Meet OEA Naturalists

About the OEA 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

Executive Director, Program Director, & Co-Founder

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 - Co-founder

Neyssa Hays

Financial Director, Program Director & Co-Founder

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 Educator

Heidi Hoskins

Early Childhood Education Director

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 - Outdoor Science Educator

Amy (Horn) Nelson

Program Director

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.

Claudia Gabriela Gonzalez Davila

Early Childhood Educator

As an Early Childhood educator, Claudia holds a degree in Education from La Salle University in Mexico City. Born and raised in different cities of Mexico, she’s been surrounded by the mountains in northern Mexico, lived an amazing life by the Caribbean Sea, and studied in the vibrant Mexico City. She has always been deeply connected to nature and its wonders, every place she’s lived has taught her about different lifestyles, communities and families.

She firmly believes that through the power of play, children not only learn but also develop essential life skills. As an outdoor school facilitator, she’s been able to witness this transformative process firsthand.

Being bilingual and bicultural, allows her to bring a rich perspective to her work. Currently she’s dedicated to the Spanish curriculum for the Nature School program in McMinnville, where she continues to explore and deepen her connections to her own culture and her role as a playworker and bilingual facilitator. She feels passionate about helping others learn Spanish without pressure and in a natural way.

Claudia hopes to continue to grow, challenging herself, and learning from nature and learning with children around her.

She likes to remember that each child has unique individual qualities and that we can support and help guide them to find their own way to learn and thrive in this world.

Alexis Bergman

Assistant Outdoor Science Educator

Alexis grew up in McMinnville spending much of her time hiking and exploring Oregon’s great outdoors, which sparked her interest in nature. In the summer of 2023, she began working for OEA with their summer camp program and has continued to work with other programs OEA facilitates, while also working towards her degree in natural resources. She wholeheartedly believes everyone should be given the opportunity to explore and experience the nature around them.

Teressa DiAndrea

Administrative Assistant

Teressa’s journey with Outdoor Education Adventures began in 2019 when she and her son attended their first Nature Play at Miller Woods. Since then they have been lovers and supporters of OEA and have attended many camps, as well as spent two years at Maple Grove Preschool. Teressa holds a Master of Arts in Human Development and is passionate about supporting children and their families. She believes that children learn best when they are engaged in meaningful, hands-on exploration, within a caring, supportive community. 

Nicole Myrstol Russell

Bookkeeper

Nicole grew up in southwestern Montana, surrounded by nature. She came to Oregon to pursue a degree in Biology at Oregon State University. There she found a passion for sociology and ultimately earned her degree in that field. From a young age, Nicole felt a calling for volunteer work. She has volunteered with such organizations as Special Olympics, Court Appointed Special Advocates, afterschool programs and as a volunteer on a sea turtle reserve in Costa Rica. Her studies and volunteer work led her to the non-profit world where she has worked for the last 10 years. Nicole’s journey with OEA started when she and her daughter attended Nature Play at Maple Grove. She believes children learn best in an environment where children can lead, participate in hands-on exploration, and have a supportive community.