Geoffrey E. Bishop, hails from the bush in North West NSW, Australia. After his childhood spent on his family’s sheep station he went to an agricultural boarding school for five years, and then to University in both Sydney and Melbourne where he studied Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.
For the next 10 years he traveled the world, visiting over 80 countries, where he spent most of his time trekking in rural areas, learning cultures and understanding his place in the world.
In 1996 Geoffrey started Nature’s Classroom Institute of Wisconsin, Inc. NCI is a residential environmental education program serving schools throughout the Midwest. The Nature’s Classroom Institute program helps students understand the natural environment, participate in ecosystem exploration and study, and work together with their peers and teachers as a community. The program includes activities such as confidence-building, group challenges, historical simulations, scientific explorations, and many more hands-on academic lessons.
After developing a strong academic and environmental outdoor based curriculum, he formed Nature’s Classroom Montessori School that blends the core philosophy of Montessori with his environmental principles. The past Board Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education (WAEE), he has been honored by WAEE as Wisconsin Non-Formal Educator of the Year.
Nature’s Classroom is on 400 acres in the small rural community of Mukwonago, Wisconsin. Geoffrey’s passionate and sustained focus over the past 15 years has been on organics and sustainability in schools while promoting getting children back outdoors and helping adults understand the importance of instinctive play in the natural world.
Mirko Sever is the Director of Outreach – California for Nature’s Classroom Institute. Mirko will be leading the sales, marketing, and development of the EE program in California. Mirko grew up in a Serbian family and received a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In his free time Mirko works with a number of nonprofits and volunteers with a local hospice organization visiting patients. Mirko is excited to take on the adventure and expand NCI’s teachings and values to students in California.
Before joining the NCI team as an environmental educator, Cristina researched the marine environment and graduated from Western Washington University with a Master’s in marine and estuarine science. Throughout her academic career she combined her research interests with youth education and outreach opportunities. Why? Because to her, science education outside of the lab is just as important as inside the lab. She is an adventurer at heart and is always ready to go outdoors.
Jordan is currently in his fourth year with NCI and comes to us from Kentucky. He attended Lindsey Wilson College where he played soccer for four years and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He came into the program as an instructor and has remained here since. His passion for the program and our mission shows through his teams’ dedication. He is a high energy educator with a camp counselor background and knowledgeable about the trees and vegetation in the area. He can keep students engaged through silly games and songs while teaching them about the world around them.
Molly’s love for nature and the outdoors started at an early age while growing up in England where she would frequently explore the fields and farmland of rural Suffolk. Her passion for the environment was further cultivated after attending a Montessori school in North Carolina. She then went on to attend Elon University where she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Studies. She is a firm believer in encouraging students to be ‘lifelong learners’ while fostering their curiosity to learn more about the world around them. Molly believes that a firm understanding of and empathy for the natural world will best prepare children to be the future custodians of our most valuable resource-the planet Earth.
I was born in Texas where my love and passion for wildlife was fostered by my family’s love of the outdoors, the tv personality Steve Irwin of “The Crocodile Hunter” fame and time spent in the Caribbean in Cozumel, Mexico. In 2016 I graduated from Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida with my B.A. in Environmental Studies and a Biology and Coastal Management minor. After graduating, I received my dive master certification in Cozumel, Mexico then joined the herpetology team and lived at the Sakaerat Biological Preserve in Thailand radio tracking king cobras for a spatial ecology analysis. While in Southeast Asia, I took the opportunity to explore Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore then took a herpetologist position in Madagascar educating student groups and studying the reptile and amphibian biodiversity. For the summer of 2018 I led a National Geographic Student Expedition to Bail, Indonesia where I taught wildlife conservation and marine science to the students. For the 2018-19 school year, I lived in Dubai, U.A.E. as a field studies instructor teaching outdoor survival skills, backpacking trips and wildlife conservation in the middle eastern desert. Summer 2019 I was lead herpetologist for Operation Wallacea taking students out in the jungle to study the amazing reptiles and amphibians found in the Guyana Amazon basin. I speak Spanish, am an avid photographer, love hiking, rock climbing, free diving, working with wildlife, scuba diving and exploring the world.
Karlyn comes to us from Florida, and recently graduated from University of Florida with a degree in psychology and minors in educational studies and sociology/criminology. She began to realize her passion for the environment towards the end of her studies when she began to take coursework focusing on the intersection of societal and environmental issues. She has a camp counselor background and has always loved working with youth. When she learned about environmental education, she felt that the field was the perfect integration of her passions for the environment and working with children.