Certified by the California Department of Education
The Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School is regularly certified by the California Department of Education to provide outdoor science field study programs, and is a member in good standing of the California Outdoor School Administrators (COSA).
Shaun Hawke, Lead Teacher: Shaun grew up in west Los Angeles, but loved visiting beaches and mountains. She earned her Bachelor’s degree, as well as a graduate certificate in education, from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also has training as an Emergency Medical Technician. She taught for Santa Clara County’s outdoor science program and for National Audubon’s Camp in the Rockies. She has worked for L.A. County Outdoor Science Schools for 22 years, opening three different sites as the lead teacher. Shaun likes flowers, watching waves and hiking, so she loves working in gorgeous Malibu.
Kyle Rector: Kyle was introduced to the outdoors as a young child and spent much of his time exploring the deserts mountains and beaches of California growing up. His passion for nature led him to pursue a degree in Zoology from UC Santa Barbara, graduating in 2014. After graduating, Kyle began his career in Outdoor Science Education at a camp in the Northern Sierra Nevada before moving to Orcas Island, WA for a similar position teaching students about the ecosystems found in the San Juan Islands, where he also led teen expedition kayaking programs during the summer. He began working for LACOSS January 2017, and looks forward to a new year showing students the wonders of the natural world around Malibu. When not working with students, Kyle loves to kayak, swim, and find new places to eat in the city.
Cisco Palmer: Cisco has always loved the outdoors. He grew up in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley which was the perfect setting for him to grow up exploring local creeks, ponds, woodlots and fields. He earned a B.S. in biology at Virginia Tech and shortly thereafter began his teaching career, first as a substitute teacher, then as a tutor and eventually as a middle and high school science teacher. His love for outdoor education began when he went to Massachusetts and worked a season with Nature's Classroom. In 2004 he moved to California to be an outdoor science school instructor with Orange County Outdoor Science School. After six years with their program, he moved on to LA County Outdoor Science School, and this is his sensational seventh year with LACOSS! His hobbies include birding, hiking, fishing (especially fly fishing), exploring and guitar.
Brieanna English: As a Californian native, Brie grew up with a passion for the ocean and an overall love for nature. Brie earned her degree in Biology from Pepperdine University; and feels fulfilled sharing that knowledge with the youth. Her weekends are spent surfing, making skateboards, kayaking or diving. Brie is very excited to share her passion with the students this year at the Malibu Outdoor Science School.
Rebeca Irigoyen: Rebeca has always loved being outdoors. There is so much to learn and discover! She grew up in downtown Los Angeles where it's always "go, go, go" and not so much "stop, and look at what's around you". The highlights of her weekends were spending the days at the beach, camping, or hiking with family. Out of all the ecosystems in the world, her favorite is the open ocean because it's where whales are found! She graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz. She was an instructor at the Seymour Center in Santa Cruz and realized that teaching kids marine science and how to protect the environment is her true passion! It's her first full year with LACOSS and is really grateful that she has the opportunity to work with kids and teach them the awesomeness that is nature! In her free time, Rebeca likes to hike, camp, whale watch, color, read, and watch movies.
Ally Schachner: Ally considers herself an explorer, educator, and pun enthusiast. She grew up in North Carolina and spent her childhood camping, hiking, and exploring the creek near her home. Summers always included a trip to the beach which has since become her happy place. Ally's love for the ocean led her to earn a B.S. in Marine Science at the University of South Carolina, where she discovered her love for teaching in a nontraditional setting. After graduating college she was inspired to step out of her comfort zone and go exploring. She packed up her life on the east coast to pursue a career in outdoor education here in California. This is Ally's second year working at LACOSS, and she can't wait to continue to share her passions with those around her!
Alec Douglas: For as long as Alec can remember, he has spent his free time romping through woods, climbing mountains, and getting his toes wet on the coast. In keeping with these interests, Alec received his Bachelor's degree in Geology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He has since worked as a backpacking guide and naturalist at environmental education programs in North Carolina, Rhode Island, and California. These experiences have given him a passion for sharing the natural world through hands-on teaching and learning, and a love for getting students into the outdoors. When he is not teaching, Alec spends his time surfing, backpacking, and expanding his knowledge in nature.
Adam Wickstrom: Adam was born in Indiana and attended college at Indiana Wesleyan University. After living in Indiana surrounding by corn fields Adam WAS extremely excited to live and work with students so near to the beach! Since college Adam has had the opportunities to work with students in settings ranging from cruise boats, the mountains, and now the beach. Adam is on his second year at LACOSS and is excited to be able to share his love of learning with our students.
Khalena Wise: Khalena grew up on a small farm in Pennsylvania and spend her childhood traveling, working and learning how to work hard and play hard in the outdoors! Through those experiences she developed a great love for the outdoors, experiential education, science and traveling through weekly family hikes and road trips to national parks. Khalena earned her bachelor of science degree in Parks and Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. Since then Khalena has been working at camps and environmental education programs all across the country sharing her love of education, science and the great outdoors.