Michael Ismerio is a passionate teacher who has been teaching for over 10 years. Michael has continued to engage life as a young business owner, community organizer, professional musician, large event organizer, culture builder, banjo maker, square dance caller, music teacher, and shoemaker, In 2008 he became immersed and obsessed with the growing Deep Nature Connection movement and shifted his focus to guiding others on their journey to awareness, authenticity, and connection.
Michael grew up in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, spent many years in the lush rain forests of the Pacific North west, a brief stint in the hardwood forests of southern Indiana, and now calls Asheville and the mountains of Western North Carolina his home.
Do you feel the call of the wild but can't currently fit this into your life? Financially support someone in need and stay connected to the program while empowering the next generation of Wild Leaders.
More than a Botanist, Luke Cannon is a long time pursuer and teacher of the magic and medicine of plants. His passions to study and understand the beautiful ecological intricacies of the natural world have led him throughout the Americas and across the globe. An avid naturalist Luke draws from a diverse pool of knowledge, combining his botanical studies with his life experience and training in: survival skills, organic farming, permaculture, Appalachian ecology, rural homesteading and experiential learning. His course of studies include the North East School of Botanical Medicine, the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, Ecology Studies at the University of North Carolina Asheville, the Karuna Falls School of Permaculture (NZ), John Young's Art of Mentoring course and the Kamana Naturalist Training Program.
During the last decade, Luke has instructed for numerous wilderness awareness programs, led walks for the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, and taught at the North East School of Botanical Medicine, Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, and the Appalachian School Of Holistic Herbalism. * Luke currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina, studying Appalachian ecology, photographing wildlife and making his living as an ethnobotany teacher and instructing for Forest Floor Wilderness Programs . He offers monthly public Woods Walks to share his knowledge of the local plants, birds, mushrooms and his enthusiasm for building closer relationships with the wilds around us.
Sara Callaway is a deeply practical human being who seeks to understand the journey of life so as to live it more fully and help others do the same. Her twin passions are culture and nature. An avid reader of personal growth books, she also has a degree in Anthropology and a passion for developing conscious community. She has trained in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), peacemaking, alternative conflict resolution, sacred sensuality, and rites of passage.
A former organic farm manager, Sara has a deeply rooted love of plants, trees, rocks, and other beings, a desire to share that love with others, and a continual longing to live in sync with the seasons. She’s a Kamana trained naturalist (Wilderness Awareness School), an instructor in primitive skills (especially friction fire), and has been active in the Earthskills community for over 15 years.
Originally from the coastal plain of south Georgia, Sara has spent the last decade growing community, farming, and teaching adults nature connection skills in Athens, GA. She recently moved to the high mountains of North Carolina to live the homesteading life and work more closely with fellow cultural creatives.
No matter what she’s teaching, NikiAnne is always on the same mission: to raise peoples’ awareness of their whole selves – gifts, interests, blind spots, shadows – and help those whole selves find and fill niches in their communities. This is how the web of life is woven, and the fabric of culture repaired. She’s especially eager to support those in transition – between vocations, stages of life, stories of world and self.
NikiAnne has spent the past 4 years at Earthaven Ecovillage as a dedicated and participatory community member where she co-founded School of Integrated Living in 2012. Before moving to WNC, NikiAnne led service-learning and cultural immersions in Peru and Costa Rica, founded the School Gardens Program and served as a Lead Instructor with Wilderness Youth Project in Santa Barbara, CA.
Clint's journey into the vast world of indigenous living began in the boreal forest of Northern Wisconsin at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School, where he completed their year-long Wilderness Immersion Program. Foraging for dinner, tracking wolves in the snow, and exploring his inner landscape, Clint lived outdoors with no modern amenities for a full turn-of-the-seasons. He then went on to found Forest Floor Wilderness Programs after being inspired by the powerful work of several nature-connection programs here in the Southeast.
Clint has also served as Coordinator of the Earthskills Rendezvous, the longest continuously running primitive skills event in the world, held in N. Georgia twice a year. He has worked extensively as a nature-connection mentor with children, teens, and adults for both the Vermont and Ontario Art of Mentoring, at both the Living Earth School and The Institute for Wild Intelligence, and as the Executive Director of Forest Floor.