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Meet Our Interns: Part 3

Sarah Barker (Mariposa) Where are you from/where do you call home? I was born and raised in Fresno, CA ; fun fact, I attended Sierra Outdoor School as a sixth grader! What did you study in college? I completed my Liberal Studies Bachelor of Arts at California State University, Chico.  What in your childhood pointed to this as your job? I really enjoy teaching Wilderness Skills. It's an awesome opportunity for students to learn new skills, like using a compass and building a survival shelter. It's very different from the curriculum I've taught in the "traditional" classroom. What is your favorite class to teach at Sierra Outdoor School? Sierra Outdoor School is a wonderful place to be! The opportunity to live in a beautiful forest, impact students from all over California, and experience a different style of teaching was something I couldn't pass up. I look forward to taking everything I learn here and bringing t
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Meet Our Interns: Part 2

Ethan (Goose) Where are you from/where do you call home? I grew up in Connecticut and my family lives there, but I identify more with the state of Maine, which is where I attended college. What did you study in college? Ecology. What in your childhood pointed to this as your job? Beachwalk’s, Bug hunts, and Backpacking. What is your favorite class to teach at Sierra Outdoor School? Silent Mile. Why are you excited to be here at SOS? The Sierra Nevada mountains are incredible, you can ski, backpack, and rock climb, also unsolicited facts about plants/animals/fungi from the people I live and work with. Favorite smell? Snow. What animal best represents your personality and why? Common Racoon, they are resourceful, clever, will eat just about anything, and can live and survive just about anywhere. They are great at upcycling things people throw out, like me. Sarah Newcomb (Shale) Where are you from/where do you call home? I am originally from Northeast Ohio so while I may move

Meet Our Interns: Part 1

Chloe (Toad) Where are you from/where do you call home? I am from Lexington, Massachusetts which is a town about 20-30 minutes outside of Boston. What did you study in college? I majored in biology with a certificate in environmental studies. What in your childhood pointed to this as your job? When I was little my parents bought me a field guide and one of my favorite things to do was to go outside, look for critters, and try to identify them. On the playground,  I was always flipping rocks and rolling log rounds to look for bugs, and it was not unusual for me to walk into my house with a bucket containing some kind of small amphibian from our garden outside. I can only imagine how excited 6-year-old me would have been to know that I would one day be doing that for a living! What is your favorite class to teach at Sierra Outdoor School? I'm still learning some of the classes but my favorite that I teach right now is the silent mile. I think it is reall

Where are they now?

    Each year we are so lucky to have a crew of intelligent and hardworking Naturalist Interns arrive on  campus, every one of whom brings a unique background, areas of expertise, and personality! Though it never gets easier when it comes time to say goodbye, it is easier knowing they are off to greener  pastures. If you are curious as to where your favorite instructor from the 2017-2018 school year is now, or maybe you want to know where an internship at SOS can land you, continue below! Andie Conlon:     A graduate of Santa Clara University with a degree in Wildlife Biology, Lupine traveled abroad to South Africa during her junior year to study safari animals, husbandry, and park management. During this time, she became particularly interested in elephants. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows her that after SOS, Andie has accepted a position at Wildlife Safari in Oregon, focused on elephant husbandry, enrichment, and interpretation! We look forward to hearing some

Mammals of the Mountain!

Mammals of the Mountain! Sierra Outdoor School is not just a place for students to take a short visit, but it is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, in Stanislaus National Forest, many animals, plants, and ecosystems thrive in this area at 4100’ feet. Today we are taking a closer look at the mammals of this mountain community. “What makes mammal a mammal?” Mammals have five main characteristics that classify them differently from other groups of animals (such as birds, amphibians and reptiles).  1) Vertebrates. Mammals have a backbone called a spinal cord that is made of different vertebrae bones. 2)   Warm blooded. Using our metabolism and energy from the food we eat, we regulate our body to keep a warm body temperature. 3) Mammals breath air through their lungs. 4) Young mammals nurse (drink milk) from their mothers when they are born. 5) Mammals have hair or fur. Short or long, shaggy or smooth

What's that you sing? It's Spring?!

It is that time of year! Noticeably, the days are beginning to warm and the sun is casting its light a little longer with each day. If you look and listen closely, you will notice pops of color from dormant flowers beginning to bloom, the birds have started singing, spring is here! Image 1. Ruby Crowned Kinglet. Photo by Paul Higgins.  After months of quiet skies, the Oregon juncos’ song will make your heart skip a beat. Many of the birds in our forest do not migrate, but their songs are silenced during the cold winter months.   I like to believe they are saving up their vocal chord strength for their spring song, when the males are in full singing form to attract their mate! Since the Oregon junco does not leave our forest in the winter, they are the first species to declare that spring is near. When the days get longer, they know it is time to find a mate, so they open their throat and let their trilly-song come through, and each time I hear it, I cannot help but sm

Give Plants a Chance: Erosion and Giant Sequoias

          What is Erosion? Erosion is the gradual degradation (breaking down) of rock and other natural material, by wind, water, gravity, and even animals. Erosion happens all around us on hillsides, the edges of riverbeds, beaches, and cliff walls. It is an entirely natural and necessary process; erosion is responsible for the dispersion and recycling of rocks and minerals into sediment, which enriches soil and provides opportunities for new life to emerge!           However, human induced erosion is not natural, nor beneficial to our local environment. Scientists have estimated that global rates of erosion have increased 10-40 times its natural rate, due to human influence and activity. If you are looking for signs of human induced erosion, it is particularly obvious alongside walking trails in parks and forests.            Every year, our Sierra Outdoor School Naturalists take hundreds of of students on field trips to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, aptly named