Putting passion into service

FLC student rowing a raft through a rapid

Your guides bring their love of rivers, the Southwest, people, and personal growth to your trip. They also bring expertise in navigating the water, and their own unique personalities and interests. Get a quick glimpse of the folks who’ll be guiding you safely through the beautiful canyons of the Colorado Plateau on your FLOW river trip.

Ben Iverson

3rd year Business Administration & Adventure Education major

Ben Iverson, FLOW river guide

Hometown: Littleton, Colorado
Favorite River: Rockwood on the Upper Animas
I Love to surround myself with the outdoors of Colorado! Whether climbing peaks, skiing, or travelling down rivers, I am always chasing adrenaline or new experiences. I love talking about anything (especially adventures), so pick my brain and ask me anything. I love when new people ride on my boat so come say hello. I cannot wait to meet new people through FLOW.

Axel O’Connor

3rd year Adventure Education major, Environmental Policy minor

Hometown: Houston TX
Favorite River: Gunnison Gorge
I am a student of the outdoors with a passion for people. As a raft guide in the summer and a kids’ ski instructor in the winter, I love to get outside, teach, and entertain. I’m excited to be part of FLOW, getting to know a new river after a season on the beautiful Lower Animas while helping my FLC peers absorb the wonder of learning in the outdoors. My favorite quote: “I am a big handsome boy, with a good haircut.”- Some 3-year-old

Emilie Parker

3rd year Sociology major

Emilie Parker, FLOW river guide

Hometown : Monument, CO
Favorite River: Upper Youghiogheny River, Maryland
Hello, my name is Emilie. I found my passion for rafting on the Animas River in Durango, CO. Since then, rafting has taking me all the way to the Gauley river in West Virginia. I’m excited to work with FLOW and share my passion for the river with many others! I have lived all over the place and love to travel, though I’m also happy, with my two retired sled dogs, to now call Durango home.

Chris Rodriguez

4th year Adventure Education major

Alex Rodriguez, FLOW river guide

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
Favorite River: Rio Chama , El Vado NM
Heya! My future goals center around creating a more sustainable and equitable society. On the way there, my time is spent focusing on the interaction of adventure experiences, educational spaces, and the realms of hospitality and tourism. I believe the merging of Education and Hospitality, along with the developmental potential of adventure experiences, will provide younger generations the opportunity to learn and grow into more complete individuals, and further into more efficient and effective members of society.  Unfortunately, I would also like to start a ska band.

Lauren Toho Haupt

Third year Anthropology major, Native American & Indigenous Studies minor

Lauren Toho Haupt, FLOW river guide

Favorite river: Río Grande

Kuha?ahat?! (Hello!) My name is Lauren Toho Haupt. I am from the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. My favorite river to play on is the Rio Grande. I am a transferring junior, majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a focus on sustainability. I am thrilled to be working with FLOW, as we strive to create a new understanding of outdoor recreation and culture! I have spent that last ten years working as an outdoor educator for REI and various outdoor programs in Santa Fe, NM. My favorite cookies are organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, chocolate chip!

My favorite quote comes from Chief Black Elk:

“One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature, for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us.


Kina Valavanis

Adventure Education major

Kina Valavanis, FLOW river guide

Favorite river: Middle Fork Salmon River

Hi! I'm an Adventure Education major at FLC and working as a guide at FLOW. It's my first year guiding and I've been enjoying the challenges and relationships that I have gained from it! My favorite river is the Middle Fork of the Salmon because it was my first ever river trip and I'll never forget it. I'm a happy and upbeat person and I love to learn new things! I'm also an artist and an avid traveler (I've been to 17 countries)! Ask me where I've been. Tell me where you've been. Hope to see you on the río!!!!

Hanna Belt

Logistics coordinator

Hanna Belt, Logistics Coordinator, FLOW

Hometown: Rathdrum, Idaho
Favorite River: Lower Salmon
I graduated from the University of Idaho with a Mathematical Biology degree and an Outdoor Recreation minor along with an Associate of Education. While going to college I guided rafting, backpacking, and snowshoe trips in central and northern Idaho. I moved to the Durango area in May 2021 to guide rafting and backpacking trips and fell in love with the Southwest. I love getting to share the river’s magic with other people, and helping folks feel comfortable in situations with which they’re unfamiliar. With FLOW I am excited to laugh and play with our guests while also giving them an opportunity to connect to the ecology and histories of an area that they live so close to. Ask me about my favorite flavor of Oreo: the OG plain jane Oreo will ALWAYS be superior to all other Oreos. Double stuff is gross—stop buying it.

Bruce Saxman

FLOW coordinator, senior lecturer in Adventure Education

Bruce Saxman, FLOW coordinator

Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Favorite River: Rio Dolores
I like to think I follow the water: skiing the mountains in the winter, and running rivers in the summer. My career in outdoor and adventure education goes back to the early 2000s, mostly in college outdoor programs and college academics. I am excited to be coordinating the FLOW program to share my passion for running rivers and opening these experiences to folks who may not have the opportunity otherwise. Other than that… I really like ice cream, mountain bikes, and cats.