Robert Bassett - Principal
Bob was born and raised in Southern California. He attended Rowland High School and worked his way through college building houses and other construction jobs. He attended several colleges and universities as he selected the best instructors in the Natural Sciences. Bob received a B.S. in Biology and two teaching credentials from Cal State Bakersfield and his administrators credential from Fresno Pacific University. He has taught at the elementary, middle school and high school grade levels. As an administrator Bob has worked with special needs, alternative ed, high school, and elementary students. He came to work in outdoor education when he was hired as the Principal for Green Meadows in 2009. Bob has found his niche in education. “Students at Green Meadows daily get to touch, taste and feel science. We create a lifetime of memories every week.”
Claire Hayward – Operations Specialist
Claire was born in England and moved to America when she was 3 ½ years old. Claire grew up in San Bruno, California and is a graduate of Capuchino High School. She pursued her education in accounting and worked in medical billing before moving to the Yosemite area. As a partner in the family business she honed her skills and increased her knowledge in business management. She came to work for Green Meadows Outdoor School in 2013. Claire really enjoys working with students from all over the San Joaquin Valley, being part of the team that gives them the opportunity to see how science and math applies in their everyday lives and helping them realize that there are exciting jobs out there in these fields. She loves working with the diverse staff members at the outdoor school because it feels like a close-knit family. In her free time, you can find her exploring the outdoors, hiking with her “mountain mutt” Nikkita, biking, snow skiing and travelling to other parts of the world to take in all the beauty.
Mark Touchstone – Lead Naturalist
Mark Touchstone grew up in the southern states of North Carolina and Georgia. He is a graduate of Appalachian StateUniversity in Boone, NC. Mark holds a B.S. in Recreation Management with a concentration in Outdoor Experiential Education and a minor in Business Administration. Mark has worked as a naturalist in California since 2009, working in the Sierra Nevada and Southern California. Aside from being a Naturalist, Mark has led international trips for high school students in Greece, Italy, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. During the summer months, Mark works on challenge courses in Lake Tahoe for public, private, and corporate groups. In his free time Mark enjoys rock climbing around California, specifically in the Sierra Nevada Range. When winter comes to Northern California, you can find him flocking to the desert in search of warmer weather. Mark’s other passions include playing guitar, hiking, and traveling to new places. He enjoys working at Green Meadows because of the amazing students and the enthusiasm they bring every single week.
Mark’s nature name is “Bark”.
Alexis Kageyama - Naturalist
Alexis grew up in Fremont, California and is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology and a minor in Education. As an undergraduate she worked at a nature connectedness program for homeschooled children, led farm and garden field trips with Life Lab at the UC Santa Cruz farm, and volunteered in local fourth and fifth grade classrooms. She also conducted research on children’s relationships with technology and nature as well as the success of urban community gardens. Additionally, Alexis has worked at Girl Scout camp, White Stag leadership/backpacking camp, and this past summer she was a lead science instructor for first and second graders at Camp Galileo. She is a certified Naturalist through the UC California Naturalist Program. Alexis loves the beautiful environment at Green Meadows and her favorite thing about working at outdoor school is being in a position to share her enthusiasm for nature with the wonderful kids who visit. During her free time she enjoys backpacking, cooking, and creating visual art, particularly in the form of printmaking and book arts.
Alexis’ nature name is “East Wind”.
Ryan Price - Naturalist
Ryan grew up climbing oak trees and collecting quartz rocks in the small town of Springville, California in the Southern Sierra Nevada foothills. In high school, he raised hogs for the county fair and studied agriculture. Before graduating from University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, Ryan went to Baja California Sur, Mexico to study bat pollination of cacti for his thesis. After University, he did an internship in outdoor education at Scicon Outdoor School for Tulare County Office of Education. Before settling at Camp Green Meadows, he did a variety of jobs around the State, like environmental consulting and field biology work. During the summer months, he has taught students how to sail dinghy boats in Berkeley, California as well as facilitated challenge course activities in Tahoe. Ryan enjoys teaching students at Green Meadows about birds and other wildlife, as well as taking them on all-day adventure hikes!
Ryan’s nature name is “Raptor”.
Theresa Johnston - Naturalist
Theresa grew up in Merced, CA and is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in French. Her undergraduate studies included trapping and recording data for a population of kangaroo rats, writing a research proposal to improve treatment of schistosomiasis, and designing and conducting lab experiments with elementary school students. After graduation, Theresa was a volunteer docent at the Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon. She came to Green Meadows Outdoor School as a fifth grade student, a high school cabin leader, and is thrilled to return as a naturalist. Theresa’s favorite thing about Green Meadows is sharing the forest with the local students who come every week. She likes to knit, hike, dance, and scuba dive. Before Green Meadows, she spent several summers working at camps in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Brittany, France.
Theresa’s nature name is “Sequoia”.
Bridget Howe - Naturalist
Bridget was raised in Grapevine, Texas and graduated from Abilene Christian University with a B.S. in Family Studies, focusing mainly on Child & Youth Development. As an undergraduate, Bridget worked with at-risk youth through a program that helps teens gain confidence and develop leadership skills. During summers, she worked as an outdoor adventure counselor at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, TX, leading kids through team-building exercises and high ropes courses. Throughout university, she was involved as an officer in the campus Outdoor Club and frequently led weekend trips for fellow students. Following graduation, Bridget moved to Cork, Ireland to work as an Au Pair to children with a rare genetic disorder, which gave her experience in working with special needs. Upon returning to the states, she found her passion for environmental education through working at YMCA Collin County Adventure Camp. However, wanting more mountains in her life, she moved to California to intern with the U.S. Forest Service at El Dorado National Forest, where she was given the opportunity to create interpretive programs for children. Bridget loves working at Green Meadows and sharing her new-found love of the Sierra Nevada ecology with students! In her free time you can find her practicing yoga, running, hiking, climbing, cooking, and reading up on Irish History.
Bridget’s nature name is “River”.
Taylor Becker - Intern Naturalist
Taylor was born and grew up in West Des Moines Iowa and attended Iowa State University. She earned a dual B.S. in Global Resource Systems and Environmental Studies and minored in Sustainability and Political Science. Taylor’s studies focused on the correlation between increasing human population and decreasing water quality and availability. She also spent three months carrying out an internship at the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda. This internship consisted of conducting chimpanzee tracking research and rural community development research regarding health, sanitation, the relation to the forest and ultimately, improving these communities livelihoods. Taylor loves rock climbing, riding bikes, cooking, swimming in alpine lakes, and traveling with friends. Taylor has always been passionate about helping communities learn the importance of healthy environmental systems, and is excited to share this love of the environment with the children that attend Green Meadows.
Miles Ryan - Intern Naturalist
Miles was born and raised in Santa Cruz County, CA. He began spending considerable amounts of time outdoors at around age 11 when he joined the Boy Scouts, and for the next seven years backpacked and camped throughout central California before attaining Eagle rank in 2011. His educational path drew him to the University of California at Davis, where he focused his studies in watershed sciences, education, communal living, food, and both organized and unorganized outdoor recreation. In 2015 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree for Environmental Science & Management, and a Minor in Education. In addition to interning for a few middle and high school clasrooms, Miles has volunteered for several youth education programs, including central coast-based White Stag Leadership Development, Davis-based Sprout Up environmental education, and UC Davis-based Kids in the Garden and Farm. Trained as a Wilderness First Responder, he occasionally works as a recreational backpacking and rafting guide, and is always interested in getting friends together for an outdoor adventure. Miles values solo exploration, humor, music, thought, conversation, climbing, and water. At Green Meadows, Miles enjoys most the opportunity for all participants to realize themselves as nature wherever they are.
Miles’ nature name is “Yarrow”
Amber Burch - Intern Naturalist
Amber grew up in Marion, NC and is a graduate of East Carolina University. She earned a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in marine biology. Her undergraduate studies included catching and recording data for a population of alewives in Eastern North Carolina and assisting in a research lab identifying estuary and freshwater zooplankton species. In addition to her academic studies, Amber developed an independent research study on the freshwater jellyfish and plankton of Lake James, NC during the summer of 2014, then presented her findings in the Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity Awards in the Spring of 2015. After graduation, Amber served as an AmeriCorps team member in Project POWER, located in Asheville, NC. Through Project POWER, she developed a nutrition curriculum, taught leadership and team building skills, and assisted with homework literacy and STEM activities directed to serve students who needed assistance in academic achievement. Amber additionally has experience providing Interpretation and Education programs as a park naturalist at Lake James State Park, located in Nebo, NC. Amber’s favorite thing about Green Meadows is being able to share the experience of the outdoors with kids.
Lawrence Calvi - Head Maintenance
Larry was born in San Francisco, grew up in Millbrae, California and graduated from Mills High School. Switching from a wanted career as an architect to one that was more hands on he went on to become a General Contractor working outdoors. He prides himself in adopting new technology into beneficial ways to improve construction standards. He, through self-education, progressed further in construction by becoming licensed in five additional fields as an Electrician, Plumber, Fire Sprinkler designer and installer, General Engineering contractor and a California licensed Real Estate Broker. The most rewarding part of his life was raising 6 children, none of his own. Being around children brings him more happiness than any projects he has completed. Using his talents and background to benefit “ MY KIDS” at Green Meadows Outdoor School he is able to listen to the comments and laughter of the children and watch them grow in just one week. This has made his life at age 66 a success.
Michael Trinca – Custodian/Maintenance Helper
Michael grew up in Pacific Grove, California where he graduated from high school. After graduation he moved to Fresno, California where he studied electronic communications at IT, Clovis and started a family. He also worked for a water treatment company and a burglary alarm company. Michael has lived in the Yosemite area since 2008. He enjoys working at Green Meadows and watching the excitement of the students when taking them on field trips. In his spare time Michael likes reading, spending time with his kids and is active with a local Youth Group.
MERCED COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION
632 West 13th Street
Merced, CA 95341