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Trip Leaders

Heading up each program is a team of talented, dynamic trip leaders who have extensive experience in the field — and love working with high school students. With no more than nine students to every leader, we'll have the freedom to break into teams to pursue our On Assignment and community service projects. Here are a few of our outstanding trip leaders who may accompany you on a National Geographic Student Expedition.

Phillip Torres

Cornell University, B.S.; Rice University, Ph.D. candidate

Phil has participated in scientific expeditions around the globe since the age of 15. He majored in entomology and biology at Cornell, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University. For the last two years, Phil has been based in remote areas of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon where he conducts surveys of a multitude of species for conservation research.

Sasha Driscoll Stortz

Lewis & Clark College, B.A.; Northern Arizona University, M.S. candidate

Born and raised in Southeast Alaska, Sasha has worked as a biological technician in the Sitka National Historical Park and studied Arctic bird species with the U.S. Geological Service Alaska Science Center. As a graduate student in environmental science and policy, her studies focus on ecology and land use in the West. Sasha is also an accomplished violinist and violin teacher.

Jill Schneider

University of Arizona, B.A.; Academy of Art University, MFA

Jill majored in Psychology at the University of Arizona and received her MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. For her master’s thesis she spent nine months documenting Himalayan life in Nepal, Northern India, Kashmir, Bhutan, and Tibet. Jill is now a freelance photographer and photography instructor. She is represented by National Geographic Creative and has photographed for National Geographic Traveler guidebooks.

Lindsay Mackenzie

Colgate University, B.A.; Newcastle University, M.A.

Lindsay is a photographer and multimedia journalist currently based near Barcelona, Spain. Since early 2011, Lindsay has covered the Arab Spring revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, El País, The National and on the BBC and AP. Lindsay also frequently produces radio documentaries for the CBC. An avid traveler, Lindsay spent three years working as a tour leader in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America before moving into full-time photojournalism.

Matt Kostakis

McGill University, B.A.; American University in Cairo, M.A. candidate

Matt's love of travel and passion for learning about other cultures led him to major in international development and Latin American studies. After teaching Spanish for several years, he began a journey that would take him to five continents and over 40 countries—from backpacking through the Balkans to learning traditional fishing techniques off the coast of Sri Lanka. Finally settled in Cairo, Matt is currently pursuing a Masters in Human Rights Law. Matt is fluent in Spanish and Greek, and is proficient in Italian, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Turkish.

Your participation in a National Geographic Student Expedition provides support to National Geographic's mission of increasing global understanding through exploration, geography education, and research.
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