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Meet Our Staff

Jessica Kester, Program Manager

Jessie in Joshua Tree NP

From a young age Jessica was drawn to nature and being outdoors.  The calming sounds of the ocean waves and the wind rustling through the tree canopy were common sounds and experiences throughout her childhood and continue to make up most of her waking moments now a days.  With degrees in Biology/Marine Science and Secondary Education/Biology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Jessica began her career as a field instructor in coastal marine sciences at the Marine Science Consortium in Wallops Island, VA were she taught both children and adults in a variety of hands-on labs and field excursions.  She has also taught 3rd-7th grade students from urban and suburban Chicago at the Lorado-Taft Field Campus of Northern Illinois University about general environmental topics and local IL history.  Joining The Outdoor Classroom staff in February 2006 she enjoys being able to introduce people of all ages to the variety of ecosystems and wondrous treasures here in Southwestern PA.  As the Program Manager Jessica choses and trains the amazing staff of the Classroom and has the opportunity to interact with thousands of individuals each year. 

Eva Barinas, Program Administrator

Eva in Maine

Eva is thrilled to join The Outdoor Classroom! While spending most of her childhood being the “new kid” since her family moved a lot, she found solace in nature. As a child, Eva could be found climbing trees, building forts, or making mud balls to throw at her brother. As an adult this adoration for the outdoors found her horseback riding, backpacking in numerous countries, living off the grid in Maine, creating nature inspired art, and earning her Masters of Science degree in Ecology from Lesley University in Massachusetts.  For the past several years Eva has taught in city schools, a Waldorf school, art themed summer camps, and nature centers. As The Outdoor Classroom’s Program Administrator she spends her time on curriculum development, volunteer coordination, and playing outside. She hopes to share her enthusiasm and fascination of our natural spaces with others.