© 2019 by Great Basin Outdoor School

1000 bIBLE wAY #53, Reno, NV 89502  |-775-324-0936

Meet Our Team.


We pride ourselves  in providing students, parents, and teachers with staff that go above and beyond to help provide a unique and educational experiences for all. Our staff come to us with bachelor degrees in the fields of environmental science or education and have experience working with school-aged children in outdoor educational settings.

We require all employees to have background checks and require staff to maintain current CPR & First Aid certifications.

Trason "Pondi" Hirsch

Program Coordinator and Lead Naturalist

Trason was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. His love of the outdoors started from hiking, camping and going to Forestry school at Paul Smith's College in the Adirondack Park. His love of big mountains and open spaces drew him west to Montana to fight wildfires. He went on to pursue a graduate program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff combining a master’s degree in Forestry and a Peace Corps service. His service took him to Malawi, Africa to teach agroforestry, natural medicine and sustainability to rural communities. Upon returning to the states he moved to Reno, NV and worked for the U.S. Forest Service on the Eldorado and Tahoe National Forests as a forest technician in fire, fuels, timber and wildlife. He enjoys backcountry skiing, learning the rich history of the Sierra Nevada and exploring mountains, forests and hot springs with his family.

Michelle "Sunflower" Berube


Michelle Berube is an East Coast native who moved to Lake Tahoe after receiving her Master's in Geology from Kansas State University. She is an avid rock climber and skier, and is thrilled to share her love for the outdoors with GBOS students!

Alinda "Honu" Elder

Program Facilitator

Honu grew up in Reno, Nevada with a family who instilled a love for the outdoors. A love of fishing, hiking, camping, and kayaking led her to study wildlife management to help with animals and the environment. She has worked at the Andelin Farm and as a Cub Scout leader and a volunteer for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Abbie "Abalone" Hatten


Abbie grew up in the Monterey Bay area, and studied archaeology and forensics at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research in college inspired her love for science and learning, and she is now perusing a Master’s in education and obtaining her credentials to teach science. An avid outdoor enthusiast, she spends her time hiking, scuba diving, backpacking, trail running, and traveling. She recently relocated from the ocean to the mountains and is extremely excited to explore the Sierras with the students and fellow naturalists of Great Basin Outdoor School!

Ann "Plankton" O'Lear


Nevada artist, Ann O'Lear worked as artist-in-residence for The Nevada State Arts Council and Sierra Arts.  She trained in the Kennedy Center Artist as Educator Program and with naturalist Jack Laws at the California Institute of Biodiversity watershed and field journaling at Yosemite National Park.  

Pete "Woodpecker" Fairley

Naturalist / NGSS Specialist

Pete Fairley, aka Woodpecker, joined GBOS after retiring from teaching high school science in Reno.  His love of exploring the outdoors with a paddle, skis, scuba tank, running shoes, bike, camera, and binoculars (not all at the same time!) are matched by his passion for sharing the amazing world of nature with young people.  He thrives on travel both within and beyond the US, and he plays a variety of percussion instruments from around the globe.  The more he learns about our incredible planet and all its creatures, the more he recognizes the depth of Charles Darwin’s statement that “there is grandeur in this view of life!”

Summer "Lily" Grandy

Education Director

Born in Idaho, Summer first found her love for the outdoors while exploring the wilderness in Montana and the Sawtooth Mountain Range. She received her Bachelor of Science from University of Portland with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Biology. With jobs ranging from an Americorps member at a greenhouse on Carson City to a Life Science Lab educator at OMSI museum in Portland, Oregon, Summer has a strong passion for teaching and working with her community. She also enjoys hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, snowboarding, and just spending time in the great outdoors. 

Sue "Sky" Jacox

Board President, Founding Member

Sky grew up in Reno, graduated with honors from the University of Nevada, Reno, and had a long teaching career with Washoe County School District.  She volunteers for Great Basin Outdoor School in her retirement years, and her contributions to natural resource education have been recognized by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada Natural Resource Education Council, Nevada Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and the Washoe-Storey Conservation District.  Skiing, kayaking, travel, photography, spending time with friends, and learning new skills keep Sue out of trouble...most of the time.

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