Travis Williams

CEO and Naturalist

ODC Network

Born and raised in rural Hastings, Michigan I grew up spending most of my time outdoors where I forged a deep passion for, and connection with, nature. I received a biology degree from Hope College and have worked in the field of environmental science and education for the past 20 years. I have served as the Executive Director/CEO of ODC Network since the organization was founded in the year 2000.

The ODC Explorer Network has given me the opportunity to share some of my passion and interests with young and old alike. Over the past 15 years, I have guided high school, college, and adult groups throughout North, South and Central America. Whether it has been hiking up mountains, snorkeling with sharks, taking a night hike through the rainforest, or fishing for billfish off the pacific coast – each travel adventure has not only created new natural connections for me, but has also helped me forge new lasting friendships with my fellow travelers. If you would like to travel with me, look for the trip each year that is billed as a “Travel with Travis” experience. I look forward to the possibility of traveling with you on our next Explorer Network adventure.

Contact Travis Williams: travis@outdoordiscovery.org

Jamie Krupka

VP of Programming and Naturalist

ODC Network

I grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio where I was fortunate to have easy access to nature. The joy of rolling over logs, hiking, fishing and play in natural areas stayed with me as I grew older. After graduating from the University of Dayton with a degree in Environmental Biology, I pursued a career as a naturalist. I have been a naturalist for the ODC Network since 2003 where my roles include leading field trips for school kids, offering community programs, managing the DeGraaf Nature Center, and coordinating the ODC Explorer Network.

My natural curiosity inspires me to learn more about the world’s flora and fauna and the desire to teach about and share my discoveries with people. Wherever I go, I’m looking for a new adventure…and probably birds. I have traveled to a number of places in the United States personally and professionally and have also lead group tours to a number of international destinations. I look forward to birding, hiking and exploring with you on an adventure with the ODC Explorer Network!

Contact Jamie Krupka: jamie@outdoordiscovery.org

Joy Funk

Chief Naturalist

ODC Network

I grew up in a rural southern suburb of Chicago and you would never find me inside. My afternoons as a child were spent getting lost in the woods, playing pretend with the trees, finding crayfish in the ditch, and making boats for my Barbies when there was a good rainstorm. I graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in horticulture, specializing in landscape design. After 6 years of designing beautiful yards, I decided for a change in careers. Children were not having the daily, amazing experiences outdoors that I had as a child, and I wanted to change that. My path started as a volunteer naturalist in 2008 in the Chicago which morphed into a career. I have been fortunate enough to work as a naturalist in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan.

As a naturalist, my passion for travel has been an important part of my career. From leading a group of high school students across the country camping, to visiting the rainforests of Costa Rica, I am truly amazed at all of the beauty this world has to offer. I thoroughly enjoy traveling with my family and friends and I look forward to you joining me on my next adventure with the Explorer Network.

Contact Joy Funk: joy@outdoordiscovery.org

Lisa McKellips

Naturalist

ODC Network

I grew up on the south side of Holland on 20 acres with pond swimming, creek playing, animal caring fun! After unsuccessfully trying to nurse a baby mouse to adulthood I went on to care for baby rabbits, chickens and kittens along with caring for my pony and numerous other pets. Many a day was spent outdoors during my younger years getting comfortable with and learn about the native plants and animals that shared my play space.

In college I spent a summer working for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park and went on to get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resource Management from Grand Valley State University. I have worked as a naturalist for DeGraaf Nature Center and the ODC Network for over 26 years and have enjoyed sharing my love and knowledge of our natural world with countless youth and adults in our community. I have also led numerous Women’s Wilderness Weekends to northern Michigan and central Indiana and I have assisted on trips to the Great Smoky, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, and Acadia National Parks. I love and am amazed by the beauty of the natural world around us and would love to share an experience with you during an Explorer Network trip.

Contact Lisa McKellips: lisa@outdoordiscovery.org

Mike Graves

Naturalist

ODC Network

I was born and raised on a small farm in rural northeast Indiana where life was lived outside. Exploring the fields, woods, and streams on the farm gave me ample opportunities to learn some amazing things about, and become comfortable with the natural world. I graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife, specializing in Environmental Interpretation. I have been a naturalist for over fifteen years, twelve of which have been at DeGraaf Nature Center.

I began leading natural history and eco-adventure trips in 2007 with a wildflower tour in southern Ohio. Since then I have taken travelers across the continent, from Maine to Arizona and the Smoky Mountains to the interior of Alaska to discover all the amazing things this world has to offer. I look forward to showing you a new favorite National Park or a different way to experience some place more familiar on your next adventure with the Explorer Network.

Contact Mike Graves: mikeg@outdoordiscovery.org

Special Requests welcome

If you have a special request to see or do something the leaders go out of their way to try to fit it in.

Connie P

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-14T10:11:00+00:00

Connie P

If you have a special request to see or do something the leaders go out of their way to try to fit it in.

Guatemala Billfishing

From the fishing to the food to the accommodations, it was a world class experience.  I’ve been back for a week and I’m still smiling about it!

Nick R

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-14T10:01:51+00:00

Nick R

From the fishing to the food to the accommodations, it was a world class experience.  I’ve been back for a week and I’m still smiling about it!

So great we signed up again!

We had such a fantastic experience with the ODC Explorer Network in Ecuador in 2010 that we joined the group going to Alaska in 2012

Peter and Diane V

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-14T10:07:32+00:00

Peter and Diane V

We had such a fantastic experience with the ODC Explorer Network in Ecuador in 2010 that we joined the group going to Alaska in 2012

Great way to travel

Traveling with the ODC Explorer Network was a great way to take a unique, stress free and expertly planned trip.

Diane V

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-14T10:32:53+00:00

Diane V

Traveling with the ODC Explorer Network was a great way to take a unique, stress free and expertly planned trip.

Screaming Reels

I have been on, and lead, wonderful scuba diving and sailing adventures for decades but none have surpassed the trip to Guatemala with the Explorer Network this month. Travis Williams and David Nyitray were outstanding. Guatemala was a pleasant surprise. Iztapa was the perfect location for an ocean fishing resort.

Mark R

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-15T08:05:07+00:00

Mark R

I have been on, and lead, wonderful scuba diving and sailing adventures for decades but none have surpassed the trip to Guatemala with the Explorer Network this month. Travis Williams and David Nyitray were outstanding. Guatemala was a pleasant surprise. Iztapa was the perfect location for an ocean fishing resort.

Active!

Being and active person, I valued having the option to hike, bike, kayak and really explore Alaska.

Peter V

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-14T10:36:51+00:00

Peter V

Being and active person, I valued having the option to hike, bike, kayak and really explore Alaska.

So amazing!

The food was amazing and the wildlife encounters were phenomenal in Costa Rica!

Sarah K

ODC Explorer Network
2019-02-14T10:28:06+00:00

Sarah K

The food was amazing and the wildlife encounters were phenomenal in Costa Rica!