Sarah Berkeley is an Assistant Professor of Art at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Mindfulness and ethical action are at the core of her art, teaching and life practices, which take place outdoors as much as possible. She is an active naturalist as well, and teaches workshops on making wild art.

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Jason Andersen holds a master of science degree from UNO and is devoted to conservation of native prairie species and communities.

michelle biodrosky

Michelle Biodrowski holds a master of science degree from UNO and is passionate about environmental education and preserving native ecosystems.


Dr. Ted Burk is Professor of Entomology, Animal Behavior, and Behavioral Ecology at Creighton University. He leads frequent field sessions at HNC and throughout the region.

Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson is a graduate student at ISU in lichenology and loves to share her passion for fungi and lives to be outdoors.



Joseph Phillips is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin and Lake Myvatn Research Station in Iceland, where he studies aquatic food webs and population dynamics.

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Laura Johnson Dahlke, MFA, studied creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles and also has an MA in English from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. She teaches composition courses and writes creative essays and research-based articles. Johnson Dahlke has a special interest in nature writing and is the editor of Loess Hills Nature Writers blog at https://loesshillsnaturewriters.com/ She lives and dreams in Omaha with her husband and five children.

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Michele Marie Desmarais, Ph.D., is a Canadian scholar and poet of Métis, Dakota and European descent.  She is the Director of Medical Humanities and co-founder and Director of SPHRS (Spirituality, Public Health, Religious Studies) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Desmarais is the author of Changing Minds: Mind, Consciousness and Identity in Patanjali’s Yoga-sutra and Cognitive Neuroscience.



Robert Smith is a naturalist, nature photographer, tree planter, native seed collector, saunterer, and long-time member of New Tree School and The Naturalist School.

Matt Low

Matt Low teaches English at Creighton University. His research and writing interests include prairie restoration, sustainable agriculture, narrative theory, and the intersection of religion and the environment.

Mark and that tree.

Mark Hirsch is a nature photographer, photojournalist, and author of That Tree. Mark travels throughout the country giving workshops and displaying his photography. He lives in Platteville, Wisconsin.


Craig Maier is a tallgrass prairie ecologist and coordinator of the Tallgrass Prairie Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium based in Madison, Wisconsin. Craig has worked for a variety of conservation organizations including The Nature Conservancy and the Aldo Leopold Foundation.


John T. Price is the author of the three nature memoirs Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father, Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships, and Not Just Any Land: A Personal and Literary Journey into the American Grassland. He is also the editor of The Tallgrass Prairie Reader. His nonfiction writing has also appeared in many prominent journals. He is an award-winning Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he directs the nonfiction writing program. He lives with his wife and three sons in western Iowa.

Neal Ratzlaff

Neal Ratzlaff is a naturalist and field guide author. Neal is a retired radiologist with a lifelong interest in natural history.


Kevin Smith at New Tree School

Kevin T. Smith is Supervisory Plant Pathologist at the U.S. Forest Service Northeast Research Station. Kevin witnessed the birth of New Tree School (The Naturalist School) in New Hampshire and taught our first workshops. He is our mentor and long-time friend.


Anna Stoysich is an artist, educator, yoga practitioner and naturalist and has followed the monarch migration to Michoacán, Mexico. She lives in southwest Iowa with her husband and son. Together they enjoy gardening, traveling to beautiful places and being outside as much as possible.

David Sutherland

David Sutherland is Professor Emeritas of biology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is co-author of The Flora of Nebraska and specializes in plant systematics. He has educated generations of biologists and naturalists.


Genevieve N. Williams is an MFA candidate at University of Nebraska, where she received an Academy of American Poets Prize. She facilitates Omaha Writers Group, a weekly writing workshop open to the public, is a teaching artist for Nebraska Writers Collective, and works as a writing consultant for Metropolitan Community College. Genevieve believes an active engagement with the natural world both in our writing and also our lives is vital as we face threats as global as climate change and as local as the defunding of state parks.

jeff in the field

Jeff LeClere is author of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iowa and numerous studies of herpetofauna in the midwest.  He is currently employed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s Minnesota Biological Survey program, serves as the chairman of the Amphibian and Reptile Subcommittee for the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, and is a member of the Amphibian and Reptile STAT team for the Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan.

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Jack Phillips is a naturalist, nature writer, consultant, and principal of The Naturalist School.