Outdoor Learning Experiences

Our Staff

Outdoor Learning Experiences Leadership Team

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Kendall Peacock

Interim Head of Outdoor Learning Experiences

Kendall Peacock

Interim Head of Outdoor Learning Experiences

Teaching and Research in Environmental Education (TREE) Semester Graduate Fellow, Colorado College 

Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools

B.A. in Environment and Natural Resources and International Studies, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

 

Kendall grew up in Texas and Wyoming and started finding her love of outdoors over summer trips to the Tetons with her family. Many of her best memories are outdoors, in nature, working and learning with others. Kendall received her degrees in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming where she also worked for the Wyoming Conservation Corps for 7 years. It was during that experience that place-based education became a draw and eventually led her to the graduate program at Teton Science Schools in 2014. Since then, she has held many roles including instructor and faculty member. Currently she is the Director of Staffing on the Field Education team. 

Joanna Ahlum

Interim Head of Outdoor Learning Experiences

Joanna Ahlum

Interim Head of Outdoor Learning Experiences

M.S. Environmental Studies, San Jose State University 

B.A. Biology, Westmont College 

Before coming to Teton Science Schools, Joanna taught in the Environmental Studies and Sciences Department at Santa Clara University for seven years. She has also been a practitioner in the fields of restoration ecology, conservation agriculture, and environmental education. As an ecologist, she’s interested in how regenerative practices in agriculture and elsewhere can enhance human livelihoods and biodiversity. As an educator and a learner, she’s invested in curating experiences that awaken desire to reconnect with the rest of nature. She loves exploring this amazing place with her husband and their two young girls, visiting the ocean as often as possible, and hanging out on farms.

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinators and Assistants

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Mason Wood

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Youth Open Enrollment

Mason Wood

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Youth Open Enrollment

Growing up in Southern Idaho, Mason got to spend summers and fall in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This time fostered love and passion for the Great Outdoors. This passion followed Mason into college where she worked on various conservation projects, worked for the Outdoor Center, began backpacking, and pursued her Geology degree! She started planning trips to the National Parks to marvel at the geologic wonders and see some of the most spectacular places the United States has. During the past five years, Mason has been fortunate enough to experience 50 out of 63 national parks, with the crowning achievement of getting to live in Grand Teton National Park! While traveling to see as many parks as possible, Mason worked as an instructor and administrator at the largest outdoor school in the United States, located in Southern California. This allowed her to develop her teaching skills in conservation and natural sciences. After living in varying places across the West, Mason looked to her roots and moved to work with TSS as a Summer Instructor in 2022. After two summers of instructing with TSS, Mason has had the opportunity to further her skills as a Program Coordinator at the historic Kelly Campus. She is very passionate about National Parks, place-based education, and her two kittens, Blueberry and Buttermilk.

Hanna Holcomb

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Teaching & Learning

Hanna Holcomb

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Teaching & Learning

Hanna grew up in Eastern Connecticut and has been living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since 2019. In college, she studied biology and English, which sparked an interest in making science fun and accessible for all learners.  She has worked as a naturalist educator for Grand Targhee Resort and Yellowstone National Park and served as a remote AmeriCorps member with Teton Science Schools in 2020. She joined TSS's Field Instructor team in January 2023 before moving into her role as a Program Coordinator. She loves connecting students with the region’s rich ecosystem and history through hands-on lessons and is excited to bring her passion for learning to this new role. In her spare time, Hanna enjoys skiing, running, and starting crafts that she rarely finishes.

Danielle Luchkowec

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Summer Programs

Danielle Luchkowec

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Summer Programs

After growing up in the suburbs of New York, Danielle moved to Utah to start her path in environmental education. Over the years, Danielle has been working and traveling the country and abroad fostering her love for the outdoors in National Parks, AmeriCorps programs, residential outdoor schools, summer programs, experiential boarding schools, community gardens, and now here at TSS. After finishing her Master’s focusing on Sustainable Food Systems and social/cultural change, Danielle believes that building community around meaningful experiences outside can shift how people relate to their community and the natural world, which has incredible ripples towards societal transformational change. Building connections, mentoring educators and youth are some of the things that bring her joy in her work! In Danielle’s spare time she would most likely be dancing, doing yoga,  hiking, or cuddling with her cat.

Hannah McLimans

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Murie Ranch

Hannah McLimans

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Murie Ranch

M.S. Environmental Humanities, University of Utah

B.M. Violin Performance, Northwestern University 

Hannah grew up in Madison, WI and learned to love the outdoors through many childhood camping trips to the Apostle Islands, tending backyard gardens and making art with her dad out of leaves, seeds, rocks and light. Shas an undergraduate degree in violin performance from Northwestern University and a Masters of Science in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah. During her masters work, she studied the relationship between the human and more-than-human worlds as well as our connection to place through the lens of literature, art, history, and philosophy. She has worked throughout the Intermountain West doing botanical field work and fire ecology, served as the assistant editor at the University of Utah Press, taught violin lessons and now plays music in her free time with a local band. She looks forward to sharing her interdisciplinary humanities perspective with students and educators to help us better understand our place in this place.

 

Jessamyn Biette

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Service

Jessamyn Biette

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Service

B.S. Environmental Science, Dickinson College

B.A. French & Francophone Studies, Dickinson College

Jessamyn moved to Jackson in January 2019 to work as a field instructor for Teton Science Schools and has served in a variety of roles in Field Education ever since. Throughout her childhood, she spent her summers hiking and camping in the forests of New England and Eastern Canada which helped her develop a connection to natural places at a young age. Jessamyn is a firm believer in the power of education and has pursued a career that allows her to connect hundreds of people to nature each year. Prior to living in Jackson, she spent a year and a half in the White Mountains of New Hampshire facilitating environmental education programming for both the Appalachian Mountain Club and Tin Mountain Conservation Center. Before that, Jesamyn spent her summers teaching for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, skiing and looking at flowers.

Julia Olson

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Doug Walker Challenge Course

Julia Olson

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Doug Walker Challenge Course

M.S. Hydrology, University of New Hampshire 

B.S. Environmental Geoscience, Boston College

Julia was born and raised in Massachusetts and joined Teton Science Schools as an AmeriCorps service member in Field Education in 2019 after graduating from Boston College. Julia fell in love with place-based education at TSS, and later worked as a Instructor in Field Education and in support roles at Mountain Academy, before returning to New England for her M.S. in Hydrology at the University of New Hampshire. Through funding from UNH, NASA and the National Science Foundation, Julia conducted her master's research on changing winters in the Teton Range and their impact on ecohydrological systems, and enjoys sharing her findings with diverse audiences of all ages. Julia is passionate about environmental education and research, and believes time spent outside builds confidence, curiosity, and community, and is so excited to bring this passion to the Doug Walker Challenge Course Program Coordinator role.  In her free time, Julia loves to trail run, ski, and bake.

Lena Goss

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Youth Groups

Lena Goss

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Youth Groups

B.A. Geology, Whitman College

Lena grew up in the Pacific Northwest exploring the tidepools, beaches, and forests of Puget Sound. At college in eastern Washington, she studied geology and biology and got the chance to study the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through field courses in the summers. Lena spent time doing education work on tall ships sailing in the Salish Sea, South Pacific, and Caribbean where she developed her love for teaching students in an outdoor setting.. Her need for a “land job” brought Lena to TSS as a Summer Instructor in 2019. She continues to bring curiosity and excitement for learning, as well as fun facts about the ocean, sailing, and rocks into her faculty role. When not engaging with students in the outdoors, Lena can be found riding her bike, hiking, kayaking, and enjoying the mountain lakes of the Tetons.

Morgan Olson

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Administrator

Morgan Olson

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Administrator

B.A. Geology, University of Hawai'i at Hilo

Morgan moved to Jackson in January 2022 to serve as the Program Administrator for Field Education with Teton Science Schools. Her passion for the outdoors stems from a middle school trip to the Big Island of Hawai'i where she witnessed the amazing power of volcanoes. She later returned to the Big Island for college to earn a Bachelor's degree in Geology. Prior to Covid, she worked as a naturalist and administrator at Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she fell in love with taking students into the outdoors and teaching them about the natural world. In her free time, Morgan enjoys skiing, crafting, photography, and gardening.

Sam Neirman

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Camping

Sam Neirman

Outdoor Learning Experiences Program Coordinator – Camping

M.S. Natural Science Education, University of Wyoming 

Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools 

B.S. Forestry and Plant Biology, University of Vermont Sam comes to TSS with a sincere belief in the power of place, people, and stories. His story began in the Green Mountains of Vermont where he still vividly remembers his “special place” atop an eroded riverbank overlooking the Ompompanoosuc River. His curiosity for the outdoors led him to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Plant Biology. As much as Sam admired the intricacies of sugar maples and white pines while working as a forestry consultant, he yearned for the inspiration of people. For the past dozen years, in a diverse array of managerial and teaching experiences, Sam has explored the intersectionality of education and science. This journey has molded his educational philosophy in which we all arrive at any moment with a story to tell. It is our responsibility to ensure we provide an inclusive space where that story can be heard and valued. He looks forward to hearing your story when he has the privilege of meeting you.

Outdoor Learning Experiences Instructors

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Erin Coughlin

Instructor

Erin Coughlin

Instructor

Erin graduated from Colby College with a degree in Environmental Science and Studio Art this past spring. Erin developed her love of the outdoors while growing up on the coast of Maine. She has shared this passion with others as a sea kayak guide, climbing instructor, Nordic ski coach, and island steward. She has worked to protect the environment through research on lake water quality, trash accumulation on the coast, and pollutants in the ocean. As an educator at TSS, Erin looks forward to both teaching and learning about a place new to her. In her free time, Erin likes to bike, climb, ski, run, and make art.

Abby Sand

Instructor

Abby Sand

Instructor

Abby spent her first 17 years of life in the suburbs of Minneapolis and it wasn’t until her freshman year at Colorado State University that she truly gained a passion for the natural world. Her time at CSU exposed her to the wonders of outdoor recreation and evoked a love for environmental education. Abby graduated in May of 2023 with a degree in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and hopes to use her knowledge and genuine enthusiasm to create future generations full of excited and curious environmental stewards. Through education theory coursework and experience leading environmental education programming at CSU’s Environmental Learning Center, Abby fully recognizes the power and importance of proper place-based education and strives to deliver impactful educational experiences to children. Abby is more than thrilled to get started at Teton Science School and learn from her colleagues. Reading on her beloved kindle, playing outside, snowboarding, birding, listening to live music (bonus points if it includes a banjo) and traveling provide Abby with the utmost serotonin. She has big goals of becoming a half decent fly fisher, learning to throw on the potter’s wheel, and mastering the art of baking sourdough!

Meg Gold

Instructor

Meg Gold

Instructor

Meg is excited to return to TSS this coming year to continue to build a culture of connection and growth. They enjoy spending time playing games, talking, and dancing with friends when they aren’t cuddled up in bed with their cats. Meg hopes to bring their creativity and sense of humor to the season to build community and learn from all those around them.

Sophie Lisle

Instructor

Sophie Lisle

Instructor

Sophie grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts and graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in May 2023 with a degree in biology. She developed a passion for science education as she taught environmental science, sustainability, and marine biology on a small island off the coast of Maine and fell in love with Wyoming mountains through her work as a wrangler on a horse ranch near Cody. Sophie worked with TSS as an Americorps member in fall 2023 and is excited to continue on as a field instructor in 2024! She loves TSS’ place-based education model, and she appreciates how a spark of curiosity in the surrounding ecosystem can inspire meaningful exploration, action, and change. In her free time, Sophie loves to trail run, ski, hike, bake, and camp.

Sophia Harnew-Spradley

Instructor

Sophia Harnew-Spradley

Instructor

An Oregon native, Sophia traveled to Tennessee to study at The University of the South, where she minored in music and received her B.S. in neuroscience. In college she worked in behavioral and clinical research labs, was active in her university’s outing program, and played music in various folk-rock and bluegrass bands. Since graduating college she has cycled from Seattle to San Diego to raise awareness of sex trafficking in the States and taught English in Spain. Her belief in the mental health benefits of being outside, and in the importance of personal bonds with nature in fighting the climate crisis, led Sophia to Teton Science Schools. She hopes to apply her knowledge of neuroscience and teaching to helping youth foster a connection with the environment and grow as individuals. In her free time Sophia enjoys playing guitar and mandolin, singing, reading, and doing just about anything that gets her outside.

Ruby Jenco

Instructor

Ruby Jenco

Instructor

Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Ruby Jenco is a field instructor who has been a part of TSS since June 2023. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming in the spring of 2023 with a double major in Environment & Natural Resources and Wildlife Biology & Management. During her four years in school, she developed an appreciation for the intersection between nature and education and bringing individuals closer to the outdoors. In years past, Ruby has worked at Custer State Park creating educational programs for park visitors as well as the Haub School of Environment & Natural Resources developing curriculum for first-year learners. She chose to be a field instructor at TSS to further her teaching skills with a focus on place-based learning. In her spare time Ruby enjoys birdwatching, kayaking, and cozying up for a good movie.

Olivia Oaks

Instructor

Olivia Oaks

Instructor

Olivia graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Nonprofit Management and a minor in Promoting Health for Diverse Abilities. Since graduating she has traveled around the world working as an outdoor hiking and biking guide and squeezing in seeing new places, and family and friends. Jackson Hole, her mom's hometown, is where she started guiding and is really excited to come back to a place that feels a little like home. She is excited to be a part of the Teton Science Schools team to be a part of a like-minded community that shares outdoor knowledge. In her free time she loves to be outside, exercise, read, play games, swim, hike, bike, go on runs with friends, cook, and learn new things. Look forward to meeting and getting to know you all.

Naomi Gregory-Orchard

Instructor

Naomi Gregory-Orchard

Instructor

Naomi grew up in the Sonoran Desert. Her love for natural sciences and outdoor exploration started among saguaros and red rock canyons and has brought her to the alpine forests and glacial valleys of Jackson Hole. Naomi’s youth was shaped by place-based education as she handled snakes at her local museum, planned wetland restoration projects, and attended a residential environmental school in Wisconsin. Naomi loves to travel and has lived, worked, and studied in New Zealand, Serbia, Bosnia, and Nepal. As she completed her bachelor’s degree in management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems at Utah State University, Naomi spent her summers as a whitewater river guide on the Colorado, Green, and Snake Rivers. Naomi has a passion for geology, hydrology, conversation, and fostering a connection to the natural world. In her free time, Naomi enjoys rafting, skiing, a good book, and exploring the outdoors. As a Field Education Instructor at TSS, Naomi is excited to share with others her passion for our beautiful world and the joy of learning.

Mary Grace Martin

Instructor

Mary Grace Martin

Instructor

Mary Grace grew up in Massachusetts and has had the privilege to spend many of her summers at her family’s cottage on a little island called Bustins Island in Maine, which is where her love for the outdoors stemmed from. Spending summers out there allowed her to immerse herself in nature by exploring the forests, tide pools, and building fairy houses for fun. She recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and a minor in Natural Resources Conservation. In October she spent a month as a conservation volunteer with Macaw Recovery Network in Costa Rica where she learned a lot about conservation management and captive breeding and release. During summer 2022, she was an environmental educator at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on Martha’s Vineyard and that summer was life changing for her. It made her realize that environmental education is something she wants to pursue because it felt so rewarding to be able to educate others on the natural world while also expanding her own knowledge at the same time. In her free time, she loves to snowboard, horseback ride, and read.

Jill Woodhouse

Instructor

Jill Woodhouse

Instructor

Jill grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and loves exploring the Great Lakes region. She moved to Utah to get her degree in Civil Engineering and during her time in college worked as a Trip Leader and Coordinator for Utah State University's Outdoor Programs. Jill spent this time leading fellow college students in varying outdoor activities. While leading multi-day rafting trips, Jill further fell in love with riverscapes and the power of water. She loves the interconnectivity of engineering, water, and nature. Jill is a believer in the power of place-based learning and how it can transform students and communities. In Jill's free time, you can find her fly fishing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, eating chicken sandwiches, petting other people's dogs, or watching sports (notably women's basketball or the Detroit Lions).

GG Giarrusso

Instructor

GG Giarrusso

Instructor

GG grew up in central New York and learned to love the outdoors exploring the lands behind her home, sailing on Lake Ontario, and being a camp counselor in the Catskills Mountains. At Keuka College located in the finger lakes, she studied Biology with Organismal Studies and got the chance to explore her teaching passions through many field periods. Her curiosity led her to South Eastern Minnesota working at an environmental learning center teaching many students over the years to step outside their comfort zones and into their challenge zones. GG chose Teton Science School because she is ready to explore a new place, sharing her passion for the outdoors and having fun. Go Team OwOw! Outside of work GG can be found running and biking on the trails, painting birds, and playing with her dog Lima Bean.

Andrew Weston

Instructor

Andrew Weston

Instructor

Andrew grew up in Western Massachusetts with connections to nature through cross country running and photography. After earning a degree in Film Studies, he spent 4 years in New York City participating in creative projects and exploring a wide range of paths in the industry. However, something was missing – and a couple years later, he found himself living in the mountains out west. Andrew spent time as an Outdoor Educator in Colorado and Oregon before joining the team at Teton Science Schools in September. He continues to be inspired by working with kids and learning about nature. In his free time, Andrew enjoys retro video games, making art, and every once in a while, watching a good movie with friends.

Alex Bradley

Instructor

Alex Bradley

Instructor

Alex grew up in Kentucky but spent her summers on her Grandma’s horse farm in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina where she fell in love with the mountain lifestyle. She attended Appalachian State University, receiving a Biology (conc. Ecology) degree and began her career researching bumblebees and Eastern Hellbenders. She was introduced to environmental interpretation while volunteering at Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation where she fell in love with the field of outdoor education. She has worked as an Interpretive Park Guide and Zoo Educator at Grandfather Mountain, a Naturalist at Yellowstone National Park, and an environmental educator at a Raptor Center in NC, plus more. Alex aims to help people reconnect themselves with the natural world through first-hand experiences at places like the Teton Science School and hopes it will create a lasting connection that will lead to conservation-conscious actions in the future. When she’s not educating she can be found either birding, hiking, crafting/painting, trail riding, jamming out to music, playing D&D, baking, and exploring new places!

Ada Bowles

Instructor

Ada Bowles

Instructor

Ada Bowles is from Seattle, WA and grew up coming to the Tetons every summer for family "summer camp". She studied Geology at Colorado College, and is always down to talk rocks! Before coming to TSS, she was living abroad in Spain teaching English and Science. She enjoys almost any activity if it takes place outside, and is always eager for adventure buddies. If the weather is a bit too gnarly, she can be found in the kitchen cooking, reading, or playing music.

Sydney Vander Waerdt

Instructor

Sydney Vander Waerdt

Instructor

Sydney graduated from CSU in 2020 with a bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Environmental Sciences. In college, she studied abroad in rural South Africa in a program called Communities and Conservations, which she now realizes was a program based on place-based learning. Upon returning home, she assisted the professors who took her to South Africa in homeschooling their son and she learned that place-based learning was the most effective, memorable, and fun way to teach children. In the last couple of years, she has spent her time traveling and nannying, and although she loves what she does she's excited to fine-tune her skills in childhood education and beyond. When she found the Americorp position at TSS, she knew it was the perfect marriage of her past experiences and her current interests. She can’t wait to explore the Teton and Yellowstone areas and see what they have to teach her. Sydney likes to spend her free time reading, gardening, doing yoga or pilates, and spending time outdoors with her friends.

Kayla Okla

Instructor

Kayla Okla

Instructor

Kayla grew up in Wisconsin and is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied Wildlife Ecology and Environmental Studies. She has previously worked as an undergraduate research assistant in a chemical ecology lab, an educator for Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, and an intern with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In her senior year, she was the Vice President of the UW-Madison Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Kayla formed her passion for nature at five years old when she visited Yellowstone for the first time and continued to visit the mountains throughout her childhood. She looks forward to growing her experience in environmental education and hopes to build a sense of wonder and awe for nature in those she teaches. In her free time, Kayla enjoys hiking, kayaking, bird watching, working out, and crocheting!

Gabrielle Kupiec

Instructor

Gabrielle Kupiec

Instructor

Gabrielle is a native New Yorker who graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a double major in Communication and Spanish. In the years after graduation, she moved to Korea and later Poland to teach English to elementary and preschool-aged students. She spent the last year teaching online, visiting five continents, and only getting stung by a jellyfish once. Gabrielle chose to come back to the United States to teach with AmeriCorps and add place-based learning into her pedagogical practices. In her free time, you can find her practicing yoga, learning to play piano, or plan her next backpacking trip.

Morgan Leamer

Instructor

Morgan Leamer

Instructor

Morgan moved to Jackson in June of 2023 to work with Teton Science Schools as a summer program assistant and was very excited to stick around to join the Field Education team! Exploring and learning about the world around us is something that brings Morgan wholehearted joy, and has kept her wandering around to new places when she gets the chance. After serving with Seattle Public Schools through AmeriCorps for a year, she began her Master's Degree in Education at the University of Florida and graduated in May 2023. Morgan found her way out west to take a break from the classroom and continue sharing her love of the outdoors, connecting with others, and empowering youth through working with TSS. When Morgan isn't working, you can find her knitting, sharing laughs with friends, or getting outside and soaking in all of the little things found while adventuring around the Tetons.

Liz LaScala

Instructor

Liz LaScala

Instructor

Liz joined the TSS team in January of 2023 as a Field Instructor. She grew up in Illinois climbing trees, exploring creeks, and building fairy houses out of sticks. She soon realized at a young age that she wanted to spend as much time outside as possible. Later in life, Liz attended Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology with a minor in Outdoor Education. Since then she has worked a mix of seasonal jobs in invasive species management and outdoor education. Liz believes that true joy comes from hands-on experiences in the outdoors and is excited to continue to provide opportunities for this through TSS. Liz is always ready to go on any outdoor adventure! She especially loves rock climbing, backpacking, and jumping into natural bodies of water. When not outside, you might find her making spotify playlists or reading next to a youtube 24-hour loop fireplace video.