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 a member of the Orange County CREEC Network Advisory Committee, 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 is a member of the Market Leader Advisory Board of the OC USGBC. Bo was also recently the recipient of the Lakers Community Champion award, presented by the Lakers and LG Solar on the Court at halftime, to recognize him for his work at the ENC. He received the 2018 Leadership Award from the Association of Nature Center Administrators in September 2018. Always remember… Unless.
Lori Whalen Assistant Director
Lori has worked in the non-profit field for nearly two decades. She joined the ENC staff in 2003. Lori oversees the ENC’s communications, education programs, volunteer programs and horticulture, and assists with funds development. 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 a member of the Marketing Committee for the Association of Nature Center Administrators. In her free time, she likes to hike, camp, and garden with native plants. She was the recipient of the prestigious Nathaniel Lamm Scholarship Award for excellence in Environmental Education on 2002, and the California Senate “Women Making a Difference” award in 2012.
Sue Bierlich Nature Preschool Director
email me | 949-629-1044 ext. 201
Sue has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 35 years. She taught as an Early Childhood Education college instructor for 28 years at Orange Coast College and Fullerton College. Sue has been a child care center administrator for 15 years. She has a BA degree in Child Development specializing as a Child Mental Health Specialist from California State University at Northridge, and a MA degree in Human Development with an Early Childhood Education specialization from Pacific Oaks College. Sue’s thesis focused on the values of nature and outdoor classrooms for preschool age children. She is an Outdoor Classroom Specialist and currently completing additional training with the Outdoor Classroom Project. Sue enjoys seeing children engaged and immersed in nature with hands on learning activities, so they can expand their inquiry, thinking, and knowledge. She loves being involved in a child’s developmental process – like caterpillars turning into butterflies – we nurture them to fly.
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!
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 Early Childhood Education Specialist
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!).
Mark McCormick Education Specialist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 118
After graduating from California State Polytechnic University Pomona with a BA in Political Science, Mark began his career in environmental education with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). His four years with OCDE helped to develop a passion for sharing his love of the outdoors and natural history with students of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. Mark brings this passion and experience to the ENC as our Education Specialist. When not working at the ENC, Mark enjoys cycling, running, and kayaking, preferably with dogs.
Heather Davidson Lead Naturalist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 111
Heather attended Arizona State University where she pursued her passion for the natural world with a BS in Wildlife Ecology. While in school she also worked as a research assistant collecting arthropod samples from riparian communities in the Tonto National Forest and in her spare time volunteered at a neglected and abused horse rescue center. After graduating, she took a job with the Orange County Department of Education, where she developed a love for teaching environmental and social science programs. When she is not enjoying the outdoors, Heather loves to spend her time with family, friends, and her two cats.
Raquel Friedmann Lead Naturalist
email me | 949-645-8489 ext. 105
Raquel joined our team first as a Naturalist and now works with us full-time primarily teaching programs, managing inventory, and overseeing our nature museum in her Lead Naturalist role. Raquel received a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from George Mason University and then went on to get a MA in International Environmental Policy at Middlebury Institute. She has over six years of experience working for various environmental organizations and substitute teaching in local schools, primarily with preschoolers and Kindergarteners. In her free time Raquel enjoys hiking, reading, beekeeping, and drinking specialty coffee.
Jahtziry Hernandez Camp Teacher
Certified Preschool teacher from Orange Coast College, with years working with children. Currently, teaching at a Waldorf school enjoying the magic and connection through our natural environment. Enjoys new travels, nature walks and strong love for coffee.
Ashley Nick Camp Teacher
Joyce Ronson Camp Teacher
Joyce Ronson is a Laguna Beach artist and teacher. She shares art experiences with students to promote awareness of peace, harmony and caring for our world. “I help students find endless inspiration in the beauty of nature. I strive to promote appreciation of the need to take part in caring for the earth we share.” Joyce has a BA in Child Development from University of Pennsylvania, with a minor in French. Previously Joyce was a teacher at Laguna Beach Montessori, where she taught 2-6 year olds.
Eric Essen Camp Teacher
Bio coming soon.
Brynnan de Encio Camp Teacher
Brynnan is currently an Elementary Education Credential student at Cal State Long Beach and plans to start teaching elementary aged students in the Spring. Her hobbies include: hiking, crafting, and enjoying time at the beach. Brynnan also loves to spend time with kids whether it is through nannying, student teaching, or taking trips abroad to work with impoverished children. She loves to connect students with nature so that they can share the same passion that she has for the outdoors.
Matt Carter Camp Teacher
Matt is a science educator from Silverado, CA with over a decade of formal teaching experience. After college, Matt worked as an archaeological field technician along the Central Coast of California. Through this experience, his passion for teaching in the outdoors quickly took hold. Since this time, he has led hundreds of interpretive hikes, developed hands-on science curriculum, and taught place-based education and field studies courses for K-12 students throughout Orange County. Now, as a middle-school teacher, he hopes to cultivate this same love for the outdoors in the lives of his students. Outside of teaching, he continues to be regularly involved with a number of Environmental and Outdoor Education programs, as well as other environmental nonprofits dedicated to conserving and protecting the open spaces of Orange County. In his free time, he will likely be found trail running, reading, or drinking coffee with his wife and dog.
Michael Gomez Camp Teacher
Michael studied neurobiology and biological sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He worked at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory assisting with the UCI Brain Camp and Brain Explorer Academy, where students from middle and high school learned about the nature of the brain. He’s worked with children at various capacities such as soccer coach, dance instructor, and science tutor. He also serves adults through life coaching that focuses on neuroplasticity, brain health and emotional intelligence. Michael is curious, and he enjoys all kinds of adventurous activities. Some of his hobbies include dancing, reading, calligraphy and boxing. He loves animals and is passionate about children’s education.
Araceli Martinez Camp Assistant
Araceli graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BA degree in Child Development and Family Studies. She has over 18 years experience educating young children. Araceli enjoys being part of children’s growth and development. Her hobbies include hiking, scrapbooking, traveling and all things Disney.
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.
Harmonie Wooley Naturalist
Harmonie Wooley grew up in SoCal and studied graphic design at the FIDM in Los Angeles. She has always had an appreciation for the natural world and in 2013 she and her son signed up for a falconry course. What began as a fun bonding experience between Harmonie and her son turned into deep love and respect of birds of prey! A year later she began volunteering at the Orange County Birds of Prey Center (OCBPC), where she learned all about how to care for, present, and enrich rehabilitated raptors from all over Orange County. Harmonie is now a supervisor at OCBPC where she trains volunteers on raptor-handling skills. She joined our naturalist staff in 2018 and has been bringing birds of prey to several of the ENC’s public, traveling, and enrichment programs. When Harmonie is not at the ENC or OCBPC, she enjoys embarking on new adventures with her family.
Arya Jemal Naturalist
Arya is a recent graduate of Swarthmore College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Growing up in Southern California, she has always been passionate about the environment and volunteered at the ENC as a kid. Arya’s time working with non-profits made her passionate about environmental education and she is excited to pass on her enthusiasm for stewardship, conservation, and activism through teaching. You can find Arya cycling, playing tennis, volunteering with the Sunrise Movement, or sailing tall ships when not at the ENC.
Alex Catling Naturalist
Alex is very passionate about helping others better understand and appreciate the outdoors. She is currently attending Cypress College and plans to transfer to CSULB as a Environmental Science major. She has many years of experience working with children and youth in an outdoor setting. You can find Alex hanging out in her hammock, camping under the stars, snorkeling with garibaldi, or hiking along trails. When she’s not outdoors she’s hanging at home with her dog Chiquita and two cats, Daisy and Logic. Alex hopes to help inspire others to find their own interest and appreciation within nature.
Board of Directors
Rick Wandrocke, President
Chris Bosley, V.P. Finance / Treasurer
Bob Kelly, co-V.P. Education and Site
Robert House, co-V.P. Education and Site
Arthur Jeppe, V.P. Board Governance
Christopher Blank, Secretary