Clare Rankhorn | Senior Naturalist
Clare grew up in Lake Villa, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Integrative Biology. As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, she conducted and presented original research on topics such as animal mating behavior, predator-prey interactions, and climate change. One of her research articles about behavioral isolation in fishes is published in The American Naturalist. She has also worked as a lab assistant, a middle school leadership tutor, a park district naturalist, and a graduate assistant at an environmental education center. Over the years, she has gained experience leading environmental education field trips, camps, and other programs for ages K-12. While spending a summer as a wildlife rehabilitator, she had the chance to care for and handle all types of vertebrates, including snakes and raptors. She enjoys long hikes, road trips, identifying plants, baking sweet treats, and Chicago style deep-dish pizza. She loves all styles of music and is a dancer and choreographer in jazz, hip-hop, and Chicago style stepping. She is an avid birder and one of her favorite birds on her life list is the hooded warbler. She has traveled to over 25 states and hopes to visit them all. She is also teaching herself to play guitar. She is returning to San Mateo Outdoor Education for her fifth year. Clare's nature name at Outdoor Education is Frost.
Jillian Buono | Naturalist/Village Leader
Jillian Buono grew up in the Hudson Valley in Warwick NY and is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Studies and Forestry with a BS in Environmental Studies and a minor in Marine Sciences. While taking field course in Big Sur CA she conducted a species census, surveyed intertidal communities and participated in a stream survey. Jillian holds a certificate for interpretation with the US National Parks, she has taken courses in Project Learning Tree, Project Wet and Project Wild. She is SCUBA certified and loves to dive. She has worked in 2nd -5th grade class rooms through the “Nature in the City” program. She also worked with 8th grade students as a science counselor, and with K-2nd grade students as a STEM elementary enrichment mentor. While working as a Science Educator at a museum of science and technology, Jillian led groups of 30-50 students. As a summer residential Outdoor Educator, she led 11-18 year olds on backpacking and canoe trips and as a wilderness leader for Camp Tawonga she led backpacking trips for campers around Yosemite National Park. After teaching a year as a naturalist at SMOE, she worked as a Naturalist at Green Meadows Outdoor School in the Sierra She loves to travel and has been to countries in Europe, South America and Thailand as well as Antarctica where she studied the effects of climate change. . Jillian is returning to SMOE for a 2nd year. Jillian’s nature name at outdoor education is Fern.
Neil Richardson | Garden Coordinator/Naturalist
Neil grew up in Santa Clara, California and is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection/Environmental Education and Interpretation. He received training in project WET and Project Learning Tree and served as a Project Learning Tree coordinator at local schools. As an Environmental Education Program Designer he created curriculum for 5th grade students and taught in a variety of habitats. As a Program Coordinator with Wetlands on Wheels he worked in the field and classroom to provide hands- on activities about wetland ecosystems for 5th grade students. With Friends of The Dunes he led field trips to teach 2nd-6th graders about dune ecology, birds, plants and macro invertebrates. He enjoys running, cycling and working out. He has a talent for building and fixing things from cars to computers and is fascinated in classic cars and automotive history. He loves riding motorcycles and in the last two years has ridden over 20,000 miles covering the entire length of the west coast along highway 1 and 101. He likes writing music and has played the bass in two bands. He is returning to San Mateo Outdoor Education for his sixth year. Neil's nature name at outdoor education is Eel.
Danny Hulburt | Naturalist/Village Leader
Danny Hulburt was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Blacksburg Virginia and is a graduate of Guilford College with a BS in Biology and a minor in Integrated Sciences. He also studied psychology and neuroscience while attending Maastricht University in the Netherlands. At the age of 19, Danny learned to speak German while working in Switzerland as an au pair. He is also learning Dutch. Danny has participated in a Master Naturalist program and Quaker Leadership Scholars Program. As a Teen Adventure trip leader he worked with 15-17 year old campers, taking them on three week long backpacking, canoeing, rock-climbing and service trips. As a counselor at Shiloh Quaker Camp Danny took 9-14 year olds on 3-4 day backpacking trips. Danny enjoys mountain biking, backpacking and rock climbing. He likes downhill skiing, plays a lot of disc golf and was on his college ultimate Frisbee team. Danny plays the piano, guitar, and was on his high school drumline. He loves talking about music and was a radio DJ in college. He is returning to SMOE for his third year. Danny’s nature name at Outdoor Education is Shine.
Miles Villa | Health Care Specialist
Miles Villa grew up in Lemoore California and is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He received his EMT certification from Sacramento State, and his Wilderness First Responder certification from NOLS. He has studied plant ecology, invertebrate zoology, and ichthyology and has conducted original research projects in a variety of California ecosystems. He is a skilled field biologist and has worked in ecological restoration. As an accomplished birder he helped to conduct bird counts in Tejon Ranch and worked with the US Forest Service making point counts of spotted owls and goshawks. He has also worked as a lab assistant where he studied ant diversity and organized thousands of insect samples taken from coffee farms in Mexico. He spent a summer in Singapore and Malaysia studying freshwater plankton. He likes camping, travel and backpacking and spent a month hiking in Costa Rica. He also enjoys reading, writing, dancing and playing the piano and guitar. After working a year at SMOE followed by two years at San Joaquin Outdoor Education, He is returning to SMOE for a third year. Miles’s nature name at outdoor education is Flux.
Kiana Jenkins | Naturalist/Village Leader
Kiana Jenkins grew up in Ojai, CA and is a graduate of Humboldt State University (HSU) with a BS in Environmental Management and Protection and an emphasis in Environmental Education and Interpretation. She holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from Santa Barbara City College and has completed trainings in Project Learning Tree, Project Wet, Talk About Trees and Foundations in Interpretation. While attending HSU she served as President of the Redwood Chapter of Environmental Educators and Interpreters where she organized community Environmental Education programs and events. Kiana has studied abroad in South Africa and London and has traveled throughout Ireland and most of the western US and parts of Mexico. She also spent a summer working with youth and Natives in Alaska. Kiana is proficient in American Sign Language, learning Spanish and she is currently learning to play the guitar and keyboard. Kiana enjoys backpacking, cooking, reading, stretching, and traveling. She enjoys learning about weather, climate, and natural disasters and loves all water sports including whitewater rafting/kayaking and surfing. This past summer she spent time traveling through Costa Rica surfing, worked closely in the community at Farmer's Markets, and helped with a program working with teens from Oakland. She is returning to SMOE for her third year. Kiana’s nature name at Outdoor Education is Cascade.
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