2016 Northern EE'er of the Year - Ian “Ibis” Gledhill Image

2016 Northern EE'er of the Year - Ian “Ibis” Gledhill

Ian “Ibis” Gledhill began his career in outdoor education as part of Woodleaf Outdoor School’s  first ever class of Student Naturalists in 2000. Going to work as a naturalist right after high school might have been daunting for some, but being a naturalist runs in Ibis’s blood. His father roomed with Joseph Cornell (author of “Sharing Nature with Children”) in college, and Ibis’s mentors are outdoor education legends John and Kathe Hendrickson. After working at Woodleaf, Ian went on to explore other outdoor schools before studying environmental interpretation and earning a teaching credential at CSU Humboldt. After two years of teaching middle school science, Ian’s journey in outdoor education came full circle when he was hired as Lead Naturalist at Shady Creek Outdoor School (formerly Woodleaf). Ian’s greatest passion in EE is sharing his love for birding. In 2015 Ian headed up the Birding to Awaken Wonder fundraiser to improve the quality of bird education at Shady Creek.


In December 2014 Ian attended a BEETLES training and has become a regular contributor to their webinars and ongoing professional development efforts. In the summer of 2016 Ian won a scholarship to attend the Cornell University Bird Sleuth Program where he gained valuable skills and resources to continue sharing birding with children. Now the Lead Naturalist, Ian brings his skills and wealth of knowledge together to create curriculum for Shady Creek. Ian’s classes not only utilize the best practices of teaching and environmental interpretation, but also align with Next Generation and Common Core Science Standards. Most importantly, he keeps the focus on kids, which helps keep students engaged and having fun. Ian proudly continues Shady Creek’s musical tradition, bringing his own flavor and funk to the school. Songs penned by Ian, like “Trash Island” and “Solar Superhero,” are student favorites each week. Sixteen years after the Student Naturalist program began, Ian is now mentoring the next generation of Student Naturalists, inspiring them to find their own path in EE.

Nominated by: Chris “Yetti” Little