Emily Lansdale | Naturalist
Emily Lansdale grew up on a 7-acre organic farm near La Selva Beach, CA and is a graduate of Vassar College with a BA in International Studies and a teaching credential in Elementary Education. She also holds a Masters in Bilingual Teaching from the Universidad Católica in Murcia, Spain. Emily has extensive teaching experience with many age groups, from 1st graders to college students. As a lecturer at the University of Murcia, she developed lessons in conversational English and as a Language and Cultural Assistant at a bilingual primary school, she taught Science and English. As a 3rd grade aide she worked with students with special needs and as a 2nd-5th grade student-teacher she wrote and taught units on the Hudson River, Mexico and the human body. Emily also spent a summer teaching adult literacy classes for agricultural workers in Watsonville. She has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Europe. While living on a rose plantation in Ecuador, she taught daily lessons to the workers' children. In Peru, she climbed Machu Pichu. She has spent many summers visiting family in Greece, especially while living in Spain for the past 3 years. She enjoys singing, dancing, running mountain marathons, biking, ultimate frisbee, baking and laughing. She has climbed mount Olympus and talked to Zeus three times. Emily’s nature name at Outdoor Education is Colibrí.
Shawna Knapp | Naturalist
Shawna Knapp is a Bay Area native who grew up in Pacifica. She received her AA degree from CSU Monterey Bay and graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Education. Shawna attended SMOE as a 5th grade student, a high school cabin leader and now as a naturalist. She worked as a farm and garden specialist with at risk students, where she built a garden, taught gardening and care for animals as well as designed and implemented an environmental studies curriculum. She has taught basic climbing and ropes course activities. While working at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, Shawna supervised and led games and activities for up to 500 students who were on over night programs at the aquarium. As a camp counselor in the Eldorado National Forest, she introduced outdoor activities to kids who had never been outside the city. She also worked in a 1st grade classroom assisting students with reading and writing. Shawna enjoys hiking, fishing and gardening. She has backpacked in Big Basin, Emigrant Wilderness and the Appalachian Trail. She taught herself to play guitar at the age of 13. Shawna’s nature name at outdoor education is Alpine.
Maitland Ianiri | Naturalist
Maitland Ianiri grew up in Easton, Connecticut and is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a BS in wildlife and conservation biology. He also studied abroad in New Zealand where he spent extensive time in the field learning methods of conservation ecology while exploring Zealand’s unique ecosystems and culture. Working as a research assistant, Maitland conducted field-work and published his findings on how silviculture techniques effect wildlife habitats in the Bartlett Experimental Forest. He led college students into the wilderness teaching outdoor skills and developing their environmental awareness. Maitland lived and worked in the Sierra backcountry building trails and causeways. He also worked with a conservation organization in Maine giving talks, leading hikes and making inventories of the plants and animals. Maitland has also worked on farms and is versed in sustainable gardening and permaculture techniques. He has traveled throughout the Caribbean, Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and has visited 17 national parks. He enjoys backpacking, cooking, baking, dancing, playing guitar, yoga and meditation. Maitland’s nature name at outdoor education is Aspen.
Casey Cairo | Naturalist
Casey Cairo grew up in the Bay Area and is a graduate of Skidmore College with a BS in Education Studies and a BA in Psychology, including a Washington State teaching certificate in Childhood Education. She worked as a student teacher in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms in upstate New York. Throughout college she was a teaching assistant for pre-k students at an early childhood center. Casey studied abroad in Iceland and throughout high school and college she has worked with people with special needs and mental health issues. She was a classroom aide in a special education classroom and worked at Ramapo for Children last year, where she mentored, lived, and worked with young adults with mental health issues and/or special needs. While at Ramapo she also facilitated high and low ropes courses for students and adults of all ages. She has been working at Aim High the past three summers as a lead teacher and team lead, where she facilitates hikes, teaches ecology, and leads an overnight camping trip for 8th and 9th grade students. While Casey worked as KEEC, an outdoor school in Vermont, she taught environmental science to 4th – 6th grade students while leading hikes, canoeing trips, and rock climbing adventures. Casey loves to travel and has been to 4 continents and 17 countries as well as 49 states. In 5 years she has taken 5 cross-country road trips. She has also backpacked in both Thailand and Peru including a hike through Machu Picchu on the Inca trail. Casey enjoys ceramics, drawing, photography, hiking, camping, kayaking, eating spicy foods and running on the beach with her dog Charlie. She has also been skydiving and bungee jumping. Its been said that she can tell you everything you want to know about woman’s soccer. Casey’s nature name at outdoor education is Cove.
Ziggy Bates | Naturalist
Ziggy Bates was born in Ohio and spent his formative years growing up in Virginia. He is a graduate of Northern Virginia Community College with an Associate Degree in Fine Arts and holds a level 1 certification from the College of Botanical Healing Arts. He recently completed a naturalist training program in Coyote Mentoring. Ziggy worked as a resident cabin leader at Exploring New Horizons where he co-led trail activities with naturalists and assisted the medic in creating a menu for diabetic students. As a naturalist with Hidden Villa he taught trail lessons, gave school presentations and taught in the farm and garden. He also presented a staff in-service about owls. Through Ziggy’s theater training, he has a natural inclination as an entertainer. He has worked as a street performer where he taught music and gave free concerts. Through his travels he has seen how music can open doors and make positive connections with people. Ziggy plays the guitar, drums, mandolin and melodica. He enjoys musical improvisation, busking, making art, poi and board games. He also has an interest in ancient and medieval history. Ziggy’s nature name at outdoor education is Jackalope.
Sarah Dunn | Naturalist
Sarah Dunn grew up in Seattle and is a graduate of Whitman College with a BA in Environmental Studies - Geology. She recently completed a six-week intensive geology field course where she learned geologic field mapping skills. Sarah has also conducted fieldwork in the Mojave Desert where she used digital modeling to study how hill-slopes in arid regions are shaped by climate. Working as a geoscientist in Capitol Reef National Park, she gave naturalist talks, led hikes and presented evening programs. As a Youth Education Intern, she taught K-6 grade students geology and ornithology, and led 6th- 10th grade students on camping and backpacking trips. Sarah has also worked as a resident camp counselor at Camp Sealth on Vashon Island where she had the opportunity to be a personal counselor for a child with autism. She has worked as a tutor and mentor for 2nd grade to high school students and as a “Cool the Schools Coordinator” where she facilitated a program that brought college students to 7th grade classrooms to teach about climate change. Sarah is conversant in Spanish and lived for a month in Peru. She enjoys backpacking, trail running, water coloring and playing Ultimate Frisbee. She can often be found baking bread, looking at rocks, dancing or reading novels. Sarah’s nature name at outdoor education is Ravine.
Natasha Elizabeth Anderson | Naturalist
Natasha Elizabeth Anderson grew up in Frazier Park, California and earned an Associates of Arts degree in Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Science from Santa Monica College. Natasha is also a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelors of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. Natasha studied abroad in Chile where she compared the political and economic development before and after the Pinochet regime. As an Apprentice Researcher for UC Berkeley’s Undergraduate Research program, she worked in a biology lab dedicated to studying evolution, ecology, and global change. She analyzed mammalian species' evolutionary response to climate change using R (data analysis program). As a Naturalist Aide with East Bay Regional Park District, Natasha provided site-specific natural history interpretation to students, families, and the general public. She also co-led hikes, service projects, and backpacking trips for 10-13 year olds. Natasha has traveled to Peru, England, Spain, Italy, China, and South Korea. She enjoys dancing, camping, hiking, and yoga. She continues to improve her ability to speak Spanish and she loves a variety of musical genres, particularly those she can dance to. Natasha’s nature name at Outdoor Education is Ozone.
Evan Duffy-Ledbetter | Naturalist
Evan Duffy-Ledbetter grew up in University Park, Maryland and is a graduate of James Madison University with a BA in Integrated Advertising and creative writing. He also completed a 20-hour interpretive training program at Sequoia National Park as well as Eppley Institute training in interpretation. As a Museum Educator at Lawrence Hall of Science, Evan worked with k-8 grade students teaching mechanics, electricity and physics. He also coordinated outreach programs with Bay Area schools and operated and presented planetarium programs. Evan has worked with K-12 students as a substitute teacher and as a Teaching Assistant for a college course, Introductory to Playwriting. As a naturalist at Sequoia National Park, he presented a living history program and informed visitors about poisonous snake populations, rock fall zones, and the natural and human history of the area. Evan also developed and presented an interpretive program designed to orient visitors to their Crystal Cave Tour. He has traveled to 40 states and internationally through Egypt, Australia, Canada and Mexico. Evan enjoys reading, writing, hiking and telling stories around a campfire. He has mastered the art of playing air piano. Evan’s nature name at outdoor education is Duff.
Emily “Milly” Roberts | Naturalist
Emily “Milly” Roberts grew up in Connecticut and is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston with a BS in Marketing Communication and Environmental Studies. She took a semester off to teach English and run after school programming at a YMCA school in the Dominican Republic. After graduating, Milly joined a start-up building indoor aquaponic systems where she worked with teachers to write grants and build curriculum to help bring these indoor gardens into classrooms. She has worked as a seasonal director at a summer camp where she started a CIT program to develop teen leaders. More recently, as a Community Programs intern at Hidden Villa, Milly worked with K-12 students in an after school program teaching ecology, farm and garden curriculum and nature awareness. She enjoys backpacking, trail running, rock climbing, lake swimming and harvesting her own food. Milly also likes bike-packing and once took a solo ride down the West coast from Vancouver to San Diego. She loves to sing, dance and she plays the ukulele, flute and piano. Milly’s nature name at outdoor education is Millipede.
Miguel Salazar | Naturalist
Miguel Salazar grew up in Pacifica CA and is a graduate of Palo Alto University with a BS in Psychology and Social Action. He last worked as a service shop manager, repairing marine electronics on private yachts and commercial vessels. Miguel also has experience working on solar/wind power systems and de-salinization plants for drinking water. He served in the Navy from 2000-2005 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and was deployed to the Persian Gulf. After volunteering to work with veterans in the Portland area, he was inspired to change his career. Miguel volunteered for the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, as a tutor at the College of San Mateo, and as a naturalist at Hidden Villa. He started his traveling adventures with friends in South East Asia. Miguel has been to Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong. He likes long distant cycling and has ridden from Portland to Duluth. Miguel also enjoys photography, sailing, reading, backpacking and music. As a Vallemar student he attended outdoor ed in elementary school. Miguel’s nature name at Outdoor Education is Synergy.
Michaela Squier | Naturalist
Michaela Squier grew up in Eastern Washington and is a graduate of Oberlin College with a BA in Comparative American Studies and Geology. She participated in a semester long program called SEA Semester where she conducted oceanographic research on a tall ship in the Caribbean. Michaela has also worked for two summers as a barn counselor at Bar 717 Ranch in Northern California and for one summer at a bilingual summer camp in Chile called Las Mulas. She is passionate about the power of children’s books and taught a class on writing and illustrating children’s books in which the participants self-published their own children’s books. Along with that, Michaela served as a trip leader for the Oberlin Outings Club where she ran Wilderness First Aid trainings and led backpacking trips. She is passionate about increasing accessibility to the outdoors and taught a class called Outdoor Adventure Skills for Beginners. She also worked at the Oberlin College rock wall and taught rock climbing to college students and children ages 8-12. Besides that, Michaela served as an environmental educator in a kindergarten class teaching hands on science and working with them in an educational garden. Michaela likes to run, rock climb, make art, play soccer and hang out with any and all animals. She also likes to make bagels and podcasts. Michaela’s nature name at Outdoor Education is Squirrel.
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