California Naturalist at SSI ~ Course Instructors/Facilitators

Sol Henson works as an education program Co-Director for Sierra Streams Institute. He has several years of experience monitoring water quality and stream health in addition to a teaching background in public schools ranging from the central valley to the foothills. He obtained a master’s degree in hydrology at the University of California Davis and has worked on projects both locally and internationally related to water resources and water resource management. Raised in Nevada County, he brings a strong science background to an education program that focuses on the Sierra foothill ecosystem he knows and loves.

Devin Cormia was born and raised on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, attending De Anza College in San Jose where he studied Environmental Studies and U.C. Santa Cruz where he received a B.A. in Community Studies with a focus on Urban Agriculture and Social Movements. Devin has worked as an outdoor educator in several positions, ranging from interpretive positions on farms, working at Pt. Reyes Natl. Seashore as a camp counselor, teaching science at an elementary school, and coordinating watershed restoration projects with high schoolers. Upon moving to Grass Valley, Devin completed his student teaching with Cal State Teach, getting to know the students and teachers in the area while honing his classroom teaching skills. Now beginning his position with Sierra Streams Institute, Devin is looking forward to working with teachers to engage students in hands-on citizen science projects.

Allison Hacker is the river science and education Americorps member with Sierra Streams Institute. Allison grew up in the Bay Area where she discovered a passion for the natural world while roaming around the Santa Cruz mountains and the hills near her house. She moved to Pennsylvania to attend Haverford College and pursue a degree in biology. She quickly realized that she would rather be outside than cooped up in the lab and got her first taste of ecological fieldwork at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado where she conducted research on plant-pollinator interactions. Allison also enjoys working with children in the outdoors, and has done so in various capacities, from taking kids whitewater rafting on the Klamath River to working at a nature center in Minnesota to teaching botany to middle schoolers in Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Sierra Streams, she could be found traipsing about the bogs and forests of northern Wisconsin collecting data on plant phenology, diversity, and productivity.

Instructor Emerita:
Kelly Santos worked as an education program Co-Director for Sierra Streams Institute.  Kelly was raised in Irvine, CA, and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology. She brings extensive laboratory, field, and teaching experience to Sierra Streams Institute. In the past, she has worked and volunteered with the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, UC Santa Cruz, Michigan State University, Tahoe Resource Conservation District, as well as Pretoma and Centro de Educación Creativa in Costa Rica. These various positions have taken her from the depths of the kelp forest to lakes in the high sierra and allowed her the opportunity to work among scientists, teachers, environmental managers, and students. In her free time she enjoys exploring the Sierra, cooking, and making photographs.

Past Speakers

In addition to course facilitators, throughout the course you will also interact with many guest speakers and Sierra Streams Institute staff. For more information, click on the links below!