Emily Anderson (AuGres, Michigan) B.S. (2018) in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University. Emily grew up in a small town on the shores of Lake Huron, where her love for water started. In her free time, Emily loves spending the day out at the beach or hiking. While at home, she enjoys cooking, painting, and knitting.
Casey Boland (Cincinnati, Ohio) B.S. (2018) in Environmental Biology from the University of Dayton. Although the importance of our natural world was instilled in Casey at a young age, it didn't blossom into a passion for her until college. Now an avid hiker, casual gardener, and vehement environmental steward, Casey is happiest when spending time outdoors. In addition, Casey is in her fourth year of veganism--a piece of her identity she considers very important. When she is not playing outside or cooking up a storm Casey can be found reading, dancing, or daydreaming about the desert.
Gabby Brodek (Dixmont, Maine) B.S. (2017) in Environmental Science from Drake University. Growing up in rural Maine, Gabby instantly fell in love with the outdoors. She finds plenty of ways to get outside doing yoga, hiking, reading in the sun, and looking at aquatic insects. In the summers, Gabby spends her time in Northern Maine as a raft guide leading trips down Class IV and V whitewater. A year ago she was in Trinidad exploring the rainforest, eating mangoes and bananas off trees, and participating in guppy research. Gabby worked as an Educator at The Ecology School this past Spring and Fall and is excited to be returning to share her passion for ecology and water with you (she also loves jokes, so share those too)!
Tessa Diehl (Charlottesville, Virginia) B.S. (2017) in Biology from William & Mary College. Tessa has been explorin’ and adorin’ the outdoors for as long as she can remember. Growing up in Charlottesville, VA she was never more than a few hours drive from a wonderful hike, river kayak trip, or day at the beach. Tessa is an avid fan of live music, witty puns, campfire conversations, and hearty belly laughs. (Strike up a conversation with her about any of these topics!) This will be Tessa’s fourth term as an Educator at The Ecology School and she is excited to continue sharing her passion for ecology and the outdoors with students this fall!
Ben Durham (Biddeford, Maine) B.A. (2014) in Anthropology and History from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ben is an easy-going person who loves baking bread, the Boston Celtics, and carving turns on his snowboard. He grew up in Connecticut and went to High School in suburban Washington, D.C. As a kid, Ben spent most of his free time exploring the woods and developed a fascination for the natural world. After college, he spent several seasons teaching environmental education with the AMC in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Ben is passionate about cultural history, interrelationships, and nature games.
Kristy Leonard (Leesburg, Virginia) B.S. (2017) in Media Arts and Design with a concentration in Digital Video and Cinema from James Madison University. Kristy fell in love with nature at a young age and studied film to share its beauty with the world! She loves to travel, meet new people, hear stories, and tell stories. She sings and dances as often as she walks and talks and believes that karaoke should be America's official pastime (no offense to baseball.)
Philip Mathieu (Freedom, New Hampshire) BA (2017) in Physics from Brown University. Philip grew up hiking and skiing all over the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He has loved science and the outdoors for as long as he can remember. In college, he did research in a radio astronomy lab, built race cars, and produced a handful of hip-hop mixtapes. Over the years, Philip has taught everything from improv and parallel skiing to electrical engineering. In his free time, he loves making music and eating good food.
Josh Miller (Millford, Michigan) – B.A. (2018) in Biology and Psychology from Kalamazoo College. Josh grew up running around local parks with friends and family, looking for anything cool he could find under rocks and logs. He studied biology in college because of the memories he had of the critter he found. He has been a restaurant worker since high school and he loves cooking for himself and others. When he’s not outside or in the kitchen he can be found reading, playing games of all kinds with his friends, listening to music, or watching movies.
Madisen Plunkert (Hanover, Pennsylvania) B.S. (2018) in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management from Penn State University. Madisen spent much of her younger years exploring the outdoors of southern Pennsylvania. Some of her favorite things to do then included climbing trees, playing make-believe with her siblings, and marveling at salamanders in the creek behind her house. She still enjoys doing those things, along with biking, backpacking, and getting crafty! After graduating from Penn State, Madisen hiked the Long Trail in the magical woods of Vermont where she spent more time swimming in ponds and eating peculiar foods than hiking. Her passion for environmental education led her to Shaver's Creek Environmental Center in the lush green forests of central Pennsylvania, the snowy mountains of Colorado at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and now the coast of Maine here at The Ecology School! Madisen is overjoyed to share her love and wonder for the natural world in this new and beautiful place.
Priyanka Shakya (Kathmandu, Nepal). M.S (2018) in Environmental Science. Priyanka grew up in vibrant Kathmandu. Her soul resonates with freedom of travelling to new places and soaking in all the colors and languages. This past summer, she worked as an Environmental Educator Intern for Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier’s (LEAF). She has a true passion for conservation and absolutely loves forests, mountains and waterfalls. In her free time she enjoys photography, cooking vegan foods, listening to music, and reading books. She am very excited to join the team at The Ecology School and to share her experience with the kids.
Eric Walton (Bethesda, Maryland) B.S. (2017) in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing from Colby College. Eric’s passion for the outdoors first stemmed from exploring the beaches and rocky tide pools found along the coast of Long Island Sound. It was not until college that his passion grew to involve hiking and backpacking through the forests of Maine, and backcountry canoeing in the North Maine Woods. While in college he led backpacking and canoeing trips all over Maine, but his love for the ocean remained his focus, which is why after graduation he spent a year with AmeriCorps teaching students on the Roseway, a 93 year old wooden ship, while sailing all around the Caribbean and the East Coast. When not teaching in the outdoors, Eric likes to spend his free time reading, practicing his ukulele or guitar, trying new recipes, or talking way too much about fish.
Dawn Allison (Nurse) (Fort Valley, GA) – B.A. & R.N. (1990) University of Miami & Palm Beach State College in Florida. Nurse Dawn has been exploring nature most of her life from scuba diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys, to horseback trail riding in Texas, Wyoming, and the Southwestern states. These days she tries for as many day hikes as she can wherever she goes. A camp nurse in Maine since 2012 she loves to travel, is a voracious reader, enjoys photography and crafts - especially cross-stitch, and absolutely loves a good joke or funny story. (If you have one, please tell her!) She has a grown daughter who lives in Wisconsin, and shares her year-round home in Georgia with her husband Dave, and son Zach. Two loopy Lab Retrievers and two crazy but cuddly cats (all rescue animals) round out the general mayhem there.
Since 1998, The Ecology School has brought innovative ecology education programs to thousands of children throughout New England and nationwide through overnight programs, field trips, outreach to schools, professional development and publications.