Merced County Office of Education

 
Outdoor School Staff

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​The Green Meadows staff are a fantastic group of dynamic and highly qualified individuals. All staff are employees of the Merced County Office of Education and are background checked and fingerprinted as well as CPR trained. The Naturalist staff are all graduates of a four year university, and occasionally some interns are currently working towards a degree at the time of their internship. In addition, each school year at Camp Green Meadows starts off with two weeks of staff training. Our teaching staff pride themselves on their professionalism and are dedicated to creating a positive and impacting experience for students at Camp Green Meadows.​

 


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.” 

Bob’s nature name is “El Capitan."



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.

Claire’s nature name​ is “Red Tail Hawk.”



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."  



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.” 



Emma Ervolina - Naturalist
Emma grew up in the Hudson Valley, New York with the forest as her playground. She enjoyed swimming in streams, climbing trees and going camping with her family. Emma later received a B.S. in Geology from the College of Saint Rose. She was fortunate enough to have many undergraduate research opportunities, studying glaciers in Alaska, landslides in Colorado, and Microplastic Pollution in New York rivers. Emma discovered Outdoor Education soon after graduating and completed an internship at Sierra Outdoor School in Sonora, CA. Emma was thrilled to find a career in experiential education with hands-on science, teambuilding and adventure components. Emma has landed back in the beautiful Sierra Nevada at Green Meadows Outdoor School. Her favorite subjects to teach are Geology, Team Challenge and Wilderness Ethics. In her free time Emma enjoys camping in the Eastern Sierra, exploring hot springs and swimming holes, crafting, climbing and road tripping. Emma is thrilled to be able to share her passions for science, nature and adventure with students here at Green Meadows!

Emma’s nature name is “Glacier.”



Christopher Moua - Naturalist
Christopher was born and raised in the central valley (Fresno, California) and recently relocated back to California from North Carolina in Fall of 2017 where he went to college at the University of Mount Olive to study Recreation & Leisure and East Carolina University for graduate school to study Recreation & Parks Administration. He loves the inspiring atmosphere of Green Meadows and his favorite things about working in the outdoors is being in a position to mentor, play, and share his love for the wilderness with the wonderful students of the central valley. During his free time he enjoys adventure pursuits like hiking, sports, photography, climbing, and being on the river, particularly in the form of fly-fishing. He also is a master underwater basket weaver!

Christopher’s nature name is “Creek.”



Chris Silveira - Naturalist
Chris was born and raised in Tulare, CA. Chris has his B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in ecology from the University of Stanislaus in Turlock, CA. He has been involved with the academic fraternity TKE throughout college which was geared towards assisting community needs and organizations such as St. Judes and Alzheimer's Association. Chris has always had a love for the outdoors and discovering new things. He enjoys learning about new species and traveling to exciting places. This will be his first year as a naturalist at Camp Green Meadows and he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and love of the outdoors with students. Chris likes to go fishing and rock climbing when outdoors with friends. He also enjoys playing sports like basketball and tennis. Chris stays active by going on hikes and exercising on his free time.

Chris’s nature name is “Falcon.”



Brittany O’Neal - Intern Naturalist
Brittany is home grown form the city of trees, Sacramento, where she earned a B.S. in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration  from California State University of Sacramento. Before coming to Camp Green Meadows, Brittany worked for the Student Conservation Association in South Dakota and AmeriCorps in New Hampshire inspiring others about the wonders of the natural world. Inspired by her sixth grade field trip to Yosemite, Brittany wanted to come back to the west coast to explore the world of working for a residential outdoor school. Her favorite thing about working in the outdoors is inspiring the next generations to appreciate nature and being a positive role model for students. In her off time you will find Brittany either knitting, hiking, climbing, practicing yoga, reading or eating potatoes in any form.
 
Brittany’s nature name is “Spruce.”



Alex Braiedy - Intern Naturalist
Alex is the resident Midwesterner on staff, having grown up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Her love for the outdoors comes from camping and hunting trips to northern Minnesota with her family growing up. Alex graduated from Carleton College with a degree in biology. As a student she focused primarily on grassland ecology. Prior to working at Camp Green Meadows, Alex worked as a classroom assistant and swim coach. She also has experience in teaching conservation lessons and ecology experiments to students. Alex is excited to learn more about the local environment alongside students and share her love for ecology. In her free time, Alex can often be found swimming, hiking, climbing, reading, and exploring the Sierra Nevadas. 

Alex’s nature name is “Tamarack.”



Mikaela Bissell - Intern Naturalist
Mikaela was raised in the small town Shingle Springs, California and grew up climbing trees and embarking on outdoor adventures. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno and graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science. During her studies she elected to focus on soil science and non-point source pollution. Mikaela began her path to education beginning as a camp counselor with Kid’s University she then progressed to outdoor education serving an AmeriCorps term with the Great Basin Institute as a Naturalist at Galena. She loved working as a Naturalist because it allows one to share their love of environmental exploration with following generations and she wanted to continue her work back in California. Mikaela is beyond excited to be working with the Green Meadows Outdoor School and can’t wait for the new adventures to come. While working with Green Meadows, Mikaela is interested in learning more about entomology and conducting soil surveys throughout the area.  During her spare time she enjoys playing guitar, ukulele, hiking, and roller-skating. 

Mikaela’s nature name is “Scout.”



Taylor Rucker - Naturalist Intern
Taylor grew up in Folsom, California. She recently earned a B.S. in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration from California State University, Sacramento, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Before coming to Camp Green Meadows, Taylor worked several seasons with California State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service. She also volunteered with Sierra Nevada Journeys in Sacramento where she gained experience leading outdoor education field trips along the American River Parkway. Taylor’s favorite thing about working in the outdoors is sharing her love of nature with students. During elementary school, Taylor went on many outdoor education field trips around California. These field trips played a key role in inspiring her love of nature and wildlife. She is excited to inspire youth in this same way. In her free time, you can find her stand up paddle boarding, hiking, rock climbing, and chef’ing it up in the kitchen!

Taylor’s nature name is “Sage.”​



Christina Cook - Intern Naturalist
Christina was born and raised in Marina, California right on the Monterey Bay. She grew up playing on the dunes and and hiking with her family. Her path to outdoor education started when she attended Camp Quien Sabe in Monterey County every summer and fell in love with the sleeping under the stars. She worked at Quien Sabe for seven summers as a counselor and assistant director, teaching kids how to live outside with care, including local ecology, teambuilding and wilderness ethics. After graduating UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Art History, she decided to explore her passion for environmental education at Camp Green Meadows. She is beyond excited to share this beautiful place with students and empower others to explore nature themselves! In her free time, you can find Christina backpacking, reading, dancing, taking pictures and writing, preferably all while on a roadtrip down the coast.

Christina’s nature name is “Ursa.”



Chris Prigmore – Senior Maintenance


Chris’s nature name is “Cobalt.”













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. 

Michael’s nature name is “Chicken Hawk.”






Frank Prudhomme – Senior Cook


Frank’s nature name is “T-Bone.”









Ally Merino – Cook


Ally’s nature name is “Snowy Own.”









Louis Arballo – Cafeteria Assistant













 



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