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.
Austin has been an Environmental Educator with Nature’s Classroom Institute for 2 years at the Texas and California facilities. He has brought his passion for education and the outdoors to the new Florida sites and will be able to offer prospective schools a true insight into the depth of the Nature’s Classroom Institute Program. (New paragraph) Hailing from England, Austin had a long career in sales and marketing before following a dream of adventure and a vocation outdoors. While working as an Educator, Austin became enthusiastic about the values and mission of Nature’s Classroom Institute and was eager to see the program grow, leading to the opening of the two new Florida facilities. Austin as Outreach Director is excited to meet and work with new schools and welcome them to the Nature’s Classroom Institute program.
Britta’s passion for the outdoors and exploring began as a child, discovering nature in the creeks and forests of her Texan hometown. She earned a degree in Environmental Sustainability and quickly found herself in the Environmental Education field. Britta has worked with children in Australia, Europe and all-over North America. She joined Nature’s Classroom Institute as Education Director of Texas in 2015, became Education Director of California in 2017 and Education Director of Florida in 2018. Britta believes that getting children back outdoors can ignite their passion for learning and loves to have this opportunity year after year.
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.
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.
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.