Natalie grew up outside of Philadelphia and graduated from Williams College in 2018 with degrees in sociology and environmental studies. After a few summers as a camp counselor, she fell in love with environmental and outdoor education, and spent several semesters leading field trips for elementary schoolers in Hopkins Memorial Forest.
While attending the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies program, which gave her a lifelong love of sailing and sea chanteys, Natalie visited the Pacific Northwest for the first time and knew she needed to return someday. After a few more years in Pennsylvania, working at Riverbend Environmental Education Center, she made good on that promise and returned to Oregon to start her MS in Environmental Education at SOU.
When not in class, you can find Natalie writing, making music, or turning over rocks in streams to marvel at benthic macroinvertebrates.
Sarah moved cross-country from New York’s Hudson Valley to learn among this vibrant community of environmental educators at SOU.
After realizing that hiking is free and awesome, and that Environmental Education is in fact a real field during her senior year of college, she jumped into a series of internships and seasonal positions across the country at several national and state parks and preserves to learn more about natural history, interpretation, trail building, and land stewardship.
She’ll try just about anything outside, but especially loves hiking, biking, camping, and yoga. She’s stoked about birds, plants, fire, and newly, fish!
Fun fact: Sarah spent every day of 2020 outside for at least 20 minutes (but usually more).
Mike is overjoyed to be joining EE cohort 14, and also pursue his Master of Arts in Teaching with a biology focus at SOU. He comes to Oregon from New York, where he grew up in the Albany area before attending the University of Maine, Orono for a bachelor’s in wildlife Ecology.
Mike always envisioned himself going into wildlife research and pursued several technician jobs researching wolves, cougars, bears, marten and moose in several states before realizing his passions were calling him to make a difference in education. Since his transition, Mike has worked several EE jobs in New England before seeking out an opportunity to move west and transition into classroom teaching.
In his free time mike loves to do anything active and outdoors. He is always psyched for big adventures, especially in trail running, backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering! The dream for mike would be to teach biology to middle and high school students while being a track coach, and then spend his summers as a backpacking instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
Raised snowboarding, skiing, camping, hiking, survival training, and adventuring in her hometown of Truckee, California, Sofia has always had a passion for the outdoors. She graduated from Cal State University Monterey Bay with a bachelors degree in Education and a minor in Environmental Studies along with a scuba diving certification.
Sofia started working in the outdoor education field as a camp counselor at a nonprofit outdoor education program (Shady Creek). She volunteered her time in public schools, private schools, community gardens and outdoor education programs that teach k-12 students to garden, harvest and enjoy sustainable living.
In her free time you can find Sofia dirt biking, hiking, camping, exploring, painting, eating, and most of all exploring nature with friends and dogs.
Elizabeth was born and raised in Madison, Wisconson. Growing up, she spent as much time as possible outdoors, particularly in or around water. Elizabeth attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in Zoology and Biological Aspects of Conservation. After her undergraduate education, Elizabeth spent 10 years working across the Pacific Northwest region as a fisheries biologist and stream restorationist. During this time, she helped train numerous colleagues in biological monitoring techniques and organized several adult education events, which she credits for invoking her interest in environmental education.
Currently, Elizabeth is pursuing an Masters in Environmental Education and the Nonprofit Management Certificate at SOU, as well as serving as the Education Coordinator for The Farm at SOU.
In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys hiking, kayaking, cooking, gardening, and playing with her dog, Toby.