Amalia Fernand

Forest Kindergarten Director

Amalia Fernand is an environmental educator, a writer, leather crafter, and photographer. She has been to every continent except Antarctica, and always brings art supplies, binoculars, and magnifying glasses along to facilitate programs with local children. She started Nature Explorers International (NEI)  in 2000 with the mission to inspire excitement and curiosity for the environment through art, science, and outdoor experiences. Since then, she has worked with children in 23 countries, and recently spent a year volunteering on the island of Borneo. Amalia has a Master of Science in ecological leadership, education through a field based experiential education program that included 225 days of living outside, and a semester teaching in Costa Rica. Her Bachelor’s is in environmental studies with minors in marine science and anthropology from Eckerd College.

She recently published her first book: Michigan Wildlife, A Coloring Field Guide, and has experience in environmental, experiential, and Montessori education. Amalia currently runs summer day camp programs and teaches leather crafting classes in Benzonia, Michigan. As a young child, she lived from the Virgin Islands to the Ozark Mountains, and then grew up in Colorado and went to college in Florida. She always spent summers with her father, who had a business as a handmade leather shoemaker in Benzonia, and returned to Northern Michigan, her one true home in 2007.

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