Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Wayne Ranney

photo of Wayne Ranney

Wayne Ranney is a geologist and writer who is a veteran of expedition travel, having journeyed to and lectured on all of Earth’s seven continents. He is the recipient of the 2018 American Association of Petroleum Geologists “Geosciences in the Media Award” and has received other national and regional honors for his writing, lectures, blog postings, and expeditionary guiding. His foreign and domestic travels have taken him to South America (Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Amazon), Australia and New Zealand, the Polar regions (Antarctica, Iceland, and Greenland), and desert landscapes in Africa, Asia, the Atacama, and the American Southwest.

With a lifelong interest in the earth sciences, Wayne specializes in making the fascinating story of our planet come alive for fellow travelers. He was elected to the Explorers Club and has visited more than 85 countries. Wayne is a retired professor of geology who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona near his beloved Grand Canyon. He is passionate about sharing his vast knowledge of earth history with others in an easy-going and informal style, yet he is a well-respected author of numerous award-winning books and articles. He enjoys languages, hiking, river running, photography, conversation, and anything that allows him to get outdoors with others in seeing the varied and interesting landscapes of our beautiful planet.

What Our Travelers Say

Wayne's enthusiasm for geology was infectious. Will never look at a mountain the same.

- Timothy L., Alaska's Natural Wonders

Wayne was superb. Made a big effort to interact with all the guests - really added to the trip.

- Sandy K., Adventure in Iceland

Wayne was delightful. His contributions were very informative and educational, yet personable. He is an asset to the program.

- Ginny B., Adventure in Iceland

Upcoming Tours

Patagonian Explorer

16 days | Starting at: $12,382
Mar 8, 2025 - Mar 23, 2025

Argentina and Chile by Land and Sea Featuring a Four-night Cruise
Tour Details ››