Instructor Biographies

text: The Grand Canyon Field Institute

Instructor Biographies

Expert Field Instructors

Grand Canyon Association Field Institute is proud of its outstanding team of instructors. Made up of resource experts possessing PhD's, Masters and Bachelors degrees, our instructors continually share their passion for Grand Canyon with others. The following is a list of instructors that will likely be leading classes during the upcoming season.

If the class description lists the instructor as “Field Institute staff,” one of the following instructors will serve in that capacity. Preclass materials will indicate which instructor has been scheduled for your class, or you can call the Field Institute office for the latest information on specific assignments. All instructors listed, with the exception of Mike Buchheit, Jack Pennington and Elaine Maier, are acting as independent contractors while leading courses and performing duties for the Field Institute. Mike, Jack, and Elaine are full-time employees of the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute.

Listed alphabetically by last name.
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Bob Hoffa

In 1986, Bob stepped into his first yoga class not knowing that he would spend the next 25 years cultivating a life of value and meaning through this transformative practice. After many years studying the Iyengar and Anusara yoga methods, Bob recently struck off onto his own path of practice and instruction. His new expression of yoga carries forward the best of his past and blends it with the creative freedom of the most progressive forms of contemporary yoga. Bob has studied extensively with some of the world’s foremost yoga teachers and has been teaching yoga since 2004. He is known for his ability to connect with each student, take them deeper into their practice and build lasting relationships through the power of intention, alignment and heart. A Grand Canyon enthusiast for many years, Bob has led outdoor education trips, worked as an interpretive ranger and hiked and rafted in the backcountry. Bob currently lives in Salt Lake City where he teaches public classes and workshops and offers private instruction and yoga therapeutics.

Jacqueline Holm

Jacqueline Holm attended Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming. For the last 20 years Jackie has been living and working in the west during which time she has collected experiences about ecological and social issues, wilderness adventures, and great stories to share. She has been a wilderness ranger in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, a ranch-hand on cattle ranches in Colorado and Wyoming, a math teacher for Arapahoe and Shoshone students on the Wind River Indian Reservation, and introduced visitors to the wonders of Humboldt Bay in Arcata, California. She has managed Wilderness areas in Oregon and taught Leave No Trace, but perhaps her favorite pastime is to witness a coyote dig a ground squirrel out of a hole or see the first turkey vultures of the season return to the Colorado Plateau. Jackie particularly likes to share all these stories and experiences as well as excite everyone around her about the wonders of the place she now calls home; Grand Canyon.

Rich Holtzin

Rich Holtzin has taught earth science, music theory and philosophy for over two decades. Having spent more than 30 years in the Southwest, Rich has hiked and explored thousands of miles in Grand Canyon and throughout the Colorado Plateau. He is an avid world traveler, former commercial pilot, wilderness guide and the writer and composer of the Ballads of the Grand Canyon soundtrack.

Ian Hough

Ian Hough currently works for Grand Canyon National Park as an archaeologist in the Vanishing Treasures program.

Ian earned his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 1995 and his M.A. in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 1999.

After working as a private contract archeologist for seven and a half years in Oregon, Washington, northern California and northern Nevada, Ian began work for the National Park Service in May 1999 at the Western Archeology and Conservation Center in Tucson. His tenure with the National Park Service includes numerous projects at Petrified Forest National Park, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Manzanar National Historic Site, Navajo National Monument, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park. In October 2005, Ian was offered the position of Vanishing Treasures Archaeologist at Grand Canyon National Park and is currently working to document and preserve the hundreds of well-preserved architectural sites in the park.

Ian has also traveled and worked on archaeological research projects in Mexico and Peru. Ian’s specialties in archeology include Southwestern Ancestral Puebloan architecture, the development of agriculture and stone tool technology. Ian has completed two Colorado River projects between 2002 and 2004, each involving ruins stabilizations and archeological site monitoring.

Elaine Hultgren

Elaine is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art with a major in painting and a minor in printmaking, and is a multi-talented artist. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited in several juried shows, and her graphic design work and illustrations have been published in books, magazines and newsprint. Elaine is also an Emmy award winning animation artist who has worked in the television, film, and computer gaming industry for over 25 years as a storyboard and concept artist. Upon moving to Phoenix AZ, a life long love of all things green led her to enroll in the Desert Botanical Garden’s Botanical Art and Illustration certificate program in 2005 from which she graduated in 2010. She has been an instructor at the Desert Botanical Garden since 2007 teaching botanical drawing, watercolor, silverpoint, nature sketching and journaling, and a variety of nature classes. Elaine has taken her Nature Sketching & Journaling workshop on the road to the Toledo Botanical Garden, Ohio Side-Cut Metro Park, and Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah. Elaine recently relocated to Salt Lake City, UT from where she will initiate a Botanical Art and Illustration certificate program at the University of Utah’s Red Butte Garden.

Kelley Ingols

Kelley began her yoga teaching career in 2004 after taking a yearlong emersion and teacher training in the Anusara yoga tradition. A schoolteacher by vocation, Kelley quickly became a well-loved yoga teacher in the Grand Canyon community. After six years at the canyon, Kelley moved back to Flagstaff, where she continues to teach yoga at Northern Arizona University and the Yoga Experience. Kelley’s other loves, community and nature, compel her to bring people to her Grand Canyon backyard to combine yoga and hiking. She has been organizing and leading yoga workshops and retreats at Grand Canyon since 2003. Her classes transform students through the freedom and ease revealed through good alignment and moving from the heart. She loves to make class playful and challenging, and she consistently invites students to embrace their lives as a vehicle to health, happiness and vitality.

Lisa Kearsley

Lisa Kearsley came to love the Grand Canyon spending her childhood summers on the North Rim while her father studied Kaibab squirrels. She finally was able to move to Arizona in the 1980’s to earn a master’s degree in biology at Northern Arizona University. And, like many who have come to Arizona, she never left.

She has worked for the National Park Service at Grand Canyon as an interpretive park ranger and as a researcher, studying vegetation trends and the effects of Glen Canyon Dam on river campsites. Her love of river running drew her to Utah’s San Juan River, which prompted her to write and publish the San Juan River Guide, a comprehensive guidebook for river runners. In addition to leading backpack trips with the Field Institute, she leads outdoor education trips and provides lectures on the Colorado Plateau for Road Scholar, works intermittently for the Park Service, and is a natural science illustrator.

Gary Ladd

Gary Ladd is a freelance large-format photographer specializing on the wilderness interior of Grand Canyon, the surprisingly pristine sandstone landscapes surrounding Lake Powell and the slickrock terrains of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. His photographs have appeared in a variety of magazines and books including Life, Newsweek, Professional Photographer, National Geographic Adventure, Sierra Press books and National Geographic books. Gary’s awards include the 1997 gold, 1998 silver and 2005 silver Arizona Highways Awards for Best Photography of the Year and the 2004 Grand Canyon Historical Society’s Pioneer Award. Gary has lived in Page, Arizona, along the Colorado River for 27 years. He has led trips for the Museum of Northern Arizona, Sierra Club, Arizona Highways, Grand Circle Field School and Elderhostel. He has completed over 75 backpacking trips and over 30 river trips at Grand Canyon, and has rowed his wooden dory through the canyon numerous times since 1973.

Stewart W. Lasseter

Stewart W. Lasseter has been teaching and exploring in the Southwest and afar for more than 25 years. He came to Arizona for studies in Geosciences and Languages at The University of Arizona and stayed to explore the Southwest’s rich natural and archaeological history. He expanded his explorations throughout the Americas fascinated by all forms of self-impelled travel: rafting and kayaking in California, Wyoming, West Virginia and Patagonia, cycling treks in Europe, South America, and the Great West, and backpacking in mountains from Maine to Washington to Tierra del Fuego. Today you’ll find him facilitating adventure philanthropy projects and adventure-based educational programs in the US, Mexico, Chile, and Central America and consulting on stress management and wellness for students, corporate clients, and indigenous peoples.

Larry Lindahl

Larry Lindahl enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for photography with his strong focus on the artful side of the medium. He is a professional freelance photographer and writer whose work frequently appears in books, magazines and scenic calendars. Arizona Highways magazine has published feature stories about Larry’s Grand Canyon hiking trips and several portfolios of his landscape images. In his book Secret Sedona: Sacred Moments in the Landscape, he thoroughly explores his connection to Sedona’s sandstone wilderness in photography and field journal entries collected over a 12-year period. His landscape photography can be seen in the now-classic book Grand Canyon: The Vault of Heaven and is featured in the award-winning book Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography. Larry lives at the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Sedona, Arizona.