I was born in 1954, in San Francisco, California. My Irish heritage, as taught to me by my uncle and my grandfather, has linked me deeply to Earth peoples’ philosophy of life.
I first went to the woods at age six. I knew then that this was my home. At seventeen I spent four months alone in the Canadian Wilderness practicing Earth living skills.
I began a career teaching wildlife conservation, in 1974. During this time I learned how to communicate with the spirits of the animals I worked with.
My most recent and important wilderness experiences have been greatly enriched by the teachings of Tom Brown Jr. the well known tracker and author.
In 1992, with Headwaters Outdoor School, I realized my lifelong vision to share what I have learned from the Earth and to inspire people to discover their own connection with the Earth.
Julie has been a part of the Headwaters family for many years. She first came to Headwaters as a student, then as an apprentice. She now works as Headwater’s camp cook and caretaker.
She loves to listen to your stories, so come prepared to share, while she serves you up one of her superb and satisfying meals.
The natural world has always occupied a place close to the core of Elliot’s heart, and as a child, he found peace and identity immersed in nature. Raised in northern California by a family with long-standing ties to their home, Elliot learned that he too belonged in the woods and mountains. After discovering Headwaters as an apprentice in 2009, he found that he had a gift for teaching, and began to assist with classes. After high school, Elliot moved to northern Wisconsin where he received a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education from Northland College. There on the shores of Lake Superior, Elliot again fell in love with a place, and the northwoods forever imprinted themselves in his being.
Now returned to the West, Elliot seeks to share his skills and knowledge to facilitate a sense of homecoming for the students he works with. Through developing a deeper awareness of the natural and cultural history of the places we occupy, Elliot believes we can realize our place in the world and truly arrive somewhere, and only then call it home.
A sense of place and belonging is critical to developing an ethos of caretaking, something critical to the survival of our world. Elliot believes that diversity of being and identity are some of our most powerful tools in the quest for learning and understanding ourselves and the world we live in.Beyond teaching nature education, Elliot engages himself in numerous activities and passions, including paddling, fly fishing, martial arts, music, and more. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), and likes to make pie.
JT’s connection to nature was fully realized as soon as he was old enough to cover himself in dirt. Since then he has found nearly every excuse to deeply immerse himself in the ocean, the garden and the wild lands that he calls his home. JT discovered the potential to make this a lifestyle when he met an old bear in the woods named Tim Corcoran. Since then he has continued his study with Tim, the founder of Headwaters, as well as Tod Haddow, Lynx Vilden and countless others.
JT has spent over six weeks of his life living off of excusively wild foods and loves finding ways of getting wild plants into every aspect of his life.
“JT is one of my favorite nature skills mentors to share time with. He is wonderfully knowledgeable, humble, sweet and an engaging storyteller. His love for the ancestral magic of music and culinary arts come together to always make times with him memorable and delicious. I recommend his highly experiential classes heartily!” — Jon Young, Author of Coyotes Guide and What the Robin Knows
I live on the land that we consider a national park with abundant wildlife and nature’s dynamic life-force. This piece of earth has for twenty years called to me to co-create earth art. Each piece I have created was given to me as I sat or stood silently listening to the wind and birds, my mind emptying of worldly things. The images of what I would create or rather co-create bubbled up like the springs on the land. Each piece is result of different decades that I spent reflecting on my life, the sometimes-overwhelming challenges that became the thresholds for the changes. Each piece is a physical manifestation of a Rite of Passage. Creating Rites of Passage for the various stages of our life has become a calling. If you would like to know more about me and Rites please click HERE.
JB was initially attracted to the power of Nature by attending camp on Lake Winnipesaukee in rural New Hampshire in the 1940’s and in 1950 reading Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger.
John is a veteran Sierra Nevada long distance hiker, an eager Mt. Climber having summited major peaks in the West and Hawaii, and a resolute telemark skier. JB has been an apprentice with Tom Little Bear of the Esselen Tribe since 1991. He pours and sings in the Esselen Sweat Lodge. JB started studying shamanic healing in 2003 with teachers from diverse shamanic backgrounds. He provides services as a shamanic healing practitioner.
In 2003 he received the gift of wholly immersing himself in Nature on a regular basis by moving here to Hammond Ranch and building a strawbale home.
Aaron’s life with Headwaters began in 2002 as a participant in the Apprenticeship Program. Since then he has transitioned completely from his former life as a software engineer into a life in the outdoors.
He has worked as a mountain and ski guide for SWS Mountain Guides on Mount Shasta and the Sierras for over 10 years, is a professional observer and forecaster at the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center, is a lead patroller at the Mount Shasta Ski Park, fully certified by the Association of Professional Patrollers, and is owner of the local whitewater rafting outfitter River Dancers. He is co-founder of Shasta Disabled Sports, a non-profit providing year round recreational activities and adaptive learning to people with special needs. Occasionally he builds websites like this one!
He remains involved with Headwaters, helping out on various classes including the Winter Class. When not working, he is building a small off-grid cabin in the woods on the east side of Mt. Shasta.