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, and build life and career skills which allows them to make positive changes for a sustainable, restorative future.

 

Our Staff, Volunteers & Interns

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Matt Clark

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MATT CLARK, FIELD INSTRUCTOR

Matt is a University of Arizona graduate. He enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities.  Matt has been with ITE programs since the age of 14 as a participant, mentor and employee. Through ITE Matt was awarded a (National Outdoor Leadership School) NOLS scholarship and spent 2 weeks rafting and kayaking down the Green River in Utah. He was an ITE mentor because his love for the outdoors and wants more kids to experience the outdoors like him. He is now sharing his passion and experience with ITE to teens all over Tucson! Matt is also certified as a Wilderness First Responder and in First Aid/CPR.

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Suzanne Dhruv

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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

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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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Josh Farella

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JOSH FARELLA, LEAD INSTRUCTOR

Josh grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. His family spent a great deal of time outdoors hiking, fishing and boating. As a teenager he began working with Adventure Discovery Outfitters and guided people down the San Juan River in Utah. Josh got his undergraduate degree in anthropology at the University of Arizona where he worked at the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research. His dendrochronological skills led to a fire ecology research position with the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana. After four years of backpacking, fly fishing and research, he returned to the University of Arizona and got a Master’s degree in Geography, where he studied interactions between ancestral Pueblo Indians in northern New Mexico, and wildfire.Josh is certified in Wilderness First Aid/CPR.

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Ally Friberg-Landon

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ALLY FRIBERG-LANDON, INTERN & YOUTH ACTION CORPS COORDINATOR

Ally was born and raised in Tucson, and will be attending the University of Arizona as a Public Health major. Ally has been a part of ITE for many years, participating in the Get Outside, Get Experience, Expeditionary Experience, Global Experience, Community Action Toolkit, and Youth Engaged Stewardship programs. She was lucky to visit Mexico and Costa Rica with ITE. In the summer of 2013, Ally was a volunteer with Amigos in the Dominican Republic. Her and an American partner facilitated a community project, learned about Dominican culture and became conversational in Spanish. Ally enjoys dancing, being silly, playing classical guitar, activities in nature, and volunteering.

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Will Lytle

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WILL LYTLE, LEAD INSTRUCTOR

Will grew up in Flagstaff Arizona where, as a teenager, he got involved with Grand Canyon Youth (GCY). Playing, doing science, and building small traveling communities on a raft in the Grand Canyon inspired him to pursue outdoor based experiential education work. Will has had the opportunity to carry this out as a GCY guide for the past eight summers. In between playing and working in canyons he earned a B.S. in geophysics from the University of Arizona. After completing a bachelor’s degree he worked as a middle and high school math teacher in Oro Valley. Will is currently a graduate student at the U of A working on a Master’s degree in hydrometeorology. In his spare time  Will likes to travel as much as possible, do yoga and capoeira. Will is Wilderness First Responder and CPR certified.

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Lesley Newman

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LESLEY NEWMAN, YOUTH COORDINATOR

Lesley developed a passion for the outdoors and an interest in ecology growing up on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. She then worked at an adventure camp in the Appalachian mountains and studied Outdoor Education at Southern Cross University in Australia. Lesley served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where she taught Environmental Education and worked with fellow volunteers to build a national environmental curriculum and youth service movement. Lesley is also an avid bike commuter, rock climber, and writer. She has a BA in English and Spanish and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language.