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Naturalist Blog

Samantha Gann et al. standing next to a body of water

a man riding a bike down a dirt roadIsland Packers is excited to announce our new blog! We are fortunate to have an incredibly talented and passionate group of naturalists on staff who can’t wait to share their knowledge and experiences at the Channel Islands. Stay tuned to read about current events, our favorite things to see or do while visiting, personal stories and impressions, and more. Do you have specific topics that you would like to see addressed? Please add them in the comments section and we will add them to our list of ideas. For now, let’s meet our writers:

Hey everybody! My name is Brittney and I’ve been lucky enough to watch whales and explore island ecosystems for six years with Island Packers! I hope to share with you some of the unique experiences I’ve had over the past six years and help unlock some of the mystery so you can experience the Channel Islands like I get to every day. Back on the mainland, you can find me rock climbing, surfing, and writing articles for my own personal website:

a man standing on a rock


My name is Stephen, a lifelong surfer, diver, and writer. I’ve been working with Island Packers for almost a year now! In that time, I have furthered my reverence for the sea, and have gotten to experience this slice of California that is often overlooked. Since my early childhood, I have always been a writer, and I hope to write and share some words here so we can all deepen our understanding of the important ecosystems around us, and the beauty of the Channel Islands. I hope my love for California comes through in my writing, and that I inspire you to explore the many faces of this golden shore.



a woman wearing a hat




I’m Andrea; a marine biologist, educator, and science curriculum writer. As an avid sailor, diver and naturalist, I have nearly 40 years of experience on, over, and under the Santa Barbara Channel and the Channel Islands. I look forward to creating new stories that help shed light on these amazing resources we get to visit on a daily basis.




a person smiling for the camera




My name is Laurie and I have worked for Island Packers for 18 years. The amazing trips to the islands and all the incredible wildlife we see keep me coming back year after year. I am excited to share with everyone fun stories and interesting facts about the plants and animals we encounter. You can learn more about me on my website at… oh wait I’m old-school and don’t have one but that’s ok! I’m always around at Island Packers.




a person wearing a hat



My name is Holly and my work as a naturalist, crew member started at Island Packers over 30 years ago. I will never forget my very first boat trip. We were on our way to Anacapa Island, and we had a beautiful sighting of dozens of Pacific white-sided dolphins and a large leatherback sea turtle. At that moment, I knew I found my calling; to share my love of the ocean through ocean education and working as a naturalist. In my writings, I hope to inspire one to appreciate and protect our precious natural treasures. Most importantly, I want people to feel empowered to be part of the preservation of the world beneath the waves and embark on their own journey to experience the wonders of this unique national treasure, the Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the Santa Barbara Channel Whale Heritage Area.