Staff 2018-2019



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 32nd year in education.  He enjoys the outdoors and traveling to places (foreign and domestic) he has always wanted to see.
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Allison "Sorrel" Collins
Principal
Allison is delighted to be the principal of her favorite place on earth, San Joaquin Outdoor Education.  A naturalist at SJOE from 2008-2011, Allison spent time in traditional education in Santa Cruz County before returning to the wonderful world of outdoor education.  She is a native of Monterey County, California and spends her free time exploring YMCA Camp Jones Gulch with her husband and her son, whose nature name is "Bug".  


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Pierce "Willow" Bradner
Evening Director & Senior Naturalist

Pierce grew up in Richmond, VA with a neighborhood full of small creeks, lots of insects, and friends to explore them with. As a child she developed a love for being active outside. She was always either playing soccer or rock hopping on the James River. Every summer she attended a small all girls’ camp in the Appalachian Mountains where her appreciation for nature grew even stronger. She went to college at George Mason University in Virginia where she studied Neuroscience. Here she developed a better understanding of nature’s importance to positive mental health and development. Her life was altered when she spent one summer during college backpacking on the John Muir Trail. It was the first time she had been backpacking and the first time she had been to California and she was blown away. She loves to travel and went on a solo backpacking trip around Europe. She worked with a family in Sweden, at a bed and breakfast in Italy, and on an organic farm in Austria. After college she packed up her things and drove across the country to San Jose to work with Elementary school students in an under-resourced school. She tutored third graders that were struggling in reading and taught fifth graders in the after school program. She spent last summer as an instructor at a summer adventure day camp and took kids ages 6-13 rock climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking. She loves exploring new places, long hikes, the mountains, backpacking, coffee, and running. Pierce is incredibly excited to spend this year in the redwood forest and hopes to inspire kids to create their own curiosity and understanding of nature.




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Michelle "Monta ña" Peres
Senior Naturalist
Michelle grew up in the San Joaquin Valley area, where she spent her time at local music shows and star gazing in the vineyards with friends. Slowly exposing herself to the beauty of the great outdoors, she decided to follow her curiosity. She graduated from Fresno State with a B.S in Recreation Administration, emphasis in Adventure Recreation and Tourism. Before joining the SJOE team, Michelle was teaching in various places. In college she was a white water rafting guide on the Kings River. This lead her to work for companies to inspire folks to get outside. She has worked on ropes courses in California and Illinois. She started her joy for teaching in IL. Helping Chicago inner city students rock climb, joining folks on canoe trips in Michigan, and teaching in Malibu. This summer, she spent her time climbing mountains in Juneau, Alaska. Ran on glaciers, went searching for bears, and lots of time on some of the most beautiful mountains. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys surfing, movies, and spending time in a hammock with a good book. Michelle is looking forward to spending time hiking through the redwoods and tide pooling with her students. She is beyond stoked to share this experience with the San Joaquin Valley students. 
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John "Night Owl" Cao
Senior Naturalist



Meghan "Sprout" Rondon
Health Clerk & Senior Naturalist
Meghan is from Santa Rosa, CA, where she grew up playing soccer and exploring the local parks’ trail systems by foot and bike.  She developed her love for adventuring from a young age and became more aware and interested in reducing human impact after attending 6th grade science camp in the Marin Headlands.  This is where she first joined the hard core apple club and has been an avid advocate ever since! Since graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Kinesiology, Meghan has worked as a camp counselor in the Tahoe National Forest and as an English teacher at an elementary school near Leon, Spain.  She is super stoked to be back in California this school year, living amongst the Redwoods and banana slugs, and looks forward to sharing these forest gems with the students!
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Corey "Canine" Kaye
Senior Naturalist

Corey is a Senior Naturalist in his second year at SJOE from Philadelphia, PA.  He graduated from Penn State with a degree in Human Development and is an AmeriCorps alum. Corey has since pursued in Outdoor Industry in many forms including time as a white water guide on the Nantahala River in North Carolina, leading kayak tours in the Florida Everglades and Elkhorn Slough, and teaching Outdoor Education and working with children with special needs in Ohio. Corey is most excited for spending peaceful and inspiring moments in the sprawling Redwoods as he learns more about them



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Will "Dogwood" Harmon
Naturalist
Will grew up in Independence, Missouri surrounded by Oak-Hickory forests and muddy rivers. He spent time exploring those forests as a Boy Scout and runner through middle and high school. Towards the end of high school, he discovered his love for the mountains and photography, during a 12-day backpacking trip at Philmont Scout Ranch. He spent 28 days exploring the backcountry of Yellowstone and the Absaroka Range with the National Outdoor Leadership School, where his desire to work as an outdoor educator grew. While attending the University of Missouri, studying Environmental Science, he spent his summers working at Philmont Scout Ranch and at a University-affiliated challenge course. After graduating in May, he fully pursued his desire to work as an outdoor educator, by moving to California. He spent his first summer after graduation as a Wilderness Leader for Camp Tawonga, before beginning work for the year at San Joaquin Outdoor Education. When not looking at Banana Slugs or tidepools with students, he likes to spend his free time running, reading, and taking pictures.
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Cierra "Alpenglow" Carrigan
Naturalist

Cierra was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She grew up spending time with family and friends while climbing mountains and combing the coast. She attended Colorado State University and graduated in May of 2018 with a B.S. in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Throughout seeking her degree, she focused her studies on environmental communication. She completed a Scholar’s Program on environmental education and leadership, wrote a thesis on the messaging strategies of environmental campaigns, and worked as a canvasser in the summer. During her time at CSU she was active in sports, and played on the women’s Club Volleyball team. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, playing volleyball, hiking, running, exploring, baking, cooking, and ice skating. Cierra is ecstatic about the opportunity to work for SJCOE. She hopes to help create meaningful experiences in nature, and inspire kids to appreciate what awaits right outside the front door.

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Samuel "Burl" Beeler
Naturalist

Sam is a 1st year Naturalist intern with San Joaquin Outdoor Education.  From Ripon California, Sam attended SJOE as a cabin leader in both Junior and Senior years of high school.  This past May Sam graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Science and Management.  While at HSU Sam was a 20-minute bike ride both to beaches and redwood forests; a very different experience from the Central Valley where most of his outdoor experiences growing up involved walking through almond orchards and cow fields.  Over the summer he worked as a Tour Guide in Redwood National and State Parks where his knowledge of and love for the Sequoia Sempervirens grew.  He hopes to share with his students the importance of these forests, their inhabitants, and ecosystem.  Previous jobs have included Activities Assistant at a Nursing Home, Intern Wilderness Ranger in Stanislaus National Forest, and Tour Guide at Humboldt State University.  When not out on the trail or planning lessons, Sam likes to bake, sing karaoke, watch movies, and go hiking.  Sam is very excited to be returning to Jones Gulch as a Naturalist and wants to help his students have as great and inspiring of a time as he did when he was here as a student.  

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Alex "Volcano" Lanthier
Naturalist

  

Alex was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was moved to California as a young child a grew up in Tracy, CA until the age of 10, then moved to Murphys/Hathaway Pines, CA.  He graduated from CSU, Chico in 2018 with a degree in Natural Sciences with an emphasis in Environmental Science.  During his time at CSU, Chico he volunteered in several classrooms at the local middle schools and high schools.  He also participated in an Internship in Science Teaching, and also Leadership in Science Teaching, which took place in the Hands on Science Lab on campus.  He was also a member and served an officer in two clubs at CSU, Chico: a Vice President of the NSTA Club, The National Science Teacher’s Association Club, and AGES, the Association of Geological and Environmental Students. He loved to ride his bike to and from school, which was about a 10-minute bike ride from campus. Alex loves to travel and has seen the majority of the United States of America, has been to Canada many times, been to Mexico many times, went to Australia as a student ambassador for a month, and has traveled to Hawaii as well.  Alex loves to play ice hockey, hike, practice photography, journal, and read in his spare time. Alex is excited to build connections with his students and share the joy and beauty that nature can offer the soul.  



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