School Programs Staff

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

Bec.jpg

BEC “salamander”

Director of School Programs. Bec Detrich is a leader in the field of Environmental Education.  Prior to joining Westminster Woods, Bec led the Field Science program at NatureBridge, Golden Gate. Additionally, she has worked within the field of environmental education in Yosemite, on Catalina, throughout the East Coast as well as in Australia. In her time she has developed marine science and climate change programing, led teacher trainings, developed stewardship projects within the National Parks and built collaborative relationships with a variety of private and public organizations.  Bec holds a bachelor's degree from Willamette University where she majored in Environmental Science and a master's degree in Biology focusing on community-based conservation and global leadership from Miami University.  Bec is an active member in the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative, sits on the National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council for Cordell Bank, and was named a 2015 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.

(707) 874-2426 ext 616 | rebecca@westminsterwoods.org

IMG_9847.JPG

Casey “firefly”

Teacher Naturalist. Firefly grew up in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. She earned a Bachelors of Arts in Evolutionary Biology at Knox College. Before moving to the beautiful hills of the Sonoma Coast, Firefly taught environmental education in the glorious Sierra Nevada Mountains near Truckee and the majestic Rocky Mountains in Keystone, CO. Firefly loves to go on long walks (like really long walks) and spend time at the ocean. She's down to throw a frisbee or a handstand at any time. 

teachernaturalist.jpg

David "Redwing"

Lead Teacher Naturalist. 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!  

teachernaturalist.jpg

David "sabertooth"

School Programs Coordinator. Sabertooth grew up in San Carlos, California and actually attended Westminster Woods with his 7th grade class at Tierra Linda Middle School.  He loved his experience at The Woods so much that he returned as a high school chaperone three times! After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Philosophy, Saber worked in a classroom for students with special needs for two years, traveled around Asia, and then returned to his roots at Westminster Woods. In addition to teaching at Westminster Woods, Sabertooth has guided backpacking trips for youth and led international service trips for high school students.  In his free time, Saber enjoys rock climbing, playing guitar and banjo, and traveling (he has been to over 15 counties on 5 continents).

teachernaturalist.jpg

Erik "witakae" 

Senior 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.

teachernaturalist.jpg

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!

teachernaturalist.jpg

Jennie "Coral"

Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. 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. In addition to teaching at Westminster Woods, Coral is also the Research Team Lead for E v e r b l u e, an organization that promotes science literacy and ocean minded living through various social media platforms. Her favorite experiences are outdoor, educational, and filled with laughter.

teachernaturalist.jpg

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 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.

Jessica Barry pic cropped.jpg

Jessica “fox”

Challenge Course Manager. Jessica is a certified Challenge Course Manager and has worked in the outdoor adventure industry for over a decade. Her enthusiasm for outdoor adventure/challenge course pursuits has led her to explore other courses around the globe; she has even jumped out of a perfectly good airplane “just for the thrill of it”. She has an entrepreneurial streak and has explored many different, creative industries, but always gets drawn back to working with, and empowering, youth. Jessica feels that a ropes course can be a potent tool for gaining self-awareness and is moved by the immediacy of the experience she witnesses when running a program. In addition to managing the course at Westminster Woods, Jessica is the Director of the California Challenge Course Network conference. The annual conference draws challenge course professionals from all over the West Coast to share their knowledge, experience and love of “play”. When she’s not swinging through trees or gathering her peers together, Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, sewing, gardening, dancing and building massive installation art at festivals.

(707) 874-2426 x633 | jessica@westminsterwoods.org

teachernaturalist.jpg

Jonny "Chivo"

Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. 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. 

teachernaturalist.jpg

Josh "Turkey"

Lead Teacher Naturalist, Senior 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.

teachernaturalist.jpg

Olivia "Newt"

Lead Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. 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. Before coming to Westminster Woods, 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.

teachernaturalist.jpg

phillip "petunia"

Teacher Naturalist, Evening Coordinator. 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.

teachernaturalist.jpg

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.

teachernaturalist.jpg

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.

teachernaturalist.jpg

Ron "raven"            

Senior 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!

Lion+-+Cropped.jpg

Seth “Lion”

School Programs Manager. 'Lion' has been involved in camps since he was very little, first attending boy scout and church camps back in Ohio. He starting working at Chief Logan Reservation, the greatest boy scout camp in the world, as soon as he was sixteen. Since then, he has helped run programs for Ohio University's Teens on Campus, the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School, Point Reyes Summer Camp, the Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre and now Westminster Woods. Seth has worked as a Teacher Naturalist and Environmental Education Coordinator at The Woods and is now our School Programs Manager, assuring that things run smoothly and that students and teachers alike have a fantastic experience while they're here.

(707) 874-2426 ext 627 | seth@westminsterwoods.org

teachernaturalist.jpg

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.