Beth is originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She earned her undergrad in History and Education from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and also has a Masters of Religious Education from Liberty University. She has lived . . . everywhere; from New Jersey to Texas, Australia to Florida. She worked in environmental education in Texas and is very excited to be back in this career. Between that position and Camp McDowell she has been a social studies teacher and a Children and Youth Director. One of her favorite jobs is being a team building/leadership facilitator and trainer, which includes working with high and low rope courses. Beth adores her four year old son, Lucas, and spends most of her free time with him. She also loves spending time with friends, traveling, cooking, running, reading and listening to a ridiculous amounts of podcasts. One of her greatest passions is working with people in Thailand with an organization called “Mission Pattaya.”
Kim hails from the great corn state of Iowa. She studied Elementary Education in college but fell in love with teaching outdoors, not in the classroom. Kim worked for two years as a Naturalist in Minnesota where she earned her Masters Certificate in Environmental Education and perfected her Minnesotan accent. She’s also taught environmental education in the Adirondack State Park of New York and in the mountains of Utah. She loves her McDowell home and the wonderful community here. In her free time, you'll find her outside somewhere hiking, rock climbing, slacklining, wandering through wildflowers, or camping.
Kendra is from Florence, Kentucky and discovered her love for raptors and snakes when she started teaching at McDowell in 2011. After catching the spark for lifelong learning, she traveled on in 2013 to further her experience in environmental education and animal care at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Alabama 4-H Science School, and an apprenticeship with the US Forest Service at the Woodlands Nature Station in Land Between the Lakes. When she's not busy with the raptors and reptiles at McDowell, you can find Kendra reading, gardening, hiking, birding, eating, watching movies, and hanging out with her rambunctious kitten.
Stacey graduated from Wallace State with her registered nursing degree in 2006. She has previous nursing experience in the hospital, nursing home, and home health areas. In May of this year she took the awesome opportunity to work with children here at Camp McDowell. Stacey has lived in the Double Springs area her whole life. She has a wonderful husband Brian and daughter Alexzandra who is 19. Stacey is an animal lover, has 3 dogs Tucker, Lizzie and Jessie and a cat, Haze. Stacey's favorite pastime is fishing with her husband, crossfit, hiking, canoeing and anything outdoors. She loves spending time with her sister and other family, especially her niece and two nephews.
Big Dave, as we call him, has worked for Camp McDowell for many, many years. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and has spent many years in the environmental education and interpretive field where he has led classes and workshops, supervised the care of wildlife through rehabilitation, developed programs, and provided leadership to area schools and the public. He has worked at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and the Chattanooga Nature Center. Dave brings his energy and enthusiasm to McDowell so that he can continue to share his knowledge and love for the natural world. When he isn’t sharing this passion with others, you can find him birding, camping, and hiking.
Trish is originally from a small farming town in Michigan, but has lived in a lot of places across the northeast. She has a B.S. in geology from St. Lawrence University, an M.S. from University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State. She is a 2014 thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail and is finishing up a 100 mile challenge on the North Country Trail. She loves fossils, teaching, and being outside. Trish spent time as an informal educator in a natural history museum and nature center in central New York.
Born and raised in Alabama, Julie grew up inspired by the beauty and diversity of the nature around her, and went to Camp Mcdowell herself as a 5th grader! In 2014, she graduated from the University of Montevallo with a BS in Biology. After graduation, she worked as a sea turtle rehabilitation specialist at two different sea turtle hospitals in Sarasota, FL and Marathon, FL. She had the opportunity to work with sea turtles again this past summer as a sea turtle naturalist and nesting surveryor near Charleston, South Carolina. She discovered her love for environmental education while working at the Cahaba Environmental Center in Alabama, but found a home doing it here at McDowell! She loves to spend her free time swimming, hiking, crafting, and obsessing over her cat. Julie is so excited to return to the McDowell Environmental Center for her fourth season!!
Seth was born and raised in Wisconsin, where he frequently explored the north woods, instilling in him a passion for the natural world. He attended the University of Wisconsin graduating with a degree in Political Science. He was an intern for his congressman in Washington D.C., but quickly realized working in an office was not for him. After graduating, Seth worked for City Year San Antonio tutoring and mentoring students in math and classroom behavior. He is excited to combine his love of the outdoors with his passion for working with students. His love of backpacking, reading, sports, and getting to know people who shaped him and are his favorite activities in his free time.
I was raised in Hastings, NE and have had a passion for the outdoors ever since I was little. I was an intern at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE during the summer of 2015, where I got to work with a wide variety of animals. Throughout my undergraduate career I conducted research on Baltimore Orioles during their migration. I spent the summer of 2017 in Namibia, Africa as a member of a wildlife conservation class. From this class I became an intern at the NamibRand Nature Reserve in the Namib desert, where I learned the duties and responsibilities of running a private reserve. In Africa, I also had the opportunity to teach at the preschool located on the reserve, which instilled in me a passion for young minds and teaching them about the importance of the world around them. I graduated from the University of Nebraska Kearney with a BS in Wildlife Biology. Some of my hobbies include traveling, hiking, running, photography, and going on spontaneous adventures (rain or shine) with anyone who is up for the adventure. I’m excited to spark an interest in kids about the importance of our environment and the natural world.
I am from Mars, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Slippery Rock University with a degree in Park and Resource Management, Conservation, and Sustainability. You can usually find me playing outside, hiking, kayaking, and observing our natural world. I love sunsets, wildflowers, and the smell of the forest just after it rains. I’ve spent time in the last few years traveling and learning, and it makes my heart so happy to come home again to Camp McDowell. This is one of my very most favorite places, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Murray was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. He grew up attending summer camp at Camp McDowell and served three summers on staff as work crew and music director. After studying business at the University of Alabama, Murray began working in youth ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. After a few years in Colorado, Murray moved back to Alabama in the summer of 2017. He currently serves as Youth Minister at The Episcopal Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Indian Springs, AL. Murray loves fishing, playing music, and his pug Dooley.
Hannah originally hails from a small town in Southern Oregon. She developed her love for nature whilst frolicking among the nearby Douglas Pines in the Rogue-siskiyou National Forest. For college, she moved north to attend the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma WA, where she studied Sociology, Anthropology and Education Studies. While in Washington, Hannah’s love for the outdoors grew. By her second year in college, she was a leader of her university’s outdoor club and eventually helped coordinate the outdoor portion of the school’s orientation program. Her favorite outdoor activities include: hiking, trail running, backpacking, lake swimming, kayaking, and navigating topographic maps. When not basking in the beauty of the natural world, Hannah enjoys satellite searching places on Google maps, swing dancing, journaling, and playing volleyball.
Katie F. grew up in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, and spent her early childhood exploring the wooded acres around Lake Wallenpaupack in northeastern PA. During high school, her favorite classes were Earth and Space Science and Environmental Science, which naturally led to her B.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Susquehanna University. She was able to study marine ecology for a semester in Dunedin, New Zealand during her junior year, and thus was bit by the travel bug. Immediately after graduating, Katie headed to Cama Beach State Park in Washington to spend the summer as an interpretive naturalist intern, working closely with state park education staff, volunteers, kids of all ages, and the great outdoors. Katie loves drawing and painting, nature walks, swimming, video games, animals (especially dogs and amphibians!), dancing, and singing. She is sure to love McDowell Environmental Center too, and is very excited!
Fox was born in North Carolina but spent his childhood overseas in Germany before moving to Virginia, and eventually Huntsville, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a B.A. in English and a minor in Communications. From a young age he has been a member of the scouting movement, and began working at Comer Scout Reservation over the summer in 2008. Fox has served as the Project C.O.P.E. (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) Director at Comer Scout Reservation for the past 5 years and is looking forward to bringing the same enthusiasm that has helped him succeed in the scouting community to Camp Mcdowell. Scouting helped Fox to realize a love of the great outdoors, and working with summer camp helped him to realize a passion for education. A life long lover of adventure, in his free time you are just as likely to find Fox out exploring the natural world through hiking, climbing, and camping, as you are to find him curled up in a cozy chair with a good book or sharing a story of past adventures!
Diana grew up in the outskirts of Auburn, Maine where she adored spending time in the backwoods. Whether it was capturing wildlife in photos or getting lost in her heavily wooded backyard, she strived for adventure. Diana was a student athlete at Husson University where she earned her bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology. After graduating in 2014, she ventured into the field of neuropsychology where she worked with people who suffered traumatic brain injuries. From there, she moved on to working with children with severe behaviors within the public school system. Diana enjoyed her work with children. Recently, she decided it was time to explore opportunities that combine her passion for wildlife and her interest in opening the eyes of the younger generation. When Diana has some free time, she enjoys staying active, hiking, kayaking, crafting, painting, taking on challenges, reading, and taking long drives that lead to breathtaking views. She is thrilled to share her love for the outdoors and become a part of the great team at McDowell Environmental Center!
Jess was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up attending retreats and conferences at Camp McDowell. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Sustainable Development in 2018. She has a passion for educating herself and others about celebrating our natural world and resources while embracing sustainability principles, especially through the mediums of documentary film and art. This past summer Jess was a part of the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship, hosted by the Alabama Rivers Alliance. She created a short documentary about the importance of supporting local farmers throughout Alabama, featuring the McDowell Farm School! (Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/287284639). Jess loves making art, music, hiking to beautiful places, and treasure hunting at the thrift store.
Katie S. is from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she grew up loving the outdoors and exploring the woods there. Her enthusiasm for being outside led her to Sewanee: the University of the South, where she got involved with Sewanee's outdoor adventure program, lived in a sustainability themed house, and really cemented her love of rocks and salamanders. She recently graduated with a B.S. in ecology and biodiversity and a minor in geology. She has worked as a wild cave tour guide in Georgia, a paleontology field assistant in Nebraska and Montana, and most recently as a summer field instructor for an outdoor education program in Alaska. Her favorite activities include painting, fossil hunting, backpacking, scuba diving, caving, jumping in rivers, and pretty much anything outdoors. Katie loves the southeast and its ecosystems, and she is so excited to be able to facilitate enthusiastic experiential education through the McDowell Environmental Center!
Brooke is from West Grove, PA. She graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with a degree in middle level education. She has always loved playing sports and spending time outside. During her time at Penn State she played on the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. She spent her summers working as a camp counselor which made her realize her passion for working with children. Brooke’s hobbies include going on road trips, reading, and watching reality T.V shows. Brooke loves adventures and she’s so excited to continue her journey at The McDowell Environmental Center.
Maddy was born and raised in South Western PA before traveling a little more West to attend Slippery Rock University to major in Park and Resource Management with a minor in American History and a certificate in Sustainability. She has always loved the outdoors and you can find her hiking, backpacking, or at a National Park, maybe all three at once! She has also spent time volunteering for National Parks such as Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and Acadia National Park in Maine. She has spent the last few months working at North Bend State Park in Cairo, West Virginia. Most importantly, she can't wait to hang out with you at Camp McDowell!
Dakota grew up in a small town in Iowa but have always loved the outdoors and the county scene. I graduated from Buena Vista University with an Environmental Science Conservation Education degree. Since graduation I have been traveling around for jobs. I started as an interpretive guide for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium when I got an offer for a summer naturalist position in California. Working for the Sequoia Parks Conservancy (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park non-profit partner) and living in the mountains has solidified my love for the trees and the unknown. I spend as much time as I can hiking and exploring. I plan on getting some new hiking gear so I can go on some longer back country hiking adventures.
Thomas is originally from Homewood, Alabama and has lived in Alabama his whole life. He graduated from Auburn University, majoring in History in spring of 2018. Thomas grew up going to Camp McDowell for the summer camp but has never been to any Environmental Center programs. He worked for four summers at Camp and has grown to love the canyons, creeks, and trees on Camp McDowell’s property. While at Auburn, Thomas worked for Auburn Outdoors, the university’s outdoor program for students. While there, he worked at the climbing wall, the rental center for outdoor gear, and was a tech in the bike shop. He loves backpacking, biking and just generally being outside in the woods. He loves to travel with his family and friends and his major goals are to see all the U.S. National Parks and to hike the John Muir Trail.
Angel was born and raised in Jasper, Alabama, but spent most of her summers as a kid on the beautiful Lewis Smith Lake. Her love for the water led her to pursue a degree in Marine Biology at the University of North Alabama, where she got the opportunity to spend her summers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. While at the Sea Lab, she volunteered in an oyster research lab and for the Manatee Sighting Network. While in college, Angel was the president of the Society of Physics Students. The organization's major focus was on public outreach, primarily towards school-aged children. There, she taught the basics of physics and astronomy at numerous fairs and events. She also volunteered at the University pool as a swim instructor for K-6 graders. She loves to spend her free time traveling, spending time with her nieces and nephews, playing in the water, Native American dancing, hiking, and pretty much anything outdoors (rain or shine).