Tenley Thompson is not your average hotel worker. As the resort biologist for the Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, she spends her days taking hotel guests out on four-hour animal-scouting excursions. "I specialize in wolves and grizzlies -- that's sort of what I'm known for finding," she says.
The Jackson Hole resort is geared for adventures -- Tenley works for the hotel's Department of Recreation, which also includes a ski shop and a fly-fishing program. Two years ago, she noticed the hotel's guiding services were being contracted out to a third party; she thought she could serve guests better as an in-house employee.
Naturally, her trips go out in Four Seasons style: While out on a safari, guests get gourmet food and treats like crushed peppermint and cocoa. Tenley herself enjoys Four Seasons-style perks, too, like a free pass to the ski slope outside the door of the hotel. The company also supports her wildlife education by encouraging her to go to conferences or attend outdoor safety classes.
Her skill at spotting rare wildlife makes her valuable to the resort, but Thompson is modest. "Anyone can do what I do. Your brain develops these search images for all types of things. All I have is a really good search image for wolves and grizzlies in my brain."