Meet the Staff
The Environmental Education Team
Animal Care Assistant & Environmental Educator
Education Dept. Administrator and Registrar
I was born and raised in Stamford, Ct., by the beach with a very large Italian family. Being part of such a big family that spent a lot of time outdoors, I developed a love of nature and children. My parents had an amazing garden filled with all kinds of vegetables, fig trees and beautiful flowers. Thus, I have always loved to garden and be outdoors, especially in the summer.
As one of the oldest children in my family, I was often in charge of child care which I loved. I majored in Early Childhood Development in college, and when I had my first child, opened a licensed home Daycare where I incorporated my love for children and the outdoors. As the owner of this business, I also identified my enjoyment of organizational skills, customer service and administrative management.
After 17 years of running my own business, I was ready for a change and found the perfect opportunity here at the New Canaan Nature Center! Now I am able to support nature and children by using my business acumen, and I couldn’t be happier.
I was born and raised on the mighty Mississippi River in Bettendorf, Iowa, and enjoyed all the natural wonders the Midwest had to offer. I discovered my passion for nature as a child fishing the Boundary Waters, going to summer camp in Northern Minnesota, and playing in the woods next to my house instead of being glued to the television.
I earned a degree in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I furthered my love for the outdoors. I love to travel and see new places, and have thus enjoyed living and teaching in Ohio, Southern California, and Connecticut. My travels and love of travel are a direct reflection of my educational philosophy: Experience is everything! You will never fully understand a person, place or concept until you experience it. I joined the Nature Center in 2010 and whenever possible I love to be out in the natural world and sharing it with others.
Visitor Center Naturalist
I have an unbridled enthusiasm for the natural world, which began in my backyard as a child and extended to the beaches, salt-marshes and other wild places of Long Island. As an adult, that passion translated into hiking and exploring the outdoors, from the heights of the Grand Tetons and the Italian Apennines to more low-lying urban areas like Sydney Harbor, the canals of Bangkok and the entire perimeter of Manhattan, the island I call home. My proudest and most humbling wildlife experience was rescuing a red-tailed hawk that hit a building at 110th St. and Riverside Drive.
For many years I worked as an advertising executive, and since leaving that field have looked for ways to combine my work with my passion for the outdoors. I spent two years as an outfitter at Eastern Mountain Sports before joining the Nature Center. I enjoy greeting and welcoming guests and engaging visitors of all ages. I look forward to helping you connect to the mystery, wonder and magic of the natural world.
Director of Education
My father is a high school science teacher and outdoor enthusiast, so nature and science education have been in my world since I was an infant. I grew up in Buffalo NY and spent most of my time as a child playing, exploring and adventuring in the woods, fields and streams around my home. My curiosity and desire to learn about and enjoy the natural world was insatiable.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology and master’s work in Environmental Education, I headed West to pursue unique, experiential education. I developed a 300-acre wolf education center with 11 captive raised wolves in central Idaho, taught snorkeling, backpacking and rock climbing in the most beautiful parts of California. I also immersed myself in nature-connection based education in Washington State, running programs like Advanced Bird Language, Wolf Tracking, Wilderness Survival and the Art of Mentoring. It was the Art of Mentoring course that brought together all my experiences and inspired my goal of providing nature-connection opportunities to children and adults alike.
As the Director of Education at the New Canaan Nature Center since 2008, I’ve found the ideal forum to express my personal and professional goals. Our programs and events bring me as much joy as they bring the children we teach!
Education Program Manager & Summer Camp Director
Growing up in Georgia, I discovered a love for nature through family trips to regional mountains and lakes, scouting excursions and canoeing through the murky waters of Okefenokee Swamp. I graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor of science degrees in Biology and Psychology.
Since graduating, I have gained invaluable insights working at a variety of environmental education centers and camps across the southeast, Ohio, and Alaska. I’m often known as "Geo" and am an avid outdoorsman who enjoys going on nature adventures with my wife, Angela. I’m continually mesmerized by the little things we can learn from the natural world that surrounds us, and I delight in sharing this knowledge through teaching. I firmly believe in the healing power of nature and feel that helping people to better understand Mother Nature’s mysteries elicits true happiness for everyone – young and old alike.
Visitor Experience Manager & Environmental Educator
Environmental Educator & Birthday Coordinator