About the Naturalists

Outdoor Education Adventures uses the wonders and magic inherent in nature to excite and educate people about biology and ecology. Our staff have extensive experience teaching in both formal classroom settings and in nature. As Outdoor Education Adventures continues to grow, they are excited to be stepping into new phases for the organization and look forward to seeing where new trails lead.

Theresa Crain, Cofounder

Theresa Crain, Executive Director, Program Director, & Co-Founder

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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, Cofounder

Neyssa Hays, Financial Director, Program Director & Co-Founder

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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.

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 people should have lots of wilderness time in their lives.

Heidi Hoskins, Early Childhood Education Director

Heidi Hoskins, Early Childhood Education Director

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Heidi Hoskins grew up in the Rocky Mountains in Utah, where she fell in love with playing and learning outdoors. Spending time between both the high desert and the mountainous terrain, Heidi was able to acquire an appreciation for nature’s offering of abundance. In Utah, she studied teaching at the University of Utah and got her Bachelors of Science in Family and Human Development with many opportunities to study outdoor education through her degree. She also got her Masters in Early Childhood Education and acquired a Utah teaching license. Here in Oregon she holds an Oregon teaching license and continues to develop her knowledge of social-emotional learning, empathy, outdoor learning, mindfulness and whole-child development through continuing education. She has worked with children from preschool through third grade in various capacities for the last fifteen years and is thrilled to take the knowledge she has on early childhood education outside.

Amy Nelson, Early Childhood Education Assistant

Amy (Horn) Nelson, Early Childhood Educator

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Amy grew up playing and exploring the woods of northeast Texas. Those long days spent building forts, fishing, and climbing trees fostered a deep love of the natural world. A trained ecologist, Amy earned a B.S. in Agroecology and Environmental Quality from the University Hawaii at Hilo. Much of her life has been spent working in and exploring the outdoors. She was the founder, director, and facilitator of the Yamhill County Free Forest School. Amy believes all children are inherently curious, innately connected to the natural world, and benefit from unstructured outdoor play.