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Featured Instructors

Alex Lancaster

Assistant Instructor

Alex grew up in Indiana and fell in love with the outdoors while involved with her university's outdoor adventure program. She moved to beautiful Oregon to work for Outward Bound in 2013 and is stoked to return this year.  She enjoys whitewater, biking, mountain sunsets, backpacking, chaco tan lines, occasionally living in her truck, and a nice big cup of coffee - anytime, anywhere. Alex is pictured on top of Middle Sister (10,047 ft.) with South Sister (10,358 ft) in the background. Both of these are potential summit climbs on Oregon Mountain courses.

Clancy Roberts


Clancy is enjoying her seventh year with Outward Bound, beginning first in sales and outreach before following her dream to be an instructor, predominately with struggling youth. She has instructed a variety of courses for youth and adults in Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and California, and Outward Bound has had a profound impact on her as steward of compassion and an outdoor educator. Settled in Portland, Clancy, who claims to be the most fun instructor at the Portland Center, plays with her dog, Gus, pursues her Master’s degree in Social Work, works at a residential facility, bikes the city, hikes the Gorge, skis and snowshoes the mountains, and plays on the coast.

Curt Davidson

Assistant Instructor

Curt started working for Outward Bound three years ago and is excited to work for the Odin Falls Program and the Northwest Outward Bound School this season.  When not working for Outward Bound, Curt can be found at Indiana University where he is working on a doctorate, studying Adventure Education. During his free time you can catch him bouncing around the Eastern Sierras or the Cascades of Washington and Oregon where he enjoys climbing and exploring.

David Moskowitz


David first joined Outward Bound as an assistant instructor in 2000. Since then he has worked as an instructor, course director, logistics coordinator, and staff trainer up and down the west coast from southern California to Alaska. David joined Northwest Outward Bound School's Board of Directors in 2012 and continues to instruct mountaineering courses for the school. Along with his work at Outward Bound, David is a photographer and biologist. He is the author of two natural history books: Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, and Wolves in the Land of Salmon.

Eli Mauksch


Born and raised in the Northwest, the Cascades are home to Eli. In 2013, Eli started working for the Northwest Outward Bound School as an assistant instructor. Working for NWOBS combines some of Eli’s favorite things: being outside, learning, and helping others have new, exciting experiences. Eli is in the process of finishing a degree in psychology from Middlebury College. When not in the wilderness with Outward Bound, Eli loves climbing, skiing, coffee, food, meeting new people, and traveling.

Giles Cranston


Giles is from the UK and grew up in the southwest near Bristol. He started climbing at 12 and when he finished school at 18, he began working in the outdoors. Since then he has traveled, climbed, worked, rafted, and kayaked on five continents. Giles first came to the US and Outward Bound last year and absolutely loves living and working here. While not working, he spends his time, climbing, running, mountain biking, reading, attempting to take better photos, rafting, and hiking... which is pretty much what he does at work anyway!

Iggy Perillo


Iggy is a product of the Midwest who gets nostalgic about cornfields. Starting as an intern with the Voyageur Outward Bound School in early 2000, Iggy progressed to instructing and course directing both summer canoe/backpacking expeditions and winter dogsled/ski expeditions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Along the way she earned a Master's Degree in Experiential Education and a grade 5 through 12 teaching license as well as a host of other safety and technical certifications. Currently, Iggy is a seasonal Outward Bound nomad ranging between managing interns, coordinating training and logistics on the lakes of northern Minnesota during the summer, and instructing and directing school programs in Portland during winter.

Joel Reid


In 2008, 12 years after taking a 22 day Outward Bound course, Joel started working for Northwest Outward Bound School in Mazama, WA as a sea kayak and mountaineering instructor. Joel's current positions include Staff Trainer, Course Director, and Instructor. He spends his off season shooting photos and traveling around the country, teaching wilderness medicine classes.

Jor-El Zajatz

Course Director/ Instructor

Jor-El's first real exposure to the outdoors came from completing the 80 day semester course with the Colorado Outward Bound School in 2007. Since then, he has been working at Northwest Outward Bound School as a Logistics Coordinator, Instructor, Course Director, and Staff Trainer. Jor-El is currently pursuing his Masters in Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. When he is not navigating the wilderness or the human psyche, Jor-El spends his time advancing his photography and graphic design skills.

Kaitlin Powers-Engdahl


Kaitlin was born in San Jose, California and raised in Spokane, Washington. With a strong interest in the outdoor experience, she majored in Outdoor Recreation and Recreation Management, graduating from Eastern Washington University. Kaitlin is excited to be returning to Outward Bound for her second summer at the Odin Falls Basecamp. She spends her winters working on ski patrol at Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho, and she loves to raft, climb, ski, travel, and spend time with friends and family.

Kalene Ardt


A native Oregonian from Bend, Kalene has been exploring the wilderness of Oregon and Washington her whole life. She loves the outdoors, and it is her passion to share the positive and empowering experiences that the outdoors has to offer with others. Kalene has eight years of experience working with youth and has instructed courses in backpacking, sea kayaking, and leadership development. Kalene has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Oregon and is working towards her Master’s in Social Work at Portland State University. In her spare time, Kalene can usually be found outside hiking, backpacking, biking, or playing ultimate Frisbee.

Lauren Nord

Assistant Instructor

This will be Lauren's first season working for Outward Bound after four years of leading trips with the UC Santa Cruz Recreation Department and three seasons as a whitewater raft guide. In her free time she has been known to sit upside down in kayaks and court the coast in pursuit of the endless wave. Lauren loves writing fiction, reading poetry, and slurping hot drinks.

Luke O'Neill

Course Director, Lead Instructor

Luke joined Outward Bound in 1990 as both an instructor and a development professional after taking a seven day sea kayaking course in Maine a year earlier. Since that time, he has continued to instruct sea kayaking, sailing, and mountain backpacking courses in Maine, Florida, Washington, and Panama while also serving as a program manager and facilitator for Outward Bound Professional and Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding programs. Luke holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University. He is currently certified as a SCUBA instructor (PADI), Maine Guide, Wilderness First Responder (SOLO), CPR instructor (EFR), and Oxygen Provider instructor (DAN). Luke's passions beyond Outward Bound include photography, scuba diving, and the flying trapeze.

Melanie Canna

Assistant Instructor

Out of upstate New York, Melanie found her love for the mountains in the Adirondack State Park. She studied outdoor recreation at SUNY Cortland where she topped off her degree with an internship at the Northwest Outward Bound School. Currently she is thrilled to play the role of an assistant instructor. While not at NWOBS, Melanie may be traveling the state of California sharing her passion for the outdoors, hunkering down in Salt Lake City where she teaches snowboarding, or scheming up a way to travel to new places around the world.

Meredith Strunk

Assistant Instructor

Meredith is from central Indiana and grew up exploring the woods and river behind her home, camping, caving, and canoeing with her family. At Indiana University, she discovered her passion for instructing through the university outdoor adventure program. After earning a BS in Environmental Management, Meredith is starting her first summer with NWOB. She is most excited to study and run the Deschutes section with students. When not on course, she enjoys biking, long hikes, cooking, swimming, and of course, studying maps!

Mike Mourar


Mike has worked for Northwest Outward Bound School since 2007.  He enjoys the refreshing cold waters of the Deschutes Rivers and teaches the the rewards of climbing peaks in the Central Cascade Range.  Mike has recently finished a Bachelors Degree in Outdoor Adventure Education from Southern Oregon University.  When he is not instructing for Northwest Outward Bound School he enjoys wilderness travel through mountaineering and whitewater kayaking.

Molly Hayes


The child of two former Outward Bound instructors, Molly grew up floating rivers, wandering in the mountains, and generally being a creature of the outdoors. Molly began working for Outward Bound out of the Odin Falls base in 2011 and has thoroughly enjoyed the various roles she has filled there ever since.  A recent graduate of Whitman College with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies, she looks forward to melding her interest in biology with her love of the outdoors. When not adventuring outside Molly enjoys going for long runs, practicing yoga, bird watching, drinking tea, and making art.

Ned Buckingham

Assistant Instructor

Ned was born in Pennsylvania where he lived until he finished college. While growing up, his parents ran a ski shop which provided him with a wonderful foundation for enjoying the outdoors. Ned moved to Washington in 2008 to teach science and to enjoy the Pacific Northwest’s rivers and rain forests. Working for Northwest Outward Bound School provides Ned with both challenges and triumph which drive his life's passion for the outdoors. While in the field, the struggles – which often turn to smiles on students’ faces – keep him coming back for more! In his free time, Ned can be found rambling in the mountains (climbing and backpacking), playing on moving water (kayaking and fly fishing), and riding bicycles.  Ned is a self-proclaimed beginner banjo player, and master of Dutch blitz.


Poe Stewart


Poe went on a 22 day Outward Bound course when he was 18 which started his journey towards becoming an instructor. He has a Bachelors degree in Adventure Education and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy. He has been leading outdoor adventure courses since 2002. When he is not leading courses you might find him doing home improvement projects, growing heirloom tomatoes, and going on personal adventures. 

Rusty Ott


At age 16, Rusty, who grew up in a small town in Northern Iowa, joined a 30 day mountaineering course in the San Juan Range with the Colorado Outward Bound School, and four years later, participated in a 50 day rafting, kayaking, mountaineering course in Alaska. Rusty also participated in a Wilderness Leaders Expedition in Oregon, and is entering his fifth season as an Outward Bound employee. Rusty holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and a Master’s degree from University of Washington.

Sam Ecenia


Sam was born and raised in the swampy flatlands of Northern Florida. At the age of 14, he took a 22 day Outward Bound course in Maine that instilled a lifelong passion for the outdoors. Sam began to work at Odin Falls in 2011, and graduated from the University of Colorado in 2013 with a B.A. in Environmental Geosciences. In his spare time, he can be found climbing, hiking, snowboarding, reading, traveling, or in a heated game of backgammon.

Syver Pearson

Assistant Instructor

Syver recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BS degree in Plant Science. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska where he discovered his passion for the outdoors as a kid in a huge outdoor playground, floating rivers, fishing, skiing, and mountain biking. Now, you will find him on long trips, getting outside to naturalize, kayak, raft, climb, canyoneer, backpack, and work. He is always trying to make the perfect loaf of bread out of his titanium pot, and learn any new craft.

Trevor McKee


Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California, Trevor attended his first of three Outward Bound courses at age 15 and has completed a 30 day course in Oregon, a 50 day course in Utah, and a 50 day Educators course in Oregon. Trevor graduated from Sonoma State University in 2007 with a B.A. in Fine Art and an emphasis in photography, sculpture, and ceramics. An Outward Bound instructor since 2008, Trevor is an avid reader, wilderness wanderer, creator, litter picker-upper, laugher, activist, writer, gardener, and builder. On any given day, you may find Trevor floating down big desert rivers, exploring tall, red southwest canyon walls, making a buck as a barista in Portland, Oregon, or popping the top of his VW van somewhere in the Sierra Foothills of California.