Loma Mar Staff
The naturalist staff at Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools have extensive training and teaching experience in the environmental education field. They have a passion for teaching children in the outdoors and a commitment to creating a learning atmosphere that is fun, safe, educational, and inclusive of all learning styles. Each staff member holds at least a bachelor’s degree and is certified in both first aid and CPR.
Bridget / “B”
B grew up in Pleasanton, California and attended Loma Mar as a 5th grader from Vintage Hills Elementary. She had an awesome time as a student, and returned as a cabin counselor several times throughout high school. Her time as a counselor inspired her so much, she decided that she wanted to work towards one day being a naturalist at Loma Mar. She accomplished her dream at 21 and was hired as an intern naturalist by Principal Burl and the Loma Mar staff in 2005. She spent four years as a naturalist and summer gardener, developing her craft of teaching as well as learning more and more about local natural history, mycology, organic gardening and communal living. She took some time off from Exploring New Horizons to explore careers beyond outdoor ed, and returned in 2012 as the Program Coordinator and then became Program Director in 2014. B has a BA in Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences, MA in Education and Secondary Teaching Credential in Biological Sciences from UC Santa Cruz. She loves playing the role as “Principal B,” and is currently working to bring Mindfulness Education into the realm of outdoor education. B has four chickens, a garden and loves to spend time hanging with her naturalist friends, going to the beach and hoping it will rain to bring on chanterelle and oyster mushrooms. Her favorite place to visit is Bridgeport, CA where she likes to spend time with her family, go fishing and dip into hot springs. Life is good!
Nereyeda / “Seed”
Seed was born and raised in the strange and wonderful land of Southern California. She migrated north to UC Santa Cruz for college where she studied community organizing and social justice. In 2009 Seed had the incredible good fortune of being hired as an intern naturalist at Exploring New Horizons. Nourished by the land and the wonderful ENH community, Seed’s roots grew deep into the ground and her profound love for nature blossomed. She is now playing the role of administrator, as the Assistant Director. She is continually inspired by the magical combination of youth and nature. In her free time Seed enjoys playing guitar, looking for whales, listening for woodpeckers, and exploring the forest and creek with Caleaf, her amazing 3 year-old son.
Jackie / “Moon”
Moon grew up with the colorful seasons of southeast Michigan, riding her bike and spending summers on the water. She attended summer camp every year, where she learned outdoor skills and grew to have a greater appreciation for natural resources. Moon was a counselor and coordinator for Camp Kesem throughout college, and spent a month in Ecuador farming and hiking. She received a B.A. in Environmental Studies, focusing on environmental education and human behaviors at The University of Michigan. She moved to California to teach as a naturalist at San Mateo Outdoor Education, learning with her students about the flora and fauna of the redwoods and the coast. She is working just downstream at Loma Mar now, as the fearless Program Coordinator. Jackie enjoys dancing and listening to music, painting, backpacking, singing, and of course, eating Indian food.
Ginger is Loma Mar’s Health Care Supervisor (or medic). She was born and raised in Marin County, where she inherited her father’s love of the outdoors. Summers of her youth were full of backpacking, canoeing, biking, etc. They are still full of adventures; she has spent the last two summers hiking many hundreds of miles on the West coast. At UC Santa Cruz, her studies of ecology and evolution took her many places: the mountains of California, the kelp forests of the Monterey Bay, and the lush beds of Posidonia oceanica in the Mediterranean. Plants, space, whales, cookies and topographic maps are a few things that Ginger finds fascinating.
Franklin / “Erosion”
Erosion grew up in the small coastal community of El Granada, California. He is a graduate of The University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.S. in Tropical Plants and Soil Science with an emphasis in Plant Production and Management. He aspires to start an educational farm to teach people about the benefits and necessity of sustainable agriculture. While in Hawaii, Erosion worked as a childcare specialist for children ranging from toddlers to preteens. He worked as a teacher’s assistant at an art studio in Half Moon Bay where he taught the local youth the basics of art. Erosion worked as a senior counselor for multiple summer camps and is currently the Volunteer Coordinator for the Optimist Volunteers for Youth Summer Camp. Erosion has been working with kids most of his life; teaching about the world we live in is his dream. He enjoys hiking, slack-lining, tree climbing and hanging out in the redwoods. As a surfer and body-boarder he loves being in the ocean. Erosion has a passion for art, especially drawing and painting waves. He also likes to dance, read, write, cook and play music-notably the guitar and bass.
Erica / “Mycorrhizae”
Mycorrhizae comes to ENH with a lifelong love of forests and the creatures they support. In 2010, she graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University. For the past two years, she has worked as an outdoor educator with organizations including Shorebird Nature Center, Wild Child, and Trackers Earth. As a passionate mycology enthusiast, she has volunteered with organizations such as CoRenewal and Radical Mycology, that are helping remediate the earth with the wonders of fungus. At times, Mycorrhizae can be found cycling along the coast or staring up into the tress, wondering what bird just flew by. Mycorrhizae is excited to foster kindness and empathy toward our Mother Earth by helping build connections between people and the plants, fungi, and critters around them.
Henry / “Dog”
Dog is from St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies with concentrations in Political Science and International Political Economy. Since graduating, he has spent time as a ranch hand, a soccer coach and as a speedy deliverer of UPS packages. Dog enjoys knot tying, and he is a semi-proficient unicyclist. He also spent two years working at the neighboring San Joaquin Outdoor School in La Honda, California.
Alicia / “Acorn”
Acorn was born and raised in Goleta, California, and migrated north to attend college at UC Santa Cruz, where she earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies. Some of her favorite experiences during college were living and studying in Spain, taking sailing and gardening classes, and embarking on a ten-week adventure called Natural History Field Quarter. Field Quarter and an Environmental Interpretation class ignited her passion for learning and teaching outside. Acorn has spent the past four summers working as a counselor and then assistant director at Life Lab, a garden-based summer camp where kids hike, climb trees, harvest vegetables, and cook food from the farm. She was a Naturalist Intern at Sierra Outdoor School before coming to ENH, and she is excited to be working a second year here at Loma Mar. Her favorite foods include dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, and sourdough bread, and her favorite activities are cooking, backpacking, crafting, and seeing kids get excited about nature.
Amy / “Zaria”
Zaria was born in Saratoga Springs, NY and moved to California in August 2013. As a child, she spent hours climbing trees and exploring the pond near her house. Zaria has always loved spending time in nature and as she grew older, found her calling as an educator. She has been continuously inspired by the excitement and new perspectives children bring to exploring the natural world. In searching for a job which would allow her to spend the majority of her time outside with kids, Zaria was lucky enough to stumble across outdoor education. Outside of work, Zaria enjoys to travel, swim, paint, and, more than anything, have a good conversation with great friends.
Adam / “Berry”
Berry was born in raised in the Ohio River Valley in southern Indiana. Berry fostered an appreciation for outdoor education while attending Indiana University’s Outdoor Recreation Department. Eventually shifting in the Teachers Education Program, He was able to bridge his principles of environmental stewardship with academic enrichment and instruction. He was also a classroom schoolteacher for four years while preparing to make a westward transition to the central coast of California to pursue a deeper connection and understanding to the food production systems that is especially vibrant to Cental California. Since moving to California, Berry found the perfect communion of academics and nature awareness in the world of Outdoor Education. Additionally, Berry is interested in spending time in and around the ocean, or helping to work at local farmers markets or farm to table dinners in and around the Bay Area.
Helen / “Lupine”
Lupine grew up in the Santa Cruz mountains and spent much of her childhood outside exploring the redwoods and creeks with her brothers. She graduated in 2012 from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in environmental studies. She was fortunate enough to participate in a field quarter in Chilean Patagonia and it was there that she discovered the power of the outdoor classroom. Since completing college, she’s traveled far and wide, lived on a farm, worked in native plant production and restoration ecology, and guest taught at several elementary school gardens. Most recently, she has spent time pursuing her more personal passions including SCUBA diving, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, surfing and baking bread. She is thrilled to share the natural classroom with 5th and 6th graders at Loma Mar.
Chelsea / “Hummingbird”
Hummingbird grew up in the East Bay town of Danville, where she attended San Ramon Valley High School and first heard of Exploring New Horizons Outdoor School. During her senior year, in her Careers in Teaching class, she was given the opportunity to be a counselor at Exploring New Horizons. Little did she know the impact it would have on her life. After spending a week in the forest, Hummingbird changed the direction she wanted her life to go; she had always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher but after seeing life as a naturalist she could no longer picture herself working indoors in a confined space. Hummingbird changed her mind and wanted instead to focus on helping preserve this earth by educating youth. She made sure she came back as a counselor as often as she could to help give back to a place she so strongly believed in. She attended San Francisco State University and graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Italian. Hummingbird enjoys a home cooked meal made with nutritious sustainable food, rainy days in the forest, backpacking, reading, working in the garden, being silly, hula hooping and fire dancing.
Roni / “Sunflower”
Sunflower grew up exploring the outdoors and playing sports with her brother, dad, and mom. Places like Yosemite, Mount Hermon and Lake Tahoe captured her heart at an early age. Her first ascent up Yosemite Falls at age 7 set the tone for the rest of her life of exploring, hiking, backpacking, and all things outdoors. Waking up at 3 AM to climb the Las Trampas hills to watch the sun rise over Mt. Diablo was a common high school activity for her and her friends. Sunflower’s other true love is dance. Starting with pre-ballet at age 3, all the way to graduating from San Jose State with a B.A. in Dance and continuing a professional career to this day, she knows that dance will always be her passion. She spends her free time honing her photography skills, picking up instruments – flute, ukulele, and guitar – creating Earth art, practicing yoga, and laughing until her abs hurt. Sunflower spent a few summers in Austria to intern on Kleinefarm, learning how to sustainably grow, care for, and harvest fruits and vegetables (a newer passion). She is thrilled to live and work in a place where she can spread her passion for arts and the outdoors to children.
Sol began her career in education as a classroom teacher and later discovered that teaching outdoors was more true to her passion. She went to grad school at the University of Washington to earn a Masters in Environmental Education, which began her career as a Naturalist. She especially enjoys learning and teaching students about plant medicine and helping students to realize their interdependent role with the natural world. After five years of being a Naturalist here at ENH, she realized that becoming the campus Gardener was the perfect fit so she could focus even more on demonstrating to students how we directly depend on the earth’s resources for both food and medicine. She also enjoys teaching students about Nutrition as she facilitates salad-making with the students. Now she is in her 5th year as Loma Mar’s gardener. Sol calls her career here a “jobby”, because it is not just a job, it is also her hobby and favorite pastime.
Natalie likes hiking in the mountains, long walks on the beach, and poking dead things with sticks. After graduating from the University of Washington’s Program on the Environment with a BA in Environmental Studies, Natalie spent a year as an AmeriCorps member. During her term, she worked with the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center to develop curriculum and teach wetland science to Seattle-area students. She also delivered science-based programming with the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Pacific Science Center, and Woodland Park Zoo. Most recently, Natalie spent a year in southeastern Minnesota as part of the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center’s Naturalist Fellowship Program. During her time in the Midwest, she taught outdoor science, adventure, and culture classes. Natalie is excited to be back on the west coast. She can’t wait to share inspiring outdoor experiences with students and is ready to hit the trail!
Joshua / “Bobcat”
Bobcat was born in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Baltimore, MD. Growing up, he explored every inch of green space he could find and played the cello a lot. His nature studies were inspired and guided by some wonderful mentors both at summer camp and in his family. Decades later, little has changed. Bobcat has hiked over 15,000 miles, including two walks across the United States and a traverse of Iceland. He received a B.A. in music from Earlham College and plays in the band Ghost Train and other projects. His deep relationship with nature and music are constantly displayed in his teaching at the outdoor school. Bobcat has been a part of Exploring New Horizons since 2006.