Wenatchee Naturalists in the classroom

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Wenatchee Naturalists who are teachers apply what they have learned within their classrooms. Teachers earn a 20+ hour service pin by introducing east-side Cascade Mountains geography, plants, animals, & ecosystems with their students.  Read some of their stories.

Sally Knipfer: 7th grade science

knipfer classroom
20+ hours: Sally Knipfer: 7th grade science teacher, Pioneer Middle School, Wenatchee School District. Designed and led a field-based unit so 30 students could learn to collect scientific data in the field, and what living and non-living factors can be found in the ecosystem at Saddle Rock. The class spent one day at Wenatchee River Institute learning how to gather data about plants, animals, weather, and soils, prior to designing and conducting their own fieldwork. 2013-2014 school year.

The Wenatchee Naturalist course gave me confidence to take students outside,” and the value of collaborating with people who are passionate about our community and shrub-steppe ecosystems. – Sally Knipfer


Joan Adams, 7th grade science teacher

joan adams class room
20+ hours: Joan Adams, 7th grade science teacher at Icicle River Middle School, Leavenworth. Led her students in a project to renovate the school’s native plant garden by weeding non-natives, thinning and trimming existing native plants, applying mulch to suppress weeks, and installing permanent plant markers with scientific and common names for 40 species in the garden. April-Oct, 2013


Deb Noble, teacher at Sunnyslope Elementary School

Deb Noble teacher
20+ hours: Deb Noble, teacher at Sunnyslope Elementary School, Wenatchee, WA., 1998-2015. With the help of community educators, Deb designed and taught new lessons in the school garden with students/parents about native pollinators, their role in the vegetable seed production, and use of insects, both beneficial and harmful, as part of the garden as habitat.


Daniz Lopez, teacher at Lewis & Clark School

dania lopez

Nancy Navarro-Ortiz, Daniz Lopez, Adelita Solis

20+ hours: Daniz Lopez, teacher at Lewis & Clark School, Wenatchee. Daniz attended a training as a step toward enrollment in the Woodland Park Zoo’s Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) Master’s Degree for Teachers in Biological Sciences.

AIP is an inquiry and field-based Master’s program. Daniz and 2 other Wenatchee Naturalist co-teachers, Nancy Navarro-Ortiz and Adelita Solis, are planning to apply as a team, in order to enhance science learning by K-5th graders at Lewis and Clark. Feb, 2014-present.


Hana Butler- Wenatchee School District Tech Center

hana butler
50+ hours: Hana Butler. Used the Wenatchee Naturalist curricula as a spring-board to design and teach a year-long, field-based natural resources high school class, with a 3-week summer program, for the regional technical learning center, serving students 16-20 years old.. Students to earn credit while engaging with relevant, meaningful projects that help enhance and sustain our natural resources. 2013-present.

I have found that many of my students don’t know what the word “naturalist” means or they associate it with a ‘hobby’ and people who are kind of hippies or ‘dorky.’ My work is creating programming that engages youth in hands-on interactions with their community and environment in order to foster a sense of belonging, stewardship and a desire for life-long learning. – Hana Butler


Alison Haug, 5th grade teacher

alison haug
20+ hours Alison Haug, Columbia Elementary School Wenatchee. 5th grade teacher. Volunteer and board member for Central Washington Chapter, Evergreen Mountain Biking Alliance.

“As far as applying the Naturalist Class, I definitely feel that it has made me a much more well-rounded teacher of 5th grade science.

I feel like I have more ability to modify my lessons if needed and have a better understanding of the Next Generation standards because I have a better understanding of how nature and systems within nature operate. Fifth grade also has a huge emphasis on the impact man has on his surrounding environment and the field trips that we went on made that part of their focus. So, whether I’m teaching kids science or out building trail for Evergreen, I’m using a lot of what Susan and other experts have taught me. – Alison Haug

sixth-graders Wednesday at Clovis Intermediate School

Wenatchee World photo/Don Seabrook
Holding fish — in this case pikeminnows — brought on a host of emotions for sixth-graders Wednesday at Clovis Intermediate School. The students were identifying parts of a fish.


Helen Osborne, 6th grade teacher

80 hours: Helen Osborne, 6th grade teacher, Clovis Point Intermediate School, Eastmont School District. Planned, sought funding, organized, collected hands-on materials, invited guest experts wrote lessons, and taught a 4-day environmental education week, focusing on learning about fish, raptors, deer and other wildlife; rocks, plants, forests and forest fires.


Beth Neff, 7th grade teacher

10 hours: Beth Neff, 7th grade teacher, Clovis Point Intermediate School, Eastmont School District. Prepared and presented hands-on lessons about native animal life in North Central Washington

Kristen Bates has earned her Wenatchee Naturalist pin for volunteering 100+hours in support of conservation.

Kristen Bates has earned her Wenatchee Naturalist pin for volunteering 100+hours in support of conservation.


Kristen Bates, NCESD science specialist

100+ hours: Kristen Bates, participated as a citizen scientists on rare plant monitoring at Camas Meadow and bat surveys in Moses Coulee.  She designed and implemented a high school photo monitoring project in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Okanogan County.  Fall, 2012-present.


Matt Honor, Wenatchee Valley College Adult Basic Education teacher

Matt Honor has earned his Wenatchee Naturalist pin for volunteering 20+hours in support of conservation.

Matt Honor has earned his Wenatchee Naturalist pin for volunteering 20+hours in support of conservation.

Matt used the theme of east-side Cascade Mountain wildfire ecology, and took his class to the community Mega-Fires presentation at the Performing Arts Center.  In his free time, Matt is teaching himself to identify edible mushrooms and sharing this knowledge with his friends.


Jan Woodley (retired teacher), substitute elementary teacher, Lewis & Clark Elementary

While serving as a substitute teacher, created and taught integrated art & science lessons about native shrub & tree species.

Teacher Jan Wooley created and taught a lesson to introduce east-side Cascade Moutain native tree & shrub species.

Teacher Jan Wooley created and taught a lesson to introduce east-side Cascade Moutain native tree & shrub species.

Jan Woodly has earned her Wenatchee Naturalist pin for volunteering 20+hours in support of conservation.

Jan Woodly has earned her Wenatchee Naturalist pin for volunteering 20+hours in support of conservation.