Meet Our Camp Staff

KIDS for the BAY’s environmental education staff LOVES leading our Summer Camp!

Our Camp Leaders are year-round KIDS for the BAY staff members who teach our school-based programs in local elementary schools, lead nature-based field trips and train classroom teachers during the school year. Additional Camp Leaders also join us each summer. KIDS for the BAY’s Camp Leaders are all college graduates and have multiple years of experience teaching environmental education in various settings. We also hire several Summer Camp Assistant Leaders each summer. Please click here for current positions open.

The summer months provide the opportunity for KIDS for the BAY staff to do what they love the most — be in the outdoors with campers! Please read below to learn about each of our amazing Camp Staff members and to find out why they love what they do.

LAUREL SEBASTIAN (2020 Camp Staff)
Lead Program Manager
Summer Camp Leader

“Scientific studies always begin with a curious drive to answer questions about the world around us. KIDS for the BAY camps provide the perfect opportunity to ask, explore and answer countless questions about our diverse environment. I’m excited to guide campers through this process and help develop wonder and an insatiable quest for knowledge in each camper.”

Laurel is excited to share her passion for environmental stewardship with the KIDS for the BAY community, to lead our program staff team and to deliver the Watershed Action Program to our partner schools. Before joining KIDS for the BAY as a Summer Camp Leader in summer 2019, Laurel taught environmental education and conducted field research with Mountain Studies Institute for two years in Colorado. Her favorite project was establishing a citizen science program in the National Forest to monitor stream and forest health with local school students. Laurel grew up exploring Bay Area ecosystems with her family and from an early age she led environmental action groups in school. Laurel has researched plants in Mount Rainer and Yosemite National Parks, and loves identifying plants and animals in her free time. Laurel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Colorado College. Laurel speaks conversational Spanish and has traveled in Central and South America.


SIENNA KUYKENDALL (2020 Camp Staff)
Program Manager
Summer Camp Leader

“I’m excited to explore all the beautiful and special creek, bay and ocean sites with our campers! The opportunity to teach environmental science education outside in nature, makes it especially engaging and fun!”

Sienna is passionate about hands-on experiential education that supports young people in making healthy connections to their environment and their community. She is excited to manage and teach an array of KIDS for the BAY programs, including Storm Drain Rangers, Watershed Rangers, Blue Watershed Classrooms, and Field Trips. Sienna has a B.A. Degree in Sociology with a concentration in the Sociology of Education from Pomona College and a certificate in Horticultural Therapy from Colorado State University. Most recently, Sienna led interdisciplinary garden and nutrition education programs with the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, that promoted academic integration, environmental stewardship, food access and wellness for students and families. Previously, Sienna served as a City Year Americorps member providing English Language Arts, Math, and Science interventions in New Orleans public schools. Sienna also enjoys teaching yoga for youth and adults. Sienna speaks conversational Spanish.


JIM CARTAN (2020 Camp Staff)
Program Manager

Summer Camp Leader

“Summer Camp is a special time for all children and the personal growth it provides is invaluable. KIDS for the BAY’s Summer Camp encourages future generations of environmental stewards to have inquisitive minds and to connect with the natural world. I am excited to help KIDS for the BAY campers strengthen their relationships with science, local ecosystems, and their peers, all through fun, engaging hands-on experiences.”

Jim joined the KIDS for the BAY team as a Program Manager after ten years of working in the environmental field. He is excited to manage our Classroom Workshops, Schoolwide Science, and Summer Camp Programs.  Jim is a dedicated environmental steward and has an academic and applied foundation in Bay Area ecology, including a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and an M.S. in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco. After exploring the opportunity to teach students environmental education with the East Bay non-profit Save Mount Diablo, Jim moved on to a teaching position with Bay Farm Elementary School in Alameda. Jim is now making environmental education the focal point of his career and he is passionate about inspiring future generations of scientists, land use advocates, and practitioners of sustainability. When he is not at work, Jim can be found in East Oakland, gardening, walking his dog, or reading a book, or in San Francisco volunteering for Alemany Farm.


JAMIE BALL (2020 Camp Staff)
Environmental Educator
Summer Camp Leader

“I believe inspiring and teaching campers about the environment is key for future environmental conservation worldwide. It is so important to encourage our campers to be curious and explore their surroundings, because the learning possibilities are endless! Many environmental leaders have inspired me, and now I can’t wait to be an environmental leader for KIDS for the BAY campers!”

Jamie is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach and inspire campers about environmental stewardship with KIDS for the BAY this summer! She grew up in both the Canadian Rockies and the San Francisco Bay Area, which has allowed her to explore different environments and engage in natural sciences from a young age. Jamie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Studies and Geography as well as a certification in Permaculture Design from the University of Victoria, Canada. She loves working with children and teaching them about the great outdoors. Jamie has been very fortunate to spend time abroad in Paraguay and Nicaragua teaching school students about environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture. In her spare time, Jamie loves to backpack, ski, run, paint, and explore tide pools!


MAX SWINDERMAN (2020 Camp Staff)
Environmental Educator
Summer Camp Assistant Leader

“I am very excited to work with kids who are ready to explore in nature this summer! I believe that now more than ever, it is crucial that we teach our campers the importance of sustainability, as well as the wonder of the various ecosystems that make the Bay Area so special. In times where technology can take over too much of our free time, showing our campers the ecological beauty of our environment will only lead to curiosity and hopefully will inspire our campers to become the environmental stewards that we need in our world!”

Max is beyond excited to share all his experience with nature and to inspire campers to learn about the importance of the environment in all our lives. He is very eager to share the “learn by doing” motto of Cal Poly, where he is currently studying Environmental Management, and to contribute to countless informative, and most of all fun, environmental experiences for campers. As a Bay Area native growing up in Alameda, Max loves the different and unique environments that surround the San Francisco Bay, and cannot wait to explore them with the campers. While working on his Bachelors of Science Degree in San Luis Obispo, Max has been lucky enough to explore beaches, hills, and mountain ranges to study plants, go rock climbing and  skiing, and explore in nature as much as possible!


CHIARA BARAUSKY-DA SILVA (2020 Camp Staff)
Environmental Educator
Summer Camp Assistant Leader

“Environmental investigations have sparked my interest in nature from a young age and now I believe it is my responsibility to educate children about the world around them. Children are our future. If we are going to help the Earth, we need children that are aware of and excited by the environment we all share. I am honored to be part of an organization that is promoting this. I cannot wait to work for KIDS for the BAY this summer to positively affect our campers’ relationships with their surroundings.”

Chiara is a senior at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, majoring in Global Studies and double minoring in Hispanic Studies and Sustainability Studies. She is involved in many environmental courses on campus and assists with a sustainability initiative. Chiara has been fortunate to spend time studying in Seville, Spain and is well traveled throughout the United States. This has led her to interact with many environments and learn to appreciate all of nature and its organisms. Chiara’s love for the outdoors began at a young age from playing outside and exploring science museums with her family. Chiara recognizes how important hands-on experiences are to ensure campers feel a connection to the world around them. She is excited to promote environmental stewardship for children, while also learning from them. In her spare time, Chiara loves to play the piano, paint, explore the coastlines and volunteer. Chiara is thrilled to share her passion for the environment by educating campers this summer!

YESENIA GARCIA (2020 Camp Staff)
Environmental Educator
Summer Camp Assistant Leader

“Still to this day my mother tells me stories about how I would spend hours outside playing and creating habitats for insects! I have been lucky enough to grow up in the Bay Area and I have many fond memories of the abundant outdoor activities in Berkeley, where I went to grade school. Because of this, I am thrilled to be able to help create and be a part of the campers’ memories! I’m excited to experience our future generations enjoying and becoming knowledgeable about the environment we share and how to take care of it!”

Yesenia is thrilled to be a part of the KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp team! From a young age Yesenia had the opportunity to experience the outdoors through summer camps, family trips, and visits to museums and exploratoriums. Through these experiences, she developed a love for nature and a fascination with the creatures that inhabit it. During her free time, Yesenia enjoys going on hikes, gardening, painting, and watching the sunset! She is fluent in both English and Spanish and has worked as a teaching assistant at a bilingual preschool, where she helped teach and assisted with field trips and other daily activities. At this preschool, Yesenia fell in love with working with children! The combination of her love for teaching and her passion for environmental and physical health has motivated Yesenia to work towards her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health at San Jose State University. Yesenia looks forward to working with our campers to help them gain knowledge, respect, and love for nature and the outdoors this summer!