About Us - Eco Tour Adventures
Eco Tour Adventures was created with the idea of helping people connect with the natural world through wildlife observation and natural history interpretation. We believe that when one is more familiar with the intricate workings of the ecosystem, he or she has a deeper appreciation and connection with their environment. With this stronger bond we believe folks will make more environmentally sound choices in their day to day lives.
Eco Tour Adventures strives to be an environmentally friendly business. By using BioDiesel in our vehicles we are decreasing our use of petroleum. Partnering with the Carbon Fund we are a carbon neutral business. Supporting our local economy is important to us; therefore, we use local services and products when possible. We feel that contributing through our Dollars for Conservation program our guests can give back to the landscapes that they have connected to and enjoyed during their stay in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. An additional goal of Eco Tour Adventures is to be a positive role model for other businesses. Our hope is that more organizations will make eco friendly choices.
Eco- tour adventures is owned and operated by the lead guide Taylor Phillips.
I spent my early years on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia where occasionally I managed to escape the protective grip of Mom and Dad in search of a taller tree to climb, a more active creek to explore or a more mysterious trail to follow. My passion for the wonders of nature was born.
I enrolled in Mercersburg Academy, a boarding school in Pa. where I promptly became actively involved in the outdoor program, then in its infancy stages. My junior year, in addition to being a student participant, I found myself in a position where I was instrumental in planning and organizing activities and outdoor adventure trips. At this point I had progressed from climbing trees to climbing mountains, from playing in creeks to canoeing, kayaking and rafting the rivers of Pa.and Wv., from tossing stones in brooks to gearing up and scaling up shear rock walls, from exploring trails to traveling miles into the forest to spend the night camping. I was hooked. Upon graduation I was honored with the award for the student who made the most significant contribution to the school’s outdoor program.
Moving to Florida for a degree in environmental studies and environmental philosophy I continued to pursue my interests. At the end of my college career, I wanted more. I felt the desire and need to submerge myself totally in the world of the outdoors, which led to my move to Jackson Hole in 2002. Here I knew I could surround myself with likeminded individuals and I could use all of the scientific resources that this area has to offer. This drive led to employment with a local nonprofit organization where I worked as a naturalist science educator and a wildlife biologist guide. Switching gears I then took a position with a local guide service as a naturalist and conducted interpretive hiking tours throughout the year.
The abundance of educational opportunities and limitless resources available in the Jackson Hole area has been invaluable to me. I have completed courses and attended seminars in Advanced Avalanche Safety, Advanced Wilderness First Aid Training, Bird Behavior, Geology of Western Wyoming, Natural History Interpretation, and Pronghorn Antelope Behavior and Reproduction just to name a few. I currently hold a certification from the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide.
Eager to expand my horizons and knowledge of the outdoors in areas unfamiliar to me I set out to fulfill two of my long time dreams, one to hike the 2100 mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in one summer season. On the trail, I found myself voluntarily helping other hikers to better understand and interpret the natural world around us. I believe that understanding the workings of the natural environment leads one to enjoy a more intimate and fulfilling experience.
My second dream was to travel with three friends down the 1900 mile Mighty Yukon River through the heart of Alaska. This amazing 76 day wilderness Kayak adventure took us from the Yukon Territory in Canada to the Bering Sea off the west coast of Alaska. A trip to remember!
When not guiding professionally I am skiing in the Tetons or climbing their majestic peaks. I have also explored the backcountry and studied the natural history of Florida, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Maine, Alaska, British Columbia and the rain forests of Venezuela.
I have an unbelievable passion for my work and I have tons of fun showing my clients this place I call home. I will educate and entertain all on my Eco Wildlife Adventures.
My career as a naturalist started at the age of four, when I spotted a garter snake crawling into a bush, and with no hesitation, dove head first into the greenery to get a closer look. I was hooked on herpetology, and on wild nature.
Upon finishing my B.S. degree in Wildlife Sciences at Utah State University, my childhood dream of working in Africa came true: I was accepted into the Peace Corps-Smithsonian Environmental Program to serve as one of two biologists in a National Park in Niger, West Africa. The experiences of those two years were among the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life.
I completed my Masters in Zoology at the University of Massachusetts, and moved to teach at Landmark College Vermont. In 1989 I was lured away from the lush wooded landscape of Vermont to the huge mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, switching careers to development at a small nature center.
My next ten years were devoted to fundraising at The Teton Science school, the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, the Wolf Recovery Project of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, and finally as a private consultant to a number of other conservation organizations in the West. I gradually came to miss my calling as a naturalist and a outdoor science teacher. I became a seasonal wildlife-watching guide in Jackson Hole, where I had daily opportunities to share my knowledge of Jackson Hole's abundant wildlife with visitors. After five years, I took a more stable, year-round position as a faculty member at a local science center, teaching week-long courses in Grand Teton National Park.
Five more years of this very gratifying work as an outdoor educator passed, and once again, my restless spirit took over. I did a brief Sabbatical in the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan in 2009, and returned later to volunteer there with a conservation NGO, followed by a stint as a Senior Lecturer in Forestry at the University of Bhutan. It was a nine-month opportunity and adventure that has tied me to Bhutan forever, but Jackson Hole is my home. Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks are exceptionally rich not just in “charismatic mega-fauna”, but in all the dynamics of an intact geo-ecosystem. Sharing all of this with people is the ideal work for me, and EcoTour Adventures is the ideal introduction to these treasures for our visitors. I'm excited and proud to be part of EcoTour’s high-quality team.
Many years ago, when Christine was on a flight home after a college semester of study in Nepal, she fell into a long conversation with two senior British women, well into their 70s, who had spent the previous four months birding in the Himalayas. As their flight neared final approach, one of the women turned to her and said, “Young lady, I’ll give you one bit of advice: Never say NO to an adventure!” Over the ensuing decades, the inspiration of that brief encounter has taken Christine from the Amazon to Africa and the Arctic, chasing a passion for wildlife and wild places.
Christine is a professional wildlife biologist, conservationist and science writer. She completed her master’s degree in wildlife biology at the University of Montana, Missoula, and has been base-camped in the northern Rocky Mountains ever since. She worked for the Forest Service on sensitive species and migratory birds, and then for many years as an independent biologist and consultant. Her work has taken her afield throughout the western U.S. and abroad, including east and southern Africa, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. She has been involved in field studies of behavior, habitat relationships and ecological interactions on a wide variety of species, from bald eagles and songbirds to pikas and African wild dogs. She has created practical conservation guides for landowners and resource professionals, and has written dozens of articles about wildlife and conservation.
Christine and her husband, a wildland firefighter, moved from Montana to Jackson in 2009, where they make their home with a furry family of two dogs and three cats. They spend as much of their spare time as possible exploring the wild country out their door, hiking, paddling, and skiing. In her first season with EcoTour Adventures, Christine is excited to share her knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone region’s wild treasures, from grizzlies to chickadees.
Raised on a small farm in Pennsylvania, Colin spent much of his youth outside with animals. After receiving a Forestry degree from Northern Arizona University he went on to work and study as a naturalist in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. A former high school Biology teacher, Colin now resides in Jackson Hole where he enjoys hiking, skiing, fishing, and mountain biking. On those days, however, he often spends as much time tracking and photographing wildlife or foraging for wild edible plants. Colin loves guiding in Wyoming's National Parks because it is such a great place to get people excited about nature with the amazing abundance of wildlife and scenic wonders. He hopes that by sharing his passion for the outdoors he can help others better understand and enjoy the natural world.
Now guiding for EcoTour Adventures since 2010, Matt was born and raised in Connecticut and spent his formative years outside. Although certainly not an outdoor playground comparable to Jackson Hole, suburban Connecticut did have its share of woods, streams and frog ponds in which to get thoroughly muddy. After a high school career dominated by weekend trips to Vermont to ski, backpack, or wander around the family hunting camp, Matt attended the university of Vermont in Burlington to pursue a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. Upon graduation, he accepted a position as a field biologist in Yellowstone National Park, which has forever marked this area of the world as special to him. After moving to Jackson for “one winter” to ski, Matt has been here since 2005. During that time, however, he has traveled to work as a field biologist in Idaho, Colorado, eastern Wyoming, and West Africa. He keeps returning to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to be able to experience true wilderness and significant northern hemisphere wildlife while still calling a town like Jackson home. Matt enjoys guiding because of the daily prospects of giving people "life-list" caliber wildlife viewing opportunities, and the time to help people more thoughtfully interact with their own natural surroundings.
Marley grew up in Jackson Hole. This has allowed her to develop a unique knowledge and history base of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She enjoys many of the recreational pursuits the valley has to offer, including: angling, backpacking and skiing. She brings an educational background in ecology to her guided tours in Western Wyoming.
Prior to working with Eco Tour Adventures, Vaughn spent time as an Executive Director for a non-governmental watershed organization, where she dealt with management and conservation concerns on both private and federally owned lands and worked closely with leaders of the area’s land management agencies, non-governmental organizations and various ecologists. During her tenure as an executive director, the organization played an instrumental role in the preservation of over four hundred miles of the Snake River Watershed through a Wild and Scenic designation.
In addition to her professional experience, Vaughn is pursuing a graduate degree in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. She has also spent time working with a variety of researchers in the Rocky Mountain West looking at ecosystem phenomena such as nutrient and energy cycling in streams as well as the effects of invasives.
Vaughn brings a lifelong commitment and passion towards conservation, management and stewardship of the Inter-mountain West and enjoys sharing this passion with others.
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