Outdoor School Staff

DSC08959 2PamRick 2014

All staff at Walker Creek Ranch are employees of the Marin County Office of Education and are carefully screened, background checked and certified in First Aid and CPR.  The school staff are professional educators whose top priority is the safety and well being of each individual student.  They are dedicated, positive individuals who know how to make learning hands-on, fun and inclusive.  Each is truly gifted in their abilities to teach young people about our connection to one another and the natural world.

Pam Gambonini: Administrative Assistant
Pam is a native Petaluman!  She has enjoyed the many clients that have made Walker Creek their home for the past 20 years.  She enjoys swimming, kayaking, dancing, and Lake Tahoe!


Hoot (Rick): Naturalist
Hoot grew up in Campbell California, and has been leading students at Walker Creek for longer than he can remember.  He loves telling stories, music, hiking, biking, and hanging out with his cat. 

Otter (Allie): Naturalist 
Allie hails from Southern California, a place of mighty oaks and little rain. In her college years, she dappled in Maine before returning to the golden state for her degree in Environmental Studies and Art History from Scripps College. At the ranch, Allie couldn't decide if her nature name identity was more of a river otter or sea otter. That is, not until one fateful day when she was creekside with a group of 20 students. On that foggy morning, everyone heard a splash and looked up to witness a river otter running through the shallow water, plunging into the creeks pools, and staring back at the group with playful curiosity. From then on, she knew. At the ranch, Allie's favorite naturalist moments are witnessing students catch dragonfly nymphs at Turtle Pond, and witnessing the students' proud expressions from the top of Walker Peak. In her free time, there is a 97.3% chance she is reading, writing, printmaking, or searching for a spot to swim in Tomales Bay. 

Paws (Jordan): Extra-Hire Naturalist 
Jordan grew up in a very warm place in the middle of California near two rivers. Since then, she has flowed to other rivers, to oceans, rainfall and has now arrived at creek and pond. She really enjoys swimming --  as well as just-picked fruit, movement and mindfulness, getting to know the piano, and connecting with nature.  She loves exploring her surroundings and learning from animals, plants, people, and places and has a background sharing this wonder in preschool classrooms and outdoor classrooms. She is so grateful to learn alongside youth and to land at Walker Creek.

Sunflower (Kristine): Naturalist 
Kristine grew up in the small beach town of Dana Point before she adventured on to UC Santa Cruz, getting her degree in Environmental Studies. There she immersed herself in the study of natural history and fell in love with wild California. She enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, eating, dancing, adventure, all kinds of community, and chasing the sun. She can't wait to share nature with kids.

Chicken (Kaya): Naturalist
Kaya grew up frolicking in the redwoods of Occidental where she fell in love with exploring in nature. She headed to the big city to attend college at UC Berkeley where she got a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies. After graduating she spent a year working with kids doing habitat restoration and teaching watershed science.  She spent her summers working at summer camps and can't wait to get to sing songs every week! She loves cooking, listening to podcasts, swimming, and dancing! 

IMG 5911

Hatch (Adam): Extra Hire Naturalist
Adam came to Walker Creek in 2013, via the travel industry. After many years guiding adventure trips in North, Central, and South America, he realized that his favorite part of the job was seeing young people become deeply excited about the world around them, and that Outdoor Education was a perfect path to seeing that happen! When he’s not hiking the hills of West Marin with students in tow, he can be found guiding groups of all types throughout his favorite parts of California, including Big Sur, the deserts of Southern California, the Eastern Sierras, and the Redwood Empire. During free time he enjoys exploring the same—and more—with his husband and two beloved dogs.

IMG 5651 (2)

Puma (Lillian): Naturalist Intern
Lillian grew up in Richmond, CA and fell in love with the outdoors through summer camp and family camping trips. Outdoor adventure and the community feeling that is so often fostered in organized outdoor activities has made her into the person she is today. She has devoted most of her summers to exposing children to the joys of outdoor adventure as a counselor and teen camp director at Camp Woolman. At Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, she majored in American Studies and blended her love of the outdoors with her passion for social justice through her senior thesis which examined the outdoors as a white space. Lillian is excited to be returning to California to learn and teach at Walker Creek Ranch. When she’s not playing outdoors, Lillian enjoys hanging out with cats, baking cookies and listening to podcasts. 

~ Walker Creek Ranch ~ 1700 Marshall Petaluma Rd. Petaluma, CA 94952 ~ 415.491.6600 ~
A program of the Marin County Office of Education
Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools