All Nature Connect staff are trained in first aid & CPR.

Kathryn Waple

Co-director & Program Facilitator

Kathryn has always been at home outdoors.  Some of her earliest memories are of spending time in the woods with her Grandfather and Dad, exploring the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. When she is not roaming the woods, she can be found in her garden or at the beach. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher and has been working with people, plants and the Earth for the last ten years. She has taken 8 Shields Art of Mentoring training and has facilitated the youth program for the Vermont Wilderness School's Art of Mentoring Program.  


She has a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Herbalism from Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, and has apprenticed with Corinna Wood of Red Moon Herbs. She graduated from UNC-Wilmington in 2007 with a degree in English Literature and a minor is Parks and Recreation. She also has a Teaching Certificate in High School Education. Kathryn is the owner of Gray Cat Botanicals, and also teaches at Peace Rose Montessori.

Britt Carpenter

Co-director, Program Facilitator, 1:1 Mentor

Britt is a Wilmington native who grew up exploring the woods near her home, and the marsh and beaches of nearby Topsail Island. She was raised to love and respect nature, which has influenced her active, outdoor lifestyle as an adult. She has also received 8 Shields Art of Mentoring training at the Vermont Wilderness School. She is eager to pass along her love of nature to future generations, especially since welcoming her daughter to the world in 2018, and is a firm believer in its healing powers. In her free time she enjoys hiking, swimming, kayaking, cooking, reading, playing guitar & mandolin, and singing.

Brinkley Hutchings

Founder, Co- Director, Program Facilitator

Brinkley graduated from UNC Wilmington and while in school, she fell in love with the land and community. She loves to share her curiosity and enthusiasm for the natural world with people of all ages, and has worked extensively with children for over ten years. Brinkley is also a Life & Leadership Coach where she supports people to make the differences they would love to make in their communities. In 2017, Brinkley moved home to coastal Alabama to be with her family, and launched Nature Connect Alabama. She remains very active as a co-director for North Carolina programs, and visits whenever possible.

Devin Kelly

Program Facilitator

Devin recently graduated from UNC Wilmington with a master's degree in Public History. Originally from New York, Devin grew up in Apex, North Carolina. She enjoys spending time outdoors and is enthusiastic about the benefits of nontraditional education.

Shelton Harder

Program Facilitator

Shelton recently graduated from UNCW with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys working with young children and recently worked at a local preschool in Wilmington. Shelton has studied Reggio Emilia and Waldorf schools, Forest Schools in Finland, and progressive schools in New Zealand. Through her experience and education, she has decided that the outdoors is the best environment to foster children’s respect for others, problem solving, holistic development, and discovering a passion for learning. As a child, Shelton spent countless hours outside with her cousins and neighbors playing games, hiding in bushes, running, climbing trees, imagining, creating, exploring and discovering the outdoors until dark.  She wants every child to be able to have the experiences outside that she did and has made it her goal to bring the outdoors back to children’s life and learning.

Taylor Bragg

Program Facilitator

Taylor is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she remembers playing in the woods with her dad and neighborhood friends as a child. She's loved the outdoors ever since. She is studying environmental science with a focus in environmental education at UNC-Wilmington, and is currently working towards her NCEE (North Carolina environmental educator) certification. She has also worked as an outdoor trip leader, which has allowed her to gain outdoor recreation skills. Her hobbies include beekeeping, hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing.

Oana Duma

Program Facilitator

Oana was born in Romania and moved to the United States in 2013. She spent most of her childhood playing outside, and often attended summer camps in the mountains. She fell in love with the outdoors immediately and has continued to further her connection with nature ever since. Her favorite activities include hiking, camping, playing in the rain and cooking. Her favorite memories are long hikes with friends followed by camping on top of the mountains and playing the guitar by the fire. Oana believes that nature is a never ending source of wonder, love and energy. As a mother of two young boys, she truly thinks that every child should be able to benefit from the emotional intelligence that nature builds and all the joy the outdoor education brings!

John Carpenter

Program Facilitator

John has worked on many wildlife-related programs, including the National Audubon Society's Project Puffin in Maine and the Ark in the Park's reintroduction of Hihi in New Zealand. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from UNC-Wilmington and a Master's degree in Plant & Soil Science from Alabama A&M University while studying the Cerulean Warbler, a Neotropical migratory songbird.  Since 2010, John has been employed as a full-time wildlife biologist by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission researching landbirds of the Coastal Plain.

Allison Lockshier 

Program Facilitator

Allison grew up in Northern Michigan and spent much of her childhood outside, and barefoot.  She has many happy memories of imaginative play fostered by the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.  As a mother of four children, Allison has observed firsthand the effects of outdoor play and connection with the natural world on children’s health, happiness, and development.  It is her desire that all children may find this sense of connection, and experience the many benefits it brings.  In addition to earning a degree in theater and drama, from the University of Michigan, Allison is a registered nurse.

Alison Gordon 

Marketing & Outreach Coordinator

Alison was born and raised in the foothills of North Carolina and attended UNC-Wilmington

where she received her Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies with a biology concentration. She worked for over 10 years in the education department at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida as an educator, grant coordinator and department manager. Mrs. Gordon spearheaded the zoo’s early education programming and coordinated the evaluation of Lagoon Quest, an environmental education program for all 4th grade students in Brevard County public schools, firm in her belief that caring for wildlife and wilderness begins with our youngest minds. She’s also worked as a development associate for Wildlands Network and naturalist for the Environmental Learning Center. Her passion for conservation education and stewardship is the foundation for cultivating strong community relations.


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