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. 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 & 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.
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 enthusiast, 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!
Captain Dallas Baker
Dallas Baker is a native of the greater Charleston area- growing up in and around the local waterways. As a year round swimmer, passionate surfer, avid whitewater kayaker, professional sea kayaker, and boat captain, Dallas is no stranger to the water-world. He also specializes in Ornithology, so be sure to ask him everything he knows about birds. When he’s not on the water you can find him playing in his beach driven bluegrass band Dallas Baker & Friends or enjoying all the beauty Charleston has to offer with his wife and pets.
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. When she is not on the water, you can find Alex in the COA office, helping you book your upcoming adventure!
Brice grew up in San Diego, CA where she spent most of her time hiking, camping and exploring the local beaches. She studied Sustainability before moving to Charleston to teach Environmental Education. Here at COA, Brice is able to nourish her love of the outdoors and share a bit of the lowcountry with others. When not on the water or in the office at COA, you can find her gardening, reading and doing Pilates.
Captain Katie Gleason
Katie is originally from South Florida but moved to Greenville, SC as a kid. She graduated from College of Charleston with a degree in Marine Biology in 2018. Katie is very dynamic here at COA and can be spotted both on and off the water! Katie has a strong passion for marine mammals and is a volunteer for the South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In her free time you can find Katie working out at the gym, enjoying the water, or photographing our local dolphins.
Captain Ryan Hammer
Growing up, Ryan had quite a nomadic life living in Arkansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and now South Carolina. His love for wildlife and the outdoors started as a child by spending hours on end watching Animal Planet. He graduated from Allegheny College with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science. After spending the last year on fishing vessels in the Bering Sea of Alaska, Ryan is thrilled to lead tours on much calmer waters. When he’s not out paddling, Ryan enjoys exploring local breweries, playing paintball, and admiring all the cute dogs Charleston has to offer.
Captain Craig Burke
Craig recently moved to Charleston after spending the last 5 years in Minnesota, where he graduated from Macalester College with a degree in environmental studies. Originally from Connecticut, Craig grew up exploring the forests of his hometown, and quickly developed a curiosity for the abundance of life around him. After spending a few summers conducting invasive plant research in college, he solidified his passion to work outdoors and continue to explore the interconnectedness of nature. In his free time, Craig loves to bike, ski, climb, camp, or find any other excuse to get out, travel, and explore the outdoors.
Originally from Annapolis, MD, Cullen is no stranger to the water. He arrived in Charleston as a student, pursuing a degree in Business Administration at the College of Charleston. A recent graduate, he is excited to join the COA team, learning the ins and outs of a small, local business. Cullen is passionate about all kinds of travel & had spent time backpacking in Europe and roundtripping across the US, visiting National Parks, climbing, and enjoying nature. With an interest in sustainability, Cullen is also excited to learn more about our local ecosystem through training as a kayak guide.
Peyton grew up in Greenville, SC where she spent her time hiking, camping, and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains. She moved to Charleston three years ago and just graduated with a degree in Professional Writing. Stepping into her first season at COA, she is eager to expand her love of the outdoors into the lowcountry and hopes to help others do the same. Passionate about traveling, she has spent many summers in Colorado and just took a scuba diving trip to the Caribbean. When she’s not on the water, you can find her running, hanging out at the beach, or slinging coffee at Second State.
After being born and raised in Michigan, Seari recently decided to make the leap and move to Charleston to pursue one of her many dreams and live by the ocean. While she has always loved to travel, she really was able to find her passion of ecotourism while majoring in International studies & Environmental Science in college. Seari truly enjoys creating connections and educating others about the beauty of the natural world and the importance of not exploiting it for resources or the people who live there. In her spare time, she loves to create- including photography, writing, collaging & painting. Seari is excited to explore and learn about what the lowcountry has to offer and is always down for an adventure.
Originally born and raised in Anderson, SC, Alyssa moved down to attend the College of Charleston. She fell in love with the Lowcountry and over 10 years later, she’s still here! Her professional guiding experience began with bike touring, including a cross-country bike trip from FL to CA. After exploring the Folly waterways solo for many years, she’s excited to share her passion for leadership and ecotourism out on the water. She’ll also be joining the COA office team to help you book your next adventure to explore our unique salt marsh ecosystem. When she’s not on Folly, you can find her playing with her Boykin Spaniel, Birdie, or catching some live music at The Pourhouse.