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The Alaska Wildlife Guide Team

- OWNERS -

Rainer Zahnen

a man standing next to a river

I am originally from Germany, and the founder and owner of Alaska-Wildlife-Guide LLC. I am a true outdoors person who enjoys sharing Alaska’s fascinating beauty with all our guests from around the world.
My passions are canoeing, hunting, fishing, hiking and snow machining. However, despite preferring the outdoors, my main job is managing the Tour company.

Jutta Zahnen

a woman wearing a hat and smiling at the camera

When I visited Alaska for the first time I fell in love with this incredible nature. After we settled in North Pole, and set up my husband’s company, we were asked so many times: “Where can we stay overnight?” We came up with the idea to build a cabin and rent it out, the customers just love it. I am responsible for all the good stuff that our customers receive on our tours like homemade stew, sandwiches, coffee and punch as well as the personalized lunch bags for each tour guest. You find me in the back but I am always there.

- OUR TOUR GUIDES -

We are so lucky to have found guides who believe in the ideas and goals of our business philosophy. We are very proud to have very knowledgeable, high motivated, extremely active and flexible people who live in Alaska not just for a short time, but year round. They know Alaska and the life in “The Last Frontier” and guide you through our special and interesting tours. Most of our guides are multilingual what helps to connect to our guests very well.

SUMMER GUIDES

Robert

a close up of a man

I came to Alaska in 2004 from Colorado to get my degree from the University of Alaska in Business Management and a minor in accounting which I finished in 2007. I was a part owner of a company that provided medevac insurance for Alaskans after college. I sold the company in September of 2016, and decided to go back to school to get a Masters in Education from UAF and plan to teach history to 8th graders when I finish my degree. I married a lifetime Alaskan in 2009 and we live near Fox, AK with our 4 Labradors. I am an avid birdwatcher, hunter, snow-machiner, atv and motorcycle enthusiast, and music lover. I love to talk about Alaska, and enjoy doing tours for people eager to have a true Alaskan experience.

WINTER GUIDES

John

a person standing next to a body of water

After becoming bored with retirement and looking to fill my days with something I enjoy, I joined the team at Alaska Wildlife Guides to help others experience and enjoy the natural wonders of interior Alaska. Throughout my 13 years living in Alaska, I have enjoyed the long summer days fly fishing, camping, four wheeling and hiking the wilderness from the Arctic Ocean to Kodiak Island with my family. During the winter I enjoy ice fishing, skiing, riding snow machines and searching for the aurora. I look forward to each time I am given the opportunity to share the Alaskan experience I have come to love.

Claire

a girl riding a wave on top of a mountain road

Claire is a wildlife and travel photographer who is always looking for a new place to call home.  She has worked on cruise ships for four years traveling to 69 countries in the process. During that time she visited Alaska and fell in love, determined to come back as soon as possible. This led to a move to Juneau, Alaska where she spent the summer leading photography tours around glaciers and whale watching.  Always wanting to see more of Alaska, she moved up to Fairbanks in search of the aurora and new parts of Alaska to photograph.

Laura

a little girl in a garden smiling

I grew up in a small town on the coast of North Carolina. I studied photography at East Carolina University and spent my 20’s living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Most of my time was spent whitewater kayaking, traveling and climbing the corporate ladder. But after a few years, I grew tired of the corporate race and wanted more freedom in my job and my photography. Around this time I went to visit my best friend who had just moved to Alaska for a seasonal job. I fell in love with this state and the idea of working seasonal started to grow. In May of 2022 I accepted a seasonal job in Juneau, Alaska. I sold many of my possessions and moved across the country. I spent the summer photographing wildlife and having countless once in a lifetime encounters. I wanted to continue this for the winter, so I decided Fairbanks, being in the heart of the aurora, was next. What’s after this? Who knows?

Jon

a person wearing sunglasses and sitting in a boat with a dog

Born and raised in the Northwest, I arrived in the Fairbanks area in 2013 and finished a 24-year career as a logistics officer in the army. I live in North Pole where I enjoy getting out and playing hard in the great Alaskan wilderness. I enjoy biking, hiking, floating, skiing and anything with an engine attached. Come join me on my next adventure and let’s see what we can find.

YEAR-ROUND GUIDES

New team members

 

Are you are new team member?  A bit about your background will go here.

Tony

As a kid growing up in Alaska, I brought a whole sled dog team into sixth grade for presentation and rides in the playground at recess. Spent many years commercial fishing in Cook inlet. Have traveled both domestic and across the pond. While travel is fundamental to life for me, Alaska is the girlfriend I always come home to. Lived in everything from a WW2 bunker in Dutch Harbor AK with Siberian rats, to a castle in Boston Massachusetts. I have stories for days and educating people on what I’ve lived and learned, has alwasy been a good way to showcase Alaska, “The Great Land”.


Cowie(Supervisor)

a close up of a cow looking at the camera

My name is Cowie and I lived my whole life here in Alaska. I came into this business through an unfortunate event which was Rainer’s and Dan’s hunting trip. My job is the most important one in this business. Sometimes, it is tough and a lot of work to be the supervisor in our beautiful and comfortable shop, but mostly I am just hanging around. And this makes up for all the hard work.

I make sure that everyone behaves during our snowmobile tours and that the vans are being cleaned properly. I am also the best photo model in this area, but will bite if you try to touch me.

- OFFICE EMPLOYEES -

Elizabeth
(General Manager)

a group of people posing for a photo

My husband, our dog, hairless cat, and I recently transferred to the great state of Alaska from Oahu. On Oahu I had the opportunity to work with companion animals as well as marine mammals as a veterinary technician. After moving here, I wanted to get to know more about the state of Alaska. I am pleased to be able to bring my years of management and superior customer service experience to this great company. My husband and I enjoy hiking, fishing, photography, and camping and cannot wait to get out and see everything Alaska has to offer.

Ellie
(Office Manager)

a group of people posing for the camera

G’day!  I am originally from sunny, tropical Queensland, Australia and am married to a born and bred Alaskan and have two pet rabbits.  After more than 10 years of living down under, the Alaskan decided he missed the snow and ice too much so decided that we should move back to Alaska.  Luckily before moving here I had made many trips here over the  years and at least knew a little about my new home, so it wasn’t too foreign.  Apart from missing Aussie bacon, I do miss the warm weather and get a bit sick of snow after a while. I love the outdoors and always look forward to the snow disappearing so we can get out and explore this great State and everything Alaska has to offer.

Ashley
(Office Assistant)

a group of people posing for the camera

Hi, my name is Ashley. I’m just a lil ol’ Alaskan Native lady born and raised here in Alaska. I have an amazing husband and three beautiful children. I absolutely love to go fishing in the summer time and ice fishing in the winter. I find myself in the kitchen the majority of the time as I love to cook. I adore Alaska and love meeting all kinds of people from the states and other countries!

- WORKSHOP STAFF -

James
(Van Detailer)

a man smiling for the camera

My name is James, a boy from Brooklyn, New York, who transferred to Alaska with the Post Office Maintenance Department 20 years ago. I’ve since retired now and have a sweet retirement gig half a mile away. I love working for Alaska Wildlife Guide, it’s simply a pleasure coming full-circle to work once again for a mom & pop business. I’ve never seen a dissatisfied customer.

Jeff
(Mechanic)

a man wearing a hat

Jeff is a born and bred Alaskan, an avid outdoorsman and off-road enthusiast. Jeff is the expert on all things mechanical, ensuring that our vans and snow machines are maintained and in good working order.