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 experience 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.

Click on a staff member's name to send them an email.

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Program Director

Meghan grew up on the shores of Long Island, NY exploring the coast and the mountains upstate. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Geo-Science in the Hudson Valley and moved out west to perform conservation and trail work with the American Conservation Experience. Mica has experience in Environmental Education and outreach working with the Mad Science program, at summer camps, and with League to Save Lake Tahoe. She loves hiking, camping, scuba diving, snowboarding, adding to her plant collection, and tide pooling.

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Day Camp Director

Kaylee grew up in Dayton, Ohio where she spent four years as a naturalist during her time at Ohio Univeristy studying Field Ecology. She is passoinate about outdoor education and has a long history working with kids! As a recent Nevada inplant Kaylee enjoys spening time outside with her significant other and dog exploring her now home. Her favorite activity is flying around the Sierras. Kaylee is excited to bring everything she has learned in her time working with kids outdoors to GBOS day camps and cannot wait to see what this summer holds!

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Education Director

Emily, or ‘Water Droplet,’ was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She studied at the University of Nevada, Reno where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in December 2021. She is highly passionate about wildlife and enjoys the outdoors and traveling. She also has experience tutoring and teaching children as she was previously an Elementary Education major at UNR. Fun fact: Emily came here to Great Basin Outdoor School as a student when she was in 5th grade!

STEPHEN "JACKALOPE" ZIPKIN

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Naturalist

Stephen, or ‘Jackalope,’ is an experienced field biology researcher who has worked with Nevadan wildlife and plants. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but now lives in Reno. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in May 2021 with a dual major in Environmental Science and Wildlife Ecology. His favorite animals include owls and rabbits, his favorite plants include aspen and spruce trees, and his favorite camp games include just about all of them. He is pictured here with the first sage grouse he ever caught and collared, a hen he named ‘Fists of Sage.’

PETE "WOODPECKER" FAIRLEY

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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!”

MIKE "BEAR" MASTERPOOL

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Associate Fun Provider

Mike "Bear" Masterpool is a life long outdoor enthusiast.  He enjoys mountain biking, backpacking, exploring new, wild places, snow skiing, kayaking and fishing.  A retired US Marine, he has traveled the world operating in every clime and place, from the tropics to arctic environs and across oceans and seas to amazing mountainous places.  He has been active in Boy Scouts, Church camp and outdoor leadership training programs for over thirty years.  Group games, team challenges and shared experiences are the fun ways to develop personal responsibility, leadership and teams.  Bear believes in developing virtues, values and personal ethics to make good citizens and allow people to value life and respect others.

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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.

LAURA "SHALE" RINGEISEN

Naturalist

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Laura Ringeisen grew up in Red Wing, MN and has been working in the environmental field for almost 2 years. She has worked in both the mid-Atlantic and Midwest region, after graduating from University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in Environmental Science. She has experience with education and interpretation through various internship experiences and her most recent year term with the National Park Service Great Lakes-IPMT. She enjoys hiking, skiing, and pretty much any outdoor activity that connects you with nature. She is always excited to share these experiences and knowledge of our natural world with today's young people.

DERIK "VALLEY" KNAK

Naturalist

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Derik grew up in Redding, California, where he was introduced to the great outdoors at an early age through camping and scouting trips, and moved to Reno to study political science at the University of Nevada. While never forgetting his Cascadia roots, Derik is excited to explore the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin ecologies and share insights with a younger generation of students. After graduating, Derik stayed in the area and worked in grant writing and research for local education and economic development nonprofit organizations. When not in the office or outside classroom, Derik likes to cross-country hike, snowshoe, rockhound in the mountains or high desert, and play guitar.

ED "MONOLITH" DECARLO

Volunteer

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Ed enjoyed a 32-year career with the federal government as a Forester, Snow Ranger, Lands and Minerals manager, and on the wildland fire team for the U.S. Forest Service in Carson City, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. Ed ended his career as a Water and Lands specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation. He has a B.S. degree in Forest Management Science. Since retiring in 2012 he has been volunteering with local environmental education organizations and church youth activities. His passions include gardening, hiking, skiing, and stand-up paddling.