Staff & Board Biographies

Read Biographies of:

Administrative Staff

Warren Moon - Executive Director
warren

Warren Moon is the current Executive Director of Wilderness Awareness School and a member of the Board of Trustees. He began working with Wilderness Awareness School in 1995 as Youth Programs Director. He has since served as an instructor and administrator for all aspects of Wilderness Awareness School’s programs until becoming Executive Director in 2001. Warren has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and worked as an environmental engineer until he discovered that nature and mentoring were his true passions. His vision is to help restore people’s reverence for life so that we can be better stewards of ourselves, our communities and our planet.

Warren and his wife M’liss have two daughters Kylah and Cassidy, whose favorite day of the week is when they are in program at Wilderness Awareness School. Warren loves gardening, sports, playing guitar and enjoying the beauty of the Snoqualmie valley with his family and his dog, Sadie.

Erin Brookshire - Registrar
Erin

Erin Brookshire is our Registrar.  She has an amazing daughter named Jess who works as our Development Assistant and the most gorgeous grandson ever named William Bradley.   She and Jess have a dog named Lloyd, who you can often find around the office, as well as a bunny named Kiedis. Erin’s mom Cheyenne is her biggest inspiration and her true idol.  She is most at home standing beside the ocean with sand between her toes.  She has a mild obsession with Peter Pan and has been dubbed by some to be the “Wendy” of our office, mothering us on a daily basis. She believes passionately in the benefits that Wilderness Awareness School provides to our students, and feels extremely blessed to be a part of the WAS family.  Outside of work you can find her having movie nights with friends and family, playing guitar or playing in the sands of the West Coast.

Linda Bittle - Business Manager
Linda

Linda Bittle is a 2007 graduate of the Anake Outdoor School and a 2009 graduate of the advanced path in the Tracking Intensive. She scored a level 2 certification in Track and Sign through CyberTracker Conservation, and sometimes acts as a station guide at tracking club. She continues to work on a study of domestic dog tracks with the intention of creating a field guide. She teaches basic tracking classes at the Washington Outdoor Women’s annual weekend workshop.

From Missouri, she worked in a rural hospital for 25 years.  An avid reader, she volunteers on the Duvall Friends of the Library board. She enjoys shooting skeet, hunting, wildlife photography, scrap booking, needlework, basket making, baking, and creating herbal concoctions in her kitchen. She’s learning to knit socks. Linda shares her Duvall apartment with Clara, a former Missouri stray cat who made the trip west in the fall of 2006.

Emily Gibson - Summer Programs Director
Emily

Emily has spent her life among the cedar trees and winter wrens of Western Washington, where her inner compass is set to orient by the Cascade Mountains to the East and Puget Sound to the West. She loves good literature, music, faraway cities, adventures, mischief, stinging nettle soup, big mud puddles, her daughter, and too many other things to list. Before coming to Wilderness Awareness School, Emily studied Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. She spent two years as a research assistant studying the effects of urbanization on songbird populations in the Puget Sound region.

After graduating from the Anake Outdoor School in 2005, Emily participated in the Instructor Training Apprenticeship and was an Apprentice Instructor with the Residential Program. She has also continued her study of tracking through two years of Wilderness Awareness School’s Wildlife Tracking Intensive. She is a team leader for the Cascade Wildlife Monitoring Project, and is certified as a Level II Track and Sign Specialist with CyberTracker International.

Chris Laliberte - Anake Programs Director
Chris Laliberte

Chris Laliberte, B.A., M.S, M.A., graduated Dartmouth College in 1992 with a degree in Anthropology, and immediately started working in the field of outdoor education, helping to create programs that incorporated wilderness adventure with cross-cultural experiences. Before joining Wilderness Awareness School in 1996, he worked as an interpretive naturalist and wilderness expedition leader for youth. In 1996 he received a Master’s Degree in Education from the Audubon Expedition Institute (AEI), and in 2008 received a Master’s Degree in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Chris founded the Community School at Wilderness Awareness School in 1996, and has been working with Anake Outdoor School since 2005. His passions (aside from exploring the natural world) include his two sons Phoenix and Griffin, strategy games, mythology and storytelling, Baguazhang and other internal martial arts, and singing and playing traditional and folk music on the guitar, mandolin, and bouzouki.

Emily Sunblade - Creative Content Manager
Emily-S-bio-photo-160

Emily is extremely excited to join the WAS community; what an opportunity to join her passions of new media storytelling and nature knowledge.

Emily is a transplant to the pacific northwest, having moved here two years ago from a life in Chicago. She graduated Southern Illinois University in 2009 with a B.A. in Photojournalism and B.S. in History, with a focus in native American studies. For the past seven years Emily’s career path has taken her from photography to environmental education and back.

She has interned with the National Park Service in North Dakota as well as the National Wildlife Refuge system on the Kenai peninsula in Alaska. She has also worked as a naturalist at a nature center outside Chicago and a backcountry trip leader for Bainbridge Island Parks and Rec. Through all of these endeavors her camera has been her constant companion, telling the stories of these adventures. Emily has also photographed and created web content for various news outlets since 2006.

Emily, (her camera), and her fiancé Peter also enjoy tending their garden, hiking and backpacking, snuggling their not-so-snuggly cat and French press coffee.

Kyle Koch - Anake Outreach Specialist
kyle-with-fire

My Name is Kyle Koch I was once a software engineer in Milwaukee, WI. I spent much of my free time adventuring in lands far away or disc golfing in the local forest around me. After graduating the Anake Outdoor School in 2012 I worked all of the summer camp programs WAS had to offer. I love to connect with child passions through playing chasing and sneaking games. I recently moved back to Northern WI where I worked in Wilderness Therapy and was really able to see the success of coyote mentoring, or passion-based-learning first hand. I really enjoy helping kids and adults connect with nature. My favorite hobbies are making primitive weapons and tools, trying to interpret bird language, and exploring the usefulness of plants.

Samuel Bowman - Summer Programs Coordinator
Samuel Bowman

Samuel Bowman joined the WAS staff in 2012 after completing the Anake Outdoor School and Anake Leadership Program.  He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Western Virginia on his families’ dairy farm.  From solo wanderings on the farm’s 600 acres to working on the farm with the family, Sam discovered a connection and respect for the land and all that are supported by it.

He spent many summers participating in, leading and directing summer camps.  From his home church camp in Virginia to a disability camp in Iowa.  Along the way learning and having a blast camping, rock climbing, canoing, horseback riding, white water rafting and whatever else campers were interested in doing.

Sam graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Philosophy and Religion.  While there he continued his exploration of the world by spending a semester in India and visiting Europe, the Middle East, Nigeria, and the Caribbean.   Always adding to his understanding of how others live and view the world.

Sam loves working with his hands.  He enjoys wood working and teaching classes of wheel thrown pottery and animal butchering.  He feels blessed to now be in a community where all of his passions and interests can be fed, used, and valued.

Anake Outdoor School Staff

Marcus Reynerson - Anake Outdoor School Coordinator and Tracking Intensive Coordinator
Marcus

Marcus has lived close to the natural world throughout his life and some of his earliest memories include hunting and fishing in the muggy marshes and pine forests of south Louisiana and the gulf coast of south Texas. Thanks to a childhood of time spent outdoors, Marcus got an early start working in the environmental education field. After leading teens on backpacking trips and trail crews during college, and completing a semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School in 2000, he earned a degree in Environmental Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH in 2002. Marcus went on to serve as a conservation programs director for Philmont Scout Ranch in Northern New Mexico and then as a lead naturalist at an outdoor education center in Southern California. He was drawn to Washington from Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the Anake Outdoor School in 2005. A year later, he served as an apprentice for the program before becoming an instructor in the fall of 2007. Watch a video bio of Marcus

In addition to working at Wilderness Awareness School, Marcus also leads trips with teens and young adults at Way Leads To Way Student Expeditions and is certified as a Track and Sign Specialist through Cybertracker Conservation by scoring 100% on their internationally standardized evaluation process. On top of immersion in nature, Marcus enjoys playing guitar, traveling, backpacking, fishing, sitting around a fire with friends, life near the ocean, and tends to be fond of any music with a good twang.

Laura Gunion - Anake Outdoor School Instructor
Laura Gunion

Laura began her work for Wilderness Awareness School after attending our Anake Outdoor School 2001-02. After 16 years and many summers of working with children and teens, Laura is now committed to guiding adults. She is currently enrolled in a training program atAnimas Valley Institute that supports her deep longings to help evoke the expression of full human potential in individuals and in groups.  When not in Washington, she’s likely to be found either on the coast of Maryland with her family, in the mountains of Colorado, or the red-rock deserts of the Southwest. In her spare time, Laura enjoys sitting by the creek, sharing delicious meals with friends, wandering forest trails, contemplating untapped human potential, telemark skiing, concocting the perfect ice cream toppings, and exploring the infinite opportunities of simplifying and slowing down. Watch Laura’s video bio.

Mike Prince - Anake Outdoor School Instructor
Mike

Mike serves as a core instructor of Anake Outdoor School.  Mike previously served as Lead Instructor of Community School, Wild Within, and Land Manager for Linne Doran for 5 years and is a dedicated keeper of the center fire.  As a Delaware native, Mike spent many years exploring the wilds of the Chesapeake Bay region and Mid-Atlantic coast. He earned a BA from University of Rochester in upstate NY. After teaching High School, directing a Boy Scout Camp, and directing at a YMCA Camp & Conference Center, Mike followed coyote west to join the Anake Outdoor School in 2004.  Mike is passionate about the art of mentoring teens and adults.  He dreams of creating a Wilderness Awareness Academy for teens that would blend nature and modern academic skills.  Mike loves tracking, swimming, sailing, eating tasty soul food, scouting, Inipi, football, live music, stock investing and wildness. Watch a video bio of Mike

Nate Summers - Anake Leadership Program Coordinator
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Nate Summers, M.Ac. has been with WAS since 1997. Nate’s journey with ancient living skills started as a teenager, and this exposure to stone-age living sparked a life-long interest in anthropology, hunter-gatherer lifestyles, and indigenous cultures. Nate has served as both Youth Programs Director and Adult Programs Director for WAS, and has worked with King County Parks and the Seattle Parks Department.

Nate practices internal martial arts, Chinese Medicine, wildcrafts herbal medicine, and is the proud father of a 6-year old. He holds a Master’s degree from NIAOM, and B.A.’s in both Anthropology and Asian Studies from the University of Illinois. He has served as faculty for the Desert Institute of Healing Arts, the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, and as adjunct faculty for Prescott College. Nate likes to fish, practice internal martial arts, go on adventures with his daughter, and gather wild foods and medicine.

Youth Programs Staff

Natalie Rivera-Booth - Youth Programs Instructor
Natalie

Natalie loves her job; she knew she found her place when she could enjoy her hobbies and passions AND get paid for it! True story.  To compliment her love of people and nature, she earned a degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in cultural anthropology and environmental studies. Before graduating, she knew her life’s plan: to help people, especially children, fall in love with nature. Over the past seven years this goal has led her to work with adults and children at several state parks and outdoor schools and to travel far and wide.  From the tip of Scotland to the South of Spain, from Eastern Europe all the way down to Oaxaca, Mexico.  Her favorite place in the entire world is the Kalalau River on Kauai (that’s where I am in this picture! I look pretty happy huh?)  Always craving more knowledge and deeper understandings, she studied permaculture and cultural mentoring at the Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness nine month intensive program with Jon Young. She is also a graduate of the Anake Outdoor School and Anake Leadership Program.

Merilee Bradford - Community School Lead Instructor
Merilee

Merilee is a Seattle native who graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Psychology before following a career in pediatric mental health. In 2008 Merilee came to Wilderness Awareness School to attend the Anake Outdoor School and then apprenticed for the same program the following year through our Outdoor Leadership Program. She has since worked for our Monthly Programs and been a Core Instructor at Community School before taking on her current lead role. Merilee also loves working for our summer programs such as Idaho Wolf Tracking and the Walkabout Expedition. Favorite subjects to bring to the program are: bone work, wild crafting and primitive cooking as well as tracking and wandering. When she is not enjoying her time with the teens, Merilee is really brought alive by time spent painting and swimming, wild crafting, fishing and cooking.

Sol Marie Doran - Lead Youth Programs Instructor
Sol

Sol Marie Doran has been working with children since 1995 and has been mentoring with the Wilderness Awareness School methodology since 2002. She came to the school in 2004 from Santa Barbara, CA, where she worked with Wilderness Youth Project, ran an early childhood outdoor program, and earned a B.S. in Ecology. She is finishing her last Kamana Naturalist Training Program field pack, is a 2-time Tracking Intensive graduate, has trained in herbalism at Ravencroft, and has studied since 2008 with Kim Scanlon and Francis Weller on various arts, including modern cultural development, leadership, and emotions. She has an M.A. in Clinical Somatic Psychology and will receive her Somatic Experiencing Method certification in October 2013. Her personal interests include Forrest Yoga and ethnic dance.

Richie Rivera-Booth - Youth Programs Instructor
richie

Richie was born and raised in Yelm, WA. Spending his summers camping in Weyerhauser with his dad he developed a deep love for the forest. Working with youth at Camp Cispus during high school and college he realized his passion for working with kids. He has dedicated his life to reconnecting with nature, community and self. He is also deeply committed to helping both kids and adults to find their passions by sharing his with them.

Since coming to the school in 2007 he has completed the Residential Program, the Apprenticeship Program, the Tracking Intensive, and a number of other programs.  He has instructed at the summer camps for 6 years, and is excited to be starting his 2nd year as year round staff.

Things that keep Richie active are going out trailing animals, learning more about bird language, making his own sour dough, deer bone broth, kombucha, yogurt,  and other kitchen projects, making moccasins, spending time with friends, family, and his new beautiful wife Natalie.

Andy Franjevic - Land Manager and Youth Programs Instructor
Andy

Andy grew up in Ohio, where he spent his summer weekends at his grandparent’s cabin by the lake.  He caught frogs and turtles with his brother and sisters and went fishing with his grandpa.  Later, he worked at a state park in Ohio for a couple of years as the Park Naturalist, where he was able to share his passion for nature with visitors and explore the park day and night.  In 2004, Andy moved to Washington to attend Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Outdoor School.  Since then he has completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Evergreen State College with a project of exploring history and researching his ancestors.  He is particularly passionate about planting trees to create diverse landscapes, which makes his position as Land Steward quite enjoyable.  He also thoroughly enjoys tracking, trailing and watching birds, especially in the company of children.  He is madly in love with his wife Shari and daughter Samara.

Adult Programs Staff

Alexia Allen - Kamana Instructor
Alexia Allen

Alexia Allen has been writing Kamana responses for eleven years. She is a former Anake Outdoor School instructor, Anake Class of 2002 graduate, and a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program. Alexia also serves as a staff specialist for Wilderness Awareness School’s adult programs, especially around the bird curriculum of the school. Her small farm is part of an effort to reclaim suburbia.  In her spare time she rides horses, spins yarn, plays the accordion, and cooks for people she loves.  She continues to go to her sit spot.

Dan Corcoran
Dan Corcoran

Dan Corcoran is the Survival Skills Specialist for the Anake Outdoor School. He teaches flintknapping, hidetanning, bowmaking and various other survival skills. Dan Corcoran is an Anake graduate of the class of 2003. He has worked with Wilderness Awareness School in many different roles over the last 10 years and currently runs SurvivalMastery.com. Dan is a Kamana graduate and a Wilderness First Responder, as well as a hunter and a member of King County Search and Rescue.

Kat Koch - Kamana Program Coordinator
Kat

Kat Koch is a graduate of the 2005 Anake Outdoor Program as well as the 2006 Anake Outdoor Leadership Program. She completed a year-long tracking apprenticeship and has worked in many different roles here since 2005. Her passions (besides nature) include yoga and music. She is currently a part-time yoga instructor and is planning a retreat to Ireland in 2013. Kat loves to sing and can often be found warbling away in the office. If it wasn’t for a car accident in New Mexico she may have never discovered Wilderness Awareness School. Email her if you want to know the story!

Lindsay Huettman
Lindsay Heuttman

Lindsay Huettman loves being a part of the Wilderness Awareness School team as an Anake Outdoor School Specialist. Her primary passion is connecting humans to wilderness through the use of primitive skills as a vehicle to inner awareness and enlightenment. This inspired her to complete a degree at WWU in Ethnobotany Stewardship Education. Lindsay love native plants of the Pacific Northwest. She can show you how to eat Hemlock cambium while discussing its nutritional benefits; as well as teach you how to make baskets out of Cedar roots and dye them with lichens! Other passions include leading wilderness survival, whitewater expeditions; writing and playing music, wilderness medicine, rites of passage and initiation work. She has a background in organic farming, landscaping, horse packing & training. Lindsay is pursuing a MA in psychology in the spring of 2013 to combine her experience as a wilderness guide with transformational practices to support self realization and growth. Watch Lindsay’s video bio

Mark Kang-O'Higgins
MarkKO

Mark Kang-O’Higgins attended the Tracking Intensive course at the Wilderness Awareness School in 2008. Over the last 3 years, he has been a teaching assistant, and is now an Assistant Instructor with the program. Mark also is a guest instructor with the Anake Outdoor School where he teaches about the art of seeing, drawing, and perspective in relation to wildlife tracking. Mark has a Master’s degree in Environmental Sociology and Politics from the National University of Ireland Galway as well as an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and runs the Atelier Program at the Gage Academy of Art. He also works as a professional artist, and has come to see how the perspectives of both the naturalist/tracker and the artist have so much to offer in tandem. Check out his work at www.kangohiggins.com

David Moskowitz - Tracking Intensive Instructor
David Moskowitz

David Moskowitz is our Wildlife Tracking Intensive Instructor and a project manager for the Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project. He joined Wilderness Awareness School in 2005, bringing with him over a decade of experience teaching outdoor  and environmental education throughout the United States including at  Outward Bound and the North Cascades Institute. He is the author of the books Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest and Wolves in the Land of Salmon.

David is a skilled field researcher and has been involved with forest carnivore research and wildlife monitoring in the Cascades for many years as well as avian research in the Puget Sound area. He holds a  bachelors degree in Environmental Studies through Prescott College with  an emphasis on Field Ecology and Wildlife Tracking. Along with tracking wild animals, Dave is also passionate about mountaineering, environmental activism and photography. Check out David’s photography and learn more about his other projects at davidmoskowitz.net.

Board of Trustees

Tony Laliberte - President & Treasurer
Tony Laliberte

Tony Laliberte is retired from Ernst & Young where he was a member of the Management Committee and Firm Vice-Chairman. During the course of his career at Ernst & Young, Tony was: responsible the Firm’s National Audit Practice and its National Planning and Research and Development functions; managed its Northern California and Seattle Offices; and coordinated all services provided to clients such as Apple Computers, Genentech, Intel and Sun Microsystems.

Tony currently serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Washington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is a member of the Social Venture Partners Board of Directors, and is Treasurer for the Board of Trustees of Wilderness Awareness School.

At the University of Washington, Foster School of Business, Tony has served on the Advisory Board and taught graduate level International Accounting. He is a past Member Of Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a past President of the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Tony is an attorney, having earned a JD from The University of Chicago, and a BA in English Literature from Saint Mary’s College in California.

Tony’s support of Wilderness Awareness School is inspired by their ability to impact a larger audience and connect greater numbers of children with nature. Tony and his wife, Margaret, live in Clyde Hill, Washington, and have two grown sons and four grandchildren.

Luis Glass - Secretary
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Luis is a systems engineer with over 19 years of experience in wireless networking in the areas of radio access performance, optimization and analytics. Luis has built and managed engineering teams, led multi-million dollar deployment and optimization programs, and consulted for various teams in engineering, marketing, and customer care. Luis is currently focused on application aware subscriber analytics, and policies for efficient traffic management.

Luis is passionate about connecting children to the natural world, and has completed several Wilderness Awareness School workshops and classes, including NatureSkills, Coyote Mentoring, Survival Walkabout, Wolf Tracking, and Art of Mentoring. His son participates in Summer Camps and school year Monthly programs. Luis lives in Kirkland, Washington with his son, and they enjoy backpacking and traveling to natural places.

Andy Held
Andy Held

Andy Held left a 20-year career in the high-tech industry in 1999 to start his own business, have more time in the natural world, and do more in his community. Andy has used the ensuing decade to serve on the boards of several environmental nonprofits, to attend and to volunteer at Wilderness Awareness School programs, and to have amazing adventures on rivers and in the woods.

In 2010, Andy joined the Board of Trustees of Wilderness Awareness School. He is dedicated to helping children to fulfill their potential, and believes that one of the greatest gifts a child can receive is a deep connection with the natural world. Andy and his wife have two daughters. They live in Kirkland, Washington.

Read More: Enjoy Andy’s article “On Board with Andy“…

Warren Moon - Executive Director
warren

Warren Moon is the current Executive Director of Wilderness Awareness School and a member of the Board of Trustees. He began working with Wilderness Awareness School in 1995 as Youth Programs Director. He has since served as an instructor and administrator for all aspects of Wilderness Awareness School’s programs until becoming Executive Director in 2001. Warren has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and worked as an environmental engineer until he discovered that nature and mentoring were his true passions. His vision is to help restore people’s reverence for life so that we can be better stewards of ourselves, our communities and our planet.

Warren and his wife M’liss have two daughters Kylah and Cassidy, whose favorite day of the week is when they are in program at Wilderness Awareness School. Warren loves gardening, sports, playing guitar and enjoying the beauty of the Snoqualmie valley with his family and his dog, Sadie.

Ann Muno
Ann Muno

Ann Muno, MSW, works as the Senior Program Analyst & Advocate at Powerful Voices, an organization she co-founded 15 years ago. There she supports policy, advocacy and training in the area of gender specific services.   Ann also serves as the Project Director for the Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington State. She is a graduate of both the University of Illinois and the MSW Program at the University of Washington.

Ann has recently enjoyed working on the state-level Beyond Pink! conference, participating in a writing fellowship and writing about the girl justice movement.

Ann also enjoys spending time with her partner Kevin and their five children.  In fact, hiking in and around Washington is a favorite pasttime and led to the discovery of WAS.  As a board member, she was thrilled to join WAS’ efforts.

Chris Springate
Chris Springate

Chris Springate is a seasoned preclinical and early-clinical stage biopharmaceutical company leader with over 17 years of experience in the research and development of drugs, medical devices and combination products. Chris is the CEO of, and serves on the Board of, ARC Medical Devices Incorporated, the developer of PERIDAN™ Concentrate for the reduction of post-surgical adhesions in horses. Prior to co-founding ARC, Chris participated in the development of several product candidates at Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., including the FDA approved Taxus® Stent.

Chris has built management teams, including corporate, scientific and clinical boards; and coordinated the raising of approximately 9 million dollars through equity financings, grants and tax credits. He has capably prosecuted intellectual property, resulting in the issuance of patents and trademarks; and has successfully negotiated collaborative research, license and distribution agreements. Chris obtained a PhD (Pharm) from The University of British Columbia and is a Licensed Pharmacist.

Chris’s personal mission includes the training of mentors to help people connect with nature. He has completed the Wilderness Awareness School’s Coyote Mentoring workshop and the Kamana One naturalist course, and is currently participating in the Kamana Two course. He has also completed a Remote Wilderness First Aid course.

Chris, his wife and his children enjoy connecting with nature together at their family sit spot in the rainforest of southwestern British Columbia.

Elders Council

Ed Harkins
Ed Harkins

Ed is the oldest of 6 siblings, the father of 4 and the grandfather of 9. He started attending the Monday night Nature Talks in Redmond, but it was at the Art of Mentoring in August of 1997 that he realized the impact Jon Young was having and volunteered to serve on the school’s board. Ed served on the Board of Directors for 8 yeas while also attending every adult program offered; from the Anake Outdoor School to Tracking clubs, visiting speakers and overnight camping adventures.  Ed is a member of the Elder’s Council and the Inipi Society as well as a college graduate with BS and MA degrees. Community development and mentoring are his passions.

Jenn Wolfe
Jenn Wolfe

Jenn Wolfe has trained with Jon Young and Wilderness Awareness School since 1994 in the Arts of Animal Tracking, Mentoring and Naturalist Training Skills. She also completed a 9-month Animal Tracking Apprenticeship program in California, with Jon Young and Mark Elbroch. Jenn has been Lead Instructor for many years on Adult Expeditions, tracking animals in the wilds of Idaho’s backcountry as well as working with adults locally through Tracking Club, tracking intensives and other adult programs in the Puget Sound Area. As a “free range child” living in many different rural environments, Jenn had unlimited access to the woods and fields of her various backyards. Her Dad led her and her five siblings on many adventures into the wilds, while her Mom grounded her to the earth, through gardens and family. As an adult, Jenn became a public school teacher with a BA in Education and a BFA in Art. Finding Wilderness Awareness School brought her “Home” with a much deeper experience of the natural world. Along with her love for tracking and the natural world, Jenn also loves to create works of art and play with her grandchildren.

Don Taves
Don Taves

On a farm in Idaho, Don played “Indian” from ages 9 to 15, getting pretty good at shooting a bow and arrow from a horse and making fire by friction, just from reading and learning on his own. When The Tracker by Tom Brown Jr. came out, he was really taken by it, yet was unable to pursue that interest much until years later, after he scaled back his psychiatry practice in Mount Vernon, and moved to Redmond. Checking out Tom Brown Jr. on the internet, Don discovered that there was a much closer place than New Jersey to pursue that interest, namely our school in Duvall started by Tom’s first student, Jon Young. Don found the community he wanted when he heard the Thanksgiving address at one of our Monday Night Meetings. He was deeply impressed with how the “Acorn” (the facilitating team) for those meetings operated. Don says he could not figure out who was in charge at the meeting, but it worked seamlessly. rFrom there, he continued to get more involved with Wilderness Awareness School and its programs, eventually becoming one of our beloved Elders.

Walt Hoesel
Walt Hoesel

After 40+ years as a high school teacher and administrator — a span which included a variety of out of door experiences with high school-age youth — Walt briefly joined Wilderness Awareness School staff in 1999. His work began as an assistant instructor in Community School and as a member of what was then called the Central Fire Protectors Acorn. Soon thereafter a formal Elders Council was convened, and Walt became one of the original members, continuing to serve through the present. He serves to sanction and advise programs, tells Native stories on (frequent!) request, and teaches native drum making to all ages of students enrolled at the school. He has been trained in the traditions, ceremonies and cosmology of the Lakota people, and is pleased to share this cultural background. Walt says simply that Wilderness Awareness School offers the most educative experiences he has witnessed during his entire career.

Bobbe Branch
Bobbe Branch

Bobbe Branch began her connection to Wilderness Awareness School when she enrolled her son in the first Community School in 1996, after sending him on one of our Teen Expeditions to Mt. Rainier. She has been a supporter of our Core Values and Programs since those beginning days. “Our family’s life was enriched by our connection to the school immediately. Now the next generation is continuing this legacy of learning about nature: One grandson is enrolled in Youth School and the other will be in Roots and Wings, as he turns four very soon.” Bobbe was one of the first to organize dinners and auctions to bring more funds to support our programs. She was a member of the Board of Trustees for many years, and then was asked to join the Elders Council, where she continues to volunteer, enjoying the many times when she is asked to listen to the children’s stories and explore the land with them.

Bobbe has attended the Art of Mentoring, Coyote Mentoring and workshops with Jake Swamp and Gilbert Walking Bull, and also has been involved in the Inipi Society. Her background includes being a Certified Montessori Teacher, singer/songwriter, and, over the last ten years, a Life Coach and Facilitator. Bobbe office door is always open to talk with students and staff.  ” It is a gift to connect with the natural world around us, wherever we are, and I want to assist however I can to help make this possible now and for the future generations.”

Read More: Enjoy Bobbe’s article “Right to Rites“…

Pam Hawes
Pam Hawes

Pam Hawes serendipitously found our school when Jon Young gave his first Monday Night class in 1995. Having always loved being outside, she found the words that Jon spoke resounding in her heart and soul. Since then, Pam has completed most of the classes that Wilderness Awareness School offers, including finishing the Kamana Naturalist Training Program in 2006 and participating in the first several years of Tracking Intensives. These studies have opened up a whole new world for her, and she definitely sees the environment with different eyes, ears and senses.

Seeing the damage to our human family when it is separated from its natural home, Pam would love all children to be exposed to these universal teachings. She is keen to support the school in whatever ways she can.

Chuck Newquist
Chuck Newquist

Chuck Newquist has been involved with Wilderness Awareness School since the mid 1990s, as a parent, student, volunteer and board member. His son Erik graduated from our Community School program in 2001, and Chuck was deeply inspired by seeing Erik appreciate and benefit from his Wilderness Awareness School experience. Chuck works as an engineer at Boeing, as a member of their Technical Fellowship program.

Chuck has a PhD in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Washington and has been an adjunct professor for Central Washington University. He is currently developing Sunbreak Solar, a small business dedicated to making renewable energy a part of everyday life.

As a boy, Chuck spent summers exploring the forests around Mount Baker, where his father worked the summer months for the Forest Service. Chuck believes that all children and adults need time in nature, and supports the Wilderness Awareness School mission of fostering connections with the natural world.

Ellen Haas
Ellen

Ellen Haas is co-author with Jon Young and Evan McGown of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature: For Kids of all Ages and their Mentors and is developing a golden guide and KidCards to support its use. Retired from a 20-year career teaching English, Ellen contributed to many of Wilderness Awareness School’s initial projects in Washington — including its first long-range plan and program catalog, early editions of Kamana, and the Seeing Through Native Eyes and The Art of Mentoring audio recordings. She has been a member of our board and staff and currently serves on our Elder Council. She loves simply being outdoors and passionately believes we need to turn our cultural tide and get everyone back out there.