Originally from Indiana, Mark hopped an Amtrak train in 1987 and crossed the US to participate in a NOLS North Cascades Mountaineering course. In 1991, he began working as a NOLS instructor and has accumulated 240 field weeks focusing on instructor training, wilderness canoeing, backpacking, and sea kayaking. Graduating from Northland College in 1992 with a degree in Outdoor/Environmental Education, Mark has spent the past 25 years leading expeditions and managing numerous outdoor programs. In addition to field courses, Mark has been the assistant manager for the NOLS River Program and coordinated the NOLS Alumni trips program. His leadership experience outside of NOLS includes directing operations for an award winning eco-tourism company in Hawaii, leading a university outdoor program in North Carolina and coordinating the paddlesports program for a county park and recreation commission in South Carolina.