Instructor Intro: Benny Jacobs-Schwartz
My name is Benny Jacobs-Schwartz and I was born and raised in the sunny part of Southern California, Los Angeles. I, along with Caitlin, will be one of your instructors for our upcoming course to Central America this fall! I am brimming with excitement as we will get to share an amazing 10-weeks getting to know each other throughout five amazing countries.
Over the last 3 months I have been living at a residential summer camp located just outside Yosemite National Park. My season here will soon be wrapping up and I'll heading down to the tropics! During my season here, I've had the opportunity to lead backpacking trips, multi-week adventure road trips, and develop in-camp nature programs. Right now its hot, dusty, and sunny up here, but smiles abound as the pine trees sway and the cool river keeps us refreshed.
I center my life around outdoor pursuits and when not working I enjoy a wide variety of recreation including mountain biking, surfing, rock-climbing, and yoga. Additional passions and interests include the timeless activity of bird watching and the ever frustrating, but equally rewarding pursuit of bird photography. A couple years ago I published a field guide to Birds of U.C. Santa Cruz including my own photography, which is available on the interwebs and serves as a great tool to intro-bird watchers in California.
My interest in birds hatched during a 10-week study abroad course in Costa Rica during 2011. Over the past several years I have made my way down to Central America to explore, guide, watch birds and study the ecology that exists in this biologically unique region. I get excited about nature, ultimate frisbee, deep topics of life, sustainable agriculture, and spreading a love for the outdoors! I won't get too into details right now, but wanted to share a bit about me before our course begins!
As the time until our trip grows closer, I want to encourage any questions, comments or concerns that may come up as we approach our start date. Along with all the items on your packing list, make sure to bring your open mind, a flexible attitude and your freshest tank tops! (Don't forget the sunscreen)
With lots of stoke and gratitude,