Guiding

I offer professional guiding and tour directing services for travel companies that value experiential learning and whose customers are active, live life with gusto, value spontaneity, and thrive on flexibility.

MARK HOUGARDY

ITMI Certified Tour Director / Guide
NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Languages:
English (fluent), Spanish (basic), German (basic)
Gateway City: Portland, Oregon

Exploration and travel can be transformative. Such experiences allow us to overcome fears, face intolerance, awaken stewardship, nourish empathy, and allow for understanding. I like to peel back the top homogeneous veneer of modern society to discover the history, stories, and meanings underneath. I try to help people to answer the question for themselves, “Why should I care?” I guide by the truism, “Hearts first, then minds.”

Contact me: mark@letsgoexploring.com
▸ View my Trip Reports

This map shows areas where I have lived or traveled or toured. For travel, I have included areas where I have spent at least one week learning about the local sights and culture – the story of a place.

Tour Director / Guide Experience

Oregon – Road Scholar (3x, 6 days) 2017
Guided an intergenerational science and nature tour with animal visits, developed tracking skills, and learned how injured wildlife is rehabilitated. Included: beachcombing, behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo, birds of prey at the Chintimini Wildlife Center, marine biology at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, visiting the White Wolf Sanctuary and exploring the Jackson Botton Wetlands Preserve.

Oregon – Obsidians (4 years, trips of 1 to 3 days)
Developed and lead interpretive natural history trips: remote old-growth hikes, Crater Lake National Park extended weekends, sensitive habitat restoration, trail maintenance, Backpacker’s Rendezvous annual celebrations, museum visits, moonrise hikes, PDX trips

California – Hiking for Families: Sunnyvale – Cupertino Adult Community Education (1 year, day trips)
Created opportunities, and guided trips, for young families to explore local parks and natural areas.

California – Cosmos Tours (2x, 5 days)
Motorcoach trips along the coast from LAX to SFO: redwoods, Montery Bay Aquarium, exploring San Francisco

California – GlyphGuy Adventure Travel (2 years, trips of 1 to 3 days)
Organized & guided kayaking Elkhorn Slough, backpacking Point Reyes & Channel Islands National Parks, hiking Pinnacles National Park, waterfall hikes in Big Basin, walking San Francisco’s Barbary Coast Trail, hiking Angel Island, and whale watching. Developed itenerary and obtained funding for group tour to Austria.

California – Environmental Conservation Outdoor Program – ECOS (2 years, day trips)
Developed and led ECOS programs within a 2,000-acre redwood forested park; focused on local ecology, cultural and natural history.

Familiarization Tours / Destination Knowledge

– California – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Point Reyes National Seashore, Yosemite National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Mojave Desert, Channel Islands National Park, Napa/Sonoma Wine Regions, Redwoods National Park, Pacific Coast Highway, Lake Tahoe, Pinnacles National Park, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Elkhorn Slough, Big Basin, Año Nuevo State Park
– Oregon / Washington / British Columbia – Hiked 100+ miles on PCT, Crater Lake National Park, Portland, Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, Oregon’s Coast, Mt St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Vancouver, Victoria
– Texas / Oklahoma / Arkansas / Missouri – Ozarks, eastern Oklahoma, San Antonio, Padre Island (met Ila Fox Loetscher, the “Turtle Lady” and founder of Sea Turtle, Inc, a rehabilitation organization),
– Europe – Austria’s Tirol (6x), northern Italy (2x), Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands
– Mexico – Yucatan Penninsula (Chichén Itzá, Cancún, Tulum, Isla Mujeres)
– Jamaica – northern coast, (met Lisa Salmon the “Bird Lady” of Rocklands Wildlife Sanctuary)

Project Management, Marketing, & Development

Red Panda Network – Development Consultant
Red Panda Network (RPN) protects wild red pandas and their habitat (in the Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf Forest Ecoregion) through the education and empowerment of local communities.
– Donor relations, trade-show staffing, gift processing, grant support, communications, and social media marketing
– Salesforce and Classy CRM integration

City Club of Eugene – part-time Executive Director (2015-2017)
The City Club is the premier civic affairs symposium for Oregon’s second largest metro area with 45 weekly TedTalk-style events for audiences each year. Attendance ranged between 50 and 140 per event.

Centrify – Marketing Consultant: Automation, Events, Database, & Identity (7 years)
– Automation & Funnel Optimization: Lead generation and scoring, A/B tested web pages, created Salesforce & Marketo landing pages.
– Events & Operations: Managed up to 35 national and regional trade shows and events per quarter
– Database & Email Communications: Oversaw nurturing activities: campaign automation, lead scoring, reporting, emails creation
– Identity: Managed final creative products and oversaw production of data sheets, white papers, newsletters, brochures, and oversaw trademarks

The Nature Conservancy Volunteer – Communication & Outreach Services (6 months)
Designed e-newsletters for regional mailings to inform and grow volunteerism.

Oregon Wild Conservation & Outreach Intern (3 months)
Supported staff on outreach events, advocacy research, and program assistance.

GlyphGuy Backpacks (Founder and Owner, 10 years)
– Designed and manufactured child-sized backpacks to grow the youth-in-nature market.
– Provided 2,400 backpacks to the NPS Junior Ranger program and an additional 5K to Forest Service, nature centers, and outdoor programs.

Houseparent – Sanborn Park Hostel – Saratoga, CA (2 years)
2+ years as Houseparent and point of contact for 20,000 visitors. Oversaw daily operations of the 39-bed nonprofit. Recruited and managed volunteers, oversaw wedding events, led interpretive tours, and coordinated facility rentals.

Education

  • International Tour Management Institute, San Francisco – Certified Tour Director / Guide
  • National Outdoor Leadership School, Wilderness First Responder
  • Bachelor’s Degree, International Relations, SFSU
  • Certified Interpretive Guide, National Association for Interpretation
  • Oregon State University, Oregon Master Naturalist Certificate

Software Skills

Creative: Adobe Suite (Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop)
Databases & CRM: Salesforce.com, Marketo, iCentera CMS, SharePoint, Neon
Languages: HTML (hand coding), CSS; Editing of ASP, JavaScript, PHP, XML, and XSL
OS & Tools: Constant Contact, BaseCamp, BBEdit, FTP, Mac, MailChimp, MS Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), QuickBooks, Unix/Linux, WebEx, Windows OS, WordPress
Social: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
GIS: Introductory Arc GIG

Personal Interests / Hobbies

Hiking, walking, backpacking, gardening, Native American studies, history, archaeology, paleontology, promoting a healthy outdoor community