Bo Glover Executive Director
Trail building, habitat restoration and leading educational tours as a volunteer marked the early days of Bo’s career at the ENC after moving to California in 1991. Bo is currently the Executive Director of the ENC and has held that position since 1995. When he is not hiking or camping with his family, Bo affiliates himself with a number of worthwhile community organizations. Bo is Past-President of the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) and California Society for Ecological Restoration (SERCAL). He was also the Chairman of the City of Newport Beach Castaways Park Advisory Committee from 1999 – 2003, a member of the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation Grants Allocations Committee from 1996-2012, and served on the Environmental Board of the City of Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2012. Bo, a LEED Accredited Professional, serves on the Board of Directors of Orange Coast River Park Inc. and the Orange County CREEC Network Advisory Committee. Always remember… Unless.
Lori Whalen Director of Communications
Lori has worked in the non-profit field for over a decade. She joined the ENC staff in 2003 as Education Coordinator. Lori is now responsible for the ENC’s marketing and communications, as well as membership and volunteer programs. She supervises an amazing flock of interns and Volunteers! Previously she has worked for The Nature Conservancy, the City of Huntington Beach, and the Orange County Department of Education. Lori has a BS from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and an MA in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently an officer of the Nonprofit Professional Alumni Chapter of the California State University Fullerton Alumni Association. In her free time she likes to restore habitat!
Sama Wareh Community Outreach Director
Sama Wareh, our Community Outreach Director, joined the ENC staff in 2010. Sama is responsible for the administrative functions of the ENC’s Traveling Naturalist and Community Outreach programs. When Sama is not out and about teaching workshops and programs at schools and the ENC, she spends her time hiking, drinking coffee, teaching art lessons, working on new art pieces, illustrating children’s books, creating documentaries, or is off on some crazy new adventure. Sama has a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Education from Cal-State Fullerton.
Corina Silva Education Coordinator
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 105
Corina Silva is the ENC’s Education Coordinator. Before coming to us, she worked at the Ocean Institute for several years as a science instructor. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Davis where her love of science thrived and her passion for education began. Currently, she is attending graduate school at Cal State Long Beach for her Master’s in Science Education. When she is not at work or in school, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and watching soccer.
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 102
Mindy comes to us with a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and an M.S. in Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, she also earned a certificate in nonprofit management. During an internship at the Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park, Mindy was exposed to writing and executing her own environmental education lessons using the outdoors as a classroom – and she fell in love with it. For over 12 years she has kept busy as an environmental educator and naturalist at a variety of zoos, nature centers, and outdoor schools. Most recently, Mindy was employed by the California Science Center as an Education Program Specialist and at Trash for Teaching as the Director of Creative Programming. She is excited to bring her skills of leadership, professional development, and creative problem solving to the ENC. In her spare time Mindy enjoys traveling, photography, team trivia, and swing dancing.
Heather Johnson Facility Manager
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 107
Heather Johnson is the ENC’s Facility Manager. She has a History degree, with an emphasis on Public and Oral History, from California State University, San Bernardino. With over 10 years of experience in the managerial field, she has valuable organization, quality management, and customer relations skills. In her work, Heather carries the motto of “quality in a service is not what you put into it, it is what the client gets out of it.” In her free time, Heather loves being creative!
Michael Viramontes Horticulture Manager
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 111
Michael graduated from San Jose State University in 2015 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Restoration. He started his career in environmental education at the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy as an environmental education and technology intern and later helped with many restoration projects with Grassroots Ecology. “I really developed a passion for habitat restoration when I began working with Grassroots Ecology, a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area,” he says. “It was there that I learned all about native plants and volunteer management.” In his spare time, Michael is out hiking, camping, going to concerts, and trying to get the best pictures he can while doing it.
Ali Aguarino Facility Maintenance Manager
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 109
Ali has been working in science and outdoor education for almost 20 years. As the Facility Maintenance Manager, he is responsible for the protection and enhancement of the Environmental Nature Center’s grounds including the implementation of improvements and maintenance activities. He also teaches educational programs. Prior to working at the ENC, Ali was the Grounds Keeper and Naturalist for the Orange County Department of Education, where he also taught outdoor science education. He also worked on the Island of Saipan as a Middle School Teacher. Ali received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in the Philippines, where he was born and raised. His hobbies include hiking, photography, bike riding, and gardening.
Valerie Bain Traveling Naturalist/Animal Care Manager
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 112
Valerie Bain is an Early Childhood Educator with an extensive background in Child Development. She joined the Environmental Nature Center staff as a Nature Camp Teacher in the Summer of 2009, and joined the staff full time in 2015. Valerie has degrees in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, Psychology and a Master’s in School Social Work, specializing in students with Special Needs. She attended Long Beach City College & California State University Long Beach. Valerie taught preschool at the Long Beach City College Child Development Center for four years & has been immersed in the field of Environmental Education ever since. Valerie loves to connect children & families with nature through hands-on science activities. Her favorite season is summer, when she is an ENC Nature Camp Teacher. In her free time Valerie loves to spend time with her daughter Faith amongst the Redwoods in Big Sur (where she fell in love with nature and camping – Thanks Dad!).
Aimée Arvidson Lead Naturalist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 119
Aimée obtained her degree in Environmental Policy and Ethics from the University of Portland. She was previously a children’s program director and has worked with the U.S. Senate, Heal the Bay, and the City of Newport Beach-Office of Natural Resources. Aimée was selected to take part in a marine management research program in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean. Her work there involved teaching science based curricula and researching a variety of marine species such as lemon sharks and stingrays. Her passion in life is inspiring others to make a positive difference in the world.
Karen Letz Naturalist
Karen works at the ENC on Saturdays. You might see her leading children in a scout program or a birthday party. When not at the center she is either working with young children or traveling.
Kathy Wiedel Naturalist
Kathy has been a Naturalist at the ENC for over a decade! She discovered that she wanted to be a Naturalist while chaperoning her daughter’s 5th grade field trip. Another mom leaned over and said, “They get paid for this!” Kathy has been hooked ever since. Kathy says: “I never suspected that I would love this job so much and enjoy creating wonder for nature in children.”
Jenifer Evans Naturalist
Born on a tropical island with the ocean and boondocks to play in, love of nature comes easily for Jenifer. But, it was her high school biology teacher, Robert House, who first inspired her with the wonder of science and nature. A senior at Newport Harbor High School when the Environmental Nature Center was created, she was able to participate in planting the first trees and telephone pole fence. After extensive travel she again lives in this area and is married with three children. Her two sons are Eagle Scouts with Troop 90 and her daughter was a Jr. Naturalist at the ENC. Jenifer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2009 from California State University Fullerton with a Liberal Science Major and a Natural Science Minor. She is grateful to be at the ENC and continues to marvel at the interconnectedness of all things.
Chris Holland Naturalist
Chris began his Naturalist career as a volunteer last year. We loved him so much that we hired him! When Chris is not teaching he is a Residential Sales & Leasing agent at Evergreen Realty and Associates, Inc. He likes the San Diego Chargers and listens to Country Music.
Fiorella Gardella Naturalist
As a Naturalist and Camp Teacher, Fiorella is responsible for teaching outdoor environmental and social science education to children. Her goals are to strengthen students’ awareness and appreciation for the environment, as well as enhance their knowledge of science concepts and protecting the natural environment. Fiorella has more than 9 years of experience as an educator and researcher. She is knowledgeable in sustainability and environmental issues. She gained her experience as a middle school science teacher in Florida and has also taught environmental education summer programs in Peru and California. Fiorella received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Ecology at University of California, Irvine and her Master of Arts degree in Teaching from Miami University.
Karen Vernon Naturalist
Karen Vernon began her education as an Environmental Studies major way-back-when at UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!) but ended up with a degree in Women’s Studies and Community Studies focusing on social justice and health. After working as a public health researcher for 15 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she decided it was time to return to her passion – walking around in the woods with kids. She received Outdoor Leadership Training through the North Carolina Outward Bound School and InnerQuest in McLean, Virginia. She comes to ENC from the Audubon Naturalist Society of the Mid -Atlantic States where she was the Director of Youth Education. Karen loves camp, rediscovering Southern California and spending time with her family.
Alex Kovary Naturalist
Alex joins us from the Laguna Canyon Foundation where she has worked with students as a trail leader. She has been a volunteer with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for three years as a Native Plant garden docent and now is assisting with a citizen science program focused on Coyote and Gray Fox tracking. She enjoys being outdoors and sharing her love of nature with others. She is currently attending Cal State Long Beach to receive her degree in Environmental Science and Policy with a minor in Economics.
Gigi Harvey Naturalist
Gigi Harvey comes to us with a BA in Global Studies, work experience in outdoor education and management of volunteers. Her love for the “wild places of the earth” takes her backpacking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. She enjoys sharing the goodness of nature with people of all ages.
Chhay Liv Nature Camp Teacher
Chhay has always been passionate about learning and discovered that learning led to teaching. To help foster his teaching and leadership roles, he volunteered for Camp Titan at the California State University of Fullerton for a period of three years. Chhay became a Naturalist and soon after, a Supervisor of Nature Programs at Oak Canyon Nature Center in 2008 and further refined his skills. In 2011, Chhay became the science educator at New Village Leadership Academy private school, creating and delivering original scientific curriculum to children with specialized lifestyles in Hollywood. His passion for teaching and knack for being able to connect with children, led him to be hired as a full time Individual Study Program (ISP) Mentor Teacher of elementary education. In late 2013, Chhay joined the Environmental Nature Center, “I have found my happy place!”
Helen de la Maza Nature Camp Teacher
Helen de la Maza has been working and playing in the field of education for almost 20 years. As a science and environmental educator she has written and taught curricula for K – 12 students, and trained adults on instructional strategies for teaching outdoors. Helen worked for the Orange County Department of Education’s environmental education program for nine years as a naturalist, staff trainer, and curriculum developer. She was also a curriculum writer for a statewide project brought about by California’s Education and the Environment Initiative legislation, and has recently been working with Orange County nonformal and formal organizations to assist in curriculum development and professional development in pedagogy. She also works part-time as a Science Specialist with the Irvine Unified School District. Helen’s 27 years of education have resulted in a double BA in Biological Sciences and Comparative Literature, MS in Wildlife Science, MA in Curriculum and Instruction, and single and multiple subject California teaching credentials. Helen has been a Camp Teacher each Summer at the ENC for several years.
Bob Tres Nature Camp Teacher
Bob graduated from Concordia University in 1995, a Liberal Studies Major with a minor in Child Development. Bob has worked full time as an Outdoor Educator since 1996 with the Orange County Department of Education during the school year, but he joins us every summer as a Nature Camp Teacher! He has also been a first aid and CPR instructor with the Red Cross since 1991. In his free time Bob loves to be outdoors hiking, running, listening to music and laughing.
David Rector Nature Camp Teacher
David has worked in the field of outdoor education since 1980. He has worked with ENC for more than 5 years, as well as with federal and state agencies in applied sciences and education. He is a proud graduate of the College of the Siskiyous, where he studied volcanology. He also attended Cal State Los Angeles and Cal Poly Pomona majoring in geology and education. If he’s not building something weird to share with folks, he’s out exploring something weird to share with folks; just ask his friends at the ENC.
Board of Directors
John Parenti, President
Christopher Blank, V.P. Finance / Treasurer
Rick Wandrocke, V.P. Fund Development
Bob Kelly, co-V.P. Education and Site
Robert House, co-V.P. Education and Site
Dan Heinfeld, V.P. Board Governance
Homer Bludau, Secretary
Lisa Wren Jeppe
Eric Wolf Hanke