Field Education

Out in Nature, into Science

Faculty & Staff

  • Joe Petrick

    Vice President of Field Education
    M.Ed., University of Washington
    Certificate in Education, Environment and Community, Islandwood Graduate Program
    B.A., History and a Virginia Professional Teaching Certificate, 
    University of Mary Washington

    Joe leads a team of passionate educators who customize field science adventures for groups of all ages. He joined the Teton Science Schools family in the spring of 2007. Prior to Teton Science Schools, Joe worked as an administrator, classroom teacher and outdoor educator in Washington, California, Virginia, Maryland and South Africa. Joe spends his free time exploring the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and traveling to other inspiring locations with his wife and two girls.

  • Naomi Heindel

    Director of Field Education - Operations
    MESc, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
    BA, Environmental Earth Science, Dartmouth College

    Naomi Heindel has worked as an environmental educator for over a decade. Before coming to Teton Science Schools, she worked at organizations including NatureBridge Yosemite and Chewonki, guided wilderness expeditions on the rivers of northern Canada, the high country of the Sierra Nevada, and the lakes of Maine, and broadened her geology undergraduate experience with a Masters of Environmental Science at the Yale School of Forestry. Naomi now manages adult and family programs, backcountry camping and the Teton Science Schools blog.

  •   Emily Hager

      Director of Field Education - Staff
      M.S., Natural Science, Environment & Natural Resources, University of Wyoming
      Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools
      B.S., Biology, University of Puget Sound


    Inspired to connect powerful outdoor experiences with placed-based science teaching and learning, Emily Hager found her way to Teton Science Schools first as a graduate student in 2006, and later as a faculty member in 2011. Prior to joining the faculty team at TSS, Emily pursued personal canoeing expeditions in Northern Canada, and taught in field settings with both TSS and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Emily manages staffing and scheduling within Field Education, and co-coordinates the TSS AmeriCorps Program with Katie Hoskinson.

  • Colby Mitchell

    Director of Field Education - Curriculum, Instruction and Research
    M.Ed. Environmental Education, Western Washington University
    Certificate in Leadership and Non-Profit Administration, North Cascades Institute
    B.S. in Biology with an Environmental Concentration, St. Michael’s College


    Since leaving New England in 2005, Colby's career has focused on the craft of teaching science outside, working with communnities to support youth development, and facilitating organizational learning in non-profits. For six years, Colby worked for Shedd Aquarium in Chicago in a variety of capacities, among them the coordination of community-based science education and mentorship programs for teens. Following a growing interest in non-profit leadership, Colby persued graduate studies in western Washington, a path that would ultimately lead him to a new home in the mountains of western Wyoming.     

  • Tanya Anderson

    Field Education Faculty
    M.S. Environmental Science, University of Massachusetts, Boston
    B.A. History, University of Rochester

    For more than twenty years, Tanya has worked in the fields of experiential and environmental education. She has taught natural history in a variety of environments, guided backpacking, canoeing, skiing, and bicycling trips, taught global education aboard a boat that sailed around the world, studied sea turtles in the Galapagos Islands, led study abroad programs in Latin American and Asia, coordinated a graduate residency program in environmental education at the North Cascades Institute, directed a local nonprofit, and taught at Central Wyoming College. Tanya coordinates Road Scholar programs at Teton Science Schools. 

  • Christen Girard

    Field Education Faculty
    M.Ed. Environmental Education, Western Washington University
    Certificate in Leadership and Non-Profit Administration, North Cascades Institute
    B.A. Environmental Studies, Natural History Concentration, Lewis and Clark College


    Christen has followed her love for the environment through many western states as a naturalist, trail crew member, field biologist, farmer and teacher, working with people from a multitude of backgrounds and ages along the way. After completing a Masters in Environmental Education, she worked several years as the Program Coordinator for a conservation organization in the North Cascades, leading a wide variety of field-based/residential programs and supporting educator development. Outside of teaching, Christen enjoys writing, trail running, working in the dirt, and exploring wild places with a notebook and pen in hand. Christen manages Murie Ranch Programming at TSS and loves sharing her curiosity for the natural world with others. 

  • Megan Hollenbeck

    Field Education Faculty
    B.S. Natural Sciences with a Concentration in Biology Education, Colorado State University

    Megan grew up in the mountains of Colorado, where she developed a love for the outdoors and explored nature at a young age. In her free time she skis, hikes and mountain bikes. After studying to be a science teacher, she taught for several years in a middle school. Part of her responsibilities included planning a trip for her students to an outdoor science school in the mountains. This experience helped to mold her passion of getting kids into the outdoors to learn science and explore the natural world around them. She transitioned to instructing and eventually managing at an outdoor science school in Colorado as well as directing programs at an outdoor school in the Northern Sierras. Megan is excited to be a part of the Adult and Family Programs and summer programming at Teton Science Schools.

  • Nick Koinis
    Field Education Faculty
    M.S. Natural Science Education, Environmental & Natural Resources, University of Wyoming
    Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools

    B.A. Cross-Cultural Studies, Palm Beach Atlantic University

    Nick's love of sharing outdoor experiences has guided his professional and personal path over the years. Originally from Florida, Nick led rafting trips in Colorado, kayak tours in Florida, and backpacking and mountaineering trips in Wyoming before completing the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program and receiving a M.S. degree in Natural Science Education and Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming. Most recently, Nick worked as the afterschool and summer program coordinator for the Jackson Hole Children's Museum. Whether he is leading mountaineering trips with adults or examining flowers with children, he continues find joy in helping his students take an active and leading role in their own learning.

  • Dylan Klinesteker
    Snowcoach Lead Guide and Field Education Faculty
    B.A. Environment Education:Outdoor Education and Interpretation, Western Washington University

    Dylan first heard about Teton Science Schools sitting on the side of a trail on a backpacking trip in Grand Teton National Park. Since that day Dylan got a degree in Environmental Education, worked at Mt. St. Helens, Death Valley, Redwoods, and North Cascades National Park, educating visitors and students about the natural world. Happy to be back, Dylan now splits his time working with the Field Education team and the Wildlife Expeditions team driving a Mercedes Sprinter with Mattracks through the Winter wilds of Yellowstone.

  • Greg Ley
    Field Education Faculty
    M.S. Natural Science Education & Environment and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming; B.A. Adventure Education, Fort Lewis College

    Greg spent his early life in the foothills of the Rockies on the Front Range of Colorado, exploring, getting messy, and developing a relationship with the outdoors on many levels. He has since worked as an educator, guide, facilitator, and naturalist throughout the Rocky Mountain West. He considers himself a lifelong learner in his current position as Doug Walker Challenge Course Manager and coordinator of stewardship programs at TSS, and his favorite pasttime is wandering.

  • Amelia Howe
    Field Program Administrator
    B.S. Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University

    After graduating from Colorado State University, Amelia made the move to Jackson to work as TSS's Field Program Administrator and put her combined passion for people and natural resources to work. She has always hoped to work to encourage and create strong bonds between people and place, and is able to do so through her behind the scenes work aiding in field program coordination and logistics. Amelia enjoys weekends spent climbing, camping, reading under the sun in a hammock, and snowboarding.

  • Laura Brown
    Lead Instructor/AmeriCorps Mentor Instructor
    B.F.A. Film and Television, NYU

    Laura hails from the oceans and redwoods of northern California. She received a B.F.A. in Film and Television from New York University in 2013, and has continued to apply her passions for humans and stories to the work she does in outdoor education. An interest in building community through place-based education led her to Teton Science Schools, where she’s spent the last couple years backpacking, canoeing, skiing and reflecting her way through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with hundreds of beautiful students.


  • Sam Neirman
    Lead Field Instructor
    Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools; B.S. Forestry, University of Vermont

    Prior to graduating from the Graduate Program at Teton Science Schools, Sam spent three years working as a naturalist and educator at the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS), as well as a consulting forester at Full Circle Forestry. It was at VINS where Sam truly discovered his life calling: connecting students with their natural surroundings. He is excited and eager to build relationships and share his knowledge of the outdoors with the amazing students that come to TSS.

  • Bo Welden

    Lead Field Instructor
    B.S. Environmental Communication, Colorado State University
    M.S. Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University 

    Raised in the Elk mountains of Colorado, Bo has had a passion for the outdoors from an early age. Prior to coming to TSS, Bo worked across Colorado youth throughout the state and helped form his passion for education. Using the natural world as the classroom has long resonated with his own style of learning and teaching. He is thrilled to be part of a community that also commits to science education in such a breathtaking landscape.

  • Thomas Duggan
    Lead Field Instructor
    M.S. Natural Science Education and Resource Management, University of Wyoming
    B.S. Conservation Biology, St. Lawrence University

    Tom came to Wyoming as a student of the Teton Science Schools graduate program in 2013 from an Assistant Director role for Pine Island Camp. Following the graduate program with TSS, Tom finished at the University of Wyoming, focusing on the non-performance based learning outcomes of garden-based learning. In his free time Tom is often in search of the perfect turn and sour espresso.

  • Kelsey Eibler
    Field Instructor
    B.A.S. Environmental and Outdoor Education, University of Minnesota Duluth

    Prior to working at TSS, Kelsey has held seasonal environmental education positions in Wisconsin, Georgia and California, sparking curiosity in students about the natural world. An interest in working in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks is what brought Kelsey to Wyoming. She is excited about educating the students who visit TSS about all of the wonders of the GYE. Kelsey enjoys her time off hiking, cooking and baking, reading in her hammock and spending time with family and friends.

  • Emily Batdorf
    Field Instructor
    B.A. Environmental Studies, University of Michigan

    Emily grew up and went to school in Michigan, where she explored the lakes, dunes and woods of the mitten state. Throughout her time at U of M, Emily traveled to the GYE each summer for field studies in geology. Finding it hard to stay away from these mountains, she returned to Jackson to serve as a field education AmeriCorps intern at Teton Science Schools immediately following graduation. She is now an instructor at TSS, and continues to love learning, teaching and playing in this wonderful landscape.

  • Jonathan Constabel
    Field Instructor
    B.S. Conservation Biology and Biodiversity/Geography, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont

    Jonathan came to Teton Science Schools from the wonderful world of Leadville, Colorado, where he was the science teaching fellow at the High Mountain Institute. He taught natural science in the classroom and on 18-day expeditions in the Colorado backcountry and the Canyonlands in Utah. Prior to HMI, Jonathan led a weekly Natural History and Field Ecology lab at the University of Vermont, exploring everything from environmental folklore and storytelling, to how glacial history and geology can make for really good cheese. Jonathan grew up exploring the mysterious forests of Pennsylvania by foot or by bike, and loves playing music, drawing, drinking tea, exploring, sharing gratitude and doing lots of the stereotypical outdoorsy things that you would assume someone in Jackson does (e.g. skiing, mountain biking, running, hiking, etc.).

  • David McCoy
    Field Instructor
    B.S. Psychology, Missouri University of Science and Technology

    David developed a passion for the natural world at an early age while backpacking and canoeing around Missouri. He came to TSS as a student when he was in sixth grade and immediately fell in love with the GYE. David now enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with students of all ages. When not at work, he can be found hiking and climbing in the Tetons.

  • Sami Wolniakowski
    Field Instructor
    B.A. Education, St. Norbert College

    After graduating college in Wisconsin, Sami moved to Oregon and worked as an outdoor science school teacher. When the school shut down for the winter, she worked as a ski patroller on Mt. Hood. For the summer, Sami moved to Jackson to become a wildlife guide in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National parks and ended up finding her niche as a field instructor at the Teton Science Schools.

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