Four Winds Nature Institute Board


Jerry Jenkins

Jerry has been involved with Wildlife Conservation Society's work in the Adirondacks since the genesis of the Adirondack Communities and Conservation program, and has brought his interest and expertise in forest ecology to a variety of discussions and projects.  He is a botanist and consultant with wide-ranging experience for a number of regional organizations, including performing ecological assessments for the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.  Jerry is the author of The Adirondack Atlas: A Geographic Protrait of the Adirondack Park and Climate Change in the Adirondacks: Path to Sustainability.

Cynthia Moulton


Cynthia Moulton has been teaching in the Natural Science Department at Castleton State College since 1997.  Her courses include Flora and Fauna of Vermont, Ecology, Ecotoxicology, and Tropical Biodiversity.  She is a graduate of University of Maryland (MS Environmental Science) and North Carolina State University (Ph.D. Zoology).  She has over ten years experience as a biologist with the U.S. EPA and The Fish and Wildlife Service working mainly on issues dealing with the ecological risks of pesticides. Her interests include biodiversity conservation and environmental health as well as spending time in nature.

Chris Runcie

Chris Runcie was an Environmental Studies major at Middlebury College where she did research on frequency-dependent selection in fruit flies. Later she attended graduate school and received an MA and PhD in Zoology for her research on chemical trail-laying in a termite species. Returning to Vermont, Chris spent many years as a full-time mother of three, but found the time to pursue her delight and interest in nature through the Forest & Field Club, the Lewis Creek Association, and as an ELF volunteer. She became an educator at VINS in 1997 and was a lead author of Hands-On Nature. Chris is keenly interested in birdsong, in insect behavior, in plant and animal relationships, and in engaging people of all ages in learning about nature.

Susan Sawyer

Susan Sawyer is an artist-naturalist from South Woodbury. Susan has been a freelance artist and teacher for over thirty years, and since 1996 has been a member of the faculty of the Adult Degree Program of Vermont College, where she advises studies in art and natural science. She also worked for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science for thirteen years as an educator, naturalist, and illustrator. She was one of the lead authors of the second edition of Hands-On Nature. Her particular interests include plants, insects, and all kinds of wet places – vernal pools, fens, bogs, and beaver meadows – and making art that reflects her love of nature. She\'s insatiably curious, loves a puzzle, thinks observation and imagination are the beginning of both science and art, and believes in having lots of fun while learning about the natural world. Susan earned a BA in graphics and natural history from New College, Sarasota, Florida and a Master of Fine Arts in visual art from Vermont College.

Steve Spensley

Steve Spensley

Steve Spensley has been a classroom teacher since 1979.  In 1981 he was hired to teach at Barstow Memorial School, in Chittenden, where he worked with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.  During the summers Steve works at Camp Betsey Cox, in Pittsford.  At camp he does site work and leads hiking adventures.  He has a keen interest in exciting children about the natural world and has been able to do this both within and outside the classroom.

Rachel Valcour


Rachel teaches middle school science at Barstow Memorial School, getting her students outside often to learn and explore. She enjoys connecting school and community in her instruction - like the integrated unit she taught on the local watershed with students researching the Flood of '47 and then Hurricane Irene's impact, OR the unit she and the middle school team led on Forest Ecology. Rachel and her family spend lots of time in their garden, in their kayaks, and playing in the brook in their own backyard. 

Todd Walker

Todd WalkerTodd is a Financial Advisor with Greenvest in Vermont, an investment firm that specializes in socially and environmentally responsible investing.  Before this he was an independent financial writer for the investment, insurance and banking industries for more than 25 years.  Todd is married to Cathy, a Barbara Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, and has two sons, Craig & Keith.  Cathy and Todd are avid organic gardeners and environmentalists/conservationists who see Four Winds as a natural extension of their belief that nature is the best teacher.