ALNC UPDATES

Welcome! Our facility is open on weekdays from 9am to 4pm and on weekends from 10am to 2pm.

Wearing a face mask indoors is optional. Because we are a childcare facility and follow public health protocols, we have limited access to some public offerings and areas of our facility. We appreciate your patience as we work to find a healthy balance of access and safety for our community.

As always, our grounds and trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

Education & Program Staff

Aldo Leopold Nature Center (ALNC) is fortunate to have a dedicated team of Environmental Educators with a variety of backgrounds, who use their knowledge of local flora and fauna and their passion for environmental education to carry out our mission to engage and educate current and future generations, empowering them to protect, respect, and enjoy the natural world. ALNC Environmental Educators (EEs) have significant experience working outdoors with children and backgrounds in a wide variety of fields. All EEs have been through a thorough background check, are certified in Standard First Aid and CPR, and are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.

To meet out Nature Preschool Staff, please visit our Nature Preschool Staff page.

 

Environmental Educators

 
Brian

Brian (Field Trips, Nature School)
Brian grew up traveling around the state of Wisconsin with his family and exploring the many landscapes the state has to offer. Originally from Wauwatosa, WI, he has spent the past 9 years in Madison after getting his bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin. Brian’s experience in environmental education started in college where he was a camp counselor for UW Camp Kesem and a nature club leader for middle school students in Madison. He has been an environmental educator at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center for more than 6 years and has enjoyed leading backpacking, canoeing, and camping trips, as well as working camps and field trips with kids of all ages. Brian believes every day spent outside leads to new discoveries and that connecting with nature is an integral part of education. In his free time Brian enjoys birding, photography, camping, playing sports, and cheering on the Badgers, Brewers, Bucks, and Packers.

 
Doug 150 x 150

Doug (Field Trips)
Doug has been a part-time environmental educator at ALNC since 2013. He is a retired middle school science teacher and forester. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service for several years in Minnesota and Idaho. He recently completed the Wisconsin Master Naturalist program and enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends hiking, bird watching, and bicycling. When not exploring the outdoors, he can often be found juggling a variety of objects as he is also a seasoned performer.

 
 
 
Jillian

Jillian (Field Trips, Nature Club)
Jillian was born and raised in Milton, WI and developed her love of nature from camping in Wisconsin State Parks as a kid, and exploring the outdoors with her family. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and Conservation and a minor in Environmental Science from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Even though she has been a naturalist at heart since she could walk around her backyard, Jillian started working as a naturalist for the WI DNR at Council Grounds State Park in 2017. There she discovered her passion for sharing her love of nature with others, especially children! She started at ALNC in 2021 teaching summer camps and Nature School. Jillian loves frogs, birds, plants, insects, and all Wisconsin wildlife. She enjoys bird watching, hiking, kayaking, gardening, and a good campfire.

 
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Maggie (After-School, Field Trips)
Maggie comes to ALNC from New England by way of Idaho. She spent the past year getting her master’s in environmental education and science communication at the University of Idaho’s McCall Field Campus. Prior to that, Maggie spent 4 years in Vermont completing her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. While in the Green Mountain state, she worked as a conservation crew leader, a reporter for a small-town newspaper, a coordinator for a mountain bike summer camp, and did research on effective science education in schools. She has also send time in Panama researching community based eco-tourism. Maggie’s passion for environmental education is rooted in helping folks tall and small nurture a caring relationship with the natural world. In her free time, Maggie enjoys Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, running (but never up hills), drawing, napping, eating popcorn, and drinking raspberry tea!

 
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Melissa (Field Trips, Nature School)
Melissa has been at ALNC since 2016 and has been in the teaching profession for 16 years, having taught in California for several years before returning back home to Wisconsin. She loves spending time outdoors exploring new places and adding birds to her life list. If she’s not working, she’s usually spending time with her family or out birding in and around Madison.

 
 
 
 
Natalie 150 x 150

Natalie (After-School, Field Trips)
Natalie is a Madison native who grew up camping, hiking, and otherwise exploring the outdoors. She is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Management from UW Superior. In her spare time, Natalie can be found biking, birding, or spending time with friends and family.

 
 
 
 
Nate Hinahara 150 x 150

Nate (After-School, Field Trips)
Getting equal joy from the lakes of Minnesota as the waterfalls of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Nate’s bi-cultural upbringing fostered an early appreciation of diversity in humans and the greater community of life. He is passionate about social and environmental justice, as well as community living and positive youth development. They got involved in youth work while getting a bachelor’s in Biology and Environmental Sciences from UW-Madison, and now have nearly five years experience as the Teen Program Coordinator at a local neighborhood center. They also have nearly a decade of cooperative living experience in Madison, including being a co-founder of the housing co-op where they currently reside. Nate enjoys frolicking in the prairie, and spending quality time with his wife and daughter.

 
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Rowan (Field Trips, Nature Club, Nature School)
Rowan grew up exploring Madison’s city parks as well as visiting the woods, prairies, and lakes all around Wisconsin. These early introductions to the outdoors created a love for being and learning in nature and a passion to help others have these opportunities as well. In 2020 Rowan graduated from Northland College with a bachelors degree in Outdoor Education with an emphasis on equity and inclusion. Rowan has spent time working with preschoolers to teenagers leading summer camps, after school programs, and overnight trips. In their free time Rowan loves to garden, swim, cook, and craft!

 
 
 

Weekend Environmental Educators & Community Assistants

 
Alexus K 150 x 150

Alexus
As a child, Alexus spent majority of her time playing soccer throughout Wisconsin and the midwest. In 2021, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography and Environmental Studies and a certificate in Asian American Studies. She is passionate about understanding and advocating for human rights issues through an intersectional lens. Alexus’ environmental interests include birding, studying soundscapes, and documenting phenology. Otherwise, Alexus spends most of her free time playing video games, binge watching the latest shows, and going to concerts with friends.

 
Courtney Gamer 150 x 150

Courtney
Courtney grew up in Wisconsin where her love for wildlife and green landscapes fostered. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020 with a BS in Environmental Studies and a BS in Elementary Education. Her environmental interests include biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration and sustainability. She also enjoys exploring new plant-based recipes, drinking coffee, and coaching + playing volleyball.

 
 
Ilsa Spencer 150 x 150

Ilsa
Ilsa grew up in New Zealand and Wisconsin, where she developed a passion for being outdoors and caring for the environment. She graduated in 2019 from UW-Madison with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and Geography. She enjoys hiking, camping, fitness, and reading.

 
 
 
Kaitlin Knudson 150 x 150

Kaitlin
After spending her formative years trailing toads, turtles, and butterflies, Kaitlin earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from UW-Madison and, a few years later, a masters in education from Colorado State University. She has taught science, cultural studies, and literacy in both formal and informal educational settings, all in pursuit of helping people understand and feel community with the natural world. In working at ALNC, Kaitlin feels lucky to be able to help people of all ages build resiliency, connect, and heal through spending time in nature. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, gardening, and learning new ways to be a good citizen of planet earth.

 
Lily Zander 150 x 150

Lily
Before graduating in 2021 with a B.S in Environmental Science and a B.A in Spanish, Lily spent the majority of her time helping out on her family’s organic farm in South Central Wisconsin. While in college, she founded THINKponics, which is currently partnered with Rooted Inc. and Engineers for a Sustainable World as a social impact and environmental justice program dedicated to STEAM education and career exploration for underrepresented youth in Madison. When not helping out on the farm or with the THINKponics project, Lily can be found cooking, appreciating maps, learning new languages, or reading by the lake when the weather is warm.

 

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Olivia
Olivia recently graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geography and Sustainability Studies. She has always had a big passion for the natural world, and a special interest in ocean and marine conservation. She is very excited to be apart of ALNC and she hopes to spark an environmental passion in children like the one she had as a young girl. She recently worked for an environmental and sustainable development charity in London, where she was able to work with like-minded individuals and create sustainable connections abroad. Thus, she plans to obtain her Master’s degree back in the UK. In her free time, Olivia enjoys going to concerts, dancing, spending time with loved ones (especially her two puppies), and traveling as much as possible.

 

Doug 150 x 150

Doug Davis (Field Trips)
Doug has been a part-time environmental educator at ALNC since 2013. He is a retired middle school science teacher and forester. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service for several years in Minnesota and Idaho. He recently completed the Wisconsin Master Naturalist program and enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends hiking, bird watching, and bicycling. When not exploring the outdoors, he can often be found juggling a variety of objects as he is also a seasoned performer.
 
 
 
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Sarah Glover (Field Trips, Nature School, Vacation Days)
Sarah grew up exploring nature and catching all kinds of animals in Alabama, and is excited to be doing the same with campers at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Before moving to Wisconsin, Sarah earned an MS in Environmental Management and Conservation and worked as an intern with the Forest Service. Sarah loves seeing the kids at ALNC light up over anything from an ant to a turtle!

 
 
 
 
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Nicole Katalinick (Afterschool Nature Club, Field Trips, Vacation Days)
Nicole loves to share in exploring and learning about the outdoors with others. Wisconsin is so beautiful and she’s proud to call it her home state! Her wish is that we would all be renewed by the wonders of nature in every season.

 
 
 

Aldo Leopold Nature Center