The magic of NatureBridge begins with our staff. Our Summer Backpacking staff consists of three administrative members and 14 year-round environmental science educators. Learn more about the people who make up this professional, well-qualified and fun group of people below.
Katie Draude, Summer Programs Manager
Katie worked as an environmental educator for Olympic National Park and NatureBridge for three years, leading Summer Field Research Courses (the predecessor to the Olympic Science Expedition) each summer. Now, as the Summer Programs Manager, Katie enjoys finding ways to get more students backpacking in national parks. When not backpacking or thinking about backpacking, Katie enjoys canoeing on Lake Crescent, playing cribbage, and sipping coffee while watching the ships go by out her back window.
Chris Morgan, Science Education Manager at Olympic
Chris has been involved with connecting youth to the outdoors for 13 years. He has spent 9 of those years working with NatureBridge trying to provide meaningful wilderness experiences to students both as an educator as and as someone working behind the scenes. When not trying to help get others outside, you can find Chris getting muddy, wet, and snowy in the forests, rivers, ocean, and mountains of the Olympic Peninsula.
John Patton, Science Education Manager at Yosemite
John has spent the past 11 years helping to share the natural world with students as an environmental educator. Upon arriving in the mountains of California in 2010, John found a wild natural place to adventure in and call his home. When not looking under river rocks for tiny aquatic insects, John can be found skiing, fly fishing, snorkeling, and photographing the phenomena of the natural world.
Our educators are highly qualified and passionate about the natural world. During the school year, they teach for NatureBridge's Environmental Science Program, working with K-12 school groups in our national park locations. Every educator is trained in Wilderness First Responder and CPR, and has multiple years of teaching experience in formal or informal settings. We maintain a 1:5 ratio adult to teen participant ratio, which works out to two educators per trail group at all times.