Berkeley Forest School

liana chavarín

Liana is an artist, educator, activist, and, most importantly, a four-year-old at heart. She has had over a decade of experience learning from children and teaching creatively.

Liana's most influential life experiences were the countless childhood hours spent roaming Southern California parks, hiking reservoirs, and catching tadpoles and investigating decomposing wildlife in the depths of the gully behind her grandmother's home, all with only the company of other children.

Her father—an artist himself—had a reputation for spontaneously taking Liana out of school early to play at the lake and watch the turtles swim. He also led the family on regular day-long trips to the beach, followed by visits to the Getty Museum, where Liana would walk the galleries covered in sand and smelling of the ocean. She was taught from a very young age not to idolize famous artists, but rather to appreciate their work, and to see them as her peers.

The freedom, respect, unconditional support, and love in Liana's young life has carried with her and greatly influences her work today.

Member, NAEYC
BFA, California College of the Arts
Child Development Certificate, Rio Hondo College

Liana also attends annual conferences with Resources for Infant Educators (RIE), the Innovative Teacher Project, and the Children Learning with Nature Institute.

heather taylor

Heather has been a teacher for over fifteen years, and teaching in an entirely outdoor setting for the last nine. Having grown up in Northern California with healthy doses of camping, recycling, trips to museums and zoos, Girl Scouts, and some time living in a state park, she laid an early foundation for a lifelong love of learning and interest in the biological sciences. Heather believes strongly in allowing children to discover their world through extended periods of play in beautiful, outdoor environments.

Inspired by her outdoor work in Berkeley, CA and driven by the immediacy of Paul K. Dayton's push for a renewal of teaching the science of natural history, Heather founded Teach Outside in order to provide a free, comprehensive, open source website for outdoor educators or those with an interest in the subject. She also wrote a chapter in Nature Education with Young Children (2013).  When not otherwise occupied, Heather helps with her husband's t-shirt and recording company, and volunteers as a scrutineer and learns how to wrench on racecars with the Sports Car Club of America.

BA, Anthropology, UC Davis
Early Childhood Education certificate, Contra Costa College
California Master Teacher

All text and photographs copyright Berkeley Forest School. Illustrations copyright Steven Noble.
Any unauthorized use is prohibited.