Lee Summers

lee in the forestLee Summers got hooked into the natural world at a young age through regular hikes and outdoor camping trips where she and her family would revel at nature. That spark her mom passed on to her, led her to pursue a Natural Resources degree from Humboldt State University in 1984. Soon after she began working in outdoor education at Walden West, before she came to Santa Cruz three years later to work as a state parks interpreter. Eventually, she left to earn her teaching credential, worked with the Peace Corps in Ecuador and then finally returned to Santa Cruz years later to again work as a parks interpreter at Wilder and Natural Bridges State Parks. Eventually she moved on to work as a parks program interpreter for Santa Cruz County at Hollow Ranch for 16 years before retiring.

Lee especially enjoys natural history in Santa Cruz because it has an abundance of natural spaces and a large diversity of ecosystems. She believes the best way to help make new naturalists is to encourage people to be curious about their environment. Lee also believes that many naturalist careers are underfunded which make it hard for some people to get involved.