.................... Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Sammy Salmon, shown here with Paul and Jean, has become a beloved member of the Wilderness Way staff. He is lovingly carried by doting children, smaller than he is, on hiking treks to discover the mysteries of the forest, creeks and wildlife in the San Geronimo Valley. Sammy loves children and Wishing Poles. Photo credit Wayne Woods.www.waynewoods.com

Jean Berensmeier -- Wilderness Way (WW) Founder and Program Director.
Jean was a Physical Education professor at the College of San Mateo from
1956 -1993. Besides teaching physical education she initiated and taught
classes in backpacking, backpacking foods and bicycle camping. Course
content included native wildlife, plants, survival and Native American
lifestyles and values. A Valley resident for 43 years, Jean is a founder of
the San Geronimo Valley Community Center and San Geronimo Valley Planning
Group. She is a well known environmental activist in the community and
county. Jean served as President of both the Marin Conservation League and
Marconi Conference Center Historical State Park. For 20 years she was a
commissioner for the County of Marin Parks and Open Space Dept. and chaired
the Trails Committee and Bikeways Committee. She has led hikes teaching
about plants, wildlife and Native Americans. Jean is the WW Project Director
for a recent grant from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration) and works with the Lagunitas School District to create a
comprehensive watershed/salmonid program.

Paul Berensmeier -- Wilderness Way Founder and Instructor.
Paul was a Physical Education coach/instructor at College of Notre Dame
from 1990 - 1996. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and
Master's Degree in Sports Psychology from San Francisco State University. He
won the Northern California decathlon championship in 1985. He worked as a
Wilderness Guide for Phil Arnot’s Wilderness Adventures. Paul was a student
of Native Americans J. C. Eaglesmith, Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf, and Bear Heart,
where he learned about native plants, wildlife and native survival
techniques. He completed an Outward Bound instructor's course receiving
training in canyoneering, rock climbing, mountaineering, river rafting, and
survival. Paul is an ultra-marathon runner and plays the classic and Native
American flute.* He has lived in the Valley all his life and also learned
about native plants and wildlife through family “Wilderness Way” activities,
experiences and adventures on their 30 acre property in Lagunitas, bordering
Taylor State Park on the slopes of Mt. Barnabe. He attended the Academics +
and Open Classroom programs in the Lagunitas School District. In the 4th
grade, he drew attention to the sudden death of all marine life in Larsen
Creek which led to a State investigation and creek restoration. Paul is a WW
instructor and will work in the environmental education program recently
given third year funding by NOAA.

* In the summer of 2007 Paul successfully auditioned for a master class with
internationally renowned flautist R. Carlos Nakai at a week long Native
American flute workshop in Montana. The experience inspired him to start the
first Flute Circle in Marin County beginning in October 2007. It is open to
all interested in learning to play the Native American flute. In
addition, Paul recently started a Native American flute class for Middle
School students at Lagunitas School which is filled to capacity and has a
waiting list. In the summer of 2008, Paul returned to Nakai’s workshop and
at Nakai’s request taught a class on teaching Native American flute to
Middle School students.



Fred Berensmeier
-- Wilderness Way Founder and consultant. Fred (Lee to friends) was an art instructor and head of the Fine Arts Printmaking Dept. at City College of San Francisco from 1968-1993. He has a studio and private gallery at his home where his fine art work can be seen by appointment. Fred provides information, consultation, creates art lesson plans and occasionally lectures in select classes in Middle School for Wilderness Way programs. His art work includes images from his personal connection with the environment and his years of work with Native Americans and study of select art forms during two sabbaticals. Fred’s reflective and deep insights are sources of inspiration for student art which has included drawings, mobiles, a fabric fish panel, fish crossing signs and film making. His art work has inspired art/poetry images incorporating haiku and free verse into both school and community projects about salmonids, wildlife and Native Americans. He also creates the signs and panels used to display Wilderness Way programs for the BAEER Fair, County Fair, workshops, art shows, conferences and community. Fred will participate in the recently funded NOAA project.



T
ina Whyte
-- Wilderness Way Instructor. Tina is married to Paul. She is a Registered Nurse and has worked at Mills/Peninsula Health Center since 1987 specializing in Neurorehabilitation. Tina also has her own private practice as a massage therapist using neuromuscular reprogramming and conscious bodywork for injuries, chronic pain relief and deeply relaxing massage. Tina spent five years teaching adult outdoor programs for Outdoors Unlimited in San Francisco as an instructor of rock climbing, basic mountaineering, cross country and telemark skiing, avalanche awareness and how to build snow shelters for survival. Tina assists Paul in teaching the Secret Salmon Sites and Native American flute electives in Middle School. She also participated in the Environmental Living Program workshop and taught the program with Paul and Jean in the Montessori 5th grade class. Tina’s nursing background has been invaluable during outdoor field trips and over nights.

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