Guest Lecturers

Guest Lecturers

On select Windstar voyages, satisfy your curiosity and enhance your understanding of the local culture by listening to our onboard lecturers. We’ve curated a group of speakers designed to bring you an insider’s perspective on a multitude of intriguing topics. Listen raptly as your voyage becomes more than just a vacation – and a thought-provoking exploration of enchanting lands.
Dr. Robin Doughty
Dr. Robin Doughty serves as a professor emeritus of geography and the environment, at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the history of landscape change and conservation, with personal and professional interests in the protection of wildlife, notably endangered birds. Robin has traveled extensively in such places as China, Central and South America, Africa, and Australia. Recently, Robin authored his 10th book, titled The Albatross and the Fish, exploring how fishers are threatening ocean-dwelling albatrosses unless changes are made in industrial fishing. During the past 30 years, he has offered a variety of lectures about wildlife and conservation to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.


Jonathan Malay

Jon Malay is a professional writer and speaker who brings to his audiences the rich experiences of two exciting and distinguished careers.  After studying oceanography at the U.S. Naval Academy and earning a graduate degree in meteorology, he served for two decades as a naval officer at sea and ashore as an expert in the science of oceanography and meteorology.  In 1984 he was a finalist for selection as a NASA astronaut.  Jon is the co-author of the National Geographic Society Encyclopedia of Space, and his most recent book is War In Our Wake: The Untold Story of the Last American Military Presence of the Vietnam War.



Amy Rubin

Composer, pianist, and speaker, Amy Rubin has been presenting concerts and lectures throughout the United States, Europe, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic in venues as diverse as Benaroya Hall and Lincoln Center.  Shehas been a professor at a number of colleges, including Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Cornish College of the Arts.  As a senior Fulbright Scholar, Amy directed the first Festival of Ghanaian Music.  She has recordings of her work on Mode, Koch, and CRI and has won numerous awards including the Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship.



Dr. Jay Christofferson
Dr. Jay P. Christofferson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Utah, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Hawaii.  At California State University Stanislaus, he served as the biology department chairman, associate dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (ALS), and the interim dean of the College of ALS. He became the dean of the School of Science and Natural Resources at Lake Superior State University until accepting the position of vice president, academic affairs at the California Maritime Academy, until his retirement in 2004.

Dr. William Crowley
Professor Emeritus William Crowley obtained his doctorate from the University of Oregon and spent his academic career at Sonoma State University.  He served a year as a Fulbright scholar in Mexico and has taught Spanish in Ecuador, Panama, and Paraguay as well as Mexico.  He has conducted research in several Latin American countries, authoring academic articles and book chapters on a number of topics and has travelled widely in Europe. He has pursued wine revolution-related research and chaired the Geography Department at Sonoma State various times for a total of 13 years.

John Clauson

John Clauson is a retired medical device executive, who started as a salesman selling everything from Band-Aids to vascular stents, and eventually became corporate VP, and chief operating officer. A long-time Seattle resident, John grew up believing he was the son of an IBM salesman and was in his mid-30s when he finally learned the truth – that his father was a mathematical and mechanical savant working for the Department of Defense as an undercover agent during the Cold War. His carefully researched account is his journey of discovery of the clandestine life of his father.


Diego Vasquez
Born in Costa Rica, one of the greenest countries in the world,  it is no surprise that Diego has been a true nature lover all his life. He describes his childhood as surrounded by tropical forest learning about the secrets of ecology.  Diego started  his education to become a licensed naturalist guide at the age of 18 and began leading expeditions  for nature lovers in the national parks and ecosystems of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama by the time he was 21.  This is not an easy task as this  región is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Diego is also an experienced international tour manager. He has been the naturalist on board different Windstar vessels for several seasons, giving lectures about tropical ecology, the flora and fauna of the region,  among other topics.  With his  deep knowledge Diego will enhance your experience on cruises. Diego is a very friendly, outgoing person and if you see him around the vessel he will be more than happy to share his knowledge and experiences with you and answer any questions you may have.

Diego invites you to join him aboard Wind Star for a Costa Rica & Panal Canal cruise Jan 16 - Feb 13, 2021

Karla Taylor
Born and raised in Tortuguero, Karla is a descendant of the first settler of Tortuguero where they have the longest ongoing research of sea turtles in the world. Karla has been involved with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation her whole life.  After graduating from the National University of Costa Rica, she got a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where she became a parataxonomist., the science that classifies species. She was involved with the National Institute of Biodiversity  for 7 years, traveling all over Costa Rica. For 20+ years she has been a naturalist guide discovering all of Costa Rica’s treasures and sharing that knowledge with others. Her goal is to change people’s lives with a true travel experience.

Alan French

Alan French has had a prestigious career working with the U.S. Army and the Department of State. His expertise is as an interpreter and analyst of Russia, their language, culture, and history.  His work has included interpreting highly technical briefings for delegations from the former Soviet Union, head of the language faculty at the U.S. Army Russian Institute and most importantly as an interpreter and translation reviewer for the START Treaty negotiations in Geneva in 2010. When not on assignment, Alan gives briefings and lectures on his experiences.


Joe Novitski
Born in Manila and raised in Northern California, South Africa and Peru, Joe Novitski graduated from Yale before serving as a Navy line officer on the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. He began a career in journalism with the Associated Press and joined the foreign staff of The New York Times, reporting from South and Central  America . He has also published in The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune and written A Vineyard Year and Wind Star: The Building of a Sailship, among other publications.

Dr. Sherry Hutt
Dr. Sherry Hutt travelled the world for over 25 years, collecting stories of characters throughout history and taking photos of where they lived.  While a judge, law professor, and federal prosecutor, she trained archaeologists, law enforcement, and attorneys on heritage protection.  Dr. Hutt advised the Bush and Obama White Houses as head of the national repatriation program.  Author of books and articles, and founder of a national organization of preservation lawyers, she received the highest honor of the US Department of the Interior. Dr. Hutt also held a post-doctorate fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. John Rennie Short
Dr. John Rennie Short received his PhD from the University of Bristol and his MA in geography from the University of Aberdeen. He has received numerous research awards and is the author of 32 books, many invited chapters to edited books, and over 50 papers in scientific and academic journals.  Born in Scotland, Dr. Short currently teaches at the University of Maryland where he is a professor of public policy. 

Richard Jay Hutto
Richard Jay Hutto, one of the foremost historians of the Gilded Age, compiled and edited Accepted Fables, the autobiography of Jordan Massee, and wrote Entitled: American Women, Titled Husbands, and the Pursuit of Excess as well as Crowning Glory: American Wives of Princes and Dukes, and Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members.  A former attorney, he served as White House Appointments Secretary to the Carter Family and was Chairman of the Georgia Council for the Arts. He recently was also featured on a lengthy national television broadcast by Glenn Beck about the founding of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Dr. Teri Sowell
Dr. Teri Sowell, lecturer and curator, is a dynamic speaker specializing in the art and culture of the Pacific Islands, including the ritual and ceremonial use of objects in Polynesia, both past and present, with a special interest in sculpture, tattoo, and tapa cloth. In addition to research, publishing, and teaching, Dr. Sowell has curated many art exhibitions  and lecturing around the world, bringing to life her knowledge and appreciation of Pacific art and culture to a variety of enthusiastic audiences. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University and currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego.

Richard Campbell
Richard Campbell obtained his M.Ed. (Adult Education) in 2002 and is co-author (with Cheryl Svensson of Los Angeles) of Writing Your Legacy – The Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your Life Story, released worldwide in July 2015 by Writer’s Digest Books. As a professional writer who has done freelance work for Canadian newspapers and CBC Radio, Richard has also appeared on several Top 50 CBS affiliate radio stations across the United States. Richard runs his own business, Guided Life Stories near Toronto, Canada.

Bob Varsha
Bob Varsha is one of the premier television commentators of the automotive world, with a résumé including everything from tractor pulls, to collector car auctions, to the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. He is perhaps best known for his 25-year tenure covering the Formula One® world championship. He began his long association with Grand Prix racing at ESPN in 1984 while adding a variety of sports including gymnastics, cycling, figure skating, and track and field. In 1999 he began a 17-year stint with the Speedvision /Speed Channel networks, now part of Fox Sports.

See Voyage
Pat & Rosemarie Keough
Pat and Rosemarie Keough have been exploring the world side-by-side as professional photographers and book publishers for over 30 years.  Yale University maintains an extensive archive of the Keoughs’ artistry, they have received many prestigious international awards and they have been honored with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals. Articles about the Keoughs and their books have been published in such magazines as Time, Forbes, and Smithsonian and the many adventures Pat & Rosemarie have had provide listeners with many a great tale.

Dr. David Roberts
Dr. David Roberts holds a BA in anthropology/cognitive science from Southern Illinois University, a Master’s in public administration from National University, and a doctorate of business administration from United States International University.  He worked in the field of applied anthropology for over 35 years, designing and building over 300 information systems ranging from robotic aircraft painting systems to information collaboration networks used by thousands of government workers. Since retirement in 2009, Dr. Roberts has worked as a docent, photographer, and curator at the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) designing new exhibits, giving tours of the museum, and functioning as the museum’s event and curatorial photographer.  Dr. Roberts speaks on the topics of anthropology, photography, semantic systems (intelligent machines), and local and global historical events.

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