Camp Instructor Bios
Summer Camp 2011 Instructor Bios
Jesse, aka the Frisbee Ninja, has been immersing himself into the Coyote world as much as possible since 2004. He began as a student then returned to volunteer and is now an instructor. He grew up in Costa Rica where he ran tours on horseback, by kayak, mountain bike and on foot through amazing, dense, bio-diverse rain forests. He is really excited to be learning as much and more about the Rogue Valley's (USA's 2nd most bio-diverse) ecosystem as he knows about Costa Rica's. His other passions are stone masonry and yoga. One of his great pleasures is finding balance; with rocks, poses, nature and sharing skills with other people.
Tiffany has been an educator for 7 years and has taught both children and adults in Oregon, Alaska and Mexico. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and a master's in Teaching. Tiffany believes learning should be fun and exciting, and her passion and enthusiasm in the classroom are contagious.
Naomi is a professional clown, storyteller, and magician. Her first magic show was for the neighborhood at age 11. Since then she has performed throughout the West Coast, Japan and Taiwan with her company “Magic Makers”. She has studied mime with Marcel Marceau and her artistry can be found in the bestselling children’s book, Face Painting.
Stephanie graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in biology and has a Master of Arts in Teaching from SOU. She has been an educator with ScienceWorks for three years as Outreach Coordinator, teaching science inquiry and our Girls Engineering Club classes. Prior to joining ScienceWorks, Stephanie taught science with the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, as well as at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco. Stephanie loves teaching science and can’t wait to show children how much fun it is!
Mary Fitzsimmons is an enthusiastic teacher with experience teaching kindergarten through eighth grade. Born and raised in our beautiful Rogue Valley, she loves to inspire her students to explore, appreciate, and preserve the nature around us. Mary loves to model kindness and respect for the living things of our world. She holds a master’s degree in Teaching from Southern Oregon University.
Clayton is a native son and veteran teacher in the Rogue Valley. Long excursions as a child taught him that science is all about exploring and that doing fun things lead to learning. He recently retired after 31 years in intermediate grades at Griffin Creek Elementary, and has been honored as an Oregon Finalist for the PAEMST Science Award.
Chris Giorni founded Tree Frog Treks~Wild Science in 1999. He has a master’s degree in biology and has taught science at the kindergarten through adult level. Chris currently teaches Tree Frog Treks and classes all over the San Francisco Bay Area, in addition to leading Junior Academy classes and family natural history excursions for the California Academy of Sciences and directing Tree Frog Treks' programs offered at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
Lange grew up in Clichy, north of Paris, France, and has farmed France and Hawaii since the 1970s. Lange has six years of experience in Waldorf education and is the mother of three children. Her teaching philosophy includes, "let nature be and the kids will follow," and "it’s about the garden."
Nicolaj Imhof has a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Science in Environmental Education. He currently teaches forensic science at Armadillo Technical Institute in Phoenix, and was a previous Summer Science Camp instructor at ScienceWorks.
Andrea is a 2nd grade teacher at Oak Grove Elementary School in Medford. She loves kids and the outdoors. While she’s not at camp this summer, she’ll be camping, hiking, reading, and spending lots of time on the lake!
As Klamath Bird Observatory’s Education and Outreach Program Manager, Annie Kilby shares her passion for the environment, birds, ecology, and conservation with students of all ages. Annie teaches field and classroom programs for KBO in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties. Annie has worked as a naturalist interpreter along the Oregon coast and has studied ecology in the Caribbean and Kenya. Annie received her bachelor’s degree in biology and ecology from the University of Maryland.
Tia Lehua McLean
Tia was born and raised on Maui. She moved to Ashland in 1999 to pursue a BA in Theatre Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education. After travelling and teaching in Asia with her husband, Tia returned to Ashland to raise her family. She has been teaching at Helman Elementary School for the past 5 years.
Garth Mix, raised on Kodiak Island, AK, is an illustrator/graphic designer with a specialty in depicting marine mammals and ocean biology. He currently works with marine biologists nation-wide creating species illustrations for informative publications by organizations including NOAA and NMFS. He illustrated the Field Guide to Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles of the U.S. Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico winning the 2000 National Outdoor Book Award for best nature guidebook, the outdoor world’s largest and most prestigious book award program. He enjoys sharing his passion for marine mammals with children of all ages.
Alan Parowski Alan has over 20 years experience working with kids--directing summer camps and teen programs for the YMCA, running inner city afterschool programs in San Francisco, and directing science camps with Tree Frog Treks since its inception. You can usually pick him out from the crowd of kids at camp only because he's a lot bigger!
Homegrown in the woods around Ashland, Oregon, Michele is a natural-world adventurer and full-time mom of two daughters. Currently, Michele is a full-time student at Southern Oregon University who will be graduating June 2011 with a degree in Early Childhood Development and a minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership while receiving a certificate in Native American Studies. Michele had been working in the outdoors with and without children nearly 20 years, believing that we are the change we are seeking in making a difference in the world. Her passion lies in working with young children and helping them gain appreciation for nature during their earliest memories. She currently helps co-teach the Coyote Naturalist class at Willow Wind Community Learning Center in Ashland, volunteers for local non-profit Native American organizations, and assists at North Mountain Park Nature Center working with youth. Other interests include taichi, yoga, and natural healing. In the summer, you'll find her at camp with the "Little Fox Cubs"!
Mary Ann Perry
Mary Ann Perry is an experienced environmental educator, substitute teacher, and a mentor/board member with The Rose Circle Mentoring Network. She loves being outside with kids and guiding their creativity and curiosity. She holds a degree in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation from Humboldt State University and a master's in Special Education from SOU. Her formal education has prepared her to combine the outdoor classroom with reaching unique learners.
Anjie has been teaching students of all ages for 20 years. Whether guiding tours in Alaska, instructing writing and critical thinking to college students, or fostering the development and education of pre-schoolers, she is inspired by the curiosity and wonder that lead to learning. She holds a master’s degree in Literature from Western Washington University, and combines science and the arts in a nurturing and exciting classroom.
Ginny recently moved to Ashland from Los Angeles. Ginny was the science coordinator for an elementary school of 500 students with the Los Angeles School District. Ginny is currently involved with teaching science at Bellview Elementary and Willow Wind School. Her philosophy of education is to use a hands–on approach. Students gain an understanding of the subject material by doing investigations and hands–on experimentation. When she is not busy teaching science, she loves to go hiking and camping with here 11 year-old twins, husband and chocolate lab, Ginger.
Amanda grew up in the woods of Oregon and Colorado, and as a home school student, she chose to study that which interested her the most. She spent the majority of her time outside, and started taking classes that were specifically wilderness oriented when she was 15 at Coyote Tracks. She has now been working with Coyote Trails School of Nature every summer since, first as an intern and now as an instructor. Her other passions involve classical violin, martial arts and running around all silly-like!
Emily Strong taught science at Piedmont Middle School in the Bay Area before she and her family moved to Ashland where she pursues her diverse interests of freelance writing and science instruction. She can often be found volunteering at the Siskiyou School or increasingly at Scienceworks where she has recently joined the staff as an outreach educator.
Liz Williams Liz works for the Klamath Bird Observatory's Education and Outreach Team. With KBO, Liz teaches field and classroom-based programs, semester-long courses and summer camps focused on birds and ecology throughout Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties. Liz has a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of California and a master's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Liz has worked as a field biologist studying birds and mammals throughout the western United States, and has taught natural history courses at the Montana Natural History Center and the University of Montana.