As the Expedition approaches everyone involved is getting excited, including me! I am Liz O’Hara, aka Mrs. O’Hara, Stevenson’s registrar.

I’ve been involved in the Expedition for 28 years, and am a true fan. For eight of those Expeditions I was out hiking, and loved it. I’m no longer able to go on the Expedition because of a severe allergy to poison oak, but I stay as involved as I can because I believe it is the best thing that Stevenson does. I will serve as the communication coordinator this year while the crews are out hiking, which means I’ll post updates here and am happy to answer any questions you may have by email. Please feel free to contact me at

I’d like to introduce the instructors who will lead this year’s Expedition. I asked each of them to provide a photo and a brief introduction. Most picked a photo of themselves doing what they love: being outdoors! Here they are, alphabetically by last name.


Expo instructor Sam Anaya

Sam Anaya

Samuel’s curiosity and first encounter with nature began from an early age in the mountains of Puebla, Mexico; a place of family lineage. His outdoor adventures began in his 20’s, backpacking in the national parks of Central America. These experiences led Samuel to earn a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Social Science at the National University of Mexico (UNAM and CLACSO). Ready for adventure, Samuel took off on a cross-country (20 countries t17,000 ml) cycle trip. He went on to work for organizations like Greenpeace and Amnesty International in Mexico City, Canada and Germany. He has worked and lived in the Mayan Jungle leading educational adventure trips as a guide and photographer. After moving to Monterey Bay he has worked as a naturalist and ACA sea kayak instructor. Samuel enjoys doing open water swimming in the Pacific Ocean and looking for new ways to travel and connect with nature, people and cultures. A naturalist, open water swimmer, and triathlete with background in music, social science and environmental science, his passion for protecting the planet and learning about the world has taken him cycling through 22 countries throughout the Americas and Europe. This year marks Samuel’s fourth season as a part of the Wilderness Expedition.


Expo instructor Ethan Atkins

Ethan Atkins

This will be Ethan’s third Expedition.

Ethan says “Hey Friends! I am stoked to get out there with y’all. My home base for the majority of the year is the Big Sur coastline. When I’m not there, I’m living the nomad life on the road which takes me through the west coast, Cascades, Sierra Nevada and Arizona. I grew up in Carmel Valley and went to school in Arizona for experiential education. I love to get up in the mountains, deserts and down to the ocean. Favorite saying, ‘go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.'”






Expedition instructor Sarah Cabral

Sarah Cabral

Sarah is also known around campus as Dr. Cabral, and teaches history. She is excited to get to know the students in a different environment.

Sarah says “I went on my first backpacking trip when I was eighteen in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. I fell in love with the outdoors and vowed to myself that I would lead students on a backpacking trip one day and support their journey. Fast forward 20+ years, and life has handed me this opportunity as a Stevenson School history teacher and Expo staff member.”




Expo instructor Alyssa Clark

Alyssa Clark


Alyssa is an English teacher at Stevenson, but also so much more, including the holder of the Guinness Book of World Records’ record for the most consecutive days to run a marathon distance (female) — 95 days!

Alyssa says “Hi everyone! My name is Alyssa Clark and I am an English teacher, expo leader, lacrosse coach and professional ultramarathon runner. I have lived all over the world with my husband who is in the Navy, and our two cats Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute. I love any kind of endurance and mountain adventure and am thrilled to be leading an expo trip this year!”



Expo instructor Andrew Czerny

Andrew Czerny

Andrew is a science teacher at Stevenson, a dorm parent, and a long-time instructor for the Expedition.

Andrew has had an affinity for being in the outdoors since he spent a summer living in a tent with his cousin in the forest behind his uncle’s house in rural Massachusetts. From years of exploring the White Mountains in New Hampshire as a teenage to countless backpacking trips into the Ventana Wilderness and the Sierra as an adult, his recreational time has always focused on getting out into the backcountry. As a faculty member at Stevenson, he has been a part of the Outdoor Program for the past eleven years and continues to believe that the Sophomore Wilderness Expedition is one of the best things that happens at Stevenson. Andrew teaches AP Biology, Evolution, and Ornithology.



Expo instructor Ben DeRidder

Ben DeRidder

My name is Ben and I have always had a passion for the outdoors. To follow that intrigue, I have been pursuing a career in Biology. Some my interests include books, video games, skiing, mountain biking, and of course, backpacking. I excited to meet everyone soon and hope to have a fun and meaningful trip!





Expo instructor Cara Emard

Cara Emard

Cara loves to share her passion for wild spaces, which has lead her to work in renewable energy, outdoor education, and wilderness guiding. On any given day, you can find Cara collecting wildflowers, reading in the sunshine, or enjoying a cup of coffee with a dear friend. She is PUMPED to embark on this journey with the Stevenson Sophomores!







Expo instructor Kelly Goldberg

Kelly Goldberg

Kelly Goldberg is passionate about outdoor education for its ability to empower and enlighten participants, foster lasting transference and build authentic community. He made goals to do what he loves for work, sharing experiences and guiding others in their growth and development along the way. He is fulfilling these goals by working in outdoor education in several contexts. He coaches new surfers at beaches around the Monterey Peninsula, backpacks and car-camps with students locally and across the state. Kelly holds a BA in Adventure Education from Prescott College and is also currently working toward an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.






Expo instructor Bob McCormick

Bob McCormick

Bob McCormick has been teaching at Stevenson for the past 20 years, and this year marks his 18th consecutive Expedition. Originally from Wisconsin, Bob has lived and taught in traditional and non-traditional classrooms, and in the backcountry to students of all ages. He has worked as an instructor, facilitator and administrator in backpacking, rock climbing, ski-mountaineering, and mountain biking programs throughout the country. Bob holds a B.A. in Biology from Lake Forest College and an M.S. from Antioch New England Graduate School. Bob lives in Monterey with his wife Maryann, son Max (Class of 2024) and Molly (Class of 2022 and current Expedition coleader).






Expo instructor Kat Menz

Kat Menz

I am a creature of habit but who loves to travel and explore. I’ve lived in 3 countries and try my best to avoid winter as much as possible. I’ve spent a lot of my time in the outdoors, working with athletes and students, and am not trying the business sector of life. I’m a loyalist to my favorite foods and am my happiest when I’m with people I love and enjoy to be around.







Expo instructor Galen Merigliano

Galen Merigliano

Galen is Stevenson’s director of outdoor education and works with students in the dorm. He has spent the better part of the last 5 years leading international travel and education programs in various parts of the world. No stranger to living out of a backpack (or van / boat / hostel), he looks forward to spending 11 days in the backcountry with a crew of students in one of the most epic trips of the year. His favorite Magic the Gathering card is Riptide Turtle.







Expedition instructor Sam Payne

Sam Payne

Sam holds a BA as well as an MFA in painting and drawing and has a background in engineering and mathematics. He lived in Brooklyn, NY for ten years exhibiting his art work, working as a cancer research assistant in a biomedical lab for CUNY, and tutoring calculus. Since moving to California he has focused on his recent letter project: He has also been exploring the chaparral, guiding kayak naturalist tours, baking bread at a French bakery, and working the nightshift in a lettuce factory in Salinas. He is currently building homes and working for CLE with young adults with learning differences.






Expo instructor Connor Price

Connor Price

Connor says “Heyo I’m Connor! I’ve been traveling through CA all the way back from my house in State College, PA. Just started college there at Penn State with a focus on Outdoor Education and a minor in Adventure Literature. In February I became a wilderness EMT through NOLS. This summer I’m going to working as a wildland firefighter around Fairbanks, Alaska. In the future I hope to hike the PCT and my own 20k+ mile hike I’m beginning to plan out. Looking forward to meeting the sophomores!”






Expo instructor Jonathan Reader

Jonathan Reader

Jonathan was an instructor for the 2020 Expedition and we are glad he is back.

He says “I grew up in LA and went to college in the San Francisco Bay Area. These days, I run outdoor education trips all over the west coast. I can even clap with one hand!”






Expo instructor Morgan Rector

Morgan Rector

On campus she’s known an alumna, and also as Ms. Rector. As a student she went on the Expedition. Now she teaches science and is the director of student activities.

Morgan says “In my free time I love to do photography, ceramics, SCUBA diving, and anything that allows me to be outdoors! ”







Expo instructor Matt Rymzo

Matt Rymzo

Matt teaches English on campus in his other role as Mr. Rymzo, and works with students in the dorms and on the tennis court.

Growing up on the south shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts instilled a love for the outdoors in Matt at an early age.  During his formative years, he fostered that love with family camping trips to the Adirondack Mountains, summer camp on Cape Cod, and family ski vacations in New England.  Undergraduate years spent in the pristine beauty of the Green Mountains of Vermont at Middlebury only fueled his passion for the outdoors. Matt has also spent numerous summers hiking, biking, backpacking in and fishing the salmon infested waters of Alaska where his wife, Susan, grew up.

In 2016, Having joined Stevenson students on the fall backpacking trip to Cliff Lake in the Sierras for the last several years, Matt felt it was time to get in on the Sophomore Wilderness Expedition, and he’s gone every year since.




Expedition instructor Sierra Sans

Sierra Sans

Sierra grew up on a cattle ranch in south Monterey county. She developed a deep love for the outdoors when she was very young, always either riding her horse or exploring the hills with her younger brothers. That love and curiosity for all things wild stayed with her through the years, and eventually led her to working at Pinnacles National Park. Over the next decade she worked as a wilderness guide in various parts of the world. From climbing to rafting to backpacking and everything in between, her passion for sharing the outdoors with others through education is both fulfilling and empowering. Currently, she is a wilderness guide as well as an Emergency Medical Technician and Volunteer Firefighter. Blending emergency response with wilderness expeditions is a developing passion for her. This is her first year with the expo and she’s very excited for this endeavor.


Expo instructor Kersten Schnurle

Kersten Schnurle

Kersten grew up hiking, kayaking, and diving along the California coast, and translated her love of the outdoors into two Earth Systems degrees from Stanford University. She enjoys spending time in nature both recreationally and professionally, performing biological fieldwork in the US and internationally in marine, riparian, and terrestrial environments. Having worked as a backcountry river guide in Idaho’s wilderness for the past six summers, she has trained as an environmental interpreter, Wilderness First Responder, and Swiftwater Rescue Technician, and she is excited to bring her skills and experience to the Stevenson Expo team for a fourth expedition.






Liz O’Hara (