Kinsella, Marilyn

Kinsella, Marilyn

Marilyn Kinsella, Taleypo the Storyteller, of Fairview Heights, IL, has been telling stories since 1981. She tells stories “…from nursery schools to nursing homes.” Her folktales come from many cultures, but her favorite stories are those she wrote about growing up in her small, Mid-western town. Her stories are full of energy and a delicate blend of action and word imaging. As a full-time, free-lance teller she travels to where stories want to be told. Besides telling, she often leads workshops, writes, and performs puppet plays.

In 2010, she became a published author with her book Storytelling and QAR Strategies. She has told stories to hundreds of schools and libraries in the Midwest and has been featured at many festivals and special events including The St. Louis Storytelling Festival Under the Arch, The Celtic World Festival in Ohio, Cahokia Mounds, and The Illinois Storytelling Festival.

Read More

Kinsella, Larry

Larry Kinsella’s interest in stone tools began as a boy on the farm when he found arrowheads. In the early 1970’s, he went to an adult field school in Kampsville, IL and dug at the famous Koster site. That began his work as an amateur field archaeologist and his association with the Illinois Association for the Advancement of Archaeology. As a volunteer at the World Heritage site – Cahokia Mounds, he spent countless hours working on digs.

In 1979, he began making stone tools. At first he knapped flint into arrowheads. Soon other stone tools and ancient techniques caught his interest – stone axes, atlatls, spears, pottery, fire-making, and more. He not only made stone tools but used them and experimented with them. Since 2000, he has worked full-time as a professional field archaeologist, historical replicator and experimenter, demonstrator, and teacher. His work in archaeology has been honored with several awards over the years. The most prestigious was in 2010, from the Society of American Archaeology – The Don Crabtree Away – the highest honor given to any amateur archaeologist for his outstanding work.

Read More

King, Linda

Linda King has been a Transportation Summit Assistant whenever she has attended since the first Family Nature Summit in 2007. She is highly qualified for this job because in real life she is a school bus driver for Hilliard City School with nearly 20 years of experience.

Read More

Kilpatric, Amy

As a young teen, Amy Kilpatric attended the very first conservation summit that was held at the YMCA of the Rockies. When she became a parent she wanted her own children to experience the joys of being Summiteers, so she and her husband, Michel Lillmars, packed up their three little girls, along with the water bottles, ponchos, binoculars and field guides and headed to another Rocky Mountain summit. The daughters were hooked and continued to encourage Mom and Dad to take them to summits all over the country.

As a native of the Ozark area, Amy Kilpatric spent her childhood climbing trees, playing in the woods behind her home, going on wildflower walks, and floating on the crystal clear water of the Ozarks streams. She continues to share her love of the natural world with children in her position as the lead science and nature teacher at Community School in St. Louis county. Every year Amy leads her sixth grade science students on geology tours of Meramec Springs Park and Onondaga Cave. During a camping trip to the area, Amy assists her students in water quality monitoring of streams in the Meramec River Watershed. Amy is delighted to have the opportunity to share her love of the Ozarks with her fellow Summiteers.

Read More

Jackson, Sara

Sara Jackson has been part of the Junior Naturalist staff for Family Nature Summits since 2003. She is currently a piano teacher in Ann Arbor, MI, however, prior to that she worked in the environmental education and communications field for many years. Experiences include nature camp program director, challenge course facilitator, invasive species removal crew member, and communications associate for National Wildlife Federation. Sara loves the Summits and can’t wait for another fun week of exploring and learning about nature with all of the awesome kids in her group!

Read More

Jackson, Carroll

Carroll Jackson, who is blind, is a field representative for Leader Dogs for the Blind and regularly travels independently all over the United States with his leader dog hunter using the Trekker, a GPS devise for the blind.

Read More

Houser, Steve

Steve Houser Jr has a master’s degree in Elementary Education as well as a graduate degree in counseling. Steve is certified in gifted education, social sciences, and geography, as well as being certified as an Environmental Educator by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. His work as an educator of young people for over 40 years has been recognized through numerous awards, including: The Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (the nation’s highest science teaching award sponsored by the White House and the National Science Foundation), the Governor’s Award for NC Environmental Educator of the Year, the American Geological Institute’s US Earth Science Teacher of the Year, the Mecklenburg County Arts and Science Council’s Outstanding Educator Award for his contributions to the Arts, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System’s Wachovia Ben Craig Teacher of the Year Award.

In addition, Steve is a professional storyteller with over 35 years experience in telling the old North Carolina tales and international stories that inspire and educate the listener. He worked over twenty summers as a National Wildlife Federation Family Summit faculty member at locations all over North America, and he currently serves as Director of the Family Nature Summits Junior Naturalist Program. Recognized as an “Educator of Excellence” with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, Steve has participated in educator institutes in Sweden, Belize, Yellowstone National Park, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest in Peru

Read More

Houser, Jan

Jan Houser has attended or volunteered at 24 Summits. After teaching for 33 years, she retired and has her own private tutoring business. She enjoys being able to schedule her time in such a way as to spend ample time outdoors walking her dogs and riding her horse. Family Nature Summits have been an important part of each summer for her family, and she has enjoyed seeing many beautiful places across the United States in conjunction with Summit adventures.

Read More

Holmberg, Nels

Nels Holmberg lives on a sheep farm in east central Missouri with his wife Sandra and 10 Australian shepherds. A born again environmentalist, his great interest is understanding, cataloging and preserving the great diversity of fascinating organisms living on this earth. Sandra’s desire to be a farmer led to Nels’ interest in ecology which led to quitting his job and going back to UM-St. Louis for a MS degree in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. He now spends as much time as possible in the field, looking for and learning new plants. Nels believes that the quality of a nature hike depends greatly on the knowledge all the group members bring along.

Read More

Hoffner, Delene

DeLene Hoffner is currently teaching 4th grade at School in the Woods, a natural science immersion school. She has been an elementary teacher for over 28 years. DeLene earned her Masters degree in Integrated Natural Sciences from Colorado College. She has been recognized for her teaching with numerous honors; 1999 Presidential Award for Excellence, Teacher of the Year, Exceptional International Elementary Science Teacher, Space Foundation Advisory Teacher, to name a few. DeLene also is a regional director for Colorado Environmental Education Council, a teacher trainer for her school district, President for the Colorado Association of Science Teachers, executive board member/instructor for eleSTEMary and an adjunct professor for a local university. She is very involved in the National Science Teacher Association where she previously was the Preschool/Elementary Committee Director and now reviews articles for the Science & Children magazine and chairs the committee for the selection of the Outstanding Science Trade books award. She is an international teacher/presenter who shares her passions for learning with teachers ranging from her local state conferences to Australian teachers!! (She spent a year in Australia on a teaching exchange) DeLene marvels at the wonders of the world we live in and strives to share ways for all to enjoy, understand and care for our precious natural world!!

Read More