15700 Old Oak Ranch Road Sonora, CA 95370  |  (209) 532–3691

Naturalist Interns 2023 -2024

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Portrait of Ashley
Ashley Raynor (Thistle)
Ashley grew up in Modesto California and attended an outdoor school right here in Sonora when she was a sixth grader. Her time there inspired her to come back to Sonora to work in outdoor education. She studied Environmental Science at Brigham Young University. In her free time, Ashley enjoys reading poetry, playing her guitar, and exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Portrait of Daisy
Daisy Asay-Grove (Crawdad)
Daisy has come from Salem, Oregon to join the Naturalist Intern team! She has prior experience traveling around Oregon's preschools to service the Special Education community; as well as working one-on-one with both Special and General Education elementary school students. During her free time she enjoys reading, and suggests her favorite book Pachinko. Daisy also writes, loves to travel, explore nature, do graphic design, and husbandry. Her favorite experience during her travels was swimming with a mother and baby dolphin in Mexico. She is ecstatic to join the team, learn more about California's environment and spark the same love and passion for nature and learning towards the students that will be visiting Sierra Outdoor School!
Portrait of Hannah
Hannah Merdzinski (Nova)
Hannah is from Muskegon, Michigan, which is right next to Lake Michigan and is one of the Great Lakes. She has lived in that area her whole life and has never been to the ocean. Hannah got her Associates degree with her classes focused in biology. Her favorite classes were medical microbiology. In Michigan, she would spend her time at the Great Lakes.
Portrait of Jessica
Jessica Iheaso (Monarch)
Jessica is from Upland, California. She went to Cal State East Bay where she studied Political Science and minored in Dance before pursuing her interests in outdoor education. She spent many summers working at summer camps which eventually led to outdoor schools where she thrived. With her experience working at an outdoor science school, she is eager for this new chapter at Sierra Outdoor School. During her free time she enjoys traveling, dancing, and seeking new adventures.
Portrait of Lauryn
Lauryn Cabral (Cedar)
Lauryn is from Newman, California. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Agriculture and Environmental Plant Sciences with a minor in Restoration Ecology. Her interests in plants began while working in horticulture, but she has since gained experiences in botany field work and various research experiences. During her free time Lauryn loves hiking, learning new things about plants, and writing poetry. 
Portrait of Nico
Nico Sanchez (Springtail)
Nico is from Folsom, CA and just graduated from Santa Clara University, earning a degree in History, and a minor in Biology. He previously worked as an intern at Martial Cottle Park in San Jose, sparking his interest in the outdoor education field. In his free time, enjoys playing video games with friends, hiking, and shopping at thrift stores.
Portrait of Stephanie
Stephanie Longmire (Tumbleweed)
Stephanie is from inner city Detroit, MI. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a focus on Humanities and she recently earned her Master of Social Work with a minor in Political Policy and a focus on Maternity. She has been in California for 1 year living in her shuttle bus. She has a passion for guiding children in their exploration of nature. She loves roller blading, playing her ukulele, and performing Spoken Word poetry.
Portrait of Sydney
Sydney Vaughan (Egret)
Sydney is from Dallas, Texas. She studied Wildlife Management and Conservation at Cal Poly Humboldt in Northern California while also volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility. She gained a passion for education while working as a bird and mammal keeper at the Dallas World Aquarium and performing keeper chats. In her free time, you can find her hiking, swimming in a local river, crocheting, and cooking.
Portrait of Travis
Travis Cosgrave (Roly Poly)
Travis grew up in Davis, California and recently graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He’s been to most of the US states and has decided that California is the best. Travis loves hiking, backpacking, watching sports, making people laugh, and asking questions. He believes the best learning takes place while kids are having fun. If given the opportunity, Travis will talk for hours about his favorite baseball team, the SF Giants.

Become a Naturalist Intern

 For more info on how to apply for the internship click here.
15700 Old Oak Ranch Road
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 532–3691

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