Alaska Sea Adventures

Alaska Sea Adventures Guides & Naturalists

Jim Nahmens

Jim Nahmens is a wildlife photographer and guide from Redwood City, California. Each year he guides natural history trips to Alaska, British Columbia, Galapagos, and Hawaii. Jim has traveled throughout the Inside Passage over the past 12 years and has been guiding trips with Alaska Sea Adventures since 1992. Jim has a particular interest in humpback whales and has worked with humpback whale researchers in Hawaii, Alaska, and Western Australia.

In recognition, of his years of service aboard the M/V Alaska Adventurer, Captain Horchover in the shadow of Mt. Sumdum proclaimed in a short ceremony which was not very well attended, that Jim Nahmens should forever be given a title–a title of distinction. In his remarks, Captain Horchover said “You have served on this vessel for many seasons. You have shared the wonders of nature with our passengers. You have answered many questions with some dumb answers. Therefore, by the powers vested in me, from this day forward, as long as the rivers shall run and the sun shall rise and set, you shall be know as “Sumdum Guide.”

Nahmens in his emotional acceptance speech remarked “I accept with honor your precious gift. Now that I have this respectful title, people will know I’m not just any guide, I am Sumdum Guide.” Unfortunately, his speech and the festivities were cut short by a clogged head.


Dr. Adam Pack

Dr. Adam Pack

Dr. Adam A. Pack
Assistant Professor, University of Hawai’i Hilo and Co-founder and Vice President, The Dolphin Institute

Adam Pack, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii Hilo with a joint appointment in psychology and biology. He is also the co-founder and vice president of The Dolphin Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to scientific study of whales and dolphins and to the education of people whose activities affect these animals.

Dr. Pack has been researching marine mammals since 1983 focusing on humpback whale behavior and biology, the sensory perception, cognition, and communication abilities of bottlenose dolphins, and the behavior of wild spinner dolphins. He has co-authored over 40 scientific publications on whales and dolphins. These publications cover such diverse topics as memory and learning in sea lions; male-male competition, sexual behavior, migration, song, social and reproductive behavior, mating systems, and the role of body size in determining potential mates in humpback whales; and social cognition, concept formation, symbolic communication, referential understanding, self awareness, imitation, and abilities for cross-modal recognition using vision and echolocation in bottlenose dolphins.

Discoveries made by Dr. Pack and his colleagues have been featured in television documentaries (e.g., National Geographic’s “Wild Chronicles”, PBS’s “Dolphins with Robin Williams”, and the BBC’s “Dolphins: Deep Thinkers with Sir David Attenborough), magazine articles (e.g., Smithsonian Magazine, National Wildlife), and two IMAX films.

Dr. Pack is a research advisor to several organizations including the Northwest Chapter and National Branch of the American Cetacean Society (ACS), the Wild Dolphin Project in Florida, and Pacific Cetacean Group in California. Dr. Pack also serves as the research chair for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

“What really stands out for me is the knowledge that there is a place where people love what they do and are enlightened enough to find a way to share that with the rest of us.”

David Y.
Mt. Prospect, IL