Naturalist Interns

Our 2017-2018 Naturalist Interns started their year off with a staff training in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Learn more about them below.

Interns Big Trees.jpg

Andie Conlon (Lupine)


Andie graduated from Santa Clara University with a BS in Environmental Science and a concentration in Applied Ecology. During undergrad she conducted field research twice, first in Costa Rica and then in South Africa. These experiences solidified her passion for studying and working in different ecosystems, whether the focus was on wildlife conservation, ecology, or sustainability - and she’s even more excited to share this passion with kids! In her free time, she loves all things outdoors (kayaking, biking, hiking). Her other passions include spontaneous dance parties, eating Ben & Jerry’s, and playing with her two doggies.

Clayton Lenz (Delta)


Clayton was born and raised in Stockton California with his parents and older brother Will. He graduated from Chico State in May with a major in Recreation Parks and Natural Recourse Management. His outdoor and education experiences consist of volunteering at after school programs, working at the Yellowstone Lake Lodge, and being the Beach Maintenance Intern at the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. Growing up his family spent a lot of time at Lake Tahoe, and this is where he grew to enjoy the outdoors, hiking, and rock climbing. Some of his other hobbies include snowboarding, camping, and music. He is extremely excited to teach others about the areas he loves and grew up in. 

Emily Van Wagoner (Ember) Emily.jpg

Emily was born and raised in Ohio and attended University of Vermont for college.   She earned a bachelor’s of science in environmental studies and health. This past year, she served as an AmeriCorps member in Washington State. She found a passion for experiential education by teaching outdoor science classes in school gardens, along with cooking lessons, at two elementary schools.  She loves to hike, train for triathlons, and cook. She thanks a backpacking trip leader and high school teacher for inspiring her to care for the planet. In return, she is excited to spark an interest for science, stewardship and adventure in students at the Sierra Outdoor School.​

Emma Woodworth (Willow)


Emma was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, and holds a B.S. in Biology-Environmental Studies from Whitman College in Washington. She is a self-declared plant nerd and has spent as much of her life as she can in the wilderness, backpacking and canoeing. Her varied background includes working as a trail guide, a plant identification lab assistant, willow researcher, writing tutor, yarn shop salesperson, field camp manager, and medical scribe. She likes to read, knit, bake, write letters, and play in the outdoors. She is excited to share her love of the natural world with kids and get them to try new experiences

Marie Soderbergh (Dipper)


Marie is a Southern California native. She received a degree in Anthropology & Sociology from Lake Forest College in Illinois. She has volunteered as an elementary school teacher in China and has worked as an after school tutor in Chicago. She was also a Biological Field Technician on multiple avian projects. While doing so, she came to realize the joy she felt while teaching the biology and conservation of birds. She spent the winter teaching with the Bird School Project, in Santa Cruz, CA and also the LA Audubon Society in their wetlands education ecology program. She is excited to work with the Raptors at SOS and teach the visiting students about the important role they play in the ecology of the forest!

Raquel MacSwain (Rocky)


Raquel grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota and attended Ripon College where she received a degree in Psychology. These past two years, she has served as an AmeriCorps member with Partners for After School Success (PASS) in Madison, WI and College Possible in Saint Paul, MN by working with middle, high school, and college-aged students. She is a strong believer in children getting outside and learning hands-on education because of the ever growing presence of technology. You can find Raquel hiking, taking photos, journaling, reading, or trying something new.

Scott Maas (Newt) Scott.jpg

Scott was born in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a BS in Environmental Education and Interpretation. Last fall, he worked for the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station providing environmental education experiences to students throughout central Wisconsin. In the summer of 2016, Scott worked at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont as an Environmental Education Intern. He is really excited to join the naturalist team at Sierra Outdoor School as an intern. Scott loves to go hiking, backpacking, camping, boating, swimming and just being outdoors. He is very excited to help anyone that comes to Sierra Outdoor School have a great time and find their second home.

Sarah Johanson (Sorrel)


Sarah is originally from Minnesota but graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a BS in Wildlife Ecology: Information and Education and minors in Captive wildlife and Biology (Whew, what a mouthful!). She loves working with wildlife and understanding how we are all connected, and sharing her knowledge with children and adults alike. In the past, she has worked with a wide variety of wildlife from Foxes to Tigers and Eagles to Dolphins! When she’s not teaching kid about the phenomenons of the natural world, she also enjoys dance, photography, painting and longbow archery.    

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