Alabama 4-H Science School Staff - Spring 2019


Spring 2019 Picture Comig Soon ...


Amy Walker, Director of Environmental Education


Amy is a Mobile, Alabama native whose passion for nature inspired to her obtain a B.S. in Environmental Science from Auburn University. Amy has spent her summers traveling to Colorado to share her passion for environmental education at a summer camp. Amy started at the science school in 2013 as an instructor. She has now moved her way up to the Director of Environmental Education. She loves this program and what it teaches youth & adults about loving the outdoors!! In her spare time, she enjoys listening to live music, eating tacos and traveling around the U.S. to visit and make friends!

Jon Harrison, On Site Program Coordinator

Jon is a Columbiana, Alabama native and feels truly fortunate to work for such an incredible program in his own community. Jon began working at the 4-H Center as a counselor in 2010 and was an outdoor education instructor until 2012. During college he served as a communications intern and he is now the full-time onsite program coordinator. He is a 2014 graduate of Auburn University.

Bess Taylor, Animal Care Specialist

Bess is a native of Opelika, Alabama. The love of nature fostered by her family’s encouragement led her to attend the University of Montevallo where she graduated with a degree in Biology. In fall 2012, Bess joined the 4-H Science School in order to educate today’s youth on the importance of conservation. The following year she grew into the role of the School’s full time Animal Care Specialist; caring for the 19-raptors and 100-herpetofauna. By providing proper diet, enrichment, and exercise for the creatures in her care, Bess ensures that they in turn can do their job and spread the message of conservation to the public. In her spare time she enjoys restoring vintage vehicles and fishing with her husband, Josh Taylor.


Katelyn Diercks, Off Site Program Coordinator

Katelyn is from Red Wing, Minnesota. She was raised on a small farm where her love for nature and the outdoors began. She received a B.S. degree in Ecology and Field Biology with a concentration in Wildlife Biology from St. Cloud State University. In college she traveled to Thailand where she volunteered at an Elephant sanctuary and rural hill tribe village. Since college Katelyn has worked at a wildlife rehabilitation center in northern Wisconsin, as a Field Ranger along the coast of Oregon, and most recently on a cruise ship sailing the East Coast. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, star watching, and traveling to new places.

Brittany Connelly, Education Logistics Coordinator

Brittany was born and raised in Delmar, New York and attended The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse where she obtained her B.S in Environmental Biology (Class of '14). After college she spent two years at Arrowhead Ranch Outdoor Science School in the San Bernardino Mountains of California. There she obtained a strong passion for teaching in the outdoors. Brittany has driven across the country four times and explored many of the National Parks and wilderness areas. She's always up for an adventure and loves to hike and take photographs but can also be found curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee.

Alex Taber, Instructor

Hello! My name is Alex Taber, and I am from Columbia, South Carolina. I graduated from Wake Forest University in the spring of 2016 with a BA in English and Creative Writing. Throughout college I worked as a summer camp counselor at Kanuga Conferences, were I spent most of my summers growing up. Over the course of five summers I developed a love for the outdoors and working with children. After graduating I worked as a lead instructor at Mountain Trail Outdoor School in North Carolina for 3 seasons. Some of my hobbies include reading, writing, tennis, and of course, hiking! I’m very excited to learn more about the outdoors, and I cannot wait to share that knowledge with others at the Alabama 4H Science School.

Andy Huang, Instructor

Andy, a San Francisco native, has grown up admiring the beauties of the natural world, beginning with his first viewing of Zaboomafooand continuing on as he embarks upon new journeys and adventures such as this one. After receiving his B.S. in Biology (more specifically, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) from UCLA, he is excited to take on the uphill challenges that come with being in the field of conservation, beginning with outreach and education. In his spare time, he enjoys learning and experiencing new things, hiking until his feet give in, smashing volleyballs into the faces of his opponents (albeit in a very uncoordinated manner), pestering his friends about Imagine Dragons's latest songs, and spending hours on end catching and loving every known Pokémon.

Briana Suriano, Instructor


Corinne Schuh , Instructor

Hello! My name is Corinne and I am originally from Kennan, WI which is a little village in the northwoods. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a B.S in Wildlife Ecology: Information and Education and a minor in Captive Wildlife. Growing up I was involved in 4-H for as long as I can remember, exploring the outdoors and going on canoeing and skiing expeditions. As I got older, I had the honor of becoming a 4-H camp counselor for four years. This was exciting because I finally got to provide children with activities that engaged them in exploring the environment. Shortly after I found my passion for educating the public through educational programs .This led me to interning at Wildwood Wildlife Park in Minocqua, WI and Squam Lake Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH. Then I went on to teach environmental education at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center in Wisconsin and Camp Jekyll in Georgia. Some of my hobbies include hiking, kayaking and tennis.

Darcy Best, Instructor

Hello all, my name is Darcy Best and I am from Morristown, New Jersey. I graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2016 with a B.S. in Conservation Biology and a minor in African Studies. I have been able to study and work with wildlife in Australia, Kenya, Ireland, and as Camp Counselor and Naturalist at Camp Johnsonburg in NJ. Most recently I have been working to educate the public about the animals at the Liberty Science Center in NJ. I have always had endless love for wildlife and the natural world, but Camp J-burg solidified my love of working with and educating the kiddos! I enjoy playing soccer, baking, reading, and NAPS!! I’m stoked to continue teaching and learning about our world with new friends at the A4HSS!

Jessica Gary, Instructor

Hello! My name is Jessica! I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. I graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S in Environmental Biology and a minor in Geography. In the past I have worked as a Natural Resource Assistant for Mecklenburg County and as an Environmental Educator for Haw River State Park. I love having adventures of any kind, singing silly songs, crafting (especially knitting and wood burning), and watching cartoons with my Corn Snake, Rhubarb!


Julia Moore, Instructor

Julia is from Blacksburg, Virginia. She graduated in December 2017 from the College of William and Mary with a degree in Public Policy and Environmental Science. Previously, she worked one summer as an environmental education intern at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont in Tennessee. After graduating, she worked a season as an environmental educator at Camp Don Lee in North Carolina, then taught English for four months in the south of Chile. She enjoys spending time outside, hiking, reading, taking photos, and making art, among many other things!

Lauren Kowis, Instuctor

Lauren was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She received her BS in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University in December of 2017. She completed an environmental education internship with Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont in the summer of 2017. She loves spending time outside. Her favorite things to do include camping, hiking, hammocking, and listening and singing loudly to music.

Matthew Naffziger, Instcuctor

Hi! My name is Matt, I am originally from Fresno, California. I got my degree in Wild Life Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Previously I spent a year teaching english in Seoul South Korea, after that I spent a few months as as camp instructor and interpreter at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. My hobbies range from spending the day binge watching a show on Netflix to doing yoga, and swimming around lakes. Other facts I love Taco Bell and Narwhals are my favorite animal.

Rachael Brunton, Instructor

Rachael is a St. Louis, Missouri native and attended MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas, graduating in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology. After college she has worked as an environmental educator at Wahsega 4-H Center in Georgia, and most recently at Camp Chingachgook in the New York Adirondacks. In her free time, Rachael likes to hike, canoe, kayak, or anything that involves exploring the natural world. If she could pick one animal as her favorite, it would hands-down be Opossums.