Meet the Staff


Quail (Shannon Cueva)
Quail is Shady Creek’s Program Director. She has been with the Outdoor School since she was hired as an Intern Naturalist in 2006. Originally from Oroville, California, Shannon first fell in love with environmental education when she attended Woodleaf as a sixth grader. Quail attended California State University, Chico where she earned a degree in Recreation Administration. She appreciates having a job where she can work with an outstanding staff, and meet amazing children from all over Northern California. Shannon loves spending time with her husband, Yeti, and her sons. She also enjoys playing bass with her family’s rock-n-roll band.


yetiYeti (Chris Little)
Christopher Storm Little, better known as “Yeti”, is the Coordinator of the Shady Creek Outdoor School program. He started his career at Woodleaf Outdoor School twelve years ago and was part of the original team that helped move the program to its current location. Chris was very lucky to have met his future wife Shannon Cueva or “Quail” during his first year at Woodleaf, and takes great joy managing the Shady Creek program with her. One of his favorite highlights was in 2010 when he, along with his twin brother Jason Little, were honored by being named the Environmental Educators of the Year for the state of California.

Picture of Bethany ThomasEcho (Bethany Thomas)
Echo is at Shady Creek for her sixth year. She came from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a city did not give her much time outside. While at Penn State, she participated in an Outdoor School program and saw how important it is for kids learn about the environment they live in. After a few years of being a part of such an amazing program, she realized that she was on the path she wanted to continue on after graduating with a degree in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences. Her goal at Shady Creek is to help students find something they care about in nature so they can teach people about it and to show them that they can make a difference.

Picture of Lauren de TerraOtter (Lauren deTerra)
Otter returns to Shady Creek for her third school year. She became a naturalist after fond memories of outdoor school as a student and cabin leader. When Otter isn’t exploring the forest and creek she loves to travel, and most recently returned from Australia. She looks forward to Gaga ball, night hikes, and fun night every week.

Picture of Emily BaxterAnemone (Emily Baxter)
Anemone loves puns and silly jokes, walks on the beach, dahlias, and, most importantly, is super excited to be on the Shady Creek team as a Naturalist. Growing up, her love for nature started with the tide pools at the beach and spending summers in the Sierras. Nowadays her summers are spent backpacking with kids at summer camp and working at state parks. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation to hopefully inspire others to find a love for the natural world as well.

Photo: WolfeWolfe (Logan Wolfe)
Wolfe is a naturalist that loves music, ping-pong, and hiking on trails at Shady Creek. Born in Chico, California, Wolfe grew up playing sports and exploring the city park, which began his appreciation for the outdoors. This will be
Wolfe’s second year on staff, and he hopes to inspire positivity and connection with nature. During the summers, Wolfe sticks around for Shady Creek Summer Camp, which allows him to say BOOMSHAKALAKA year-round!

Picture of Cami BruggnerSassafras (Cami Bruggner)
A Wisconsin native, Sassafras graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Communications Studies with an emphasis on conflict and negotiation. She has spent 17 years teaching children in outdoor education. She was employed for thirteen years at a pesticide free working farm in Arizona where she taught students about agriculture and animal husbandry.  She also has been a naturalist for four years at various outdoor education centers in Southern California.  Sassafras is excited to return for her fourth school year being part of the Shady Creek family.

Picture of Zach PinaPika (Zach Piña)
Pika is stating his second season as a Shady Creek Naturalist. He comes from Yuba City and he has ventured to multiple cities throughout California and Washington working at different outdoor schools and camps. He is driven by learning and he is excited to learn from and teach the students of Shady Creek. His degree in Recreation Administration Outdoor Adventure from Humboldt State has allowed him to work and play outside. Through work, school and personal trips he has racked up; around 500 miles of sailing, six months of living out of a backpack, over 4000 miles of running, and about 5000 meters of climbing. His free time is filled with rock climbing, welding, crafting, and running.

Picture of Michael Shanahan IIIRhododendron (Michael Shanahan III)
Rhododendron is entering his fifth year at Shady Creek. He considers teaching in the garden, exploring the creek, and hiking the hills with students the most rewarding part of Shady Creek. With a background of working at San Joaquin Outdoor Education in the costal redwoods and graduating from Humboldt State (Go Jacks!), he is excited to continue to apply inquiry- based teaching in the mountains. Receiving a B.S in environmental policy and a B.A in recreation administration, he is passionate about the garden as well as growing leadership and facilitating new nature experiences in others. Rhododendron’s top stories to read on trail is ‘Just a Dream’, by Chris Van Allsburg, and the ‘Lorax’, by Dr. Seuss, along with telling nature legends on night hikes.

Picture of Kacy TodiritaToad (Kacy Todirita)
Toad moved to the Shady Creek area from the Northern Sonoran Desert a year ago. Born in New York, Toad studied in schools throughout Colorado, West Virginia, Mexico City and Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona as an architect, and worked as a driver, drafter, builder and cook before travelling around Europe for 3 years, earning her way playing guitar, painting watercolor postcards, translating and teaching English. She plays in a band, “Planet Jam”, with her husband and raised a son and daughter. Toad began teaching in 1997, and has helped creatures of all ages to learn in schools, courts, libraries and parks. She is very happy to share her stories as an outdoor educator with Shady Creek.

Picture of Logan DysartTree Frog (Logan Dysart)
Tree frog is from Brownsville California. He found his love for the outdoors through activities such as backpacking, camping, hiking and spending time outside. He loves to be himself and brings out the best and brightest self from everyone he meets.


Picture of Mike FarleyCloud (Mike Farley)
Cloud is a student naturalist at Shady Creek. He is 19 years old and grew up on the east coast in Rhode Island and Connecticut. Cloud served with AmeriCorps, which is how he found Shady Creek. Cloud has a passion for music, nature, and teaching.



Picture of Nickolas MaloHippo (Nickolas Malo)
Hippo is a student naturalist from Springfield, Massachusetts. He fell in love with Shay Creek while volunteering with AmeriCorps. He loves basketball, soccer, hiking, and camping. After Shady Creek, he is hoping to be able to come back for summer camp before heading back to school.

Picture of Noah EndertonRain (Noah Enderton)
Rain is a student naturalist from Yuba City, California. He loves photography, hiking, and adventure. While so much can be captured in a photograph, he hopes you enjoy all the little moments while visiting Shady Creek and keep them with you for the rest of your life. Rain is very interested in mythology, so if you know any cool legends be sure to let him know! Rain intends to pursue a teaching credential in biology after completing the student naturalist program.

Picture of Robert MatthewsRiver Rapids (Robert Matthews)
River Rapids is a student naturalist from Loma Rica, California. His favorite things are tap dancing, hiking, and eating rice. He fell in love with Shady Creek when he came as a cabin leader during high school. During the year he hopes to encourage curiosity and positivity in students. After this year, River Rapids is joining the Army Reserves and continuing his education.

Picture of Neo C.K. CampagnaSinewave (Neo C.K. Campagna)
This is Sinewave’s first year as a student naturalist at shady creek. He has worked at shady creek numerous times as a cabin leader for outdoor school and summer camp. Outside of shady creek he works as a producer and audio engineer with 8 years of experience.  He DJ’s for hip hop groups in Sacramento and Chico, He produces background tracks for artists in the same region, and he was part of the crew working on the main stage at WorldFest. For his Electronic music, he uses the name “Neo Spectrum.” He got involved with shady creek as early as 6th grade. He came with his school to shady creek and was instantly inspired by the energy exuded by the naturalists. That same energy inspires him to this day. His goal is to remind the students that it is awesome to be themselves. Furthermore, to strengthen the connection between their understanding of nature and sound.

Picture of Natalie StamperNat the Bat (Natalie Stamper)
Nat The Bat is from Yuba City, California. Some of her favorite things include exploring, reading, writing, and hiking. She first fell in love with Shady Creek when I visiting as a 5th grader. Learning is very important to her so she’s always all ears for a fun fact! She hopes to spread her enthusiasm for learning, growth, and change during her year spent as a student naturalist at Shady Creek.

Picture of Lilly RickardsTigerlilly (Lilly Rickards)
Tigerlilly is a student naturalist from Paradise, California. She grew up in a family who loved the outdoors and went on yearly camping trips. Tigerlilly loves going to the river, star gazing, bird watching, reading, drawing, and working with animals. After her year at Shady Creek she is going to continue her education to become a veterinarian. She is absolutely thrilled to be working at Shady Creek and cannot wait to see where life will take her.


Picture of Alex MarchmanSol (Alex Marchman)
Sol is a student naturalist coming all the way from the east coast. She takes her nature name from the Latin word for sun! Sol is very excited to be apart of the shady creek family & to explore all parts of sunny California! She plans to stay around the sun and go to college for outdoor education and botany. Some of her favorite activities are hiking, camping, kayaking & listening to live music!


From the entire Shady Creek Staff a big “Boomshakalaka” we look forward to meeting you!