About the Naturalists

Naturalists Theresa Crain and Neyssa Hays use the wonders and magic inherent in nature to excite and educate people about biology and ecology. Theresa and Neyssa have extensive experience teaching in both formal classroom settings and in nature. As the cofounders of Outdoor Education Adventures, they are excited to be stepping into a new phase for the organization and look forward to seeing where this new trail leads.

Theresa Crain, Program Director

With a degree in Natural Resource Interpretation from Humboldt State University and professional background as a state parks interpreter, Theresa brings over twenty years’ experience in informal education. She has also worked extensively with formal classroom educators and has a full understanding of current curriculum requirements. Theresa helps coordinate and teaches for McMinnville SD’s Science Explorations.

Neyssa Hays, Program Director

Neyssa holds a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University and a degree in Russian from Portland State University. She has worked in the natural resources field since 2004 as a park ranger, naturalist, and fisheries biologist assistant as well as an educator for the Oregon Zoo and Portland Public Schools. Her experience also includes time as an equestrian tour guide, legal assistant, and air-ramp supervisor, among other things.

Neyssa grew up in various small towns in north Oregon, from Baker City to Carlton, running around in the woods getting muddy and eating wild plants. She lived in Portland for most of her adult life before returning to Carlton with her husband and two children in 2014. Her time in Portland solidified her love of the outdoors and convictions that time in nature is healing. She believes firmly that all kids should have lots of wilderness time in their lives.