NW Educational Programs Manager
Growing up in a household of educators off and on a family dairy farm in rural Ohio, Josh's fervor for experiential education started at a young age. As his passion for travel education mushroomed, he found himself cruise directing in China, harvesting rainwater on an eco-village in the US Virgin Islands, clearing trails in the Grand Canyon National Park and committing to a year of national community service through Americorps NCCC.
Josh has also spent years in Southern California leading day and overnight programs for youth, with a focus on science, outdoor education and leadership development. He believes nature is good for the soul and that travel brings forth compassion, moxie, and fortitude.
Darriel has been a naturalist for 13 years, largely in the Marin Headlands and Point Reyes National Seashore. Darriel's favorite topics include flora and fauna, Native American history and knowledge, maritime history, and tidepool ecology. Darriel is also a Registered Nurse and has a background in Wilderness First Aid.
Neysa began learning about the natural world from an early age from her father, a botanist, and her mother, an avid gardener and animal lover. She loves nothing more than to comb the wild for her favorite medicinal plants and then show them to anyone who will listen and look. She thrives on traveling to places that have proud ancient cultures and excellent food. Her favorite thing about traveling, besides eating and gawking at architecture and art, is meeting people along the way -- usually in hostels. She loves to create, dabbling in photography, origami, and knitting, as well as the fine arts.
Neysa currently resides in the Bay Area because she enjoys the culture and diversity that it offers, but would love to eventually end up in a cabin in some place not worth a bomb.
Fiume Drummond Simnacher
Fiume spent her early life in the green moors of rural Bradwell, Derbyshire in England’s Peak District, before moving to the wildly different and enchanting Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona. This early exposure to the transformative power of place planted the seeds for her love of travel. A perpetual seeker of intercultural experiences, she has lived in Argentina and Nepal, and has called Northern California home for eight years.
Fiume is passionate about the intersection of social and environmental justice, the wisdom of young people, and making experiential outdoor education equally accessible for all communities. She loves sharing the magic of California's biodiversity with youth, and enjoys kinesthetic and creative endeavors like bike riding, swimming, rock climbing, and getting dirty in gardens.
Gregory has worked for HI USA's Outdoor Hostel Adventure program since 2007. He is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa and currently resides in the East Bay.
Gregory has over 10 years of experience working in Environmental Education (EE). His career has led him through Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, and New Jersey. He received an MBA from Dominican University of California and attended the University of Oregon for his undergraduate degree. Gregory got his start in the EE field while at IslandWood (PSELC) on Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound near Seattle. Gregory has also previously worked for the National Audubon Society.
Gregory is passionate about both opportunities to travel for work and international business assistance.He specializes in the integration of science, history, and team building to address sustainable solutions to greater issues that are being faced today.
Christian is a naturalist from Santa Cruz who has spent most of the last ten years learning and teaching about the mushrooms of California. His co-authored field guide to Californian fungi: Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast will be available in 2016.
Christian is also an avid birder and tidepool-explorer. He is interested in cultivating a vibrant citizen science community in the Bay Area, in addition to encouraging the conservation of wild habitats.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Joe has been exploring the great outdoors since childhood. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Recreation Administration. Joe has spent his entire life developing his skills, education, and experiences to become a Bay Area expert in outdoor recreation.
Joe's certifications include Emergency Medical Technician, Sea Kayak certification from the American Canoe Association, Firefighter 1, and Wilderness First Aid. He has worked for in both the public (East Bay Regional Park District) and non profit (Janet Pomeroy Center) sectors providing outdoor recreation services for the last 13 years.
What started out as a 1 month trip to New Zealand, became a 10-year journey traveling the globe. AJ’s travels have taken him to 40 states and 20 countries, including working on farms in New Zealand and Central America, working for outdoor adventure groups in Australia and Alaska, and being the Activities Coordinator for EF International Language School in Santa Barbara. Exploring the worlds' wonders becomes addicting, from discovering bio diversities in nature to meeting people from all different countries, backgrounds, and cultures, has made AJ want to share this love and passion with others.
Isabel discovered her long-repressed adoration for the natural world when she moved to lovely Santa Cruz to study biology, and it was during weekend hikes and backpacking trips that she gained a serious appreciation for California’s wilderness. After graduation, Isabel moved to Alaska and helped run the garden for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Palmer, Alaska. Since then she has worked as a teacher, a tour guide, a chemist, and as a front desk associate at HI San Francisco City Center Hostel. Isabel loves outdoor/hands-on learning, rock-climbing, and her dog, Grizz.
Born in Romania, Alexandra has lived and studied in Romania and Portugal, and obtained a master degree in Environmental Sciences. She moved to the United States
and discovered the amazing outdoor education as a naturalist by Yosemite National Park where she worked for three years.
Now Alexandra is a science teacher at a public middle school in the Bay Area.
Traveling, camping, and hiking are some of her favorite activities that she can’t get enough of.