Adventure Guiding Certificate Faculty

Harley Elias

Harley Elias


Business Administration, Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

MBA, Strategic Planning and Marketing (University of Washington)

Subjects: Business, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4014

Mike Neville

Mike Neville


Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

Bachelor of Tourism Management, (Vancouver Island University)

Master of Recreation Management, (Acadia University)


Subjects: Tourism Adventure Guiding, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4117

David Pinel

David Pinel

Coordinator, Faculty

Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

M.Sc., Rural Planning & Development (University of Guelph)

Subjects: Nautical, Tourism Adventure Guiding, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4667

Sessional faculty

Laurel Archer

Laurel is a Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC Guide Examiner with a Class 4 Waters Endorsement, Paddle Canada Level 2 Sea Kayak Instructor, Paddle Canada Instructor Trainer in Moving Water Canoe, Lake Canoe and Camping, Recreational Canoe Association of BC Master Instructor, Canadian Power and Sail Squadron ROC (Maritime) Examiner, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, and PADI Open Water Diver.

Laurel has paddled waterways from Central America to Asia and the South Pacific, including competing in some of the most challenging canoe and kayak races in the world. Besides writing a thesis for her Masters degree in Distance Education, she’s penned three guidebooks based on her extensive experiences exploring and guiding on rivers in northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as well as published numerous articles, short stories, and poems. Laurel is a member of the International Explorers Club and Royal Canadian Geographical Society, inducted for her work in documenting historic and lesser-known waterways and her efforts to promote their conservation.

Gregg Cormie

Gregg Cormie's love for adventure began as a child surf kayaking on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Since those days he has dedicated his career to sharing his passion for the outdoors. While not in the forest, ocean, or river, he can be found drying and repairing his equipment for the next adventure or spending time with his family.

Gregg is a graduate of Royal Roads Masters of Environmental Education and Communication with an undergraduate from Vancouver Island Universities in Sport, Health, and Physical Education. He holds certification as a SKGABC Level 3 Sea Kayak Guide, BCROA Raft Oar/Paddle Guide, BCROA Examiner, River Kayak Leader/Instructor 2, Wilderness First Aid 90h, and Swift Water Technician. Gregg has been fortunate to enjoy adventures throughout North, Central, South America, Asia, India, Europe, and Africa.

Faroe Des Roches

Raised off the sea air and rain of coastal BC, Faroe’s paddling career really began in a Klepper, asleep between her parents' legs. She began instructing sea kayaking in 2005 with Ecomarine Paddlesports Centres. In 2010, Faroe undertook her first major sea kayak expedition, the Pipedreams Project, paddling two months down the BC coast, which included co-directing and co-producing an award-winning short film by the same name. She caught the expedition fever and began working for NOLS in 2013, leading month-long paddling trips in BC, Alaska, Baja California and Patagonia.

Faroe is a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor and Level 1 Instructor Trainer with Level 4 skills, plus a SKGABC Level 3 Guide currently completing her Guide Trainer certification. With the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) she is also a Sea Kayak Course Leader, Master Educator for Leave No Trace, and a Registered Examiner for VHF Maritime Radio. Faroe’s thorough and accessible teaching style is appreciated by her students in training programs through SKILS, NOLS and North Island College.

Dave Prothero

For Dave, growing up on Vancouver Island meant many weekends were spent in a canoe exploring lakes and areas of the North Island. His first introduction to whitewater came during a 3 month stay at a mountaineering school in the Canadian Rockies with a company called Yamnuska. This led to a 2-month excursion to Nepal and his first rafting trip, 5 days on the Kali Gandaki River. This followed by another 5-day trip on the Jarbridge/ Bruneau Rivers in Idaho. This led to the start of a guiding career that allowed Dave to work across Canada, Australia, NZ, Iceland, Scotland, England, Honduras, India, Morocco, Turkey, and Chile, and guiding in the North of Canada. You can find some of these adventures at

Dave instructs across many programs, including the COLT Program at Strathcona Park Lodge, and various School District outdoor adventures. We’re grateful that Dave is part of our River Rafting team, while also supporting our overarching objectives around well-rounded and professional guides – students appreciate his understated manner, passion for paddling, and skilled instruction. Dave is otherwise a professional photographer and works in health care – multi-talented!

Tony Shaw

Tony discovered his love of canoeing in his teens, which led to a lifelong passion for the sport. With a background in education, he joined NIC in 2000 as a sessional instructor teaching canoeing for several programs, including Adventure Guiding. “Canoeing is such a beautiful art,” says Shaw. “There’s a lot more to it that people think and I love helping students discover the joy and the art of canoeing.” Shaw is certified as a Master Instructor by Recreation Canoe Association of BC (RCABC) and Paddle Canada. He specializes in canoe tripping and whitewater canoeing.

Tony has worked for Strathcona Park Lodge and the COLT program as a canoe instructor for fifteen years. His business ventures included the ownership and operation of a wilderness lodge, the Red Goat Lodge, training and outfitting for canoe trips down the Great Stikine and other northern BC rivers. He earned the coveted Brian Creer Award for service to the RCABC; and was recently honoured a Lifetime Membership to the same association. And at the age of 80, he is currently planning a canoe trip on the Coppermine River in Nunavut!

Graham Vaughan

Graham is in his happy place on the water and in the wilderness sharing his knowledge and love of the ocean and its critters. He is a graduate from Capilano University's Wilderness Leadership and Outdoor Recreation Management Programs where he is now the convener and instructor in the School of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management.

As a Level 2 Instructor with Paddle Canada, and an Examiner, Guide Trainer and volunteer Director with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC, Graham is committed to the sea kayak industry and instilling a passion for kayaking to students and aspiring guides alike. At Spirit of the West Adventures, he guided and was the Manager of Operations for ten years and has more recently also guided with West Coast Expeditions and Kingfisher Adventures exploring new areas of the coast. He has also guided whitewater river trips and worked oversees in Chile, the Bahamas and New Zealand. He is passionate about marine education, tourism, and conservation, and is currently pursuing that through a Masters degree program at Royal Roads University. 

Scott Wallace

Scott offers AG students a wealth of marine biology knowledge, practical naturalist experience, tools for crafting effective interpretive programs, and an unmatched understanding of complex topics in coastal conservation and stewardship. He is a PhD Marine Biologist, and respected across government, non-profit, and industry sectors. And he’s fun!

Scott works as a guide naturalist with Outer Shores Expeditions and has also worked internationally. He has previously taught at the School for Field Studies and Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. Every fall he teaches with UBC’s Haida Gwaii Institute. He has a passion for field-based teaching – shedding light on the issues, creatures, and voiceless features.
Scott’s curiosity and sense of humour help to make him a great role model for thinking and talking through complex resource stewardship issues and solutions while keeping a healthy perspective. Most of the year, when not teaching or working as a naturalist Scott is employed as a Senior Research Scientist with David Suzuki Foundation.

Meet the delivery partners who support our Adventure Guiding program.