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.





Rhododendron (Michael Shanahan III)
Rhododendron is entering his fourth 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 back ground of working at San Joaquin Outdoor Education in the costal redwoods and graduating from Humboldt State (Go Jacks!), he is excited to apply inquiry- based teaching to 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. Rhododendron’s top stories to read on trail are Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, along with telling nature legends on night hikes.




Photo: Echo

Echo (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.




Photo: Osprey

Osprey (Jessica Goldman)
This year marks the third school year for Osprey at Shady Creek Outdoor School! Osprey grew up in Apex, North Carolina, and has worked as an educator and guide in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Montana. While not working as a naturalist, Osprey enjoys hiking long trails, birding and wildlife watching, and traveling. Note: No scrub jays were harmed in the making of this bio. Through permits and specific training, as well as an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Management, Osprey is able to get hands on and collect valuable migratory and resident bird data in Grass Valley, California.




OtterOtter (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






Sassafrass (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 third school year being part of the Shady Creek family.



Photo: Anemone

Anemone (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!





Veggie (Ella Feick)
Veggie is from Truckee, California, and discovered her love of nature growing up in the mountains and going camping. She came to Shady Creek as a kid when she was ten years old. Veggie came back as a cabin counselor five times during high school! She love knock-knock jokes and sharing cooking recipes. Veggie invites you to come say ‘hi’ and eat a carrot with her. This
year, Veggie hopes to inspire positive community building in classes and sharing the importance of finding our place in nature.


Photo: ManzanitaManzanita (Jordyn Lamb)
Manzanita was born and raised in Chico, California, where she spent most of her time exploring the outdoors around her. Her love for the outdoors got started when she joined Girl Scouts 15 years ago. She now works for the Boy Scouts of America, and loves spending her time camping, reading, and playing card games. She went to Shady Creek as a sixth grader, then came back three times to be a cabin leader. She hopes to learn more about environmental education, inspire kids to fall in love with the natural world, and make memories with as many kids as possible this year.





Photo: BasaltBasalt (Connor Laine)
Hello, my name is Connor Griffin Laine! However, at Shady Creek my nature name is Basalt. I have been in love with outdoor education since I first went to Outdoor School in the towering redwoods. I learned that learning doesn’t just have to be in a classroom. I like spending my summer in the redwoods of Cazadero, California, at camp Voyaneh. I like spending any free time
rock climbing, especially outdoors.




Photo: Tahoe

Tahoe (Tyler Brown)
I’m from Oroville, California. I love sports! Football, basketball, and soccer are my favorites. My favorite sports teams are the Baltimore Ravens, Sacramento Kings, and the Portland
Timbers. I love to hike and go on road trips. I love traveling and want to visit New Zealand! I’m pretty tech savvy and am into computers and gaming. I also love other games like tabletop games, board games, and active games. I love Dungeons and Dragons and acting. I would love to get into teaching, coaching or social work after being a student naturalist at Shady Creek.






Photo: NewtNewt
Newt is a student naturalist from Chico, California. They love spending time exploring new places and looking at the stars. One of their favorite things to do is to get excited about interesting bugs and animals by the creek. From science and art to music and adventuring, Newt enjoys a lot of things and loves sharing that excitement with students at Shady Creek Outdoor School






Photo: Orca

Orca (Jason Dysart II)
Orca is from San Diego, California. He found his love for the outdoors through experiences relating to water. Ever since Orca was little, he has loved any activity that involves water, whether swimming, snow play, or going to the ocean. After Orca’s second year as a student naturalist, he plans to work on continuing his education!






Photo: Raccoon

“There’s many things to learn from observation. A wise man isn’t always the most intelligent.” Raccoon is from Sutter, California. Raccoon is a student naturalist.









Photo: Ocean

Ocean is a student naturalist from Yuba City, California. She found her love of nature through frequent trips to Santa Cruz. She loves travel, and finds everyday to be a new adventure. She hopes to help students explore themselves, learn to appreciate the natural world, and spread positivity. She fell in love with Shady Creek when she came up as a fifth grader, and she hopes you will too! After this year as a student naturalist she plans to study medicine.




Photo: Ice Bear

Ice Bear
Ice Bear has a great love for cold weather, especially snow. They participate in a variety of art forms including music, architectural design, and stained glass. Their love of nature stems from annual family trips as a child to the coastal areas of Northern California where they would camp and hike and play on the beach. Ice Bear first fell in love with Shady Creek as a sixth grader, again as a cabin leader in high school, and again as a student naturalist.


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