Leader Bios: Meet Nicole, Nils, Anna & Jeff!

Nicole Greene – California Mountains & Coast

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Park City, Utah, Nicole Greene, a rising Junior at Saint Lawrence University (SLU), now calls Canton, NY home. Back in Utah, however, Nicole is one of 13 siblings – assuming we’re counting her family’s two horses, two donkeys (Daffodil and Petunia), and six chickens. In high school, Nicole juggled the National Honor Society presidency, serving as a peer tutor for students with disabilities, and babysitting – while spending every free minute taking advantage of living in Park City: hiking, mountain biking, ski touring, and ski racing. Nicole keeps herself busy at SLU, too; she’s a member of the Division 1 Varsity Alpine ski team, captain of the Women’s Club Soccer team, and serves as the SLU liaison to the Little River School, where she organizes lessons for their alternative learning classrooms. Her passion for working with people in the outdoors includes her academic interests, as well – Nicole is a Environmental-Sociology major. After volunteering for several years at the National Ability Center in Park City, Nicole worked as a Recreation Program Instructor there this past summer, where she empowered individuals of all abilities by building confidence through sports and educational programs. She worked with teenagers with spinal cord injuries, adults with Autism, and military veterans on skills including adaptive water skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and archery. This summer, we’re thrilled that Nicole will be bringing her fantastic patience, warmth, and enthusiasm to our California Mountains & Coast trips!

Nils Caliandro – California Mountains & Coast

When Concord, MA native Nils Calandro isn’t studying Geology as a rising junior at Whitman College, chances are you can find him camping in the backcountry – literally. In the last two years, Nils has spent half of that time in the woods: hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and taking pictures. It seems fair to say that he’s passionate about the outdoors. And while we’re extremely excited to bring Nils on board to lead our California Mountains & Coast (CMC) trips this summer, Nils is no stranger to the Apogee community – not even to the CMC itinerary, in fact; as a student, he participated on our New England Mountains & Coast, Alps Explorer, and also our CMC trips. In addition to his Apogee experiences, Nils also spent a semester in high school at the High Mountain Institute, coached lacrosse, and organized an Adventure Club at the Long Island (Maine) Community Center. After several summers working on a commercial lobster boat off the Maine coast, Nils returned to his passion of working with youth this past summer, when he worked as an Appalachian Mountain Club Teen Wilderness Adventure Guide. Here, he led backpacking trips for teenagers through the White Mountains and taught environmental stewardship, planned the trip’s logistics, and cooked some delicious meals. This summer, Nils can’t wait to head back out west – camera in tow, of course – and explore some of California’s most beautiful places alongside his students!

Anna Zaremba – California Mountains & Coast

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Anna Zaremba has always had a deep love of the outdoors, and she is excited to share it with her California Mountains & Coast students this summer! Anna is a rising senior at Dickinson College majoring in Environmental Studies, though she didn’t have to leave home behind completely when she headed off to school – her twin brother is a student there as well! On campus she’s not only an English Tutor at Dickinson’s Writing Center, but also had a tenure as the Technology Editor for the Dickinson Science Magazine and serves as President of her fellow Environmental Studies majors. She spent last summer working on Dickinson’s College Farm, proving her strong work ethic while also enjoying the (literal) fruits of her labor. Anna is a seasoned pro when it comes to backpacking, and has been leading outdoor trips since high school. This passion has followed her to Dickinson where she’s an avid hiker,Outing Club leader, and even led eleven incoming freshman on a week-long backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park through WILD (Wilderness Introduction to Life at Dickinson). After spending this past semester abroad in India studying sustainable development and social change, we’re excited to welcome her back to the US and the Apogee community to share her enthusiasm for the natural world and her students this summer!

Jeff Miles – California Mountains & Coast

Jeff Miles, a recent graduate of Cornell University, is excited to be trading upstate New York’s Adirondacks for California’s Sierras on our California Mountains & Coast trip this summer! Growing up in Ohio in a family of artists, Jeff is adept at engaging with the natural world around him, and also well-versed in adventuring in it.  From a young age, Jeff has been no stranger to travel and completed 25 multi-day trips with the Boy Scouts. Jeff has since maximized these passions at Cornell, serving as an Outdoor Leader and as chair of Outdoor Odyssey (a program for incoming first-year students). A common thread throughout all of the backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, and outdoor photography trips he’s led? Jeff has a passion for connecting with others. He brought this amazing positive energy to bear the past two summers in his work at Nazareth Farms in West Virginia, where he organized groups of youth volunteers working to improve substandard housing conditions. As if his commitments to outdoor adventure and doing good work for good people weren’t enough, Jeff enjoys filling the rest of his free time with Spartan Races and teaching himself to play new instruments (banjo and classical guitar are his latest projects). If you are lucky enough to go on trip with him watch out – Jeff loves to do “reverse pranks” that are small and random acts of kindness. We are thrilled to be welcoming Jeff and his kind and adventurous spirit to our community!