Beverly earned an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Cal Poly in 1989 and has been involved in community leadership and science education, in the classroom and outdoors, for more than 30 years. Early experiences growing up on a Paso Robles area cattle ranch provided endless opportunities for outdoor exploration. An inspiring high school biology teacher (Thank you, Mr. John Jenkins!) further stoked interest and curiosity about the natural world. She worked under the direction of University of California Natural Resource Specialist Dr. William Tietje and many partners to establish the Learning Among the Oaks (LATO) program at Santa Margarita Ranch (2005-2011). This work was supported by two multi-year grants from the California Wildlife Conservation Board to the University of California, Berkeley. LATO, now in its 11th year, is recognized as a unique and successful place-based learning program with a nonprofit home within The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.
Building LATO has been and continues to be a huge team effort and an amazing adventure. I’m filled with joy and gratitude for all that we’ve accomplished together.
Past Cal Poly Biology Interns – Through 2015
Keelan Dann, LATO Program Biology Intern (3rd year of service for LATO)
Hi, I’m Keelan Dann, a Cal Poly senior studying field and wildlife biology. I love field research and environmental education. My fascination with nature and science came from playing and exploring in my neighborhood. But, it was a few mentors who made me see that a career in ecology was possible. My favorite part of LATO is the questions students ask because they make me look at the world in new ways. Thanks Oak Ambassadors and the rest of the LATO team, for sharing your passion for nature!
Elizabeth Saldo, LATO Program Biology Intern (3rd year of service for LATO)
Hi, I’m Elizabeth Saldo, a Cal Poly senior studying biology. I was inspired to major in biological sciences by my high school biology teacher. One of my fondest outdoor experiences involved hiking high up a mountain in Mesa Verde National Park, where we listened to a Native American play the flute and sing; the notes of the flute and the ancient language echoed beautifully across the canyon. If I could be a child again, I would want to be 4: the age when I was overcome with wonder and curiosity for the natural world. I am so excited to be working directly with the Oak Ambassadors!
Ryan Russell, LATO Program Biology Intern and Chief Deputy Nature Detective (2nd year of service for LATO)
Howdy! I’m Ryan Russell and I am a 4th year biology major at Cal Poly. I have a passion for trying to understand the world we live in which has caused me to develop a love and appreciation for science and nature. I hope to follow the example of great naturalists like John Muir by dedicating my time and energy to exploring, protecting, and sustaining the diversity of life around us. Some of my happiest memories were formed on yearly family summer vacations to Sequoia, walking the same gorgeous trails that John Muir helped to preserve. I’m thrilled to have the honor of applying the coolest title of all time, Chief Deputy Nature Detective, to myself this year as I attempt to produce Nature Challenges tricky enough to fool such smart students. Best of luck young detectives! You’re gonna need it.
Meghan Perfect, LATO Intern
Hi, I’m Meghan Perfect, a 4th year Cal Poly liberal studies major hoping to become an elementary school teacher. In 5th grade I was able to go to an overnight outdoor school at Camp Arroyo and then later had to privilege to serve as a counselor for a similar program at Walker Creek Ranch. I loved going on hikes and learning about all of the organisms (we even licked a banana slug to learn about their adaptations!). I am so excited to be working with the Oak Ambassadors this quarter and to learn even more about the amazing oaks and the organisms past and present that make their home along the trail.
Sarah Slabaugh, LATO Intern-Program Assistant and Fall 2014 Head Coach for Oak Ambassadors
Hi, I’m Sarah Slabaugh, a senior at Cal Poly, majoring in Liberal Studies, with a minor in biology, seeking to become an elementary school teacher. My love for teaching and the outdoors began at a very young age, and has only grown since. In junior high, I had the opportunity to travel to both Yosemite and Catalina for a week and learn about California’s diverse environments. Furthermore, I have worked in outdoor, recreational summer camps the past few summers, only giving me more experience outside with children. My love for adventure varies from snow skiing all the way to surfing and wake-boarding. Overall, I just enjoy spending my time with the people I care about in this beautiful place we get to call home.
Trisha Huynh, LATO Program Intern and Fall 2014 Oak Ambassador Earth Sciences Team Coach
Hi everyone! My name is Trisha Huynh and I very recently graduated from Cal Poly SLO. My favorite outdoor education experience was getting to go to Yosemite in the 8th grade to hike the trails and learn all about the plants and animals that lived there! That’s when I first knew I really liked science, and now, years later, you can find me researching jellyfish in the San Francisco Estuary, putting together a tiger skeleton for Cal Poly, or helping students discover the wonders of science at LATO!
Cal Poly Liberal Studies 462 ~ LATO Senior Project Students, Winter 2015
Thanks to Cal Poly Science Teaching Specialist Anne Marie Bergen and to key LATO volunteers ~ retired teachers Mike and Ruby Klatt for this successful collaboration adventure which began in Fall 2013.
Hi, my name is Brooke Bernardy! I am a senior at Cal Poly, majoring in Liberal Studies with a Mathematics minor. I will be completing my degree this spring, and heading to Madrid, Spain, to teach English as a second language. My love for teaching stemmed for coaching water polo for six years, I could not get enough of it. I love the beach and try to make it to Avila as much as possible to hike the trails and sit at the end of the pier!
Hi, I’m Jennifer Sharp, a senior at Cal Poly. I am majoring in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in physical science, and I hope to become an elementary school teacher. I have always wanted to be a teacher, and every time I work with students I am reminded of just how fun it can be to teach. My senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to go on a Marine Biology field trip where we spent five days living on a tall ship. While on this trip, I explored Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands and learned about many sea creatures. As a child I spent much of my time reading, and I still enjoy reading when I have free time.
I’m Camille Crowley, a fourth year Liberal Studies major, Biology minor student at Cal Poly. Next quarter, I will be entering the multiple-subject credential program at Cal Poly in the hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher someday. My love of learning, teaching, and nature began at a very young age and has been growing ever since. In high school, I volunteered as a summer camp counselor near Lassen National Park, where I was able to share my love of nature and the local ecology with my campers. This past summer, I also served as a camp counselor, this time at the Central Coast Aquarium’s “Sea Explorer” day camps. There, I had a blast teaching children about the ocean and the organisms that live in it. My hobbies include hiking, running, swimming, going to the beach, and spending time with friends in beautiful SLO!
Hi I'm Kelsey Wellard, a 4th year Liberal Studies student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, planning on becoming an Elementary School teacher. I was inspired to major in Liberal Studies by my mom, who is a teacher as well. When I was in 6th grade I got to go to an outdoor school. For a week we got to go on hikes and learn all about plants and animals from around that area. It is definitely one of my favorite memories from 6th grade. I'm so excited to get to work alongside all of the oak ambassadors, and learn about the different organisms that live along the trail!
Hello! My name is Nancy Maytubby and I have recently gone back to Cal Poly in order to earn my Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies and my Teaching Credential. I moved to Atascadero from the central valley within the past few years. I have worked in both private and public schools for the past 20 years and had the opportunity to go to Hume Lake’s Outdoor Education Program for about 10 of those years. I learned a great deal and enjoyed it so much that I was excited to learn about the LATO Program and wanted to get involved with it. I look forward to working with the ambassadors this year! I look forward to learning about the ecosystem in my new area!
Under construction – April 2015