Chris Cameron is a naturalist, consultant, and educator who helps people discover their place in this amazing world. He loves sharing his passion with interested folks, and he’s passionate about so many things — falcons (he’s a licensed master falconer), heck, birding in general (want to find a short-eared owl? Chris can show you where!), tomahawk throwing (he has some talent but, please, don’t stand too close to the target) or how to make a bow. A student of science with a degree in theology, Chris is right at home with lively conversation, and thrives on diverse points of view. He’s led literally thousands of kids on nature adventures, and has re-ignited the “nature” spark in hundreds of adults.
"There’s nothing more fun than sharing your passion with interested folks!” Chris says. His passion is very simple — igniting the long neglected “nature spark” in both adults and kids. In the last 17 years of his professional life, he oversaw the rebuilding of an aging camp, renovating Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria for those who come to bask in the beauty of the site, and take a deep breath of renewal.
He's lived on the California coast, hiked hundreds of miles in the Sierra Nevada Mountain wilderness, led kids on walks, and flown falcons. He draws on this lifetime of experience, and his training as both a scientist and a minister, to awaken the “wonder” in the people he meets.
An example of discovery with kids? One morning he introduced a class of first graders to a flowerpot filled with carrots which he’d "replanted” in the soil complete with leafy greens happily waving above the soil line. “Ewwww!” the kids shrieked, when he pulled one out, gave it a quick rinse, and took a bite. “It’s been touching dirt and has green things on it!" i.e., leaves. By the end of the day, the youngsters were eating celery after a discussion of how plant stems work, lettuce earned a talk about leaf structure, and broccoli called for an examination of flowering plants.
In addition to working with our youngest citizens, Chris is a regular tour guide for Road Scholar in Yosemite, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, and the Central California coast. Road Scholar offers lifelong learning through more than 5,500 educational travel programs in the USA, Canada, and 150 other countries geared to older adults.
He’s the lead instructor for the several days-long intensive program for UC California Naturalist program which earns participants four UC credits and a certification. Sign up for his UC CalNat programs here.
Chris Cameron has many titles — naturalist, teacher, executive director, consultant, pastor. His favorite is Pop Nature, a summer camp name from the 1970s that stuck! Like most nicknames, it reflects perfectly who he is. His other favorite title these days is Pappa Chris, shouted with much love by grandson Theo.
As for his personal life, Chris is a native Californian who had the good fortune to marry his high school sweetheart, and lives in Los Osos where they raised their three boys into young men.
Chris can make a fire using two sticks, has performed CPR on a real person, and he drives slowly enough to rescue snakes and pick up roadkill. Oh, and he makes great sourdough bread!