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Lauren Theis

Lauren is the Director of Education for Raritan Headwaters. Lauren has been with RHA since 2007, creating opportunities for people to connect with nature through education and science. She became Director of Education in 2013 and has since enjoyed learning alongside young people, discovering the wonders and healing properties of nature! Lauren is a certified yoga instructor and a talented artist, specializing in drawing, painting and photography. She enjoys outdoor pursuits, including gardening, birding, and hiking. She is a graduate of Cook College, Rutgers University, where she earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences.

 

Alyssa Dixon

As a new special education teacher, Alyssa spends her first years out of college viewing the natural world as a place of inclusion, possibilities and non-judgement. She remembers fondly her own experiences as a child allowed healthy amounts of outdoor time to get dirty and understand natural processes through real interaction. She is still privileged to call central New Jersey her home, where she gardens and continues to grow in stewardship. Alyssa enjoys nothing more than the opportunity to guide children to a similar love for their communities, and she envisions her classroom as a place where children question, build reasoning, cooperate and belong.

 

Grace Haumersen

Grace is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware, where she majored in Environmental Studies. She quickly learned that outdoor environmental education was something she was passionate about and got involved at RHA as an educator and Nature Day Camp counselor. She is now pursuing a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Montclair State University with a concentration in Earth Science. She looks forward to engaging children of all different backgrounds in interdisciplinary and intersectional programming!

 

Tracy Gordon

A lifetime resident of Morris County, Tracy has spent many hours wading through the streams of the Raritan Headwaters. She has a passion for insects and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and a NJ Teaching Certificate of Eligibility for grades K-5. One of her favorite jobs was working as a mosquito inspector searching for larvae in nearby swamps and woodland pools. Bicycling, canoeing, camping, beekeeping and gardening are among her favorite outdoor activities. Tracy loves going on adventures with her grandchildren who live in Vermont. She enjoys any opportunity to share her love of nature (especially bugs!!) with children.

 

Joanne Endahl

Joanne earned her Special Education and Psychology degrees from the College of St Elizabeth in Convent Station. She worked at Matheny School and the Mendham School District before joining the Waterways Education programs in 2015. She loves sharing the outdoor classroom with students and seeing their enthusiasm while learning in the natural environment. Hiking in Hunterdon County, exploring Maine in the summer, and quiet days playing in the river with her nephews are her favorite ways to spend free time.

 

Bonnie Semmling

Bonnie is a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Environmental Policy and minoring in Ecology and Evolution. As a child she was allowed to play freely in nature. She attributes these positive memories to her passion for environmental conservation, education, and botany. Her goal is to educate, inspire, and foster understanding of nature in children and adults.