine adventures inspire his sculptures and provide the focus for his photographs.  His photos have earned international acclaim, winner of 2021 Nature's Best Photography (Animal Antics category), featured on National Geographic’s “Your Shot” and “Underwater Beauty Assignment”, in the book “Amazing Photography: Real Stories to Inspire us All”, selected as the cover of an issue of Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, and won over 2 dozen awards including “Comedy Wildlife Photography: In the Air” and “I Shot it Wildlife Photo Competition”.  Shane is a University Lecturer, was the staff photographer for Earthwatch expeditions, University alumni, and student trips. He has been teaching studio art for over 20 years.  Shane is keen to engage people in photography, from the novice to experienced, helping all learn new techniques and a fresh perspective.

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Daughter of Founders


Zoe (daughter of Shane and Lei Lani) has travelled extensively in her young life, including swimming with humpbacks in Tonga, kayaking in the fjords of Alaska, snorkeling in the Galapagos and Palau, and exploring the Fijian islands. She loves learning about animals and meeting other kids/teens, learning about culture through the universal language of exploration and play. Zoe will assist most expeditions, providing an extra dose of enthusiasm, a friend for other teens, and as an experienced babysitter she is happy to help out any younger kids on the trips.

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