Hannah O’Malley is a FL native and has lived in Gainesville for 15 years. Her love of nature (specifically wildlife) began at a very young age and developed into a passion to share that love of nature with children. She received her degree from UF in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, with a minor in Education. She had a career working as a wildlife biologist and in the natural resource field for over 15 years. She also gained experience working with children as a summer camp counselor at an outdoor recreation camp in CO, teaching environmental education to children in grades K-12 in the Bahamas, leading kids’ classes and activities at a nature center in IL, working as a park ranger at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, and hiking over 1500 miles with her young daughter. Hannah is certified as a Forest School Instructor through the Forest School Teacher Institute (FSTI).
Christy Penman has been a Florida resident her whole life and has lived in Gainesville for 14 years. Her love of nature (specifically plants!) started at a young age and continued into adulthood as she completed her undergraduate degree in Horticulture and her graduate degree in Horticultural Therapy. After completing the Master Naturalist course at UF, she realized her desire to work in outdoor education with kids, especially the youngest explorers of all. Before collaborating on the creation of Prairie’s Edge Forest School, Christy created and coordinated the environmental education program at Little Orange Creek Nature Park in Hawthorne, FL. She is married to Smitty and they have two explorers of their own, Ransom and Robin. Christy is certified as a Forest School Instructor through FSTI.