Naturalists at Large, Our Instructors

Our Instructors

A cornerstone of the Naturalists at Large safety philosophy is to provide a comfortable outdoor experience.

At a minimum, our instructors have Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications.  Most instructors possess Emergency Medical Technician, Wilderness First Responder certifications, or other advanced wilderness specific first aid training certifications as well.

Our Naturalists have a lifelong enthusiasm for the outdoors, a special commitment to outdoor education, and a wealth of practical experience working with children and adults in a wilderness environment.

Upon conditional hiring, Naturalists at Large staff are fingerprinted and background checked via Department of Justice Livescan.  Perspective staff with records of previous convictions related to the services we provide will not be considered for employment.

Naturalists at Large staff members are experienced outdoor professionals. Our instructors possess four year degrees in teaching or outdoor fields, or possess an equivalent in outdoor teaching and guiding experience. They have skills such as rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, mountaineering, snorkeling and kayaking, as well as knowledge of natural history and experiential education.

With their high comfort and experience in the outdoors, their passion for teaching, and a commitment to safety first, we have the foundation for a fantastic experience for you and your students!

  • Naturalists at Large, Our Instructors
  • Naturalists at Large, Our Instructors
  • Naturalists at Large, Our Instructors
  • Naturalists at Large, Our Instructors

Meet Our Instructors

Originally from Alpharetta, Georgia, Ally Littell graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in speech communications. She began working…

Ally Littell

Bill is an east-coast transplant from Ludlow, Massachusetts.  He moved to the West coast full time in the mid-90’s. Fall 1995 was…

Bill Vecchiarelli

Hailing from the Seattle area, Ellie Piper has been working for NAL since the Fall of 2009. After graduating from Montana…

Ellie Piper

Although born and raised in Washington DC, Anna Greenberg has deep family roots in California. As a child, she couldn’t wait…

Anna Greenberg

James is originally from Gilmanton, NH and graduated from the University of New Hampshire, with a BS in Recreation Management.  There…

James Dirosa

Erin calls Sheboygan, WI her hometown.  She graduated from Portland State University, and during the NAL season Erin loves to live…

Erin Mohr

Jake is originally from Orange County, CA.  He graduated from Chapman University with a major in Kinesiology.  He loves backpacking all…

Jake Carpenter

Tori is from Chino Hills, CA and graduated from New England College – Outdoor Leadership & Sport and Recreation Management was…

Tori Polehonka

Albia is originally from Wheaton, IL and graduated from Illinois State University with a major in Parks and Recreation Administration.   Since…

Albia Aye

Jacquie Ferguson is the velvety voice of our phones and is the Office Coordinator at Naturalists at Large.  She loves to…

Jacquie Ferguson

Julie is a trail addict with a passion for cooking, gardening, and sleeping in her own bed. She is pleased to…

Julie Fontes

Traci is NAL’s Staffing HR Coordinator and she has been rocking that role since 2001.  She was born in Omaha but…

Traci Goldman

Hailing originally from Wisconsin, Mike Nesbitt graduated from Northland College on the shores of Lake Superior with a degree in Adventure…

Mike Nesbitt
Become a Naturalist

Are you a person with an appreciation for teaching and a love for the outdoors? Have you been looking for a way to combine both interests? Naturalists at Large may be the company for you. We believe that the health of our environment is strongly tied to our children having the knowledge and preparation to, one day, assume the mantle of responsibility for its well-being.

Read More Below


NAL Overview Slideshow

Check out this slideshow to learn more about us.

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Instructor Application

Click here to view/download our Instructor Application:


Our Mission Statement

Naturalists at Large will be the preferred provider of quality environmental and outdoor education programs to independent and public schools at geographically diverse sites throughout California.

We are always looking for qualified outdoor teachers and educators to join our team. We specialize in introducing schools to the outdoors on a variety of outdoor learning sites or lodge-based trips in our state and national parks.

  • At a minimum, our instructors have a four-year college degree, or the equivalent, in the sciences, recreation, education or a related field.
  • Naturalists at Large is interested in enthusiastic, self-motivated men and women who demonstrate a good rapport with both young children and teens. Because we work all over the state of California, in different ecosystems and habitats, you should be a person who learns quickly and who has an inquisitive nature. Outdoor skills with practical experience in rock climbing, canoeing, backpacking, snorkeling and other outdoor activities are highly desirable as is a general knowledge about the human and natural history of the western United States.
  • You should have strong group-building and communication skills.
  • You must be safety-oriented and certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Proven decision-making skills and the ability to work effectively and constructively in team situations are also required. Previous experience in outdoor or environmental education is a plus.
  • Naturalists at Large is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any person based upon that person’s age, race, sex, color, religion, or political beliefs.

If this sounds like a job for you, please see the Employee Application, or Contact Us directly.