EarthWorks Learning Guides & Leadership Team Profiles

Our Guides

From Education to Ecology

EarthWorks programs are delivered by highly trained guides with over 20 years of experience in developing wilderness education programs. Learn more about our guides in the profiles below.

Joseph Dean


Program Manager & Experiential Learning Guide


Joseph is a recent graduate from The College at Brockport and Monroe Community College. He has been working with the Center for Youth for 3 years as a Crisis Intervention Prevention Educator in the Rochester City School District. Joseph has recently become certified from Cornell University in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, and holds Wilderness First Aid Certification with Basic Life Support. From his early childhood, Joseph has shown passion for the wilderness, conservation and environmental education. In the summer of 2016, Joseph worked for the NYS DEC as a Naturalist Intern where he mentored youth in a variety of hands-on survival skills and interactive team building activities.  Currently, he continues to put his passion into practice as a Learning Guide for Earthworks. He enjoys leading workshops and sharpening his skills related to shelter building, stalking, plant identification, tracking and camouflage. During his free time, Joseph enjoys hunting, archery, wilderness hikes,  and staying active.


Christina Das


Experiential Learning Guide


Christina is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies. Upon graduation she worked within the sphere of the US Forest Service in and around Vermont, the Pacific Northwest, California and Wyoming.  Here she gained insight into public land management all the while enjoying beautiful country. Christina recently returned to Rochester, where she grew up, and is grateful to share skills she’s picked up along the way. She seeks to nurture a connection to her natural environment, which in turn plants the seed for lifelong environmental stewardship.

Christina believes wild spaces offer refuge from our daily lives and hopes to cultivate confidence in youth to feel comfortable, and ultimately to foster a love for the great outdoors. Her particular areas of interest include plant identification, folk medicine, fire building and navigation. In her free time, Christina enjoys gardening, traveling, stargazing, and trying new things.

David Rutherford forest guide

Keaton Jenkins


Experiential Learning Guide


Keaton is a graduate of the Rochester City School District’s East High School and became an entrepreneur in 2014 after co-founding Beat The Odd’s Clothing – a mission-driven retail company that encourages people to face and conquer adversity through clothing.


Keaton continues to serve the Rochester community as a Crisis Intervention Prevention Educator with The Center For Youth at RCSD #45.  He is an active member of the community who has conducted basketball tournaments, back-to-school fundraisers and continues to benefit youth in the Rochester community through experiential education programs offered through EarthWorks. Keaton continues motivating youth with his positive mindset and powerful resilience. In addition to his great passion for youth development, Keaton enjoys expanding his skill set in wilderness education, spending quality time with family, traveling, clothing design, and sports.


                                                                  Sara Marsh 


Experiential Learning Guide


Sara is an Earth advocate who grew up in the Central New York region of Syracuse. She has devoted her advocacy to The Center For Youth and EarthWorks programs, while continuing to practice intimate and reciprocal relationships with the natural world. Sara earned a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego while living alongside the shores of Lake Ontario. Her collegiate focus was in English, Creative Writing and Ceramics. Sara looks to continuously build her skill set in wilderness teaching, and brings her recreational background of Certified Elemental Hoop Dance to our EarthWorks team. She claims a seat of leadership through instructing, and learning from, youth, which includes inner children present in adults.

Mary Coburn forest guide

Mary Coburn


Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Nature Therapist


Mary is a holistic psychotherapist with a Ph. D. in psychotherapy from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. and a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Alfred University. Her work focuses on promoting growth and healing through the facilitation of awareness of the mind, body, spirit connection which, has taken place in a variety of settings: through graduate student teaching, in workshops, and in individual psychotherapy.

Until retirement, Mary served as a Global faculty member at Sofia University in the Spiritual Psychology Masters specialization. Today her workshops and work with Earthworks focus on self-awareness through creative expression/movement and mindfulness in nature. Her individual client and volunteer work encompass nature therapy, talk therapy and a mind/body approach to wellness and wholeness. Aside from her work in therapy, Mary has also been a lifelong hiker-member of the Adirondack Mountain Club has a deep spiritual connection to nature and has joined EarthWorks as a guide to “help others fall in love with our amazing earth and let it help heal them.”