Only the most qualified
Traveling School faculty – past and present- are amazing! They break the mold of traditional teachers and inspire the next generation of changemakers because they are changemakers. Our faculty are just as passionate about diving into dense subjects, asking questions and learning as they are about grabbing a paddle, hiking mountain passes and telling campfire stories. They create the magic in and out of the classroom to make us all want to be life-long learners and sheroes.
Program Coordinator and Lead Teacher
Base Camp: Vermont
Fall Semester, Southern Africa 2017
Spring Semester, South America 2016, 2017 & 2020
Danika was born and raised in Vermont, where she grew to love the outdoors through exploring the beautiful Green Mountains. She studied international affairs and government at Skidmore College, and then dove into working in the field of outdoor education throughout the US. She led a self-supported cross-country bike tour for teenagers, as well as wilderness and service-learning programs in the Southwest. Wanting to mix her passion for experiential education with her international interests, Danika was drawn to live and work in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Nicaragua. There, she has collaborated with rural communities to support their ideas for positive development and led student groups in immersive exchange programs. She just earned her MPA at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, with a specialization in conflict resolution and social justice. She also recently co-designed and implemented an oral history project in highland Ecuador, collaborating with local partners to create a book and short film documenting the personal stories of former sweatshop workers. Danika believes strongly in the power of international academic experiences to challenge perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. She is excited to return to TTS for her 4th semester – she loves crafting educational opportunities for curious, passionate learners to construct a lens for understanding important social issues, both throughout the semester and beyond. If she is not teaching, studying or traveling, you can find Danika seeking running, mountain biking or ski trails, and plotting her next South American adventure.
Logistics Coordinator and Lead Teacher
Base Camp: Washington
Fall Semester, Southern Africa 2019
Spring Semester, South America 2019 & 2020
Allie comes from Olympia, Washington and grew up spending her days in the local parks and playing soccer. In college at Willamette University, she studied Spanish and Math, while also managing a student-run coffee shop. There, she discovered a passion for food and finding sustainable sources, which inspired her to move to a farm on the coast of Ecuador after graduation. After taking a permaculture course and being thrown into teaching classes at the small local environmental school, she realized that education was her calling (and wanted to share her experiences of connecting with other cultures and with the natural world). Since then, she has had a diverse combination of working experiences including: as a life sciences/garden teacher in a bilingual elementary school in San Francisco; as farm-to-table coordinator at a chocolate factory and restaurant in Mindo, Ecuador; and as a Spanish & Science teacher and outdoor program coordinator at an alternative high school in Washington state. For the past four summers, she has led teens on environmental leadership trips through Ecuador, sharing with them her longstanding connections to local communities and a culture in a country that feels like a second home. In her free time, you’ll find Allie making homemade pizza, going on trail runs or getting her hands dirty in the garden.
Base Camp: North Carolina
Fall Semester, Southern Africa 2019
Spring Semester, South America 2020
Erin grew up in North Carolina, cherishing every opportunity her family took to visit the Appalachian Mountains for camping, bike riding and hiking. She attended the University of North Carolina, where her love of math and science brought her to the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Erin balanced her time in college between her two passions: conducting quantitative research in Environmental Health Science, and working for UNC’s outdoor education program. Leading outdoor trips was especially valuable to Erin; she felt like immersion in the wilderness brought forth compassion, authenticity and sense of teamwork that could be difficult to find in her day-to-day setting. Upon graduating, Erin decided to pursue her love of the outdoors and launched herself into a career in outdoor experiential education. Erin first went to the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, where she led summer backpacking and rock climbing trips for Colvig Silver Camps, before finding a home at the North Carolina Outward Bound School. Over her five years instructing with Outward Bound, Erin led trips rock climbing and whitewater canoeing in Western NC, canoeing in the Florida Everglades, and mountaineering in Patagonia. Erin also took advantage of breaks in her contracts to pursue her passion for travel and outdoor adventures. Some highlights include her solo thru-hike of the Te Araroa trail on New Zealand’s South Island (880 miles), working on a llama farm in Germany, climbing Volcán Lanín in Patagonia, and a thru-hike-bike-paddle across her home state on the Mountains to Sea Trail (1175 miles). She speaks Spanish and holds Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications. In her free time, you can find Erin trail running, catching some live music in Asheville or planning her next big expedition.
Base Camp: Oregon
Spring Semester, South America 2020
Lauren’s life has always been guided by her parallel passions for the outdoors and language. Her love of the outdoors began as a child while exploring the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, something which encouraged her to attend Saint Michael’s College in the Green Mountain state of Vermont where she worked for her university’s wilderness program leading backpacking, rock climbing and ice climbing trips. At SMC Lauren double majored in Spanish and biology with a minor in chemistry and also led a student organization that taught English to migrant farmworkers and advocated for immigration legislation reform. During a semester abroad in Ecuador, Lauren got to hone her Spanish skills while performing ecological research all over the country from the Highlands to the Galapagos Islands, quickly falling in love with the diversity of the region and its cultures. After college, Lauren moved out to Jackson, Wyoming to work as a field instructor for the Teton Science Schools where she advanced her place-based education skills by developing and executing student-centered curriculum based on the ecology, natural history and geology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Lauren then moved out to Oregon to pursue her master’s degree in Spanish sociolinguistics at the University of Oregon. Graduating in the spring of 2019, her research focuses on language contact, critical language awareness and the connection between language and identity. Lauren is very excited to learn firsthand about Spanish-Quechua language contact with her students as they travel through the Andes together!
Dawn Card M.
Founder & Former Executive Director
Jen Sarna Herdina
Mary Reid Munford
Executive Director & Head of School
Dean of Students & Faculty