Mel is from Southern California, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Sociology with an emphasis in Behavioral Sciences. Immediately following college, Mel began working at an outdoor education camp in the San Bernardino National Forest. Mel loved spending her days at science camp leading forest ecology hikes and teaching classes about squids. It was during this time that Mel discovered that she wanted to work with students on a more personal level in an outdoor therapeutic setting.
Mel decided to gain some more experience working outdoors before jumping into the world of Wilderness Therapy, so in 2019 Mel spent 5 and a half months living in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park as a part of the California Conservation Corps’ Backcountry Trails Program. During this time Mel worked on a trail crew that provided light trail maintenance and performed dry stone masonry. Following the backcountry program Mel spent time maintaining trails in San Luis Obispo, CA and in Big Sur State Park. While caring for trails Mel learned of the healing powers that nature possesses. Mel knew that she wanted to share this power with others, and in January of 2020 her heart settled on Elements Wilderness Program. While outside of the field, Mel can be found backpacking to vast peaks and lakes, exploring thrift stores, or spending time with her dog, Bentley.