Science education and inclusivity for all students
We envision each new generation, regardless of economic status or ability, joining the legacy of learning at Whiskeytown, growing to love wild places of every scale, and committing to long-term environmental stewardship.
WES Community Board of Directors & Liaisons
Melinda Kashuba Ph.D.
Melinda’s three children enjoyed the benefits of the WES Camp Experience as sixth grade students. She served as a volunteer counselor for a week during one of her children’s stays. Impressed by the excellent curriculum she has returned to demonstrate global positioning system (GPS) technology to students and the public during open house events at the camp. Melinda is a part-time instructor in Geography at Shasta College. She has a background in environmental planning and resources management. She also owns her own historical research and writing business in Shasta County.
Cassie has been with the board since 2019. She is currently a 7/8 science teacher and soccer coach at Buckeye School of the Arts in Redding. She served as Environmental Education Coordinator at Whiskeytown Environmental School for 11 years. She also worked for the Forest Service as a Botanist and served in the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project working in fisheries biology, environmental education, and conservation projects. She also has led teenage backpacking trips in Lassen National Park. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Michigan State University and a teaching credential from UC Davis in Biological and Earth Science. Her current passions are hiking, astronomy, and playing pickleball.
Kathy has been active on the Wes Community Board since 2011, as a founding member. She has experience guiding students as a Naturalist for both the WES Day field trip program, serving grades K through 4, and the WES Residential program serving grades 5 and 6. Kathy is enthusiastic about science, curiosity and community. In addition to her passion for hiking through the hills, she also enjoys painting landscapes.
Kathy holds a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Humboldt State University and is a certified California Naturalist by the University of California.
Francesca joined the board in 2011 and again in 2020 She has a varied background working with people, both as a teacher and vocational rehabilitation counselor. Her “retirement-fun” jobs have been working seasonally with the National Park Service and 10 years as a naturalist at Whiskeytown Environmental School. She’s an outdoors enthusiast and exposed her students to field trips at Lassen Volcanic National Park and Whiskeytown NRA. She accompanied her 5th grade students to WES for 10 years. Seeing the positive impacts on her students at WES, she is passionate about environmental education for future generations. Her children are adults and continue the family tradition of hiking and camping. Francesca has a teaching credential and holds a degree in Anthropology. She has traveled extensively throughout the world.
DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Ellen retired from a career with the National Park Service during which she managed interpretive operations and youth programs at Yellowstone, Curecanti, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. She also worked for state wildlife agencies, nonprofits, and in formal education (primary, secondary, and university).
Her strengths are teaching, leadership, mentoring, evaluation, and partnerships. She connects people to special places, ecologies, primary source documents, artifacts and the many deeper meanings these things embody, while also connecting people to each other – all ages and walks of life.
Ellen has a BS in Biology from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, an MA in Environmental Education from Montclair State Universtiy in Upper Montclair, New Jeresey, and a teaching credential from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
Nathan Fairchild, Science Director
Nathan Fairchild began his career as an interpretive park ranger and wild animal trainer/educator, then moved into environmental education before becoming a classroom teacher in 1994. He has worked in public, private, and charter schools, teaching mostly science to middle school students. He has been the Director of Science Programs at the Shasta County Office of Education since 2014, providing science support to teachers, directing Whiskeytown Environmental School and Schreder Planetarium, and acting as the liaison with charter schools.
Tyler Compton, Interpretive Ranger
Tyler Compton joined WES Community as NPS liaison in 2020. He grew up around Seattle, WA and visited many National Park sites across the American west, sparking a passion for the outdoors. He earned a BA in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation from Humboldt State University. Tyler worked 5 years as a naturalist at YMCA outdoor schools and then began his career with the NPS in 2014. In 2019, Tyler joined the WNRA staff as an Interpretive Ranger.
Because of Tyler’s work in environmental and outdoor education he has repeatedly seen the direct impact it can have on kids. The experiences and knowledge kids receive at camps like WES allow students to explore and grow in a new setting. Children open up in front of their peers and teachers, giving everyone a better picture of who that young person is. Connecting students directly to the outdoors and ecosystems found in their community helps build an appreciation and understanding for the environment. This is why we are working to rebuild WES and continue the legacy of learning. All children should have the opportunity to experience residential outdoor education.
Tammy Reynolds, Secretary/Treasurer
Friends of Whiskeytown, Inc. Liaison
Tammy Reynolds joined WES Community as the Friends of Whiskeytown, Inc. (FOW) liaison in 2019. She has served on the board of FOW since 2017 and currently volunteers at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. After moving to Redding in 1991, she and her husband have volunteered at both Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Kids Kingdom. They also produced Shasta Highlands Renaissance and Celtic Faire at Anderson River Park raising over $500,000 for many local charities over a period of 7 years.
Tammy has an A.A. in Business and Accounting from Shasta Community College. Her two daughters grew up in Redding and attended WES in grade school. She has enjoyed Whiskeytown Lake with her family for the past thirty years.