Hannah Gehrels, PEI Wild Child Projects Coordinator
“I’ve seen how spending time outdoors can transform a child. My role is to awaken the sense of wonder, curiosity, and excitement in discovering new mysteries in nature in the kids I spend time with. These kinds of experiences stick with us throughout life, and are incredibly important for building personal resilience and wellbeing, and for fostering future environmental champions who feel connected to our natural world”.
Hannah comes from the beautiful Canadian Shield in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She has a BSc. in Biology from Simon Fraser University where she had opportunities to research frogs, songbirds, fish, and completed an honours project on native pollinators. She also has a MSc. in Biology from UPEI where she was researching invasive green crabs. Hannah was a Marine Sciences Educator at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on Vancouver Island, and was Coordinator of the Lets Talk Science Program at UPEI. Currently, Hannah sits on the board of the Environmental Coalition of PEI. She spends her free time playing board games, nerding out about fungi, and volunteering with many community groups around Charlottetown. Hannah took the Forest School Practitioner’s course summer of 2017 and is currently working to complete the course work for this course.
Deanna Corrigan, Wild Child Forest Educator
“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” -Shanti
Deanna is originally from Prince Edward Island, moved to moncton, New Brunswick with her family as a child, and delightfully returned back to the Island two years ago. She has been working in Childcare for the past ten years and absolutely loves it. She has a strong passion for wildlife, spending time in Nature, and being creative in the arts, and loves sharing her passion with the children she works with. She spends her free time exploring the beautiful Island, the beaches, and hiking trails with her daughter, and loves to paint. She is also apart of the Fox Club society, which is a scouts type club for adults- a great program that involves Outdoor adventures, challenging oneself, and learning new skills. She feels proud and lucky to be apart of this amazing Wild child program and all the adventures that are to come.
Grace Thompson, Wild Child Forest Educator
“I believe many more people need to focus more on their connection with nature, and less on their connection on their cell phones.”
Grace comes from the backwoods of beautiful Emyvale. She is in Grade 11 at Bluefield High school in Hampshire. Focusing on her sciences she plans to pursue a career in Agriculture. Her plans are to study at Nova Scotia agriculture College once graduated. Growing up in Emyvale, Grace has always had a love for adventuring, and exploring Nature and appreciating the beauty of our planet. In her spare time she loves to ride and spend time with her horse, play with her two puppies and enjoy the outdoors. Grace is very passionate about encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of the beautiful planet we have.
Marianne Rehder, Wild Child Forest Educator
“The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility- these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.” Rudolf Steiner
Marianne has been working for many years combining two things she loves: Nature and Education. Born and raised in Montreal, she travelled to England to study organic and biodynamic farming at Emerson College. She then went on to teach gardening, botany, plant drawing and cooking at the Montreal Rudolf Steiner School for several years. Her travels also lead her to many countries, most recently Italy, where she had the opportunity to create various ‘farm and nature school’ programs.
She is currently residing on PEI, working for small organic businesses and enjoying the sea and country life.
Chelsey Folsom, Wild Child Forest Educator
Chelsey loves the outdoors, and is passionate about sharing her joy in nature with others, and helping kids understand their role in protecting the natural world. She has a BSc. in Wildlife Conservation from UPEI, and a Forest Technology Diploma and a Fish and Wildlife Technology Diploma from Maritime College of Forest Technology. When she is not in the forest with our Wild Child program, Chelsey works full time at the PEI Island Nature Trust, monitoring PEI’s beaches for the Piping Plovers, creating educational programs, and surveying forests. Chelsey also volunteers with the Lets Talk Science program, and has done research on fox behaviour and movement in PEI.
Christian Wright, Wild Child Forest Educator
“I see our connection to the natural world as one of the foundations on which we build who we want to be. I feel incredibly lucky to be sharing the profound wonder of nature with eager young minds – helping them to learn about our shared wild world, and uncover their own unique inspirations.”
Christian grew up in Toronto, spending his childhood summers exploring the forests and lakes of the Muskoka region. He ventured to the West Coast of Canada for several years before swapping the Pacific for the Atlantic, making Newfoundland his home for the next seven years. There he earned a Fish and Wildlife Technician diploma, and went on to work with the provinces Wildlife Division, researching the caribou herds of Southern Labrador.
When it came time for him to return to his academic studies, Christian moved to Charlottetown and completed a degree in Wildlife Conservation at UPEI, while concurrently working with Agriculture and Agrifoods Canada (donning a mantle more suited to Islander traditions, in the field of potato research). His love of the natural world will no doubt continue to carry him on new adventures around his beloved country, sharing his passion wherever it leads him, while always, always learning!