Even a single experience in nature can truly touch someone for a lifetime, leaving a lasting reverence and appreciation for the Earth, life and their role in it.
Ion the slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado – Marc found himself enveloped in a timeless moment of deep nature connection. From then on, he knew in his heart that cultivating a robust relationship with the natural world was going to be the “compass” for living his life.
Born and raised in California, USA, Marc spent much of his childhood wandering the rolling hills and oak woodlands that give the San Francisco Bay Area its character. He always preferred being outside, no matter the weather, and earned a degree in Forestry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009 to best align this desire with a career in environmental stewardship. He soon came to realize, however, that the only way to truly safeguard the Earth was to restore people’s connection to it.
Mark then moved to the Finger Lakes Region of New York State and joined a local community of nature mentors. He started out volunteering with Earth Arts and later joined Primitive Pursuits as staff, both of which are well-established nature connection organizations in the Ithaca, NY area. Marc’s passion for outdoor education was shaped by his co-workers and friends, as well as his students and their families – finding mentors in many along the way. Over the years, Marc was taught, trained, challenged and supported by his community and in time answered his life-long calling in the seemingly endless mixed hardwood forests that make up the North East United States.
For the past decade, Marc has been working as a Nature Mentor. He has experience with all age groups, in all seasons and types of weather – in preschool, primary and secondary school, homeschool, teenage programs, summer camps, university, and adult training. His responsibilities included program creation and development in all of these fields, as well as staff training, management and mentoring.
Upon moving to Ireland, Marc set out to continue the work he loves through developing networks and collaborations in the environmental and alternative education field – offering his skills as a nature-mentor for organisations and individuals alike. He has plenty of stories to share too.
Marc is a certified Wilderness Skills Instructor, holds a Bush-Craft Skills Apprenticeship, and has attended the Art of Mentoring training as put on by the 8-Shields Institute. He holds a 4H Archery Instructor Certificate and a Permaculture Design Diploma and continues ongoing training and consulting work in Human Ecology/Social Biology with researchers at Cornell University, NY, USA.
In addition to his previous qualifications, Marc is a Certified Forest School Leader in Ireland and member of the Irish Forest School Association.
Through founding NatureConnect, Marc hopes to leave people with a sense of awe and inspiration for nature and a motivation to seek out and share more experiences in connection with the Earth, themselves and their communities.
Now as much as then, Marc prefers to spend his time outdoors – though today he gets to share his wonder for the natural world with his small family as they explore the hedges, fields, woods, and shores around his home.
“Marc is one of the most inspiring nature connection mentors that I know. Through stories and skills, Marc has a magical ability to connect people of all ages more deeply with the earth, themselves, and community. “