Bo Glover Executive Director
Trail building, habitat restoration and leading educational tours as a volunteer marked the early days of Bo’s career at the ENC after moving to California in 1991. Bo is currently the Executive Director of the ENC and has held that position since 1995. When he is not hiking or camping with his family, Bo affiliates himself with a number of worthwhile community organizations. Bo is Past-President of the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) and California Society for Ecological Restoration (SERCAL). He was also a member of the Orange County CREEC Network Advisory Committee, the Chairman of the City of Newport Beach Castaways Park Advisory Committee from 1999 – 2003, a member of the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation Grants Allocations Committee from 1996-2012, and served on the Environmental Board of the City of Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2012. Bo, a LEED Accredited Professional, serves on the Board of Directors of Orange Coast River Park Inc. and is a member of the Market Leader Advisory Board of the OC USGBC. Bo was also recently the recipient of the Lakers Community Champion award, presented by the Lakers and LG Solar on the Court at halftime, to recognize him for his work at the ENC. He received the 2018 Leadership Award from the Association of Nature Center Administrators in September 2018. Always remember… Unless.
Lori Whalen Assistant Director
Lori has worked in the non-profit field for nearly two decades. She joined the ENC staff in 2003. Lori now oversees the ENC’s education programs, and is responsible for the ENC’s marketing and communications, as well as membership/sponsorship and volunteer programs. She also supervises the Horticulture Department and the ENC’s Butterfly House. Previously she has worked for The Nature Conservancy, the City of Huntington Beach, and the Orange County Department of Education. Lori has a BS from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and an MA in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She is a member of the Marketing Committee for the Association of Nature Center Administrators. In her free time she likes to hike, camp, and garden with native plants!
Sue Bierlich Nature Preschool Director
email me | 949-629-1044 ext. 201
Sue has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 35 years. She taught as an Early Childhood Education college instructor for 28 years at Orange Coast College and Fullerton College. Sue has been a child care center administrator for 15 years. She has a BA degree in Child Development specializing as a Child Mental Health Specialist from California State University at Northridge, and a MA degree in Human Development with an Early Childhood Education specialization from Pacific Oaks College. Sue’s thesis focused on the values of nature and outdoor classrooms for preschool age children. She is an Outdoor Classroom Specialist and currently completing additional training with the Outdoor Classroom Project. Sue enjoys seeing children engaged and immersed in nature with hands on learning activities, so they can expand their inquiry, thinking, and knowledge. She loves being involved in a child’s developmental process – like caterpillars turning into butterflies – we nurture them to fly.
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 102
Mindy comes to us with a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and an M.S. in Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, she also earned a certificate in nonprofit management. During an internship at the Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park, Mindy was exposed to writing and executing her own environmental education lessons using the outdoors as a classroom – and she fell in love with it. For over 12 years she has kept busy as an environmental educator and naturalist at a variety of zoos, nature centers, and outdoor schools. Most recently, Mindy was employed by the California Science Center as an Education Program Specialist and at Trash for Teaching as the Director of Creative Programming. She is excited to bring her skills of leadership, professional development, and creative problem solving to the ENC. In her spare time Mindy enjoys traveling, photography, team trivia, and swing dancing.
Heather Johnson Facility Manager
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 107
Heather Johnson is the ENC’s Facility Manager. She has a History degree, with an emphasis on Public and Oral History, from California State University, San Bernardino. With over 10 years of experience in the managerial field, she has valuable organization, quality management, and customer relations skills. In her work, Heather carries the motto of “quality in a service is not what you put into it, it is what the client gets out of it.” In her free time, Heather loves being creative!
Ali Aguarino Facility Maintenance Manager
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 109
Ali has been working in science and outdoor education for almost 20 years. As the Facility Maintenance Manager, he is responsible for the protection and enhancement of the Environmental Nature Center’s grounds including the implementation of improvements and maintenance activities. He also teaches educational programs. Prior to working at the ENC, Ali was the Grounds Keeper and Naturalist for the Orange County Department of Education, where he also taught outdoor science education. He also worked on the Island of Saipan as a Middle School Teacher. Ali received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in the Philippines, where he was born and raised. His hobbies include hiking, photography, bike riding, and gardening.
Valerie Bain Early Childhood Education Specialist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 112
Valerie Bain is an Early Childhood Educator with an extensive background in Child Development. She joined the Environmental Nature Center staff as a Nature Camp Teacher in the Summer of 2009, and joined the staff full time in 2015. Valerie has degrees in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, Psychology and a Master’s in School Social Work, specializing in students with Special Needs. She attended Long Beach City College & California State University Long Beach. Valerie taught preschool at the Long Beach City College Child Development Center for four years & has been immersed in the field of Environmental Education ever since. Valerie loves to connect children & families with nature through hands-on science activities. Her favorite season is summer, when she is an ENC Nature Camp Teacher. In her free time Valerie loves to spend time with her daughter Faith amongst the Redwoods in Big Sur (where she fell in love with nature and camping – Thanks Dad!).
Mark McCormick Education Specialist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 118
After graduating from California State Polytechnic University Pomona with a BA in Political Science, Mark began his career in environmental education with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). His four years with OCDE helped to develop a passion for sharing his love of the outdoors and natural history with students of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. Mark brings this passion and experience to the ENC as our Education Specialist. When not working at the ENC, Mark enjoys cycling, running, and kayaking, preferably with dogs.
Heather Davidson Lead Naturalist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 111
Heather attended Arizona State University where she pursued her passion for the natural world with a BS in Wildlife Ecology. While in school she also worked as a research assistant collecting arthropod samples from riparian communities in the Tonto National Forest and in her spare time volunteered at a neglected and abused horse rescue center. After graduating, she took a job with the Orange County Department of Education, where she developed a love for teaching environmental and social science programs. When she is not enjoying the outdoors, Heather loves to spend her time with family, friends, and her two cats.
Raquel Friedmann Lead Naturalist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 105
Raquel joined our team first as a Naturalist and now works with us full-time primarily teaching programs, managing inventory, and overseeing our nature museum in her Lead Naturalist role. Raquel received a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from George Mason University and then went on to get a MA in International Environmental Policy at Middlebury Institute. She has over six years of experience working for various environmental organizations and substitute teaching in local schools, primarily with preschoolers and Kindergarteners. In her free time Raquel enjoys hiking, reading, beekeeping, and drinking specialty coffee.
Kathy Wiedel Naturalist
Kathy has been a Naturalist at the ENC for over a decade! She discovered that she wanted to be a Naturalist while chaperoning her daughter’s 5th grade field trip. Another mom leaned over and said, “They get paid for this!” Kathy has been hooked ever since. Kathy says: “I never suspected that I would love this job so much and enjoy creating wonder for nature in children.”
Chris Holland Naturalist
Chris began his Naturalist career as a volunteer last year. We loved him so much that we hired him! When Chris is not teaching he is a Residential Sales & Leasing agent at Evergreen Realty and Associates, Inc. He likes the San Diego Chargers and listens to Country Music.
Harmonie Wooley Naturalist
Harmonie Wooley grew up in SoCal and studied graphic design at the FIDM in Los Angeles. She has always had an appreciation for the natural world and in 2013 she and her son signed up for a falconry course. What began as a fun bonding experience between Harmonie and her son turned into deep love and respect of birds of prey! A year later she began volunteering at the Orange County Birds of Prey Center (OCBPC), where she learned all about how to care for, present, and enrich rehabilitated raptors from all over Orange County. Harmonie is now a supervisor at OCBPC where she trains volunteers on raptor-handling skills. She joined our naturalist staff in 2018 and has been bringing birds of prey to several of the ENC’s public, traveling, and enrichment programs. When Harmonie is not at the ENC or OCBPC, she enjoys embarking on new adventures with her family.
Arya Jemal Naturalist
Arya is a recent graduate of Swarthmore College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Growing up in Southern California, she has always been passionate about the environment and volunteered at the ENC as a kid. Arya’s time working with non-profits made her passionate about environmental education and she is excited to pass on her enthusiasm for stewardship, conservation, and activism through teaching. You can find Arya cycling, playing tennis, volunteering with the Sunrise Movement, or sailing tall ships when not at the ENC.
Alex Catling Naturalist
Alex is very passionate about helping others better understand and appreciate the outdoors. She is currently attending Cypress College and plans to transfer to CSULB as a Environmental Science major. She has many years of experience working with children and youth in an outdoor setting. You can find Alex hanging out in her hammock, camping under the stars, snorkeling with garibaldi, or hiking along trails. When she’s not outdoors she’s hanging at home with her dog Chiquita and two cats, Daisy and Logic. Alex hopes to help inspire others to find their own interest and appreciation within nature.
Fiorella Gardella Naturalist
As a Naturalist and Camp Teacher, Fiorella is responsible for teaching outdoor environmental and social science education to children. Her goals are to strengthen students’ awareness and appreciation for the environment, as well as enhance their knowledge of science concepts and protecting the natural environment. Fiorella has more than 9 years of experience as an educator and researcher. She is knowledgeable in sustainability and environmental issues. She gained her experience as a middle school science teacher in Florida and has also taught environmental education summer programs in Peru and California. Fiorella received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Ecology at University of California, Irvine and her Master of Arts degree in Teaching from Miami University.
Joyce Ronson Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Joyce Ronson is a Laguna Beach artist and teacher. She shares art experiences with students to promote awareness of peace, harmony and caring for our world. “I help students find endless inspiration in the beauty of nature. I strive to promote appreciation of the need to take part in caring for the earth we share.” Joyce has a BA in Child Development from University of Pennsylvania, with a minor in French. Previously Joyce was a teacher at Laguna Beach Montessori, where she taught 2-6 year olds.
Nadia Kelly Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Nadia has graduated from Long Beach City College, with her Associates degree in early childhood education. She plans on continuing her education at Cal State Long Beach in the fall to get her bachelors. She has two years of experience working at a pre-school. Since Nadia was a child she has always been interested in learning more about nature. In her free time you can find Nadia roller skating by the beach, or walking her dog Pete!
Karis Simons Assistant Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Karis has been coming to the Environmental Nature Center since she was eleven years old, when she joined the ENC family as a camper. ENC Nature Camp quickly evolved from being a name on a list of camps to being THE camp that Karis always looked most forward to. She joined the ENC team as a Leader in Training (LIT) for four years – her entire High School career – and worked to instill an awareness of nature and the importance of preserving its beauty and wonder in our Campers. Karis also worked for years as an ENC Animal Care Intern, caring for our Animal Ambassadors and training countless other interns to do the same. She was awarded the ENC Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018. She was inspired by her time as an LIT to take college classes in early childhood education, and when the ENC Nature Preschool opened in September she was hired as a Nature Teacher.
Vanessa “Nessie” Sener Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Nessie has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks School of Education. She has been a Pre-K teacher for 17 years and has been a longtime advocate for animals, nature and the environment. Nessie strives to build positive and caring relationships with children by offering meaningful and open-ended experiences. She enjoys spontaneous adventures, travel, DIYing, and is always up for FUN!
Jordyn Bush Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Jordyn earned her associates degree in Early Childhood Education and preschool teacher certificate this past year and has worked in the field for three years. She has a smart and curious four year old who inspires her to achieve her goals and strive for an environment that is best for her and our future generation. Jordyn believes that this starts with an appreciation of the natural world. Jordyn is still attending school, but when she has free time she loves to spend it outside, marveling at nature’s beauty.
Morgan Hall Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Morgan will earn her Elementary Teaching degree in Fall 2019 and has already earned her preschool teacher certificate. She has worked at the Orange Coast College Harry and Grace Steele Children’s Center over the past year. Morgan is passionate about fostering and nurturing children’s connection to nature and the environment, and searching for new ways to create a love for learning at an early age. In the fall, she will be working at the ENC Nature Preschool as a teacher in the Bear Room. In her free time she enjoys hikes with friends, yoga, and reading.
Gianna Shreve Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Gianna earned her BA in Child Development and Family Studies from California State University Long Beach. She has enjoyed teaching preschool aged children for the past five years. Gianna grew up on a farm in Montana during her early years and appreciates the value of introducing children to the beauty of nature. She loves snowboarding, hiking, camping and spending time at the beach.
Larissa Hacke Assistant Little Naturalist Camp Teacher
Larissa has been in the Early Childhood Education field for 5 years. She graduated from Orange Coast College with an Associates Degree and a Certificate in Infant and Toddler Development. She has five years of experience working in the toddler classroom of a local preschool. In the fall she will be continuing her education, pursuing a BA in Infant and Adolescent Development at Cal State Fullerton. Larissa will also be a teacher in the Tortoise Room at the ENC Nature Preschool. Larissa loves to explore nature and all of the learning opportunities it holds for children. She is a big kid at heart!
Board of Directors
Rick Wandrocke, President
Chris Bosley, V.P. Finance / Treasurer
Bob Kelly, co-V.P. Education and Site
Robert House, co-V.P. Education and Site
Arthur Jeppe, V.P. Board Governance
Christopher Blank, Secretary