Monthly Program Staff 2020-2021

Jesse Phillips

Jesse Phillips

Pronouns: He/Him
Favorite Being: Cottonwood Tree
Program Roles:
– Monthly Programs Coordinator
– Nature Adventure & Nature Skills Director – St. Edward 2nd Saturday
– Nature Adventure & Nature Skills Director – Tolt-MacDonald Saturday

Jesse was a mentor, tutor, and organic farmer before he came to Wilderness Awareness School in 2013. He is passionate about creating well-crafted programs that empower people from all walks of life to come alive and claim their powerful, positive selves. He also loves swimming, singing, making fires, and working on the land with other humans.

Shivani Gogna

Shivani Headshot

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Stinging Nettle
Program Roles:
– Nature Explorers Director – St. Edward 1st Saturday

Shivani hails from Ontario, Canada and has over 15 years of experience working with kids, including 2 years at Wilderness Awareness School. She loves tending to plants, hanging out with kids, exploring the forest, swimming in freshwater, having a fire with her friends, and playing the Ukulele.

Chris Smith

chris smith

Pronouns: He/Him
Favorite Being: Gray Wolf
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Instructor at Coungar Mountain Saturday
– Nature Skills Instructor at St. Edward 2nd Saturday
– Nature Skills Instructor at Tolt-MacDonald Saturday

Chris was exposed to his passions of tracking, bird language, naturalizing, and teaching from a young age as he participated in programs at Wilderness Awareness School. He graduated Kamana in high school and has taught summer camps at WAS for several years.

Jason McGinnis

Pronouns: He/Him
Favorite Being: Great Horned Owl
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure & Nature Explorer Director – All Friday Locations
– Nature Explorer Instructor – St. Edward 1st Saturday
– Nature Adventure Instructor – St. Edward 2nd Saturday
– Nature Adventure Instructor – Tolt-MacDonald Saturday

Jason was a full time musician and wilderness enthusiast in Colorado before moving to Washington in 2016 to attend Anake Outdoor School. He is also a graduate of the Nature Instructor Training Program and the Alderleaf Wilderness College Advanced Wilderness Skills program. He is an Eagle Scout and a veteran of the United States Army. Jason’s passions include music (singing/drums/guitar/piano), birds, storytelling, working with fire, fishing, wilderness survival, and mentoring.

Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller

Pronouns: He/Him
Favorite Being: Raccoon
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Director – Cougar Mountain Saturday

Kevin has been working with kids in a variety of settings for over 10 years and has been working with Wilderness Awareness School for 6. One of the things he loves most about working with kids is their natural curiosity and the joy they bring to the outdoors. Kevin is also studying to take his amateur radio exam.

Jana Robbins

Jana Robbins

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Bald Eagle
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure & Nature Explorer Instructor – All Friday Locations

Jana has worked in early childhood education for several years as a teacher and parent educator. She’s also worked as an elementary school PE teacher and after-school instructor, with a focus on teaching outdoor games and free play experiences. She has a strong passion for supporting kids being outside and exploring their environments from a place of curiosity.

Ary Cooper

Ary Cooper

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Stinging Nettle
Program Roles:
– Nature Skills Instructor – St. Edward 2nd Saturday
– Nature Skills Instructor – Tolt-MacDonald Saturday

Ariel “Ary” has always had a passion for caring for others and the natural world. She began babysitting at age 12, and has been working in childcare ever since. Ary has been working with Wilderness Awareness School’s through summer camps for 4 years. Before joining WAS, she worked with after school childcare programs and various summer camps around Seattle.

Annabelle Fox

Annabelle Fox

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Banana Slug
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Instructor – All Friday Locations

Annabelle has spent 5 summers in leadership at summer camps, 3 seasons as an outdoor education instructor, and 38 weeks in the field as a wilderness therapy instructor for teens around the Snake River. She also enjoys fermenting vegetables in her spare time!

Malaika Rosenfeld

Malaika Rosenfeld

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Giant Pacific Octopus
Program Roles:
– Nature Explorer Instructor – St. Edward 1st Saturday
– Nature Adventure Instructor – Cougar Mountain Saturday

Malaika began working with kids in high school as part of a volunteer program at the Seattle Aquarium. She has been leading many education adventures in the green and blue spaces up and down the west coast, in Minnesota, and New Zealand ever since! She makes really great meals from weird leftovers found in the fridge.

Kendell Braschler

Kendell Braschler

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Mallard Ducks
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Instructor – St. Edward 2nd Saturday
– Nature Adventure Instructor – Tolt-MacDonald Saturday

Kendell has spent 5 years working and volunteering with Wilderness Awareness School’s youth programs. She has 35 house plants in her bedroom, one of which is a tree!

Nicole Olmstead

Nicole Olmstead

Pronouns: She/Her
Favorite Being: Foxes (and her dog)
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Instructor – St. Edward 2nd Saturday

Nicole was a Community School student at Wilderness Awareness School as a teen and has been working with kids in recent years as a camp counselor for a swimming and adventure camp, and an assistant ski instructor. She loves camping and hiking and her favorite outdoor memory is backpacking with llamas!

Dan Hannafious

dan hannafious

Pronouns: He/Him
Favorite Being: Osprey
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure & Nature Explorer Instructor – All Friday Locations

Dan worked as biologist in the Hood Canal where he developed Salmon Adventure Camps for students to experience week-long adventures. He also currently serves as a Seattle Urban Naturalist where he supports several schools through the Salmon in the Classroom program.

Justine Yglesias

Justine

Pronouns: She/Her
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Instructor – All Friday Locations

Justine graduated from Anake Outdoor School and began teaching environmental science in the Olympic Penninsula before returning to Wilderness Awareness School. She’s passionate about sharing her love for the sacredness of nature with others as well as working to make outdoor education more accessible for everyone. She enjoys wildcrafting, kayaking, hiking, traveling, and exploring the deep mysteries of life.

Aidan O’Connor

Pronouns: He/Him
Favorite Being: Osprey
Program Roles:
– Nature Adventure Instructor – Cougar Mountain Saturday
– Nature Adventure Instructor – St. Edward 2nd Saturday
– Nature Adventure Instructor – Tolt-MacDonald Saturday

A graduate of Anake Outdoor School, Aidan has been teaching guitar for eight years and worked at a creative writing school for two. He’s been working with Wilderness Awareness School for three years at Monthly programs.

Wilderness Awareness School