About Natural Inquirer

Meet the Natural Inquirer Team

Dr. Babs McDonaldBabs McDonald

My name is Dr. Babs McDonald. I am a Social Scientist, a writer, and an educator with the USDA Forest Service. I write most of the articles that you read in Natural Inquirer. I like writing the articles because I have to read scientific articles written by the scientists before I can rewrite them for Natural Inquirer. I learn a lot of new things by doing this. I can also be creative, because I get to think up the "Reflection Section" questions! When I am not writing Natural Inquirer articles, I like to walk or run in the woods, ride my bicycle, swim, and lift weights. I also like to take nature photographs.

(read more about Babs and see personal presentations and papers)

Jessica NickelsenJessica Nickelsen

Hi! My name is Jessica and I am the Director of Education for Natural Inquirer. I also used to be a science teacher for 4th, 5th, and 7th grade students. I love teaching and learning about science and the natural world! By working with Natural Inquirer I get the opportunity to teach and learn about science every day. In my spare time, I love to hike, bike, read, and spend time with my husband, my daughters, my family and friends, and my pets (a dog and a cat!). The picture shown here is from a hiking trip in Georgia.

(download presentations and papers by Jessica)

Michelle C. AndrewsMichelle Andrews

Hi there! My name is Michelle. I have worked on the Natural Inquirer team for over eleven years. I get to participate in many interesting projects. I helped to develop an environmental education evaluation tool called EUGENE (Ecological Understanding as a Guideline for Evaluation in Nonformal Education). I am also working on the development of a photo library that will be used for all Natural Inquirer projects. I enjoy being a part of this educational opportunity and team. I have a great deal of love and respect for our planet, the small and the great, and all it has to offer us. I surround myself with a large spiritual family, good friends, family, and great coworkers. Last but not least, my dogs and cats, Moby, Bijou, Punkie (the dogs) and Marley, Patchouli and Marco (the cats), as well as my foster kitties, Petunia, Charcoal, Pedro, Pierre, and Pashur..

(download presentations by Michelle)

Brian Cooke

Hi! My name is Brian. I am an Education Support Specialist with Natural Inquirer. I help research, write, and edit the journals we publish. I also get to work with scientists to create scientist cards. Working at Natural Inquirer gives me the opportunity to learn about new scientific topics and teach others about new, exciting research. Sharing science with others is the best part of my job! Before working at Natural Inquirer, I spent 4 years teaching nonformal environmental education in New York and Georgia. In my free time, you can usually find me outside. I like to go biking, trail running, hiking, kayaking, and birding. In my picture, I’m exploring a swamp in southern Georgia by kayak.