Rowers, Shore Crew, and Leader Travis Ruff
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Sam developed a love for the water at an early age; he spent many hours traversing the Willamette river by kayak, canoe and, most prominently, rowboats. After 6 years of competing in both high school and collegiate crew, Sam decided that it seemed like a good idea to row the length of the Mississippi.
Eric is a Maine native who has spent the last four years living mostly in Washington and other parts of the Western U.S. This summer he returned to Maine to lead wilderness trips for the Chewonki Foundation. As a politics and government major with an emphasis in environmental policy, Eric spends a lot of his time considering land use issues relating to recreation, wildlife, natural resources, and localized management on timber and range lands. He enjoys any activity that gets him into the wilderness, but kayaking, skiing, hiking, and rock climbing are some of his favorites. When not exploring the great outdoor by any means necessary he enjoys Swing and Blues dancing, singing, reading, and woodworking. He is very excited to bring adventure into the classroom this fall and to see new parts of the country with OAR NW!
Audra was born and raised in Colorado, I grew up hiking and skiing on the Rocky Mountains. She just graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a BA in Communications and was on the rowing team all four years. She has been working on the classroom lessons and class management strategies and is excited to keep rowing all the way down the Mississippi River and connect with all the students along the way.
Calli is a Washington native and grew up exploring the lakes, mountains and rivers around the Pacific Northwest. A recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound and a member of Puget Sound’s varsity collegiate rowing team she is excited to be able to combing her love of science and learning with her love of rowing. She hails from an exercise science background but is looking forward to expanding her knowledge from nutrition and exercise physiology to water microbiology and chemistry.
Hailing from Nutmeg State originally Chris has found a home along the silver waters of the Salish Sea in Tacoma, WA. In his role as the Adventure Mississippi River (AMR) Social Media Manager and Puget Sound Outreach Manager Chris helps create video and web content for the rowers as well as reaches out to University of Puget Sound students interested in the continuing AMR course. While not working with OAR Northwest Chris can be found leading teens on sailing trips through the San Juans for YMCA Camp Orkila as well as coordinating and leading trips and trainings for Puget Sound Outdoors. Chris enjoys ridding his bike around the muddy hills of Western Washington as well as finding peace on Puget Sound.
Beatrix is a rising senior at The University of Puget Sound, studying Business Management and Law. When not dedicating her life to fundraising and organizing copious amounts of gear and equipment for OAR NW, she enjoys boating the Salish Sea and the great Puget Sound and grew up in Seattle, Washington. She’s and avid adventurer and loves traveling around the world and meeting new people.
Ryder is currently evaluating the best and most efficient way to describe himself. When he’s not changing lives on the water he’s carving wooden clubs and drinking protein shakes.
Born in the wilderness of central Idaho and raised by loving but stern wolves, Bennet Roper OAR NW’s outreach coordinator is always seeking adventure. She finds it most often in conversations with friends or whiled wandering across forests and waterways. She is a mad genius who is dedicated to her passions and the Mississippi trip!
Jordan Hanssen is a writer and cofounder of OAR Northwest. He has captained two ocean rows, the 2006 Shepard Ocean Fours Rowing Race from New York to England and the 2013 Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) Africa to the Americas Expedition featured on Dateline NBC. He was a part of OAR Northwest’s Adventure: Mississippi River 2014 expedition and is currently teaching an Adventure Education: Mississippi River course at the University of Puget Sound. He is the author of Rowing into the Son about his team’s Guinness World Record row across the Atlantic.