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Our Team


Co-Owner, Freshwater Biologist, Instructor, Lead Guide

Kevin has deep roots here in Transylvania County, and is very familiar with the natural history of this region where he grew up fishing, hunting, and exploring Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, along with what is now DuPont State Forest and Gorges State Park. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) with a Masters in Science (Biology). His undergraduate and graduate studies focused on secondary education (biology teaching & chemistry teaching) and freshwater biology, respectively. While attending EKU, Kevin was employed as a curatorial assistant at EKU's Branley A. Branson Museum of Zoology where he worked with freshwater animals such as fishes, aquatic insects, crayfishes, aquatic snails, and freshwater mussels. His graduate research and thesis was on the first stream restoration effort for the federally threatened blackside dace, a small minnow found only in the upper Cumberland River Drainage in southeastern Kentucky. Kevin has also worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducting surveys on the now federally threatened Kentucky arrow darter and its closest relative the Cumberland arrow darter. Kevin has worked as a river host and guide for Headwaters Outfitters for four years, and is Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified. 


Kevin taught general biology I at Blue Ridge Community College at the Transylvania County Campus from 2016-19. He also formed an outdoor program at Rosman High School 2012-19 called Southern Appalachian Nature Expeditions (SANE). This program was designed to give high school age students opportunities to explore the natural world of Transylvania County through hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and now snorkeling. Kevin is a fierce advocate of the outdoor classroom, and believes it to be the most important issue we are faced with in education today! Kevin is currently a registered nurse (RN) and currently works at Transylvania Community Hospital in the Acute Care Unit.



Co-Owner, Risk Management, Wilderness Medicine Coordinator & Instructor

Christie is co-owner of Oxbow River Snorkeling where she oversees the wilderness medicine program. She is an integral part of making our tours safe and enjoyable for our guests. She has been an Intensive Care RN for 12 years, and currently works as an Emergency Department (ED) RN.  Her experience ranges from surgical and trauma to medical intensive care.  She currently teaches advanced cardiac life support and BLS with the American Heart Association as well as teaching Wilderness and Remote First Aid and CPR with the American Red Cross. She recently joined the Transylvania County rescue squad.


Christie spends her free time hiking and  backpacking, camping and paddling.   Her love of the outdoors, teaching, and medicine led her to complete a wilderness EMT class in 2011. She is excited to share her passion with you!



Co-Owner, Freshwater Biologist, Instructor, Lead Guide

Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.



Co-Owner, Freshwater Biologist, Instructor, Lead Guide

Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.


Biologist & Editor

Eric grew up in the rolling hills of bluegrass in Kentucky. A consistent love for all things outdoors was encouraged by his parents and grandparents on frequent wading trips to Elkhorn Creek in Franklin County, KY. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.A. in English (Literature), but he left, soon after, to pursue a position as a Wilderness Counselor in Tennessee. After he returned back to Kentucky, he began his long-desired pursuit of a formal education in biology and natural history, as well as beginning his career with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and the 4-H Youth Development Program.Eric’s passion for plants grew from a Plant Ecology class he took with Dr. Ross Clark. After this class, he filled his schedule with as many plant courses as possible, including Dendrology, Plant Systematics, Aquatic and Wetland Plants, and Ecology of Old Growth Forests. During this stretch, he was published in Castanea: Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society for the discovery of a new species of tree in Kentucky (Triadica sebifera). A brief pause to complete another M.S. in Recreation and Parks Administration, and he was back on track with learning as much as possible about the beautiful outdoors he loved so much. He has continued his love of learning with classes dealing primarily with aquatic ecosystems and invertebrates. He is still working toward completion of his M.S. in Biology.Eric continues to pursue his passion of outdoor and environmental education through his work with the 4-H Youth Development program. He maintains certifications as an environmental educator in Project WILD, Project Learning Tree, and Project WET. He has also been Kentucky Certified Environmental Educator. He is an active member of the Kentucky Association of Environmental Education and the Kentucky Native Plant Society. Eric is an avid hiker and photographer, and enjoys spending time in creeks and forests with his wife, Sara, and his daughter, Addison.


Outdoor Adventure Specialist

Charley grew up here in the Blue Ridge Mountains on Lake Toxaway where venturing into the backcountry for hiking, camping, and paddling tours with his grandfather was a very common experience. His grandfather, an avid paddler and professional outdoor adventurist, taught Charley a great deal about this region, and how to “plan” for backcountry adventures while remaining a good steward of the land. These early excursions with his grandfather was inevitably the seed that germinated into a great love for the outdoors that is obvious each time you head out into the backcountry with Charley. A graduate of Southwestern Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Outdoor Leadership, Charley is determined to continue down the path that was set before him so very long ago. His love for teaching and leading groups into the backcountry is indicative of his personal desire to learn more about this regions natural heritage through photography and research. Charley’s knowledge of this areas geography and strong family connections is what gives him a unique perspective of local natural landscapes. His specialties involve paddling rivers and lakes, orienteering, Leave No Trace, backpacking, day hikes and of course, making safety a priority. Charley completed the Outward Bound Northwest Sea Kayaking and Mountain Expedition course in July 2009. This course consisted of an 11 day sea kayaking excursion around the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State, and an 11 day mountaineering expedition in the Northern Cascades. Charley’s most recent adventure came as a surprise in the late summer of 2016 when his grandfather invited him on a 16 day, 225 mile paddling adventure down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with his buddies who have been paddling together for over 20 years. 


Naturalist, Lead Guide

E.J. grew up in Randolph County, North Carolina, on the edge of Uwharrie National Forest where he spent a considerable amount of time hiking, camping, and learning about the natural world. He is an Eagle Scout who considers outdoor education to be of the utmost importance, especially in the world of modern technology we live in today. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the UNC Institute for the Environment. His undergraduate studies focused on ecological, biological, and earth sciences. While attending UNC he spent time living and studying at the Highlands Biological Station (HBS) in Highlands, NC, where he studied mountain biodiversity and conservation. His research at HBS consisted of mapping the densities and distribution of an invasive freshwater clam species in the Little Tennessee, Tuckasegee, and Pigeon River watersheds as well as quantitative comparisons of stream health within the Tuckasegee watershed. During this time, he began to pursue an interest in fungi and nature photography. His significant knowledge of fungi in Western North Carolina has led him to educate others about this often unseen world around us. His nature photography has been featured by WUNC ( and other works can be found on his Instagram account @shroomiej. E.J. worked for the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation for over 2 years. First at Eno River State Park in Durham, NC, and most recently as a Park Ranger in the temperate rainforests of Gorges State Park in Sapphire, NC. He is Basic Life Support (CPR AED) by the American Heart Association. During his time with NC State Parks he worked to educate the public concerning natural resource management and protection. He wholeheartedly believes in the importance of environmental education as our global society looks to focus on the stewardship of the Earth into the future. 


Freshwater Biologist, Lead Guide

Jason is a native of the North Carolina Mountains, having grown up along the banks of the New River near Boone NC.  He began snorkeling in the local streams at an early age and spent much of his youth fishing and paddling. As a young adult, Jason spent several years guiding whitewater paddling trips on several southeastern rivers, before deciding to continue his education and pursue his interest in riverine ecosystems.  Jason completed an undergraduate degree in biology at UNC Chapel Hill. During this time, he conducted studies of aquatic salamanders in the Nantahala National Forest, looking for new species among isolated populations. Jason continued on to complete a master’s degree in fisheries science from NC State University where he focused on the effects of pollution on the region’s freshwater mussels.  He has been a professional biologist for almost 20 years and has spent much of that time performing snorkel surveys to find some of the rarest species in the region. Jason still prefers to spend his free time in the river and enjoys teaching others about our area’s natural resources, believing that giving people hands on experience in nature is the most effective tool for preserving our natural heritage.  


Freshwater Scientist

Dave retired from the Water Quality Group at North Carolina State University in 2008.  Much of his work there was to assess the ecological recovery of stream restoration projects in NC and was funded largely by grants with the Ecosystem Enhancement Program (in which he now serves as a member of their Scientific Advisory Panel) and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.  Prior to working with NCSU Dave was with the NC Division of Water Quality.  He worked with the DWQ as an Environmental Biologist specializing in assessing streams and rivers using aquatic insects as indicators of water quality.  He helped developed the metrics and assessment protocols needed to assign bioclassification criteria to streams and rivers.  This information was frequently used as a tool to assess watershed health and/or trends in data following implementation of management programs.  He has also worked to develop protocols to determine perennial stream origins in North Carolina using biological indicators.  Dave has given numerous workshops that deal with the ecology and taxonomy of aquatic insects and intends to remain active in this area.  He was elected president of the Society for Freshwater Science (formerly the North American Benthological Society) in 2012.  The SFS has approximately 1800 active members from 41 countries.  He also serves as the Executive Board Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) whose member societies number over 1.4 million scientists worldwide.  Dave recently started a small consulting firm in Asheville where he specializes in aquatic insect surveys and educational programs about river ecology (  

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