About Us

Our passionate and highly qualified team uses experiential, community-based ecology lessons and activities to facilitate students’ learning about natural systems. As a result, young people develop a respectful relationship with nature and their community to build life and career skills that allow them to make positive changes for a sustainable, restorative future.

 

Staff

Angel at Canyon de Chelly

Angel Breault - Program Manager

Angel at Canyon de Chelly

ANGEL BREAULT, PROGRAM MANAGER

Angel grew up in Tucson and spent most of his weekends as a kid at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum learning, exploring, and as a Junior Docent helping people fall in love with the splendor of desert. Angel has worked and traveled throughout the Americas and Europe, directing educational programs, instructing courses, and documenting stories for organizations such as the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tamwood Camps International (Vancouver, Canada), Las Mulas Achibueno (Linares, Chile), and the Arizona Trail Association.  His photographs have been featured in Arizona Highways. Angel is Wilderness First Responder and CPR certified. He is currently completing his degree in Sustainable Development with a focus social justice and policy. Angel is passionate about his desert home and of the ecological and cultural communities it holds. When he is not working, Angel is rock climbing, hangin’ with his pup, or eating tacos.

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Suzy Dhruv - Executive Director

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SUZANNE DHRUV, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Suzanne is a native Tucsonan and has established deep, strong roots in the Sonoran Desert Region. Her passion to reconnect children with the natural world is fueled by a lifetime of playing, living, learning and teaching within a dynamic, colorful, and detailed landscape. In an effort to develop authentic, engaging, and educational opportunities in nature for adolescents, Suzanne achieved a Prescott College Master of Arts degree in Environmental Studies, investigating youths’ implicit theories of the natural world and their experiences within. This graduate research project builds upon Suzanne’s academic and professional foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona and has over ten years professional experience that includes directing, designing and instructing environmental education programs for all ages. Her experiences with local nonprofit organizations foster an ability to collaborate with community organizations, educators, and parents in an effort to enhance learning opportunities for adolescents and children throughout the Tucson area. Suzanne is also trained in Wilderness First Responder and in First Aid/CPR.

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Eric Dhruv - Program Director

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ERIC DHRUV, PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Eric began his love affair with the Sonoran Desert and Tucson, Arizona while earning a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Arizona. The romance and desire for immersion in the natural world led to several years of field work in such places as Arizona, Alaska and Papua New Guinea. Eric was employed by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as an environmental educator and interpretive manager working with community members of all ages. Eric went on to earn an M.A. from Prescott College in Place-Based Education and enjoyed a position as Sustainability Director and professional naturalist at Miraval Resort in Catalina, Arizona. He also served as Associate Faculty for the Liberal Arts, Adult Degree Program at Prescott College Tucson Center before becoming full time Program Director of ITE. He is LEED accredited and a member of the Southern Arizona branch of the US Green Building Council. Eric’s passion for sharing the intrinsic bond between nature and humanity has generated many wonderful opportunities to “get the word out” en mass on TV and radio as well as one on one and in small groups with youth over many years in both urban and back country settings. Eric is also trained in Wilderness First Responder and in First Aid/CPR.

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Chrissy Maes - Engagement Manager

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CHRISSY MAES, ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

Chrissy fell in love with the Southwest when she moved from St. Louis, Missouri to Prescott, Arizona, where her introduction to the region took form in a 3-week backpacking trip in Central Arizona. She transferred to the University of Arizona and graduated with her B.A. in Global Political Economy and Institutions. Chrissy has been happy to explore Tucson and the Sonoran Desert for the past four years and is happy to call Tucson her new home. She has worked with students of all ages and in several different capacities; in the classroom, at summer camps, a challenge course facility, and on campus. Now, Chrissy is excited to engage with youth and the Tucson community while supporting ITE’s mission. Chrissy enjoys dancing (though she doesn’t claim to do it well), trying new foods, spending time outdoors, and discovering new places in Tucson.

Ruby

Ruby Valencia - Paul Lindsey Intern

Ruby

RUBY VALENCIA, PAUL LINDSEY INTERN

Ruby is a graduate student at the University of Arizona pursuing her Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis on Rehabilitation and Mental Health. She was born and raised in Douglas, Arizona, but she moved to Tucson in 2017 to pursue her undergraduate studies, receiving her Bachelor’s in Psychology in May 2019. Ruby worked at Project MORE Alternative High School as a Teacher’s Assistant before beginning her graduate studies. Ruby’s career goal is to become a Child/Teen Psychologist. When she graduates with her Master’s, she would like to begin working as a School Counselor at a high school.