Meet the Education Team!

Hallie Sykes | Oxbow Education Program Manager

Drawn to Washington from arid Kansas by the green trees and beautiful waterways, Hallie brings her enthusiasm for agriculture and sustainability to Oxbow Education programs. After obtaining a degree in Environmental Science from Colorado College, Hallie has educated in many settings, including a wetlands nature center in Colorado and through outreach to local farmers at WSU Extension. Eager to connect to fresh food and fresh young minds, she joined OxEd in early 2016. Hallie appreciates the deep influence of the changing seasons on food and farming and shares that awe and wonder with the young people that visit Oxbow.

Shannon Arnold | Environmental Educator & Kids’ Farm Steward

Sprouting up on the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, Shannon has always been passionate about protecting our natural resources. While obtaining her Environmental Engineering BA degree at Gannon University, she gained experience in industrial environmental regulation. Shannon brought her experience to Seattle where she assisted with contamination remediation construction projects, and soil, sediment, and water sampling. Shannon also taught future engineers basic math and science skills through fun and exploring with Legos. In 2017, her enthusiasm for organic farming, conservation, and teaching young ones brought her to Oxbow, where she now helps form the next generation of environmental stewards. 

Zoe Nelson | Environmental Educator & Volunteer Coordinator

Zoe has been passionate about environmental conservation since she was a young bean sprout! After obtaining a B.A. in Environmental Policy and Planning at Western Washington University, Zoe decided she wanted to pursue a career that allowed her to work in the beautiful outdoors and inspire future stewards of the land. She served as an interpretive specialist for Washington State and City Parks, and eventually transplanted to wild Wyoming to work for the National Park Service as an educator and wildlife field technician. Realizing her passion for biodiversity and citizen science, Zoe pursued a Master’s in Natural Science Teaching at the University of Wyoming; soon after graduating, she jumped into a Project Manager role for the Biodiversity Institute at UWyo. Today she’s thrilled to be back in the wet and wonderful Pacific Northwest applying her skills on the OxEd team. Zoe believes there’s no better way to learn than by doing, and can’t wait to dig her hands in the dirt with students at Oxbow!

Emma Pesis | Environmental Educator & Program Liaison

Yet another one of those California transplants, Emma’s passion for garden and farming only deepened when she moved away from her home in agricultural Davis, CA, to the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from Willamette University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, and later an M.S. Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy from Portland State University, and hunkered down into garden and farm programmatic development in Salem and Portland, Oregon. More recently, Emma deepened her knowledge in the Next Generation Science Standards and inquiry- and place-based learning from her time working for IslandWood. She has spent the past year developing framework resources, lessons, and guidance for school teachers, administrators, and community organizations around the Puget Sound and Olympic School Districts. Thrilled to be back on a farm, Emma is looking forward to supporting all young hearts as they continue to build their sense of place and self at Oxbow.

Shea Scribner | Education Specialist

Grown fresh right here in the Pacific Northwest, Shea has always been inspired by the enormous trees and equally impressive little mosses that so quickly colonize every available surface. Applying this enthusiasm for nature’s treasures large and small, Shea has worked as a naturalist throughout Oregon and Washington and balanced educational theory with hands-on experience to graduate with an Environmental Education BA from Huxley College. From serving on riparian restoration crews to installing permaculture landscapes in Seattle, Shea enjoys exploring the ways humans can work with nature to create resilient habitats in both rural and urban environments. Shea couldn’t be more excited to explore healthy food and native ecology, build a loving community, and make discoveries with Oxbow’s adventurous young learners!

Becca Wheaton | Environmental Educator & Program Coordinator

Becca germinated her love of environmental education on the eastern shores of North Carolina’s Atlantic coast. Her love of people and place inspired her degree in Cultural Anthropology and Journalism (BA) through the University of North Carolina Wilmington. During a three-year pit stop in the dreamy mountain landscape of Carbondale, CO, Becca was a farmer at a nonprofit organization called Sustainable Settings, an educational ranch anchored by experiential teaching/learning. She later extended her roots out to join Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) where she was an environmental educator in the classrooms and on their farm at Rock Bottom Ranch. In late 2017, Farmer Becca uprooted her Rocky Mountain lifestyle and moved to the Pacific Northwest to join the Oxbow Education Team as their Environmental Education Program Coordinator. She is excited to continue guiding agricultural and environmental education programs so the next generation of children can lead with a solid environmental foundation.