Meet Shane Brown, tracker, craftsman, environmental educator and caretaker of Earthroots’ 39-acre property, Big Oak Canyon.
Shane started volunteering with Earthroots when he was a teenager in 2011. He is dedicated to learning and sharing the skills that it takes to be a human living in deep connection to other living things. This has led Shane to attend Teaching Drum Outdoor School, study wildlife biology at Humboldt State University, work on various wildlife management and research projects for agencies and universities, learn regenerative farming and land stewardship practices while living at the Oak Granary in Mendocino County, work on prescribed fires with The Nature Conservancy and Forest Service, become skilled in tracking, music, wild foods, animal processing, fiber arts, and other ancestral arts, and teach hundreds of kids at summer camps and nature connection programs. He has a calm and humble personality and loves a good story.
What is your educational experience?
I worked sporadically with Earthroots from 2011 to 2017 teaching toddlers, homeschool-age, teens, and adults. I taught 3 weeks of summer camp for ages 8-12, and 2 weeks of teen camp at The Oak Granary in 2017 and 2018. I taught 8 weeks of residential summer camp for ages 9-12 at Hidden Villa in 2018. I taught workshops for adults at the Elderflower Earth Skills Gathering and the NorCal Permaculture Convergence in 2018. I currently mentor kids ages 5-12 for 360 Youth Diversion in Santa Ana and teach Forest Kindergarten for Earthroots. I used to work as a field technician for wildlife research and management projects.
What is your role at Earthroots?
I am the caretaker of Earthroots Big Oak Canyon property and an assistant for Forest Kindergarten classes. I will soon start leading volunteer days at Big Oak and lead the Ancestral Arts Series.
What is your favorite memory from volunteering/working at Earthroots?
Some of my favorite memories from Earthroots include making fire in the rain with Forest Kindergarten, the all-night fire at the Winter Solstice campout, watching the kids watch marmots and deer on a high Sierra trip, sit spots at the mouth of San Mateo Creek, and teaching a teen camp with my brother in Trabuco Canyon.
Do you have something to share about yourself that would surprise us?
I grew up in Orange County, yet I never learned to enjoy its beaches.
Why do you enjoy working at Earthroots?
I enjoy working for Earthroots because I can bring my uniqueness and passions and gifts to the community every day, and I get to be energized by the bright eyes and minds of children.
What are your favorite things to do in nature and what locations?
Some of my favorite things in nature are close encounters with wild animals, gorging on abundant patches of wild fruit, and witnessing the diversity, resilience, and beauty of every place I go. Some of my favorite places that I’ve been include Cache Creek in Northern California, the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sonoran coast, and the Mogollon Rim in Arizona.