Eli grew up in a rural county in central NC where he was nurtured by Zaboomafoo and a subscription to Zoobooks. He eventually moved out of the country into suburbia as he continued his education at Davidson College. Though subjected to a wide variety of classes at the small, liberal arts school, his passions never strayed too far from animals and Biology. Eli volunteered at his school’s Herpetology Lab, and he found that though research was not really his thing, he loved bringing animals to people and educating them about conservation and ecology.
Max is from just outside Harrisonburg Virginia. He grew up tromping through the forests of the Shenandoah Valley. His upbringing fostered a deep connection for the natural world that only grew. He attended Ferrum College, tucked in the mountains of south-west Virginia and graduated with a B.S of Recreation Leadership. During his time at college he found his calling working at summer camps teaching youth. Since then he has worked at six camps in four different states.
Emma calls Maryland her home. She has always loved being outdoors and spent her childhood swimming in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. As time passed, a love for the environment, animals, and all things that involved the ocean grew. This passion led her to the eastern shore where she studied Environmental Science and Biology at Salisbury University. While there, Emma participated in an internship with Ladew Gardens that involved building a butterfly house and educating the public on native and non-native species.
Growing up in Greensboro, NC, Katie spent her childhood writing, playing the violin, and exploring the woods behind her house. She also went on many family vacations to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Carolina coast. While in high school Katie took an Environmental Science class and discovered her love of both environmental science and experiential education.
Madeleine was born and raised in Charlotte. She spent most of her childhood exploring the woods and New River at her family's cabin in West Jefferson, NC or searching for shells in Sunset Beach, NC. Madeleine first discovered her love of our coastal ecosystem in high school, where she took an oceanography course (and actually came to Sound to Sea for a field trip!). She then moved closer to the coast to attend college at UNC Wilmington where she studied Marine and Conservation Biology.
Samantha grew up in New York City as a maker with a love for the arts and sciences. During her time at Hunter College she double majored in art and biology. She loved ceramics, painting, sculpture and dancing. She used science to inspire her work to show the beauty of living things while making scientific topics more accessible. Those skills were then applied to her work in museums, though designing interactive exhibits, and learning to teach with a playful persona. She decided to move to North Carolina to experience all of the things she saw in textbooks and exhibits in real life.
Taylor is the only local instructor of the bunch coming from Beaufort, North Carolina. Growing up in such a small town with not much to do, but a slew of different plants is what spawned her love for nature. From a very young age she always knew that she wanted to be a teacher of some sort. In December of 2018, Taylor graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Environmental Studies. While pursuing her college degree, she did research on wetlands, hurricanes, and how humans interact with the environment.
Logan hails from Yadkin County, North Carolina and grew up calling the Blue Ridge foothills home. As a young lad, he wandered the boundless backyards of his family and friends, finding inspiration in outdoor pursuits and giving him a zeal to defend those wild places. A career path to foster similar relationships with the environment was launched following a Bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from NC State University.