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Jenna Rudolph

Jenna Rudolph

Founder and Executive Director

Apprenticeship Program

Jenna Rudolph (she/her/they/them) has mentored children in the natural world since 2004 and founded Soaring Eagle Nature School in 2009. She was born in and spent her formative years in South Africa (traditional territories of the San and Khoehoe People) where her love and connection to birds and animals began alongside her grandmother.

She has been inspired by and has learned from Nancy Turner and the University of Victoria, the Wild Seed School of Herbal Studies, the Wilderness Awareness School, the Animas Valley Institute, the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, Wilderness Trails in South Africa, and Martín Prechtel at Bolad’s Kitchen.

She is a Certified Wildlife Tracker, a Naturalist, Botanist, and Birder. Outside of the forest, Jenna spends her time weaving baskets, spinning wool, carving, wildcrafting, and processing food to store it for the seasons in which wild food is less abundant.

Jenna is deeply committed to nature mentoring and the forest, where she feels everyone can feel truly alive. She believes that by spending time in nature with caring mentors, children can be their most full selves, learn and adapt to real-life situations, and become resilient, caring individuals.

Julia Thiessen

Julia Thiessen

Operations Manager

Julia (she/her) grew up in the prairies on the traditional and ancestral territory of Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, Dakota, and the Métis Nations. As a child, she constructed a hotel for worms, and as an adult, she pretty much does the same thing. In 2004 she moved to Vancouver to grow vegetables year-round and participate in stewarding land on Gambier Island, BC using re-wilding and permaculture techniques.

Julia has a background in environmental work, including over 7 years at the Environmental Youth Alliance facilitating community-based programs with a focus on the healing that nature provides. Her experience “in the field” has helped to shape her passion for the work.

She is a member of the Canadian Horticulture Therapy Association and has presented at their AGM on the topic of Cultivating Magic in Ordinary Outdoor Spaces. Julia studies meditation and teaches classes. In her free time, she can be found taking photos of moss, making puns, and improvising with foraged ingredients in the kitchen.

Sarah Oehm

Sarah Oehm

Youth Programs Manager

Sarah (she/her) grew up outside a small town in Ontario on the traditional and ancestral territory of Anishinabewaki, Mississauga, and Odawa Nations, where she could be found playing in the creek near her home, turning over logs to discover salamanders, and running in the woods with her dogs or the barn with her mom and the horses.

Now, Sarah connects to the outdoor world through multi-day camping trips on her bicycle, snowboarding deep in the backcountry, and trail running through our provincial parks, where she feels most at home.

Her passion for inspiring and enabling others to feel this connection brought her out of the corporate world to Soaring Eagle Nature School. From working on cross country tours with the Canadian Pacific Railway to recruiting over 2,000 students for the #BCTech Summit, managing operations at a local startup, and working on MEC’s Community & Digital Marketing teams, Sarah brings a wide range of skills to create a unique and immersive community at Soaring Eagle Nature School.

Isabella Yong

Isabella Yong

Administration Lead and Registrar

Isabella (she/her) grew up in Singapore Island (Pulau Ujong), Indigenous land to Malays (Orang Melayu). Moving to Canada in 2018, Isabella experienced growth and self-discovery by living close to nature and embracing the four seasons, especially from winter to spring! It taught her the meaning of growth and becoming anew.

Being multi-ethnic of Singaporean and Panamanian heritage, she hopes to empower others who have struggled with self-identification and empower young people to embrace the blessings and beauty of who they are.

Isabella has worked with children, youth, and adults since 2009 as a gymnastics program coordinator, instructor, and club manager. She recognizes that being engaged and present with her students contributes to their understanding and holistic development. Additionally, with a degree in Business Management from RMIT Australia, she continues to contribute her skills to meaningful organizations and promote a healthy and active lifestyle, both physically and mentally, for all ages.

Isabella enjoys yoga, rock climbing, snowboarding, water sport, hiking, and exploring where she lives, as well as the countries and islands she visits.

Delmar Williams

Delmar Williams

Mentor

Workshops

My name is Delmar Williams (he/him) and I am from the Squamish and Lil’wat Nation. I have grown up within my community and with my elders who still speak their traditional language and sing our traditional songs. As a child, my family would fish the Fraser River every year to sustain us through the year. I am continuing to learn and grow my knowledge around ancient technologies and ways of knowing.

I’ve been teaching with Jenna and Soaring Eagle Nature School since 2014 and have trained instructors, taught kids and families, and run many weekend workshops. I am a certified hiking guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. I am a hunter and hunt guide and have been taking people out in the backcountry on foot and by horse for over 20 years. I worked with Outward Bound for 16 years. I competed in the World Archery Show in Kazakhstan in 2017 and represented the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations at the Bushcraft Symposium in Alberta, Canada. I have taught at ancestral skills gatherings in Washington, Oregon, and California teaching tracking, drum making, carving, knife sheath making, and hunting. I love working with my hands and have figured out that if I can’t find a tool, knife sheath, jacket, or backpack that fits my needs, the best thing for me to do is make my own. 

Cassidy Pridham

Cassidy Pridham

Mentor

Forest Learners Program

Cass (she/her) grew up in the rolling hills of Ontario on the traditional ancestral territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabewaki, Mississauga, Wendake-Nionwentsïo, and Petun Nations. Being surrounded by an abundance of freshwater lakes, wetlands, and vast forests led her to develop a deep connection and appreciation for nature at a young age that has continued to grow over the years. 

She often daydreamed about being a teacher from a young age but never pictured herself in a “traditional” classroom. Following her heart led to her studying Outdoor Recreation at Brock University, focusing on Indigenous Studies and Education. This path continued leading her to become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and a Social-Emotional Learning Facilitator (SEL*F). Blending all these disciplines together has shown her that there is a holistic and cyclical way to teach. She is an advocate for mental health and deeply committed to investing in youth by holding a safe space for them to not only bloom but flourish too. 

Some of her work life has been spent leading week-long canoe trips in the Algonquin backcountry, facilitating outdoor education programs in the Niagara Peninsula, driving tour boats in The Canadian Rockies and leading backpacking trips on Vancouver Island. 

Cass is inspired by babbling brooks, the smell of the Earth before it rains, glowing embers deep within a fire, stepping barefoot into a mud puddle, and the sense of awe and wonder in a child’s eyes when they feel connected to the natural world.

Sally Plummer

Sally Plummer

Mentor

Forest Learners Program

Sally (she/her) was born and grew up on the traditional lands of the Cornovii and Dumonii Celtic tribes. By the ocean in rural England, Sally spent her early years immersed in all the outdoors has to offer. Since her post-graduate diploma in conservation and ecology, she has spent the last 12 years working with children of all ages fostering a nature connection and discovering wonder in the natural world.

As a passionate outdoor instructor and mentor, she firmly believes that we cannot expect the next generation to fight for the natural world and all its wonder if they have not spent time experiencing it. She has set up and run natural art projects with school children and discovered magic and mud while teaching forest school with younger children here in BC. She also mentored young people undertaking environmental projects in Chile and taught teenagers traditional forest crafts in England.

Sally loves weaving stories and paving the way to discovery. She also loves to make things and pass those skills on to others. When not in the forest, you might find her at her jewelry bench making silver jewelry, or painting stones and whittling wands with her three boys.

Luisa Schwarz

Luisa Schwarz

Mentor

Forest Learners Program, Weekly, and Teen Wild Within Nature School

Luisa (she/her) grew up on Canada’s east coast on the unceded and unsurrendered traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq peoples. She feels fortunate to have fostered a connection with the natural world at a young age, spending summers hiking and camping in the Appalachian mountains and Fundy National Park and winters exploring on cross country skis.

In 2015, Luisa moved across the country to study Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She immediately fell in love with the rainforest, coastal and alpine landscapes, and she spends most of her free time running, skiing, and exploring the natural areas surrounding her.

Her passion for the environment and education and her curiosity for the world led her to various opportunities across Canada, Germany, and Thailand. She’s worked in ecological restoration and conservation throughout BC, taught at various outdoor adventure and recreation camps to children aged 6 to 12, and pre-pandemic, she spent six months living, learning, and teaching at the Karenni Social Development Centre on the Thailand-Myanmar border, before starting her role with Soaring Eagle Nature School.

Brooke Crouch

Brooke Crouch

Mentor

Forest Learners Program and Monthly Nature School

Brooke (she/her/they/them/friend) grew up on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish, Stolo, Qayqayt, Hul’qumi’num treaty group, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Stz’uminus peoples. They are forever grateful to call this remarkable nature their home.

Brooke was raised by her adoptive French Canadian grandmother and teachers who inspired a love of knowledge and nature. Their grandmother taught them some of the most valuable lessons in life, that wisdom is found in our elders and that death makes birth possible. Spending all of her childhood in nature with a profound love of learning, she is working to better understand the knowledge of the forest. Brooke loves reading, hiking and dinosaurs! When she isn’t in the outdoors or working, you can generally find her cooking up a storm!

Brooke has studied history, philosophy and psychology at the University of the Fraser Valley and is working towards a master’s degree in educational psychology. Brooke’s hero is her older sister Hayley, and she loves spending time with her partner, siblings and niblings, who support and make it possible for her to dedicate her life to education, knowledge and future generations.

Erich Isocki

Erich Isocki

Mentor

Weekly, Monthly, and Teen Wild Within Nature School

Erich (he/him) spent his formative years on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Quw’utsun, S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:l?), and Semiahmoo nations.

Since growing up on the coast of British Colombia, Erich has been fascinated with the natural world, whether exploring the forests and ponds around him or the Salish sea with his grandfather.

Erich’s curiosity ranges from celestial navigation, edible plants, and making tools by hand to philosophy, history, and science. As a lifelong learner who has always been unschooled, Erich’s favourite part of working with kids is getting to see their passions and what draws them into a place of exploration and wonder.

Michael Diaconu

Michael Diaconu

Mentor

Weekly and Monthly Nature School

Michael (he/him) grew up on the North Shore exploring the traditional lands of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam First Nations. The connection to nature developed as a child fuels his inspiration and acceptance of life’s flow to this day. He enjoys putting his experience in writing and even published a nature poem in Highlights Magazine for Children when he was 9. He learned the art of rock balancing from his father at an early age, which he still uses to create mental stillness and visual art using the Earth’s fabric.

After graduating from Capilano University’s Communications Program, Michael travelled to his parent’s home country, Romania, to teach English using nature as the chalkboard. In between teaching at these incredible programs, he ventured to a village in Colombia to volunteer with children under 5 to help their English language development through live music.

Michael’s travels have gifted him great adventures in nature, from the high mountains of Europe, the wild jungles of South America, and of course, British Columbia, which he is grateful to experience every day. If you hear a flute echoing through the forest or the strum of a charango by a stream, it might just be Michael living a little dream.

River Wannitikul-Walter

River Wannitikul-Walter

Mentor

Weekly and Monthly Nature School

River (She/they/he) grew up in the temperate rain forests, home to the mayflies and cedars, the chickadees and salal, the xwm??kw?y ? ?m and Skwxwú7mesh, the S?l’ílw?ta?/Selilwitulh and Stó:l? Peoples (so-called “Vancouver, Canada”).  River ancestry heralds from southeast Asia (northern Thailand/south china) and northern Europe (Germany/Poland). She works to honour the land and Coast Salish peoples by strengthening her relationship and responsibilities to them.

As a child, she remembers spending hours exploring Pacific Spirit Park, helping the “crazy boggers” working to restore Camosun Bog, and attending the Metro Vancouver Night Quest. As a young person, she spent her weekends busing to the local mountains with her friends. Her curiosity and love of the natural world led her to facilitate nature-based programs for youth across the Metro Vancouver region. She has previously taught at the UBC Farm, with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-BC), the UBC Botanical Gardens, and the Metro Vancouver Sustainability Toolbox. Alongside her outdoor work, she pursued a degree in Geography (the“Environment and Sustainability” stream) with extensive course and research work in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies field. In her spare time, you’ll find her cycling the seawall, making art, and growing and cooking nourishing food.

Alicia Drover

Alicia Drover

Mentor

Young Sprouts Weekly Nature School, Monthly Nature School

Alicia (she/her) was born in Kelowna on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan people. She spent her childhood there and in Abbotsford – the territory of the Sumas and Matsqui First Nations of the Sto:lo people. As a child, Alicia enjoyed walks with her mom in the forest, searching for bugs with her friends, and writing stories full of animals and magic. A memorable elementary school field trip taught her how all living things are connected through games and play and inspired her to become an environmental educator.

To protect the wild animals she loved, Alicia went on to earn a BSc in Environmental Science at Simon Fraser University. Through her studies and leading fun, educational activities for kids with Let’s Talk Science, she honed her nature knowledge and shared it with others by volunteering with the Vancouver Aquarium and the City of Surrey as a nature guide. She then helped plan and lead outdoor nature camps at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Alicia believes that every child should have the chance to develop a bond with nature and that we all have a role in protecting it.

In her free time, you can find Alicia exploring local parks, creating stories, and helping cats and hamsters find their forever homes.

Camille Pomares

Camille Pomares

Mentor

Young Sprouts Weekly Nature School

Camille (she/her) was born and grew up in France in the countryside. She had the opportunity to grow up around many different landscapes and to travel a lot when she was a child. This developed her curiosity about the world and is why she kept travelling and eventually moved to Canada one year ago.

Working with children has been evidence for Camille, so she trained to be a preschool and primary school teacher. After becoming a certified teacher in France in 2018, she worked in different schools and daycares for 3 years in France and in Canada.

Yet, something was not “right”, not aligned with her values. The framework in schools didn’t always allow a lot of space to follow children’s interests. That’s why she decided to take a step back and look for other ways to work with children and mentor them. This lead her to work with Soaring Eagle Nature School.

Kyra Burkart

Kyra Burkart

Mentor

Forest Learners Program, Monthly Nature School

Kyra (she/her/they/them) was raised in Nelson BC on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Sinixt, Ktunaxa, and Syilx Peoples. Growing up with the forest as her playground, she spent her days making fairy houses and collecting snails in her backyard. She credits her current-day love of nature to her early years exploring the wonders of her environment. In 2016, Kyra moved to Treaty 6 territory to pursue a degree in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta, where she experienced the importance of nature literacy in developing deeper connections to the environment. She often missed her bus to ID the plants or follow the bird calls that she learned in her classes.

In 6th grade, her teacher told her class, “I became a teacher because I hated school,” and looking around, she noticed this was a common experience for many of her peers. Ever since, she has dreamed of becoming an educator who inspires a love of learning by creating engaging, inclusive experiences for all students. During her undergrad, Kyra worked as an Outdoor Educator and Naturalist, and in 2020, Kyra moved to Musqueam territory for UBC’s Teacher Education Program. As an environmental educator and certified teacher, she has been inspired by the power of nature-based education in creating engaging, student-centred learning experiences that foster curiosity and excitement for learning.

Bianca Trevizan Segovia Da Silva

Bianca Trevizan Segovia Da Silva

Mentor

Monthly Nature School

Bia (she/her) grew up in Brazil on the Indigenous lands of the Guarani, Ñandeva Guarani, Mbya Guarani, and Kaingang. Growing up and watching a Brazilian tv show that talked about ecology every Saturday morning, she developed a passion for nature that led her to pursue studies in the environmental field.

When visiting Vancouver in 2013 for a congress, she fell in love with the city. Since moving to Vancouver in 2017, a new journey began. From being excited to see snow for the first time to working as a researcher investigating the microbiome of seagrass leaves, she now gets to work with amazing kids in nature.

Bia enjoys hiking, cooking, dancing, and is learning how to longboard.

Laura Mackey

Laura Mackey

Mentor

Monthly Nature School

Laura (she/her) is a settler grateful to have grown up on Nipmuc, Pawtucket, and Massachusett land on the east coast of what is now known as the United States. As a child, she loved to stomp around in the rocky streams of the White Mountains, and she feels thankful to have felt the love of the land from a young age.

While completing her BSc in Environmental Science at McGill, Laura worked as both a nanny and an ecology researcher. Her favorite research project, which studied Mountain Huckleberry fruiting, prepared her well for a life of berry-picking on the west coast.

Since moving to Vancouver, Laura can be found eating blackberries, searching for slugs, and working with kids to encourage their curiosity and love for the land and water.

Fábio Mercadante Mortari

Fábio Mercadante Mortari

Mentor

Monthly Nature School

Fábio (he/him) was born and grew up on the traditional territories of Guarani Mbya and Tupi-Guarani
(Ñandeva and Kaiowá) in São Paulo, Brazil. He graduated in law and advertisement and followed a legal career for 35 years as a corporate lawyer until moving to Canada and starting to bring his work closer to nature and children.
He is the fifth of six siblings in a family that has always been close to education. His relatives owned a kindergarten in Brazil, in which he was the first male employee. This proximity helped him to explore diversity in educational systems, work environments, and personal life. He has two daughters, 13 and 11, currently at the Vancouver Waldorf School.
Fábio found Canada to be the perfect scenario for his outdoor passions. You can find him on hikes into the rainforest, paddling around the Salish Sea, and riding his bicycle through the BC coastal line. He also has a personal goal of swimming in every BC lake! In Portuguese, Spanish or English, he will meet and greet people along the way and find joy in every interaction.
He also volunteers in organizations that care for children, and is an enthusiastic ski instructor for disabled youth and, as he says, what can be more rewarding than a big smile between snowballs?

Hannie Chia

Hannie Chia

Mentor

Monthly Nature School

Hannie (she/her) grew up on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. During her childhood, she spent weekends hiking and making annual trips to Yosemite (Ahwahnechee) and Lake Tahoe (Nisenan and Washoe) with her family. In college, she was involved in the outdoor orientation program backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas and loved connecting with people surrounded by nature.

When she started working, she took a departure from the natural world and moved to New York City (Lenape), working in various art museums and organizations, collaborating with young people, artists, and the community. She loved exploring accessible ways of learning and became passionate about more unconventional ways of teaching.

Her two young children have been attending forest schools for the past few years and most recently in Young Sprouts. Their experience inspired her to apply for the Apprenticeship Program and to return to her love for nature. With her children and her recent teaching experiences, she has been able to bring her past experience in arts and education to the table. She has found nature to be the perfect environment for young people to learn how to build resilience, character, and knowledge with each other, their mentors, and their surroundings.

Hannie loves spending time with her two children making projects using all types of found materials, walking around the forest, cuddling with her cat, and learning how to use a sewing machine.