Crystal Nordstrand grew up in a family of outdoor adventurers. Her mother, in her early 20s, lived in a treehouse built 50 feet above the ground and later worked as a National Park Ranger and a commercial river guide. Her father, Michael, has been guiding rivers worldwide for four decades. Of course, Crystal followed in their footsteps, but in her own way. Spending nearly a decade as a trip leader in the out of doors. Her first serious outdoor hobby, horseback riding, grew from every little girl’s fantasy to a competitive passion. She was lucky enough to begin her world travels at age seven. Her father was the director of several campuses for the School for Field Studies in sustainable resource management. So Crystal’s family spent semesters abroad in Kenya, Queensland, Australia, South Caicos Island, and on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. During college, she expanded her cultural and linguistic knowledge by attending Universities in both Spain and Puerto Rico. Later she received Bachelor’s degrees in Parks and Recreation Management and in Spanish from Northern Arizona University. Studying, perfecting, guiding and co-instructing the art of photography over the past several years alongside her husband, professional photographer Russ Nordstrand has expanded her travels considerably while guiding landscape and wildlife photography in exotic locations like Costa Rica and the infamous Katmai National Park in Alaska. Her most alluring, and also the most challenging task as a guide is balancing the protection of the resource base while facilitating a high quality of visitation. She believes her duty as a Backcountry Journeys Trip Leader is to blend top-flight photography instruction with education around the valuable areas in which she guides so as to leave her guests with a thorough understanding of the fragility of our shared environment and how intimately it connects to their lives.