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I have been working in various roles in the environmental field for about 8 years and enjoy learning anything I can about everything related to natural history. I earned my Masters in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, where I taught environmental education and English to students. I am a retired collegiate softball player who still enjoys playing slow pitch in my free time, along with travelling, cuddling my dog and exploring Charleston with my friends.
I'm a mostly retired photographer and I love to teach photography, lead workshops and tours around the country, and to England. Before pursuing my passion as a freelance photographer 20 years ago, I was a corporate trainer, Train the Trainer Facilitator, and later, Dept Chair at a college in Southern California. My wife and I have three rescue cats: Lizzie the Russian Blue, Cobie the Snowshoe, and Maddie the Moggie. I love being outdoors and recently became a Natural History Interpretation Docent for CCPRC as an Alligator Ambassador and Bald Eagle Ambassador.
I spent almost 20 years living in Botswana, working out in the bush; often in remote areas of the Okavango Delta. After growing weary with the demands of tourism, I established a bookkeeping company, serving as primary bookkeeper for multiple clients. About 5 years ago, I relocated from Botswana to South Carolina, bringing 2 domestic cats and my beloved Staffordshire Terrier Blaze. I continue to work in bookkeeping, both locally and remotely for a variety of clients. As a lifelong nature enthusiast I was thrilled to get one of the coveted spots for the CMNA spring class of 2023. I enjoy travel, wildlife photography, hiking, gardening and birdwatching.
As Membership Chair of my 3rd grade "Matchbox Car Club" (there were four members), I feel more than qualified to take on the role as your new Membership Chair! I have been a life long advocate for playing outdoors, going on field trips, and anything that involves education outside of a classroom. While my children found this fun when they were younger, they have learned to be more hesitant when Mom says "we are going on a field trip!" I am currently employed by Charleston County Parks as the Stewardship Aide for the Natural History Interpretation team. I am always looking for new volunteers as our program is rapidly growing!
I am new to the Charleston area, relocating from New York in late 2022. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and I recently earned my certificate in Horticulture Therapy from New York Botanical Gardens. For the last few years, I worked in a NYC park creating environmental programming for the community and local schools. I graduated from the master naturalist program in the spring of 2023 and look forward to engaging in many different volunteer opportunities and exploring my new home state.
I graduated from the Coastal Master Naturalist program in the spring of 2019. I volunteer as a CCPRC Natural History Interpreter and I've participated in Oyster Reef Restoration and litter clean-ups. I'm 14 years away from retirement, which has been my goal since I was a small child. At that time, I plan to devote all my time to being outdoors.
I'm recently interested in herbalism, especially using locally available plants (native and naturalized). I like snakes, and I have chickens, and I'm always available for a directionless ramble in nature!
My husband, Jeff, and I, moved to Isle of Palms in August of 2020. It was a 20 year dream that we finally made happen - and we are so happy to be here! In 2021 I joined the Audubon Shorebird Steward program on IOP, and will be going into my 4th year with the program. In 2023 I was site manager for our Least Tern colony on IOP. In 2022 I became part of the IOP Turtle team, and will be out on the beach with them again this year. I also completed my Coastal Master Naturalist program in December of 2022, and I'm looking forward to being an at-large member with CMNA. I was just appointed to the Environmental Advisory Committee for the City of Island of Palms, and I'm getting actively involved with helping our island make a transition away from septic systems. I've always loved the outdoors, and have never lived in such a rich, bio-diverse environment!
I'm an oceanographer by training, but I enjoy all aspects of natural history, especially birds and herps. Now that I'm retired from NOAA I'm looking forward to spending more time playing in nature. I have a couple of dogs, but more importantly, a couple of grandsons. They are just getting old enough that I've started teaching them the joy of finding things under logs!
Kristina Wheeler holds the role of Natural History Interpretation Specialist for the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission. She has been working professionally as a naturalist along the eastern seaboard for over twenty years, from the Lowcountry of South Carolina down to Belize, Central America. Kristina is an American Canoe Association Level II Coastal Kayak Instructor, Coastal Master Naturalist, and Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association of Interpretation. In her spare time, Kristina loves to travel to new places to go camping, mountain biking, hiking and paddling.