Alaska Guides & Operations Team

JOHN PEIRCE

Tour Guide

John Peirce is a Fairbanks resident and stays busy guiding groups around Alaska. He holds an undergraduate degree in geography and a master's degree in Northern Studies with an emphasis on the anthropology of northern peoples from the University of Alaska. Before he got into guiding, John was a carpenter, furniture maker, and woodworker. After living in a yurt for eight years in Fairbanks with his wife and two daughters, he built their house. John remains passionate about traveling and curious about people from around the world and spends vacations visiting new countries whenever he can.

GABE KING

Aurora Guide

Gabe King first came to Alaska in 2016 as a service member in the army and decided to stay. Gabe works as a full-time photographer, a gig that keeps him busy year round, both indoors and outside. He won the Ted Stevens Foundation "Denali at 100" photo contest in 2018 and is also published in Alaska Magazine. “I believe that Alaska drives a creative spirit in all who visit and it’s never too late to start exploring.”

IVER ARNEGARD

Aurora Guide

Iver Arnegard has lived in Alaska off and on for the last 20 years. He’s passionate about the aurora and all the unique adventures the Last Frontier offers. When he’s not chasing the northern lights, he lives and writes from the cabin he built seven miles north of Talkeetna. Iver is an accomplished nonfiction writer, fiction writer, and poet and also teaches creative writing at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

KYLE HASNER

Aurora Guide

Kyle Hasner was born and raised in Fairbanks and he’s been taking photos of the Aurora for a few years now. Kyle loves the outdoors and sharing his passion for the northern lights with locals and visitors alike. “Some of my favorite times that I’ve had with my friends have been chasing the Auroras in winter. When I’m not chasing the aurora, I’m often snowboarding the different slopes in the area.”

CATHY BROOKS

Tour Guide

Cathy Brooks is a teacher with an advocate spirit. Always cheering for the underdog, her life has taken her on adventures she could have never imagined as a farm kid in Pennsylvania. When Cathy ventured up the Alcan with her dog in 1992, she remembers crossing the border into Alaska and having the overwhelming sense she was home. She never turned back. Cathy has a diverse vita, having done administrative work, freelanced, trained sled dogs, ran tours, owned a business – and managed the Festival of Native Arts. She continues to teach and research at the university and dabble in writing in her spare time.

Elliot Hunker

Operations Manager

Elliot moved to Alaska from Pennsylvania, by way of his native Washington, D.C. In the decade since he made a home in Talkeetna, Alaska, he’s watched the footprint of mass-tourism grow to a level that is untenable. The economies of small towns like Talkeetna rely on tourism, but the infrastructure and community demand a more conscientious traveler. Years of working in tourism, as well as years of backpacking in Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and Europe have given Elliot perspective on what a more sustainable kind of travel might look like. In addition to easing the stress felt by host communities, small-form ecotourism is key to creating bridges across cultures and generations.

Elliot is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he studied History and Alaska Native Studies. When Elliot isn’t working to manage logistics for Gondwana, he is busy biking, skiing, and hiking with his dog, Blue.

CARTER ATKINSON

Tour Guide

It is said that your career path is never straight, but rather a zigzag. With a Bachelors in Liberal Studies from Chapman University in California, Carter Atkinson positioned himself to become a teacher. That path eventually intersected with his appetite for the outdoors and the next logical step for him was combining the two.

Based out of Bozeman, Montana Carter has about a decade of experience leading groups on technical rock climbs, kayaking the Mangrove tunnels of the Everglades, hiking in Yellowstone, and 8th graders on American Heritage tours in Washington D.C. He counts his passions as being a great dad and husband, mountain biking, surfing—and sharing the fantastic outdoors with his family, friends, and tour groups.

DANI CATANIA

Head of Guides

Dani Catania is an expert Argentinian guide with more than 15 years of experience hosting travelers in his native Argentina. Dani also works as our Head of Guides, responsible for guide training, implementing and maintaining Gondwana Ecotours’ high standards of guiding.

He grew up in Buenos Aires and has been living in Ushuaia for about 20 years. His passions for nature and mountaineering have led him to explore some of the most challenging regions in South America and around the world.

Dani is spending more time guiding for Gondwana Ecotours in Alaska and he is joy to be on tour with.

Join Us On An Upcoming Alaskan Aurora Tour!

Get a dose of local culture by day, and by night look for and photograph the Aurora Borealis. Your local guides provide the necessary wake-up calls when the lights appear and help you capture the perfect photo.

Learn More