Trip Leaders


R. Eduardo Galván Aviña

R. Eduardo Galván Aviña

Field Experience Engineer
Eduardo spent his childhood exploring the urban hillsides around his family’s home in Tijuana and traversing the ridges surrounding his ancestor’s historic rancho (Rancho San Gregorio). He has extensive experience leading groups of college students and citizen scientists in Baja to both Rancho San Gregorio and Vermilion Sea Field Station and takes pride in cultivating soul-filling, adventurous experiences. Eduardo studied architecture and civil engineering and works as a civil engineer when he is not leading groups in Baja. He is undertaking a new entrepreneurial adventure by creating the brand “Born to Baja” (#borntobaja). Education: Civil Engineering: Institute Tecnológico de Tijuana Wilderness First Responder Certification: Wilderness Medical Associates
Robyn Johnson

Robyn Johnson

Field Leader

Field Leader

Robyn is a tree-hugging, pun-loving California native. She currently resides in Orlando living a life inspired by her favorite childhood movie, The Lion King. Robyn has joined or led Stars to Sea trips since its inception in 2015. Formerly a competitive swimmer with lifeguarding certifications, Robyn has current CPR/AED training from the American Heart Association.

Education: BS in Agroecology & Animal Science from The University of British Columbia & MA in Zoology (Project Dragonfly) from Miami University, CPR/First Aid Certification.

Josh Wiseman

Josh Wiseman

Field Leader

Born and raised in the heart of the Bluegrass State, Josh spent the last several years traveling much of the East Coast for various jobs. He now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, working as an Outreach Keeper at the Nashville Zoo. Since his first expedition to Baja in 2015, Josh has played the role of student, participant, support staff, and now trip leader. He looks forward to growing his Baja family this summer, and hopes to continue spreading his love for the wonderful people and creatures that call the Sea of Cortez home. Josh is CPR and First Aid certified.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Biology w/ concentration in Zoology: Western Kentucky University

Cole Basar

Cole Basar

Field Leader

After coming to Baja for the first time and experiencing its magic, Cole decided to quit his job as a science teacher, grow a beard, and pursue his passions of wildlife conservation and education. He is very happy with this decision and plans to make many more like it. When he’s not dreaming about whale sharks and citizen science in Baja, Cole bounces back and forth between Hawaii and Orcas Island as a charter captain, marine naturalist and outdoor educator. Whether it’s the issues affecting the orca whales in the San Juans or humpback whales in Maui, Cole acts as an ocean ambassador and wildlife advocate by educating passengers through meaningful experiences on the water. He is a North Shore Certified Lifeguard, as well as CPR and First Aid certified. Fair warning, he learned CPR in France.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education Earth & Space Science: Arizona State University, In progress: Harvard University: Master’s in Sustainability & University of Miami of Ohio: Master’s in Conservation Biology, CPR/First Aid Certified

Kristi Brown

Kristi Brown

Field Leader

Kristi is a high school science teacher, with 14 year of experience educating young people. She enjoys working with students, building a foundation of science techniques, content and introductory principles. Kristi loves working with kids in and out of the classroom. She has extensive experience leading students on expeditions abroad. Kristi has traveled through 19 countries. Her first trip to Baja was in 2011, she has been actively participating in programs with VSI for the last 5 years, leading CampOceano and high school programs. She has current CPR and first aid certification.

Education: BS Biology Emphasis Zoology, Boise State University, MA Zoology, Miami University Global Field Program, CPR/First Aid Certified

Mallory Peebles

Mallory Peebles

Field Leader

Mallory has always had a passion for animals, more so for ground dwelling mammals. But after partaking in the Stars to Sea program back in 2017, her love for marine wildlife grew tenfold. When she’s not enjoying the sights of Baja, Mallory resides in Los Angeles, California, working as an animal care professional at the Los Angeles Zoo as a hoofstock keeper. Mallory looks forward to this trip every year; to reconnect with nature and share the love of the sea with new and returning participants. She’s traveled to over 15 countries and recently spent a month in the Philippines working on a reintroduction conservation program on the Visayan warty pigs. If she’s not doing something with animals, she can usually be found singing or dancing. So be prepared for a possible karaoke or dance party!

Education: BS in Animal Science/ Pre-Vet with a minor in zoology: California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, CPR/First Aid Certification

Benjamin Brose

Benjamin Brose

Field Leader

Being the youngest of a set of triplets, Benjamin has developed his “loud” abilities in a number of ways. Loud in his laughter, positive energy, team support, creative thinking, and passion towards our natural world. When not spending his time as an educator inspiring others about aquatic life at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can find him near any water he can locate fishing to his hearts’ content. A variety of “side passions” like dinosaurs, and his brother-run production company, Brose Brothers’ Productions, keep him distracted from the daily grind. Ben is First Aid and CPR certified and also happy to boost the morale and confidence of everyone (mental health is important too)!

Shelby Brose

Shelby Brose

Field Leader

Shelby is an interpretive environmental and humane education guru. When she’s not rocking a massive sun burn and ear-to-ear smile in beautiful Baja, she’s managing education programs at the Arizona Humane Society aimed at enriching the lives of both pets and people in her community. Shelby is passionate about connecting people, especially youth, with nature. She has received frequent opportunity to facilitate these connections through her 10 years at the Phoenix Zoo where she (also) currently works evenings introducing groups of kiddos to the wonder of the natural world. Shelby has current CPR and first aid certification for both pets and people- she promises to double check what species she’s working with before administering any assistance. A life-long learner, Shelby considers her career path her classroom, and utilizes each opportunity afforded to her to the fullest extent.