Meet Our Educators!

IslandWood educators lead planning sessions, walking field trips, and our Community Waters Field Study.  Here’s our Community Waters team:

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Celina Steiger (she/her), IslandWood Urban Programs Coordinator, is really loving working with Seattle teachers on Community Waters! A graduate of IslandWood’s graduate programs, she has been focusing her urban ecology and educational equity lenses with this science unit. Celina leads teacher trainings, planning sessions, walking field trips and the Community Waters Field Study. She looks forward to helping Seattle 4th graders find their “stormwater goggles”!

KayLani Siplin-CW

KayLani Siplin (she/her), IslandWood Lead Educator, is a graduate of Antioch University Seattle and IslandWood’s Urban Environmental Education graduate program. She enjoys exploring the outdoors and has worked as an environmental educator at overnight camps and in the classroom. KayLani is excited about helping students see how everything fits together and discover the ways they can make meaningful change in their own communities.

Hannah Rudin (she/her), fell in love with experiential science education as a camper—and again as a counselor—at a small camp in West Virginia called Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies. Since then, she has sought opportunities to foster stewardship of our natural spaces by helping people of all ages get outside. As a new resident of the Pacific Northwest, she is excited to be part of the IslandWood team and learn alongside the students.

Laura Donders (she/her), a transplant from the Potawatomi ancestral lands of SW Michigan, finds her sense of purpose in environmental education and stewardship. Throughout her life she’s committed herself to seeking out and creating learning opportunities focused on equity and the environment. She has worked to advance diversity and inclusion within sustainability education at Western Michigan University and Seattle Central College. Now working with youth in Islandwood’s Urban School Programs, Laura is daily excited and inspired by the passion and curiosity of her students. She believes building strong communities around a healthy relationship to land is essential for preparing the next generation of planetary stewards.

Andrea Hildebrandt (she/her), grew up in Wisconsin and went to school in Minnesota which lent her a life of smaller towns, open fields, a lot of lakes and vibrant seasons. As an Environmental Science and Anthropology student at the University of MN at Mankato (where Laura Ingalls Wilder attended school to become a teacher), her appreciation for our environment dialed in towards plants and native peoples’ respective relationship with them. Post college, Andrea worked in Madison, WI at the State Historical Museum and Archaeology Lab doing paleoethnobotany research and writing curriculum. When she moved to Seattle in 2001, she worked at The Museum of Flight and soon started growing a family, her kids now 10 and 7. Andrea is the Garden Coordinator at her kid’s school and continues discovering and exploring them. Being an Urban Programs Educator for IslandWood contributes to her love of education, community and environmental stewardship. Forest trails, mountainous sunsets, dogs on the beach and wild flowers are some of her favorite gifts of nature.

Jean Hanson (she/her),  is grateful for the opportunity to explore and learn in the urban environment with young scientists and engineers as they connect their ideas and connect with each other. She has a M.I.T from the University of Washington; and has taught middle school math, helped in the school garden, and researched environmental policies from a desk in the other Washington. Jean loves wandering and wondering in Seattle parks with her family.

Matthew Brewer (he/him), is excited to serve as an educator in the Urban School Programs team based in Seattle and at Brightwater in Woodinville. Matthew is a graduate of IslandWood’s Education for Environment and Community program in 2004, holds a Masters in Education and Master in Teaching from Antioch University Seattle in 2006, and is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). He is a seasoned classroom teacher, serving 13 years in Seattle Public Schools and 2 years in the American International School of Johannesburg, South Africa. He endeavors, as an educator, to create a learning environment that offers every child an opportunity to gain an appreciation of both human and natural communities and develop a deeper understanding of global multiculturalism and social justice, grounded in philosophical foundations that inspire stewardship. Matthew enjoys all things outdoor and exploring the region with his wife and two kids through hiking, skiing, kayaking and camping and looking to the natural world for answers of how we can make the world a better place.

Emma MacDonald- CW

Emma MacDonald (she/her) received a BS in Environmental Science and Management from Portland State University in 2013. Since then she has been working her way across the Pacific Northwest and beyond through various positions in wildlife biology and field research. Over the last few years she has transitioned into the realm of environmental education has recently graduated from the Urban Environmental Education graduate program through IslandWood and Antioch University Seattle.  She is eager to learn and grow through this experience and hone her educator skills to become a lean, mean teaching machine.

Brad Street (he/him), IslandWood Programs Manager, has been loving the opportunity with the Community Waters unit to bring together his time as an outdoor environmental education with the more formal training from his Masters in Teaching. While he enjoys crafting student pipes maps and fine-tuning handouts, the main categories of his involvement have been developing the curriculum, large group trainings, and program assessment.  He is looking forward to his own second grader doing the unit in a couple years!