Meet Mount Rainier Institute Staff
Born and raised in beautiful Kentucky, Katie recently graduated with degrees in English and Earth Science from Vassar College. In between her studies, she's led backpacking and kayaking trips everywhere from North Carolina to Alaska and is a trained Wilderness First Responder. She is passionate about conservation, geology, outdoor adventures, and experiential education, and has spent the last seven months leading wildlife research for students in Yellowstone National Park. When not exploring alpine lakes or examining rocks, Katie can be found reading, writing, backing large birthday cakes, building kayaks, and attempting to play the banjo.
While growing up in the sunshine state, Nicole’s love for the outdoors was realized as soon as she met the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, she chose a career path that would allow her to share her passions and inspire the next generation of nature lovers. As an environmental educator, she traveled the country interpreting some of the country’s most special places. Seven states and five years later, she discovered that her life mantra would be to go everywhere, talk to everyone, and eat everything. Nicole is elated to return to the Pacific North West and discover alongside the students at the Rainier Institute.
Earl grew up in and around Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University (BA History) and The University of California – Santa Cruz (MA Sociology) – which has been his home since 2013. Though he will sorely miss the Central Coast, he has plotted/schemed for years to live in Washington and the Mount Rainier Institute represents an exciting opportunity to do that and begin his third year teaching environmental education. Earl enjoys music, snowboarding, rock climbing and rooms lit by lights - ideally the multi-colored variety.
Sylvan grew up in Ithaca, New York and completing his BA in linguistics at Cornell University. Since then, he has slowly been making his way out west, teaching outdoor education in Texas and then Colorado before making his way to Washington. When he’s not teaching, you might find him hiking, juggling, exploring different forms of art, or getting distracted by cool insects.
Calvin graduated from Green Mountain College with a dual degree in Adventure Education and Psychology. He thinks a lot about cultivating environmental literacy and the interplay between nature and wellness. Calvin has worked in the Salish Sea, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and the rivers and mountains of Appalachia as an environmental educator and instructor of expeditionary leadership courses. He has a passion for botany, marine ecosystems, and intra-personal growth. In his spare time you might find him exploring high points by ski or by foot, playing guitar, or reading.