José G. González is the Founder of Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. He is also an illustrator and science communicator.
His commentary on diversity and environmental/outdoor equity has been featured by High Country News, Outside Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and Latino USA, and he engaged in collaborations with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Interior, and the National Park Service during the Obama Administration. Jose also represented Latino Outdoors in several coalitions including the Latino Conservation Alliance, the Next 100 Coalition, and California Parks Now. He has been recognized with several honors, including the National Wildlife Federation Environmental Educator Award, Grist Magazine “Grist 50”, and The Murie Center Spirit of the Muries, among others. You may have also seen him in various outdoor spaces or read his poetic musings.
He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment. You can connect with him on social media @JoseBilingue.
Honorary Director - José G. González
Founder, Director Emeritus - Latino Outdoors
Partner - Avarna Group
Sam H. Ham is Professor Emeritus of communication psychology, sustainable development and international conservation in the University of Idaho's College of Natural Resources, as well as former Director of the Center for International Training and Outreach. In addition, he has served as Deputy Director of the Tourism Research Unit at Monash University, Australia.
Dr. Ham taught graduate courses in communication psychology, sustainable tourism, interpretation, environmental communication, and international issues in nature conservation. His research has focused on travelers’ philanthropy, ecotourism guide training and the application of communication theory to sustainable development, sustainable tourism planning and managing visitor behavior in parks and protected areas. Professor Ham's courses on applied communication theory and interpretive methods are in demand both in the U.S. and abroad. To date, he has conducted training workshops in 48 countries throughout North, Central and South America and in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and the Pacific, reaching a combined audience of 63,000.
He has authored more than 400 publications including two widely acclaimed books on interpretive methods (which have been published in seven languages). In addition, he is executive editor of the Applied Communication book series for Fulcrum Publishing in the US. His newest book, Interpretation—Making a Difference on Purpose, was published in 2013 and is now in four languages. Professor Ham has presented in excess of 100 papers at scholarly meetings throughout the world and has delivered 62 invited keynote addresses on sustainable tourism and strategic communication at international and national conferences and conventions. He is the author of a comprehensive interpretive planning process that has been adopted by national parks, historic sites and private tourism businesses in Scotland, England, Wales, Australia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, as well as by several US land management agencies for application in parks, forests and tourism destination in the U.S.
Professor Ham has served as senior editor of the Journal of Interpretation for which he developed the first editorial policies for peer-review of manuscripts, and as National Research Chair for the National Association for Interpretation and continues to serve on the editorial board of three international research journals.
Dr. Ham has received the University of Idaho's Outstanding Teacher Award, Outstanding Advisor Award, the Inter-fraternity Council's Outstanding Professor Award, the College of Natural Resources' Outstanding Teacher Award, Outstanding Advisor Award, Outstanding Outreach Award, and was 5 times awarded the university's Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence. In 1994 he was recognized with the University of Idaho's Award for Teaching Excellence, the university's highest honor for teaching. In addition, he has received several regional and national awards from the National Association for Interpretation and from U.S. federal land management agencies and was 6 times been selected to the University of Idaho's "International Honor Roll" for faculty. In 1990, he received the National Association for Interpretation's highest honor, the "Fellow" Award," and in 1992 was appointed to the Commission on Education and Communication by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). In 2007 Clemson University honored Professor Ham with the William C. Everhart Award for his lifetime contributions to the environmental communication profession across the world, and in 2010 he was awarded a coveted Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research on communication and climate change adaptation in Australia.
In 2012, Professor Ham was awarded a three-year August T. Larrson Research fellowship by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation, and in 2017 was honored by the Pacific Northwest Region of the National Association for Interpretation as recipient of the Grant W. Sharpe Award.
Honorary Director - Sam H. Ham, Ph.D.
Director Emeritus - University of Idaho
Author - Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose
Elizabeth Hammack is a California State Park Interpreter III Manager overseeing interpretive operations in 32 State Parks in the greater Santa Cruz area, including coastal and mountain area parks and historic sites which reach into San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. She has worked for the California Department of Parks and Recreation for over 30 years. Elizabeth has been a leader in the California State Parks Interpretation and Education Division and is this year’s recipient of the department’s Olmsted Award for Leadership and Vision.
Elizabeth is well known in State Parks for her role as an instructor and has developed several State Park interpretive and management training programs, including Training for Interpretive Trainers, Interpretation Program Coordination and Supervision, and Interpretation Management Practices. In addition to instructing interpretive courses, she teaches volunteer management, partnership skill-building and classes for new California State Park Ranger-Cadets. Elizabeth has inspired many students during her 18-year span as a part-time professor teaching college courses in interpretation, recreation and communications at San Jose State University and West Valley College.
Elizabeth founded and developed many programs during her tenure with State Parks. These include the California State Park Backpacking Adventures program, volunteer-docent programs, Ranger Explorers children’s program and many natural and cultural special events. Elizabeth was instrumental in opening Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz by creating, developing and launching the interpretive operation which flourishes today with living history demonstrations, tours, an animal program and visitor center. She serves as project manager for the design and development of many visitor centers, museums, campfire centers, wayside exhibits and historic sites. Most recently, Elizabeth collaborated with partnership organizations, forming a Kids to Parks program which funds transportation and field trips for Title I low-income schools to visit California State Parks. To expand opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation, she strives to include low-income and youth at-risk programming in the Backpacking Adventures Program by collaborating with the Police Activity League (PAL) of San Mateo County, the Davenport Resource Center for Disadvantaged Youth, and the Wilderness Youth Leadership Program for children with developmental challenges.
Earlier in Elizabeth’s career she worked as shipboard naturalist for the US Forest Service in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, “served time” as an Interpretive Ranger for the National Park Service on Alcatraz Island and worked as Interpretive Ranger for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. She taught environmental education for Santa Clara County School District and Lassen County Office of Education. She developed a science camp for low-income youth for the City of Santa Barbara, avoiding language barriers and transportation issues by utilizing language interpreters and funding all transportation.
Elizabeth is thrilled to collaborate with Saved by Nature to inspire environmental awareness and promote stewardship opportunities for all visitors. She is especially interested in reaching out to those who traditionally do not visit parks and open spaces and could benefit from funding and services that enhance their experience and make these precious resources more accessible to them.
If it wasn’t for Elizabeth Hammack Saved By Nature may not be here. She inspired our Founder to become a park interpreter while he was a student in her 2009 Natural and Cultural Resource Interpretation course. She fueled a dream by providing his first internship as a Park Interpreter at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, which led to his affiliation with the Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project. She would later write a letter so that he’d be considered for his first paid position as Park Aide at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters and Visitor Center.
We are extremely appreciative and as an organization look forward to seeking out and helping those that may need us. Providing opportunity and change that may inevitably lead to another being…. Saved By Nature. Thank you, Elizabeth we are so honored!
Honorary Director - Elizabeth Hammack
Park Interpreter III Manager Santa Cruz District- California State Parks
Teri Rogoway is the Educational Programs Coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority where she manages seasonal educational aides, a corps of 80 docents, and creates an ongoing, engaging educational experience where the public can come and learn about the benefits of Open Spaces. Prior to working for the Authority, she developed her interpretive skills with California State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, San Jose City Parks and the Youth Science Institute; leading programs for park visitors and school groups as well as training other park professionals in interpretation skills.
Her personal passion is creating an all-inclusive experience where everyone can find their place in nature and local parks. She’s had the benefit of being a teacher with the Park Management Program at West Valley College and assisting to teach the Parks Interpretation courses there. She believes strongly in the importance of a college education and has used her Masters in Park Interpretation for Special Needs to train other park and nonprofit professionals in how to adapt and present nature education for people with disabilities. In her spare time, she enjoys studying wildlife behavior and writing fiction.
Director Teri Rogoway - President
Educational Programs Coordinator - Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
Heidi is a seasoned environmental education and interpretation professional with extensive experience in volunteer management. She is currently a professor for the prestigious West Valley College Park Management Program, and previously worked 3 years at the Santa Clara Valley Water District as the Education Outreach Coordinator and served a short time as a Water Conservation Specialist. Prior to that, Heidi spent over 16 years with Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation. In her tenure, she served in increasingly responsible positions: from Park Maintenance Worker, Parks Volunteer Program Coordinator, Park Interpreter, to Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator, and finally Park Interpretive Program Coordinator. In her role with county parks, she grew the county parks volunteer program, as well as contributed to a variety of new interpretive programs, educational curriculum and other materials and media. Heidi also helped to develop the on-line Past Perfect archive program at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum and helped coordinate a number of special events for the parks interpretive program. Additionally, she contributed to a few GIS projects including development of the Trail Assessment Program, mapping the use of IPM practices, and updating the county parks vegetation layer.
Heidi also serves as a trainer and mentor for other field staff and agencies providing quality interpretive instruction, volunteer management, as well as CPR/First Aid training. She develops collaborative community-based relationships with schools, partnerships, and other community-based organizations. While she was the Education Outreach Coordinator at Santa Clara Valley Water District, she provided quality instruction to all grade levels, PreK-College and hosted the State Water Educators Committee meeting. Until recently being hired as full-time faculty for the Park Management Program, Heidi was a long-time adjunct faculty course instructor at West Valley College, since 2004. She currently provides quality instruction, leadership & education for park management related courses such as: 12A Basic Outdoor Skills and 15B Interpretation of Natural & Cultural Resources, 10 Introduction to Park Management,15C Park Maintenance, 14 Conservation of Natural Resources, and 11 Park Communications courses and serves on the Park Management Advisory Board. The program will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020!
Heidi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Education from San Jose State University, and an Associate degree in Park Management & Communications from West Valley College. She is also a Certified Interpretive Trainer (CIT) for the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), Certified CPR/First Aid Instructor with the American Red Cross, certified Leave No Trace Instructor, California Naturalist Instructor, Project WET and Project Learning Tree Instructor, has a certificate in the Forestry Institute for Teachers program, and is a Wilderness First Responder.
When not at work, Heidi enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, backpacking, and traveling near and abroad whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Full-time Faculty - West Valley College Park Management
Emily is a Research Associate at ETR, where she works with local school districts to broaden participation and work towards equity and inclusion in STEM (https://www.etr.org/about-us/our-staff/emily-green/). Strategies include offering computer science pathways in grades 3-8 as well as community college dual enrollment opportunities for high school students.
Previously, she was the director of IRIS Science Academy and founder/educator at Green STEAM Education, both in Scotts Valley, CA. She created and taught environmental, anthropological, and science curriculum for homeschool, after-school, and science camps. This included local archaeology, sustainable food systems, and alternative energy.
Emily’s passion is to bring equitable opportunities of nature, science, and education to all! Living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, falling asleep to the sound of a lazy creek and waking up to the Redwoods, she wants everyone to be able to experience the comfort of nature.
Director Emily Green - Secretary
Research Associate - ETR Advancing Health Equity
Andrea Fraume Valencia has been calling San Jose home since 2005. Born and raised in Colombia, Andrea comes from a family of gente hechada pa’lante and a generation of educators. Andrea is an educator herself and knows first-hand the transformative power of learning from the earth.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014 and worked for a range of nonprofits looking for a way to best serve her communities full-time. From organizing for renters' rights to working with low-income youth, Andrea found her calling after finishing one of Bay Area Wilderness Training’s leadership courses and is now BAWT’s Outreach Coordinator.
She served as a committee member for the Association for Experiential Education's West Regional Conference (WRAEE) on 2018 and is a proud graduate of Youth Outside’s Rising Leaders Program.
Andrea is passionate about making environmental and outdoor education in the Bay Area more reflective of and accessible to our diverse communities.
Director Andrea Fraume Valencia - Grants
Outreach Coordinator - Bay Area Wilderness Training
Elliott is Executive Director of Environmental Volunteers. Founded in 1972, the EV is a leading education nonprofit that annually provides 450+ science programs reaching 8,000+ kids in 50+ local schools. They've accomplish this through the power of our amazing Volunteers who offer creative learning adventures in classrooms, local tide-pools, redwood groves, oak-woodlands, and at our EcoCenter in the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve.
Prior to the EV, Elliott was at The Nature Conservancy where he served as a Campaign Director of the Northern Sierra Partnership and Senior Associate Director of Development for six years. During this time Elliott focused on the landscapes of California, and international strategies including projects in the Solomon Islands, China, Africa, and Palmyra Atoll. Elliott has led or played part in land conservation campaigns protecting land, marine protected areas, rivers, and advancing a variety of environmental education initiatives.
Elliott worked for three years in urban forestry with Canopy and two years in redwood forest conservation with Sempervirens Fund. Since 2009, Elliott has been leading trips and programs for National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and REI. Elliott has a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Maine, with a double major in Environmental Science, History, and a minor in Conservation Biology. Elliott was a Senior Program Officer with El Pomar Foundation where he was part of a three-year fellowship in nonprofit leadership and management. Elliott is a California Naturalist and is often on hikes with his family.