With a degree as a German English translator and a Masters in French, Ingrid spent many years teaching adult French at the College of Marin; she also spent several years studying and working as an interior designer, served as co-director of the San Francisco German Saturday School and led her daughter’s Campfire Girls chapter, but eventually, Ingrid chose to pursue her love for teaching in the outdoors.
In the late 1990s, Ingrid served as an educator in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, leading daily discovery walks. The programs included a guided walk and discovery kit—a curriculum-based, hands-on science kit created by Ingrid herself. Similar to NatureBridge programming, the discovery kit allowed kids to take what they’d learned back to their classrooms.
It was working in nature education with Wildcare in San Rafael later on that led to a connection with the head of NatureBridge’s Golden Gate campus (formerly, the Headlands Institute). At the time, Ingrid didn’t realize the connection to the Yosemite Institute. She laughed recalling her later realization that she would have had a much easier time convincing the school district of a trip just across the bridge!
In 1999 Ingrid submitted an application to be an environmental science educator at NatureBridge at Golden Gate campus.
“That was the beginning of my career 20 years ago—at the age of 56!” she said.