Mark Nolan | Director
Mark is a graduate of UC Davis with a B.S. in Zoology and a Secondary Science Teaching Credential and an Administrative Credential from San Jose State. He taught as a Naturalist for 12 years, founded and directed the Pigeon Point Environmental Education Program, and served as the Executive Director for Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools. He has served as chair for the California Outdoor School Association (COSA). He is a member of the Banana Slug String Band and for 32 years he has performed with the band throughout the United States. He has developed the outdoor education website, overseen construction of the straw bale classroom, maintained the marine aquarium and built enjoyable working relationships with the staff. He is returning to SMOE for an 21st year. He has two children: Hannah who is 26 and Shea who is 21 who have both attended Outdoor Ed. as 6th grade students and high school cabin leaders. He enjoys music and plays guitar, mandolin, dulcimer and bass. He also likes gardening, cooking and reading books on natural history. Mark's nature name at outdoor education is "Marine Mark".
Steve Van Zandt | Program Manager/Principal
Steve is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies/Geography. He received a multiple subject teaching credential from San Francisco State and an Administrative Credential from San Jose State. He worked as a Naturalist at SMOE, Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools, Youth Science Institute and as a Co-Director/Intern Coordinator at Hidden Villa. He also was a Co-Manager for the Pigeon Point Youth Hostel. He was a kindergarten, 3rd and 4th grade classroom teacher and a K-7th grade Life Lab/ESL teacher. He is a founding and active member of the Banana Slug String Band. He is returning to SMOE for a 25th year. He has three children: Nathan 30, Colin 27, and Skyler 27. He enjoys music, writing, poetry, Ping-Pong, vegetarian/vegan cooking, surfing and swimming under waterfalls. Steve's nature name at outdoor education is "Solar Steve."
Ruth Wallace| Outdoor Education Administrative Assistant
Ruth Wallace grew up in East St. Louis in Southern Illinois, moved to Chicago and from there found her way to San Francisco. Ruth has a BA in English from the University of Illinois in Chicago and has extensive administrative, marketing, customer service and non-profit experience. Her interest in nature is familial. Both of her parents were outdoor enthusiasts that camped and travelled from state park to national parks, wildlife preserves, nature trails, historic sites and museums with their four children and whatever resident pet or pets in tow. Ruth is an avid gardener and grows edibles as well as ornamental and drought tolerant plants in her multi-terraced urban garden. She and her family eat from their garden year round. In addition, she has an interest in natural spaces and has helped to reintroduce prairie in Illinois and native plants at the Presidio in San Francisco. She is also a bird watcher and enjoys identifying and observing birds and other types of wildlife. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Floyd, and two terriers, Ranger and Tater. Her nature name is Sparrow.
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