Teacher Naturalists

Our Teacher Naturalists are dedicated professionals committed to supporting Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards through inquiry, observation, adventure, and discovery. 

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Ron, "raven"            

Teacher Naturalist. Raven was born in Reedley, California. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Sonoma State University. Raven has been with the School Programs Department at Westminster Woods for over 17 years.  Prior to joining the team at Westminster Woods, Raven served as a docent for the Fairfield Osborn Preserve in Penngrove, California. His past-times include playing Ukulele and dancing Hula with his small hula troupe. Raven is also multilingual, speaking both English and Spanish!

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amy, "meadow"

Lead Teacher Naturalist. Meadow grew up in North Carolina and studied at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She earned an English major with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. Meadow has extensive outdoor education experience on the Chesapeake Bay and has worked summer camps in Maine, North Carolina, and California. Her favorite past-times are reading, rock climbing, hiking and making up puns. Meadow has been known to hoist a banjo and pick out tunes from time to time.

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Josh, "Turkey"

Teacher Naturalist. Turkey was born and raised in a tiny little corn patch in Topeka, Kansas. Turkey has a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the Kansas State University. He is one of our most seasoned Teacher Naturalists and has experience at many places, including Walker Creek Ranch over in Petaluma, California.  Turkey is a proud Eagle Scout and brings a rugged sense of adventure and radical self-reliance to our camp.  He enjoys long walks on the beach, foraging for mushrooms and climbing trees.

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Erik "witakae" 

Lead Teacher Naturalist. Witakae, of Viking descent, was raised in the great city of Fairfield. Erik has led Westminster Woods in the adoption of cutting edge pedagogy and excellent character development programs. Wita has over fifteen years of experience in the Outdoor School industry and is a certified Leadership Trainer through Lawrence Hall of Science BEETLES program.  His favorite activities include scouring the web for bombastic pundits, investigating the philosophical nature of reality and watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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Katie, "yak attack"

Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. Yak was born and raised in Portland, Connecticut.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. Yak was an Outdoor Education Guru in Cape Cod for many years and worked as a Teacher Naturalist in New York State. Her favorite activities include watching the UCONN huskies, learning the Ukulele and eating pizza.

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David, "sabertooth"

School Programs Coordinator, Lead Teacher Naturalist. Sabertooth is from San Carlos, California. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from UC Santa Cruz.  Sabertooth came to Westminster Woods in 7th grade with Tierra Linda Middle School. He loved his experience at the Woods so much that he returned as a high school chaperone three times! Sabertooth has two years of experience working at a school for disabled students and a lifetime of practice flipping over logs and looking for cool critters. His hobbies include playing banjo, hanging out with friends, mountain biking, rock climbing and intergalactic space travel.

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Stephen, "moose dragon"

Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. Moose was born in Danbury, Connecticut and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a Bachelor of Science at Georgia College and State University.  Besides his experience as a Teacher Naturalist, Moose has worked as an Environmental Field Technician, testing groundwater and methane emissions. His hobbies include basketball, the French Revolution, eating cake, staring contests, riding rollercoasters and using the Force.

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David, "Redwing"

Lead Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. Redwing hails from the Hardworking, Hard-rocking, and Everloving Detroit City, Michigan. He studied Environmental Education together with Global Cultures and Ecosystems at the University of Michigan School Of Natural Resources in Ann Arbor. Redwing has been facilitating Outdoor and Environmental Education programs with folks of all ages for twenty-five years, while studying fungal and forest ecology - from the Jungles of Peru to the Rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula to his Home here in West County, California. He has a love of Music in (and of) our Living Earth and Great Outdoors ~ Oh yes kids, the river IS singing!  

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Lisa, "ace"

Teacher Naturalist. Ace was born and raised on a farm in Graymont, Illinois.  She attended Heartland Community College and graduated from University of Maine at Machias with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Concentration in Community Environmental Education.  She is currently attending Hamline University, St. Paul Minnesota to receive her Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Natural Sciences.  In the summer of 2009, Ace rode her bicycle across the United States.  It was during that time that she learned more about herself and what she wanted to accomplish in life than she ever did in school.  She discovered that she wanted to take people outside and help them understand the environment and challenge them to truly live. Ace has taught Outdoor Education in many places, including Downeast Salmon Federation in Columbia, Maine; Timber-lee Camp in East Troy, Wisconsin; and Alliance Redwoods in Occidental, California. In her free-time, Ace enjoys riding her bicycle, walking her dog, hiking and discovering new places!

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Rebekah, "redwood"

Teacher Naturalist. Redwood was raised in Orangevale, California. She came to Westminster Woods in 6th grade for outdoor education and a few summers as a summer camper. She has worked on The Wood’s Challenge Course multiple summers. After earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies (Education K-8) from Azusa Pacific University and a special education teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento, she taught middle-schoolers for a couple years in the Sacramento area before joining the Wood’s year-round staff. She enjoys reading and outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing.

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Talia, "kelp!"

Teacher Naturalist. Kelp was born and raised in San Jose, California.  She has a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation from Humboldt State University. She loved her experience at Humboldt State. After graduating, Kelp completed a year-long internship at Walker Creek Outdoor School where she gained plenty of hands on experience, gearing up to join Westminster Woods. Besides a love of all things outdoors, her hobbies include reading, writing and singing.

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Jonny, "Chivo"

Teacher Naturalist. Chivo is originally from Southern California and moved to Northern California as a transfer student to obtain his degree in Communication Studies from Sonoma State University. After graduating, Chivo spent the next year working in Skagway, AK, as a rock climbing and zip line guide, field instructor for an outdoor science school in Southern California, and Multi-Sport instructor at a summer day camp in Oakland, CA. Finally, he has landed here in Occidental to call these woods his home. His hobbies include cooking, rock climbing, reading, creating new friendships and spending time with friends and family. 

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Olivia, "Newt"

Teacher Naturalist. Olivia Longstaff grew up in Napa CA and is a graduate of California State University, Chico with a BA in Social Science/Environmental Studies and Geography and minors in Sustainability, Managing for Sustainability and Anthropology. Olivia also studied Environmental Science at the University of Stirling in Scotland where she then traveled throughout Europe. As a 4H camp leader Olivia led 9-17 year olds hiking, crafting and archery. As a early childhood outdoor educator at Connolly Ranch, Olivia develop lessons in a nature-based program where she taught farm animal care, gardening and singing. In coordination with the Institute for Sustainable Development Olivia established the Eco-Rep program on campus where she organized 150 students to divert waste from landfills during student move out. She was a leader for organizations including, Students for Environmental Action and a campaign for fossil fuels divestment at her university. Last year she trained as a Naturalist Intern at San Mateo Outdoor Education in the Santa Cruz mountains. Olivia is skilled in American Sign Language, plays guitar and ukulele, and has an extensive knowledge of camp songs. She enjoys baking, reading and loves all forms of dance.

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Jennie, "Coral"

Challenge Course Technician, TN in training. Coral grew up in West Linn, Oregon. After studying Music and Musical Theatre in England, she returned state side and earned a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography while minoring in Scientific Diving at Humboldt State University. Coral worked on the challenge course as a part of Westminster Wood’s 2017 Summer Staff and is excited to join the year-round team. Her favorite experiences are outdoor, educational, and filled with laughter.

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phillip, "petunia"

Teacher Naturalist. Petunia grew up in Texas on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, but moved west to California for college, where he studied Communications and Classics at Santa Clara University. After graduation, he bounced around the globe for two years leading active travel trips with Backroads. He then kicked off his environmental education career at the nearby Walker Creek Ranch. He loves backpacking, board games, books, podcasts, and water polo.

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Jesse, "echo"

Challenge Course Coordinator. Echo was born and raised in Roseville, CA and graduated in spring of 2015 with a major in Business Marketing and a minor in Religion. He has worked on the Summer Staff of Westminster Woods for four years and volunteered before transitioning to being a part of the year round staff. Echo also volunteered as a youth basketball coach while in high school. Some of his hobbies include playing the guitar and ukulele, playing basketball, and becoming absorbed in a good series/books/movies.

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Rob, "fish"

Challenge Course Technician. Fish was born in Stockton, California. His educational background includes a Masters in Metaphysics and Pastoral Counseling.  Fish served for eight years in the Air Force as a Rescue and Medic Specialist.  His other jobs include working for 10 years as a U.P.S. driver and 3 years as a Hawaii Scuba Instructor. Fish has worked off and on with the challenge course at Westminster Woods since 2000. His hobbies include hiking, swimming and inner exploration.

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Jefferey, "whitebear"

Campfire Maestro. Whitebear was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended kindergarten through 12th grade in Cleveland, which was then a thriving steel town and ranked in the top ten highest populated US cities. After a 4 1/2 year tour in the US Coast Guard as an airplane mechanic which brought him out west, he received an AA degree from Santa Rosa Junior College and a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Education from Sonoma State University in 1990. He has previously worked as a Naturalist/Musician at Ocean Song Farm and Wilderness Center, Land Paths and Acorn Soupe.  Whitebear loves playing music with friends and anyone ESPECIALLY outside on our beloved Earth. He also enjoys hiking, backpacking and otherwise adventuring to learn more about himself and our amazing planet which is his greatest teacher. Whitebear LOVES Life!