As Wilderness Travel’s Special Projects Manager, Ray spends much of the year planning and managing our educational Special Events. These events may involve discussing wildlife conservation issues with world-renowned experts in African game reserves, joining the world’s top Egyptologists for special access to the treasures of the Pharaohs, or watching an eclipse in a remote corner of the world with top astronomers. Past prominent guests have included Jane Goodall, Sir Edmund Hillary, Mary Leakey, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, wildlife biologist George Schaller, mountaineers Reinhold Messner and Conrad Anker, and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl.
Ray is involved in every aspect of our Special Events: determining the themes and locations, selecting and inviting the Guest Speakers, setting up the often complex logistics, and actually managing the events in the field. These special programs have taken Ray around the world, from the Mayan countries to the Andes, Greece, and Egypt for archaeology programs; from Kenya, the Serengeti, and Botswana to the Bering Sea and Sea of Cortez, and to both the Arctic and Antarctic for natural history programs; and to the Himalayas, the Alps, and the Dalmatian Coast for culturally-themed events. In addition he has organized 11 total solar eclipse programs in 19 different locations around the world, all successfully viewed, and has personally enjoyed eight total solar eclipses.
Originally a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader, Ray resided in Kathmandu, Nepal, for over 10 years, where he directed academic study programs, taught English, consulted in development projects, and joined the adventure travel world as a trekking guide. He has explored and trekked in some of the most remote parts of Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, India, and Mongolia, and has an extensive knowledge of Asian history, ecology, and religion. He is particularly knowledgeable about Tibetan Buddhism, holding a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Antioch College. He has led numerous Wilderness Travel trips in Asia, including our very first trips to Tibet and to remote Mt. Kailas.
The symposium was designed and ran without a disruption of any sort. Ray Rodney is an expert at what he does and a great complement to Wilderness Travel.Diana B. and Arthur S., World of the Maya: New Discoveries at Ancient Copan
Ray is a consumate professional and a pleasure to know.Hilary H., Total Solar Eclipse in Polynesia
To Ray Rodney: I want to commend you for your professional profile and presentation. Your poise, careful planning, and orchestration of logistics, experience and expertise made you a superb leader of this motley group of seafarers. You enjoy my great respect for a job well done.Pat A., Antarctica: In the Footsteps of the Great Explorers
I also want to say, most emphatically, that Ray Rodney did an outstanding job. He kept everything going but without being at all overbearing. In his quiet, friendly way, he made sure that all the details were taken care of. I found his organization, planning, and execution impeccable.Andrew Szegedy-Maszak (Guest Speaker), A Greek Odyssey
Ray was superb in every sense—caring, attentive to detail, all-inclusive, helpful, sensitive, concerned, thorough. A better person could not be found!Sorrell and Carole G., An Antarctic Odyssey
I have to use only superlatives to describe the WT program staff. Ray is simply outstanding. Cannot even imagine the program without Ray.Taj B., World of the Maya: The Millennium at Tikal
Ray’s knowledge of Nepal and the personal relationships he’s built over the years there were amazing. His willingness to share that with us was very special. I hope I can be honored with another Ray-led trip sometime somewhere.Bob H., Everest Adventure
Ray is a superb trip leader—professional, organized, and patient. He provided us with a wealth of information on Nepal, the mountains, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Nepalese way of life.Sheryl D., Annapurna Sanctuary
Ray was terrific! His knowledge of Nepal and fluency in the language was wonderful. He could answer every question put to him.Margie C., Everest Adventure
I enjoyed Ray immensely. Professional on all levels. Unperturbable, generous, and good humored. Our staff seemed to enjoy and respect Ray too.Vinnie M., Humla to Kailas
Ray was simply masterful! His dedication, sense of purpose, meticulous caring for all of us, and organization were just some of the attributes he called upon to make this experience as meaningful as possible for everyone. I would actually consider a trip to “hell” if Ray were leading it.Peter J., Humla to Kailas
Ray is a particularly thoughtful and resourceful leader—truly at the top of the field.Joanne P., Washington, DC
Ancient Kingdoms of Peru Symposium