Program Coordinator- Underway Adventures Program
Erik received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Illinois in 1993 and Master of Science in Recreation Administration in 2013. For over ten years, he has taught or worked with youth in a variety of settings, including public schools, wilderness programs, boot camps, special education classes and alternative schools. Since 2001, Erik has served Touch of Nature by providing adventure and experiential education programs for Underway Adventures. Erik is an avid outdoorsman, Wilderness First Responder and Search and Rescue-Tech II. He enjoys hiking, climbing, travel, basketball, reading and family time.
Trip Leader- Underway Adventures Program
Hello fellow outdoor enthusiasts. My name is Greg, but you can call me Nemo. Nemo is a family nickname that I was born with. It just so happens that a nemophilist is, "one who loves the forest, and its beauty and solitude." From an early age I was drawn to the outdoors through Scouting, where I achieved Scouting's highest award of rank - Eagle. I then went on to study Zoology and Environmental Science at SIU Carbondale. After graduating college, I became a certified Wilderness First Responder, as well as, a certified American Canoe Association Instructor. Amongst all the things one can do outside, I find myself most often camping, hiking, rock climbing and/or paddling. While I do appreciate these activities by myself, I get the most satisfaction and find it most rewarding when I get to share these experiences with others. Connecting with people in the outdoors is what I truly enjoy the most. Building relationships with individuals about nature, while immersed in in it is where my passion and life's objectives are rooted. My motto is, "Stay true to self. Stay close to nature. Be your REAL, WILD self."
Graduate Assistant- Underway Adventures Program
Dena's love for the outdoors keeps escalating each and every day as new experiences are presented to her. Her passions include teaching others about outdoor experiential education, Leave No Trace principles- minimal impact to the wilderness, as well as advocating the importance of exploring the breathtaking world we live in. Living in the out-of-doors, having hands on experiences and constantly pushing her comfort-zone allows Dena to achieve the best quality of life.
Founder: Veteran Adventures Program
Shane grew up hunting and fishing in the small farming community of Amboy, IL. Looking to travel after high school, Shane joined the U.S Army and was stationed in Fort Campbell, KY with the 101st Airborne Division. After five years it was time for a change; the Rocky Mountains were calling. After moving to Leadville, CO Shane fell in love with the mountains, the people and the endless outdoor recreation opportunities. Upon graduating from Colorado Mountain College, Shane transferred to Southern Illinois University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Recreation, with an emphasis in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. Shane is earned an MA in Recreation in 2017 at Southern Illinois University and worked as a Graduate Assistant for Touch of Nature Environmental Center. When he’s not working or in class, Shane enjoys spending time with his wife and son; it does’t matter if it’s in the backcountry or in the backyard, adventures can take place anywhere.