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Staff

Meet Nearby Nature's Staff

Nearby Nature's staff would love to hear from you. To contact us by email click here.

 

Beth Stein, Executive DirectorBeth Stein 2011

Beth has worked with Nearby Nature since 1994, serving in a variety of capacities, from program director to executive director. Beth is a writer, educator, storyteller, and key developer and manager of much of the educational programming at Nearby Nature. She is our lead programmer for our School Nature Walks Program, a School Classroom Visits instructor, a grant writer, our lead organizer for yearly special events, and our newsletter editor. She has also been know to dress up as Frannie the Frog! Beth has a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Environmental Studies from Williams College. When she's not working at Nearby Nature, you'll find Beth hiking, biking, canoeing, baking, or reading.


ShyAnne Woods, Education CoordinatorShyAnne Woods

ShyAnne joined our staff in 2016 and is excited to be part of the Nearby Nature crew. She moved back to Eugene in the fall of 2015 after spending the prior summer as a naturalist and Junior Ranger Guide on the southern Oregon Coast. While pursuing a degree in Natural Resources from Oregon State University, she worked for the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis. ShyAnne greatly enjoys sharing her love of nature with people of all ages. In her free time she likes to hike Eugene's buttes and ridges, join other naturalists for birding or botanizing adventures, and train her dog Josie.


Shaun Daniel, Park Host and Learnscape & Restoration CoordinatorShaun Daniel

Shaun joined the staff in 2017 as Park Host and Learnscape and Restoration Coordinator. He grew up in a village in the Columbia Highlands of northeastern Washington, where he first learned to appreciate nature. After living in and exploring regions of the broader West and Midwest, Shaun is happy to be back in the Northwest. For his role at Nearby Nature, he is excited to draw on his past experiences as a farmer, musician, instructor, editor, house painter, and even a cave tour guide. He has an M.S. in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah and a Permaculture Design Certificate from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. Shaun loves reading, gardening, playing and writing music, hiking, and working on various home projects with his wife Teresa.

 

 

Network Charter School Instructors

NCS Teacher Wendy McKenzie

Wendy McKenzie, Network Charter School Instructor

Wendy has been a Network Charter School science teacher since 2003. She has worked with Nearby Nature since 1995 and served for many years as its Park Host, both in Alton Baker Park and at Armitage Park. She is an experienced gardener, an artist (the original creator of Nearby Nature's Kinder Critters!), and a skilled teacher.

 

Denise Velasco, Network Charter School Instructor

Denise Velasco started her career with Nearby Nature as a volunteer and has been Denise Velascoteaching at the Network Charter School since the fall of 2004. Her classes include math, health, and independent living. When she's not teaching at the Network Charter School, Denise is a mom to a wonderful little boy, and enjoys reading, baking, and gardening.


William HughesBilly Hughes, Network Charter School Instructor

Billy Hughes has been an instructor with the Network Charter School since 2005.  He loves to garden, hike, backpack, kayak, fish, ride his bike, wild craft, and relax in the great outdoors with his family.  His focus at the Network Charter School is teaching whole systems theory, Permaculture ethics, and design principles to his Urban Ecology class.  He also teaches Ultimate Frisbee and is currently co-teaching Survival. He has a Permaculture Design Certification and a Permaculture Teachers Certification.

 

Tom CoppoliniTom Coppolino, NCS Instructor

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Summer Daycamp Staff 


ShyAnne Woods, Education Coordinator/Daycamps DirectorShyAnne Woods

ShyAnne joined our staff in 2016 and is excited to be part of the Nearby Nature crew. She moved back to Eugene in the fall of 2015 after spending the prior summer as a naturalist and Junior Ranger Guide on the southern Oregon Coast. While pursuing a degree in Natural Resources from Oregon State University, she worked for the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis. ShyAnne greatly enjoys sharing her love of nature with people of all ages. In her free time she likes to hike Eugene's buttes and ridges, join other naturalists for birding or botanizing adventures, and train her dog Josie.

 

Thomas WeaverThomas Weaver

Thomas Weaver first joined Nearby Nature as a volunteer nature guide in the Fall of 2013. In the summer of 2014, he first became a member of our summer teaching crew, and since then has enjoyed two great seasons of exploration, learning, and fun with our daycampers. Thomas looks forward to joining our summer staff again in 2016, and is excited to have even more outdoor adventures with our kids.  Originally a native of Virginia, Thomas enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, traveling, photography, volunteering, and doing theater in his spare time. He has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon (which included an internship planting indigenous trees in Ecuador) with a minor in Geology.

 

Paul CatinoPaul Catino

Paul was Nearby Nature's Park Host and our Learnscape and Restoration Coordinator from the summer of 2014 through March 2017. He'll be rejoining us this summer to teach camps! He grew up in Northwest Oregon, where he farmed and spent lots of time outdoors with his family. After serving in the United States Marine Corps, Paul began pursuing a career in environmental education. In the past few years, he has worked as a camp instructor, an environmental and gardening educator, and a farmer. Paul loves the outdoors, and also enjoys gardening, cooking, archery,bow-making, juggling, yoga, and teaching. He looks forward to sharing our gardens and wonderful park with kids this summer.

 

Tami DardenTami Darden

Tami joined our crew in 2015, having spent the school year teaching sustainability education in Eugene/Springfield elementary school classrooms. Tami has been an environmental educator for young and old alike and in many types of environments, from Hawaii to Alaska and many places in between. Getting people excited about nature is one of her favorite things to do — in her free time she loves to be out and about doing things like backpacking, kayaking, and hiking. Tami has a B.S. in Geology from Humboldt State University and has earned most of her M.S. degree in Forest Ecosystems and Society from Oregon State University. She is looking forward to teaching and learning outside this summer!

 

Eric Estling Eric Estling 2

Eric joined our daycamps staff in 2016 and is looking forward to sharing his enthusiasm for the environment with the next generation again this summer. Eric has been teaching and inspiring students for the past nine years, while volunteering for such organizations as Americorps, Children's Miracle Network, Guardian Ad Litem, and Teen Trendsetters. After graduating from Humboldt State University with a BA in Philosophy, he moved to Eugene to work in Special Education at The Village School. He is dedicated to lighting a spark in children to think, explore, create, and learn. Eric has a profound respect for the natural beauty of our planet and spends his free-time traveling and camping. He especially enjoys back-packing adventures, from the Amazon jungle to the Trinity Alps. When he is not outside exploring, he expresses his admiration for nature through writing music and singing songs on the guitar. Eric is looking forward to a summer of fun, exploration, and adventure in Alton Baker Park.

 

Emily SmithEmily Smith

Emily Smith joined our preschool daycamps teaching team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Southern Oregon, she has lived in the Willamette Valley for the past six years. Emily holds a master's degree in differentiated education, has been teaching elementary students since 2011, and has had over ten years of experience working with students of all ages. She is very fun loving and her passion is working with students. In her free time, Emily enjoys doing everything artistic, especially painting and drawing. She also enjoys fishing, gardening, and going on adventures with her husband. She loves science and the natural world and is very excited to spend her summer learning and discovering with the students of Nearby Nature.

 

Shane MacRhodesShane MacRhodes

Shane was born in Eugene but has lived, biked and traveled in many parts of the US and abroad. He is joining Nearby Nature in the Summer of 2017 as a Bicycle Day camp Instructor. Shane is certified as a League Cycling Instructor Coach for the League of American Bicyclists and also brings over two decades of cycling experience including: 10 years as a cargo bike courier and business owner, 9 years as the 4J School District Safe Routes to School Program Manager, and thousands of miles of bike touring in Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, Cuba, the Czech Republic, and the United States, including circumnavigating the US with his partner Missy. He also co-founded the family-friendly bike ride movement “Kidical Mass” and is an advocate and leader for family-biking locally and nationally. Beyond bikes as work he also loves to ride with his 7 year-old daughter and 6 year-old twin boys.


Shaun DanielShaun Daniel, Park Host and Learnscape & Restoration Coordinator

Shaun joined Nearby Nature's staff in the spring of 2017 as Park Host and Learnscape and Restoration Coordinator, and will also teach one of our garden camps this summer! He grew up in a village in the Columbia Highlands of northeastern Washington, where he first learned to appreciate nature. After living in and exploring regions of the broader West and Midwest, Shaun is happy to be back in the Northwest. For his role at Nearby Nature, he is excited to draw on his past experiences as a farmer, musician, instructor, editor, house painter, and even a cave tour guide. He has an M.S. in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah and a Permaculture Design Certificate from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. Shaun loves reading, gardening, playing and writing music, hiking, and working on various home projects with his wife Teresa.

 

Kit LacyKit Lacy

Kit Lacy has been working with Nearby Nature for many years, serving as our lead coordinator for camps at the Cascades Raptor Center. Education Director at the Cascades Raptor Center, Kit was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. After attending universities in Wisconsin, she headed west to Oregon. She enrolled at the University of Oregon and began working in an ecology lab. She completed a master's degree in biology, specializing in communication and social behavior of iguanas. Kit began volunteering at Cascades Raptor Center in January of 2002 and has been part of the CRC education team since its beginning. Kit also taught biology at LCC for many years and is on the board of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. She loves training birds to be ambassadors for their species and enjoys sharing her love of all things wild with nature center visitors and campers of all ages.

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