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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.


Executive 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 as well as expressing her creative side with different types of art. 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!


Development Coordinator

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.


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As someone who was born and raised in the beautiful great basin, I graduated from UNR with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resource Planning and Management. I believe in developing a deep reverence for the natural world and hope to assist in instilling that in the next generation. A few of the many things I enjoy outdoors are hiking in the mountains, foraging, and swimming in cold alpine lakes.




Howdy, I'm Sprout! I have worked with kids of all ages in both camp and school settings since 2015. A fun fact about me is that I was a competitive figure skater for over 10 years! The thing I love to do most outdoors is tent camping. I am looking forward to adventuring with your kiddos!

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Jackalope graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2021 with a dual degree in Environmental Science and Wildlife Ecology. He has since worked as a field biologist with a specialty in live animal capture in addition to his work as a naturalist at GBOS. He learned to love the outdoors when he began water skiing at age 5. He has an extensive repertoire of camp games and songs. His life's goal is to befriend a group of crows and sic them on his enemies. 


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Diane Wong-Kone, aka Feather, joins the GBOS team with a wealth of knowledge about local ecology, having worked as a wildlife biologist for the Great Basin Bird Observatory and Otis Bay Ecological Consultants. Her experience includes working with a multidisciplinary science team to restore riparian and spring complex systems throughout Nevada. She has a passion for exploring the natural world and thrives on sharing the beauty and wonder of nature with others. In her spare time, Diane performs traditional Japanese drums with Reno Taiko at multiple community events. 




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.



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!”



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.


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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