Get to know our guides and captains! One of these professional naturalists will be leading you on your next adventure. All of our staff strive to provide safe, fun, and unforgettable adventures. Like someone in particular? They love to be requested!
Captain Joe Lotts
After 16 years of experience, Joe branched off to start Charleston Outdoor Adventures, LLC. Despite running the business since 2009, you can frequently find him leading trips on the water. Once you meet him it is no surprise that he has been guiding since the young age of fifteen. After discovering his passion for the outdoors, Joe obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College. Living in the mountains of North Carolina, Joe sharpened his kayaking and guiding skills in whitewater rivers and mountain creeks. After moving to Charleston, Joe worked in the industry mastering the skills needed to provide the best guiding service in the region.
Captain Tripp Copeland III
From Winton, NC, Tripp discovered his love of the outdoors at an early age. Spending his summers in the Outer Banks, he grew an appreciation of the East Coast and especially its waters. Tripp followed his passion to Brevard College, where he graduated with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. He started guiding kayak eco tours in 2003 in Beaufort, N.C. From there, he moved to Charleston where he has been guiding ever since. He has since developed great enthusiasm and knowledge of Lowcountry estuaries. Tripp’s vast experience and laid back attitude make him a cherished member of the COA team.
Captain Luke Levanchy
Luke is a native of New Jersey and has lived in the Lowcountry for 9 years. He left the corporate world after realizing that he wanted to enjoy his work every day and be outdoors. After six years of guiding for COA, he is one of our most passionate, knowledgeable captains. Luke enjoys providing fun, educational tours for locals and visitors alike. Luke is a lover of all things water and you can frequently find him surfing on Folly Beach when he is not guiding.
Cade was born in South Carolina where he grew up kayaking, fishing, and exploring in the creeks and marshes of the Lowcountry. His passion carried into an educational setting, studying marine biology and ecology in high school and into higher education at the College of Charleston. Cade is our go-to guide for anything paleontological, with a depth of information on South Carolina’s rich fossil history. His passion for the ecosystem and everything in it is evident in his attitude here on Bowens Island.
Captain Josh Coleman
A South Carolina native, Josh was raised in the tidal waters of Charleston. Always being an outdoor enthusiasts, he quickly became passionate about preserving fragile ecosystems. During his time in the United States Marine Corps, Josh was fortunate to visit many exotic places where his love for conservation grew. Now, as an eco-tour guide, his desire is to instill that very same passion into others. When he is not guiding, Josh enjoys hiking and reading about American History. He can often be found at concerts – especially if his idol, Dave Matthews, is playing near Charleston!
Alex was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her love of the outdoors began while attending summer camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While pursuing degrees in Spanish and Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she spent summers working as a camp counselor and expedition leader on the Outer Banks. She loves paddling, gardening, and anything that connects her to the natural world. Alex is particularly passionate about sea shells, dolphins, and learning more about the value of coastal ecosystems.
Allyson moved to Charleston and joined COA in 2019. It wasn’t until her college years that she discovered her passion for the outdoors. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in Outdoor Recreation. Allyson has applied her education and interest in natural places by finding work in environmental education, trip leading, and teambuilding. COA is the perfect place for Allyson’s love for people and the natural world to come together. When not on the water, she can be found indulging in sushi, playing frisbee, or working on a jigsaw puzzle.
Josh “JB” Butler
Growing up in the backwoods of Landrum, South Carolina, Josh found a passion for the wildlife and mountain streams of the Southern Appalachia. Josh would go on to the College of Charleston to obtain a degree in Biology in order to make a living out of his love for the outdoors. Inspired by the likes of Steve Irwin and David Attenborough, Josh uses his platform as a guide to get people excited about ecology and the importance of conservation. When not out on the water, you can find him playing bass with bands downtown or in the woods flipping logs looking for critters.