Greg Hitzhusen - Co-President
Greg Hitzhusen is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice of Religion, Ecology and Sustainability in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University (OSU), where his teaching focuses on religion and ecology, environmental communications, and community sustainability projects. He and his wife, Erica, a biology teacher at Thomas Worthington High School, met while teaching outdoor leadership and backpacking courses for the Cornell Outdoor Education Program while in graduate school. Before joining the faculty at Ohio State, Greg was co-founder and director of the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) NatureLink program, and served as a director and instructor for several years at NWF’s Eastern and Western Teen Adventure and Wildlife Camp programs; he also co-founded an outdoor program while at the Yale Divinity School, and taught a wide range of courses for the Cornell Outdoor Education program as an undergraduate and graduate student.
Greg enjoys engaging with students in environmental and outdoor activities: he is a member of the President and Provost’s Council for Sustainability at OSU; he serves as Faculty Fellow for the Environment and Natural Resources Scholars program, and advises Students for a Sustainable Campus and the Au Sable Graduate Fellows chapter at OSU. His students’ research on sustainability projects at Ohio State has helped to establish the Campus as a Living Laboratory project and digital archive. He was the founding Director and Board Chair of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light, and Land Stewardship Specialist for the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs; he is currently Vice-Chair of the Environmental Justice Section of the Ecological Society of America. Greg credits his outdoor interests and professional pursuits to a childhood of camping, backpacking, and exploring the outdoors with his family, and he continues to enjoy adventuring with his family and his students!
Erica Hitzhusen - Co-President
Hailing from upstate New York, Erica grew up hiking, paddling and exploring the forests, lakes and mountaintops of the Adirondacks. While earning her undergraduate in Natural Resources from Cornell University, she spent summers as an environmental educator in Lake George and also served as an instructor for the Cornell Outdoor Education program. In 2002, Erica earned her M.A.T in Science Education, served as an environmental educator in the Redwood National and State Parks, then began teaching in Ithaca City Schools, New York before moving to Worthington, Ohio in 2008. Erica continues to share her love for the outdoors with her biology students at Thomas Worthington High School and looks for every opportunity to get them outside and exploring the natural world around them.
Sara Quart - Executive Vice President
Working at Thomas Worthington HS since 1999, Sara Quart teaches Biology to freshman entering the STEM program. Sara was a WFSI teacher leader on spring break trips to Forfar Field Station on Andros Island, Bahamas as well as to the US Virgin Island National Park on St. John Island. Through her position as teacher and coordinator for the summer trips between 2003 - 2007, she met, dated, and married her husband, David Quart (school counselor at TWHS). They are currently raising 3 boys, getting them ready for their turn on a WFSI trip.
Sarah Jacobs - Alumni Vice President
The first time Sarah slept in a tent was as a student on the WFSI Central Rockies trip in 2004, and the Pacific Northwest Trip in 2006 cemented her passion for outdoor education. Since then, she's sought out every opportunity to play and learn outside, as staff and student. In the spring of 2009, Sarah spent a semester in the Rockies with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and has maintained a Wilderness First Responder certification through the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS since 2011. She has been a trip coordinator for the WFSI California trip, backpacking coordinator for a Pacific Northwest trip, and on staff for WFSI trips to the Pacific Northwest, Desert Southwest, Northern Rockies. During the non-WFSI months of the year, Sarah works in the San Francisco Bay Area as an academic and test prep tutor.
Vince Freeland - Treasurer
Born in Utah, Vince grew up in Texas and Mississippi before moving to central Ohio in 6th grade. While in middle school and high school, Vince was involved with scouting. He eventually earned his Eagle Scout award and fell in love with the outdoors in the process.
After earning his teaching degree in Mathematics Education from Bowling Green State University, Vince taught in southern California near Joshua Tree National Park for seven years before returning to central Ohio. Vince became involved with Worthington Field Studies in 2013 as a trip counselor and continued to work as a trip coordinator ever since.
Liz Whalen - Secretary
I am a biology teacher at Thomas Worthington High School and have taken students to Puerto Rico with WFSI's spring break program and chaperoned the Pacific Northwest trip. I enjoy the quiet that comes with exploring our world and getting away from cities and towns. I particularly enjoy fostering the opportunity for students to encounter the silence of nature in awe and wonder, in opposition to a world of Snapchat and constant music from headphones, where many people don't have silence for any part of the day.
I find peace and truth in nature. In a society that is moving more and more toward technology, I find myself separated from reality and creation. Returning to nature brings me back to what I was created for and helps me to re-align my priorities.
Dave Weaner - Sergeant at Arms
Dave Weaner is WFSI's most senior instructor, having led WFSI trips for 34 years. During that time, Dave's vast knowledge of natural science and American landscapes and his example of a lifelong love of learning and teaching has provided decades of rich experience for WFSI students and instructors alike. His photography skills have captured thousands of images of WFSI in action across the country. Dave taught physics at Westerville North High School, has participated in international field research projects, and is a member of the Ohio Academy of Sciences. In 2017, WFSI will establish the Dave Weaner Fund for Teaching and Learning in his honor to provide resources to maintain teaching excellence in WFSI programs.
Anna’s first camping experience was with Worthington Field Studies in the summer of 2012 to the Central Rockies. She quickly developed a passion for travel and the outdoors, and she now strives to encourage others to get out of their comfort zones and experience the outdoors. She was a leader on the 2015 and 2016 WFSI summer trips to the Pacific Northwest and California, and she is a trip coordinator for the 2018 Pacific Northwest summer trip.
AnnaAnna enjoys climbing, mountains, and washing dishes. She has a degree in math and has taught everything from 6th grade to AP Calculus. Anna enjoys the sound of a 3D printer, the feel of Legos, and the look of a well formed caldera.