Staff 2016-2017

Dan “Tan Oak” Randrup, Director
Dan was raised in the San Joaquin Valley and is a fifth generation Californian.  His Great-Great-Grandfather came to the Golden State in 1850. He graduated from Humboldt State University and received his teaching credentials from Fresno State and his Administrative Credentials from Stanislaus State.  This is his 27th year in education.  He enjoys the outdoors and traveling to places (foreign and domestic) he has always wanted to see.

Gregory “Grey Wolf” Bahr, Principal
Gregory was an intern naturalist in 1989 at SCICON Outdoor School in Tulare County. He fell in love with outdoor education. Gregory attended Humboldt State University and earned a B.S. in Natural Resources Interpretation in 1995. In 1998, he graduated with a multiple subjects teaching credential from Simpson College. After teaching for a few years at Steve Garvey Junior High in Lindsay, California, he became principal of San Joaquin Outdoor School in 2000. Gregory earned his Masters degree in Education Administration from San Francisco State University.  Gregory enjoys helping students connect with nature and discover the wonders of the forest. When he is not busy with work, he enjoys chasing his two girls around the forest. Gregory also enjoys learning about and practicing primitive skills: making simple shelters, making fire without matches, and learning about wild edible plants.

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Amy Daniels, Administrative Assistant 

Lauren “Red Fox” Salcedo, Evening Director and Naturalist
Born and raised in Livermore, California, Lauren has always had a fascination for the coastline and the critters that call the ocean their home. This made her decision to attend the University of California Santa Cruz to study Marine Biology very easy. Before coming to work at SJOE, she spent two summers working at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) where she gave tours around the facility to visitors from all over the world. She also gave presentations about various animals and assisted with the overall care of the amazing native wildlife that call AWCC home, including a very charismatic and clever red fox which quickly became a favorite of hers.  When she is not running around looking for new animals to encounter on trail or during beach day, Lauren loves to spend time working on various sewing, crochet and art projects. She is so excited to call the redwoods her home and share her excitement with all the incoming students!
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Molissa “Lupine” Udevitz, Evening Director and Naturalist
Molissa is excited to continue sharing her enthusiasm for nature with students for a second year at SJOE!  She credits her childhood hiking, camping, and sailing adventures in her home state of Alaska for sparking her love for the outdoors.  Molissa attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a Linehan Artist Scholar and earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Dance.  While in college, she served as the president of the Geography and Environmental Systems Council of Majors, worked on school-wide sustainability projects, and choreographed for and performed in numerous dance concerts.  Molissa has enjoyed returning to Alaska each summer for a variety of environmentally-related jobs.  She surveyed for invasive plants and helped with stream bank restorations as a Department of Natural Resources intern, worked in a visitor center and ran junior ranger programs as a Lake Clark National Park intern, and led art and science activities as a summer day-camp instructor.  In her free time, Molissa likes to hike, backpack, listen to NPR, bake, and play board games.

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Miles “Flux” Villa, Medic and Senior Naturalist
Miles grew up in the San Joaquin Valley where he spent his time looking for birds and insects near canals and in abandoned fields. He graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology where he conducted research on salamander physiology and also plant diversity in Big Sur. Before coming to work as a naturalist and medic, Miles spent time traveling to Asia and Central America to explore the tropics and once again look for birds and insects. Miles enjoys playing piano and guitar, camping, writing, and reading. He is looking forward to teaching students about nature and keeping their minds and bodies healthy and active.
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Jennifer “Blue Jay” Baca, Senior Naturalist
Jennifer was born and raised on the coast in Pacifica, California, where she spent much of her time whale watching and gazing off into the sunsets. Jennifer’s fascination with the natural world led her to study Geography and Environmental Studies at San Francisco State University. Before coming to SJOE, Jennifer spent a year working at San Mateo Outdoor Education and fell in love with her role as naturalist. Prior to this, she also worked at Coastside Land trust, where she was involved in projects such as volunteer coordination, fundraising, restoration, and coastal cleanup events. When Jennifer is not exploring the beautiful redwood forest or the beach, she loves to travel around foreign countries. She has travelled to England, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Jennifer enjoys jamming on her ukulele, hiking, gardening, snorkeling, camping, swimming, music, and values time with family and friends. She is so excited to call the redwoods home for another year and to share her excitement with the future students.
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Louisa “Nejma” Abada, Naturalist
Louisa grew up in the New York City suburb of Montclair, New Jersey with a view of the city skyline from her bedroom and a lively deciduous forest in her backyard. Her childhood was spent exploring the woods around her house and reading and writing in the Magnolia tree outside of it. Her love of the outdoors grew every summer while she lived in the nearby Catskill Mountains, working as an outdoor trip leader for 10-16 year old youth. Louisa attended Georgetown University where she studied Literature, Creative Writing, and Arabic, and she spent much of her free time discovering the trails of Washington D.C.’s Rock Creek Park and nearby Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains. When not rooting around in the woods or in class, she was passionately involved in various activist efforts in support of labor rights and economic and environmental justice. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked various jobs, including as a kayak guide, a researcher for a progressive community organization, a paralegal at a foreclosure prevention clinic, and a program coordinator for an organization that worked to make the outdoors accessible to New York City urban youth. Her curiosity, love for learning, and passion for social justice have taken her to many places around the world, including her ancestral mountain village home in Algeria, the desert of Egypt, and most recently, the Greek island of Samos. She is looking forward to learning from and with the redwoods and all the creatures lucky enough to call them their home, including all the students who will be coming through this year!

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John “Night Owl” Cao, Naturalist
John grew up in Orange County in Southern California. He attended California State University, Long Beach, where he studied biology. During that time, he fell in love with nature and the science behind it.  He was the President of the Outdoor Club on campus and also taught rock climbing on campus.  He enjoys exploring different ecosystems including mountains, forests, and deserts. John also loves to travel and has been to nine different countries, and he hopes to be visiting more.  Before starting at SJOE, John spent his summer working as an intern with the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado.  He loves to spend his free time backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, and doing other outdoor sports.  John is excited to be teaching students about the outdoors and hopes to make them fall in love with nature.
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Josie “Monarch” Fredericksen, Naturalist
Josie grew up on a small hobby farm in Wisconsin that hosted everything from bees, to horses, to lizards, to monarchs in bug boxes. At home, she developed her love for the environment and learned about the healing powers of nature. She then went on to graduate from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Social Work. Throughout college, she cultivated her passion for social justice through her work on an urban farm, at an in-home hospice care program, and in early childhood development for children who have autism. After college, she realized she loved people as much as she loved the earth and started pursuing jobs in education. Josie worked as an environmental teacher in Costa Rica and facilitated intervention programs in an under resourced high school in Los Angeles. In her spare time, she loves to read, go camping, and cook vegetarian cuisine. She is elated to be working at SJOE this year and to have the opportunity to empower students to be curious about the world they live in.
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Carly “Equinox” Hume, Naturalist
Carly is originally from Pleasanton, California, in the Eastern San Francisco Bay area. She first came to love the redwoods as as a fifth grade student attending Outdoor School and has since fallen in love with the Santa Cruz Mountains. Carly worked at nearby YMCA Camp Loma Mar during the summer holidays while studying Geography at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly, Carly interned as a park ranger for the City of San Luis Obispo and developed trail signage for public open spaces. She also had the chance to work in the children’s learning center at the San Louis Obispo Botanical Garden. While not on trail with students or working at summer camp, Carly enjoys rock climbing, going on road trips, and enjoying a good book in her hammock. She is excited to continue learning about this beautiful part of California and to spread her love for planet Earth with all of the incoming students.
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Eva “Nebula” Mitchell, Naturalist
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Eva spent much of her childhood playing outdoors and exploring wild places both near and far. From the worms in her family’s garden to the painted turtles of northern lakes, she felt a deep bond to all of the creatures she encountered as well as a relentless curiousity about the natural world. In her schooling, Eva discovered her passions within the intersections of racial justice and environmentalism; she recently graduated from St. Olaf College with degrees in Environmental Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, and American Studies. It was there that Eva solidified her love for environmental education, where she co-founded a volunteer organization to bring outdoor science lessons to local elementary schools. She spent last summer in Yosemite National Park as an intern naturalist Ranger in Tuolumne Meadows and led Junior Rangers during several of her favorite programs. In these positions, as well as working as a nanny, camp counselor, and classroom assistant, Eva has treasured her time spent with kids of all ages. She is so excited to share adventures with students in SJOE’s redwoods! When she isn’t on trail, Eva loves to cook and eat good foods, watch basketball, and play board games.
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Stephen “Octopus” Suttle, Naturalist
Stephen grew up in Laguna Niguel, California where he spent most of his time at the beach swimming in the ocean or wandering the tide pools. He attended Santa Clara University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2016. While in college, Stephen developed a passion for ecology and conservation. Before coming to work as a naturalist, Stephen traveled to Botswana where he was able to work on a nature reserve, working with rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, and many other animals. Stephen enjoys climbing, camping, reading, and cooking. Stephen is excited to share his love of nature with students and live in the amazing redwood forest.
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Alex “Road Runner” Sweetser, Naturalist
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Alex spent his childhood frolicking through the critter-filled creek in his backyard, which sparked a lifelong passion for nature. After moving to Massachusetts, he found solace through hiking, week-long camping trips, kayaking, and wandering through the woods with his dog. Inspired by his experiences as a camp counselor and interest in the mysteries of the mind, he earned a degree in Psychology and Brain Science at Boston University while conducting research in a child development. In the year after graduation, he researched the genetics of bone development at Massachusetts General Hospital for a summer, studied social neuroscience and empathy at Stanford University, and volunteered in a marine biology lab at University of California Santa Cruz. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the drums, singing, social dancing, going on long bike rides, exploring new places, and devouring NPR podcasts. He is excited to share his love of the outdoors and the Redwoods this year with all of the incoming students!
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Becky “Grey Whale” Townsend, Naturalist
Becky grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, climbing trees and traipsing through cow pastures behind her house. Although she occasionally wished she was at the mall during her father’s backroad desert explorations on family car trips, Becky was won over to nature by family camping, backpacking and environmental volunteering.  She now sees the natural world as a vital component to formation: socially, physically, spiritually, and intellectually.  Becky studied English Literature and Art Studio at the University of California Davis and recently completed a Master’s degree in Divinity at Louisville Seminary.  At Louisville, she was Environmental Sustainability Coordinator and worked on local environmental issues which closely affected people of color.  When Becky learned about the friendly behaviors and enormous brains of Grey Whales, she was smitten, so the nature name came easily.  She has worked with children for many years including as an art teacher and is tail-slapping with joy to live in the Redwoods among the naturalist community and to get to practice the close observation of nature with fifth and sixth graders.
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