Birthed and raised from the rich topsoil of central Iowa, Nathan miraculously found himself a steadfast devotee to the outdoors in a state that is by and large entirely flat and 97.2% private land. Growing up in a small, rural town of one thousand on the lower expanses of the Raccoon River, he spent his free time traipsing and hunting the acreage of woodland behind his house and floating down the muddy, little agricultural river that ran through town with his friends, camping on sandbars and catching catfish for dinner.
While attending Washington University in St. Louis and earning a degree in Environmental Biology, Nathan escaped nearly every weekend to the rolling, rocky hills of the nearby Ozarks for hiking, camping, climbing, spelunking, biking, and canoeing trips he led as president of the school’s Outing Club. He furthered his dedication to making the outdoors more accessible to all by co-founding Gateway to the Great Outdoors, an after-school program to bring outdoor educational programming and trips to underprivileged youth at several local St. Louis schools.
With aspirations to become a physician, and a recent acceptance to the University of Iowa medical school, Nathan sought a gap-year opportunity to pair his passion for the outdoors with the ability to help others. Finding wilderness therapy, Nathan has seen one of the most timeless and simply best medicines – nature – work its magic in tandem with the therapeutic program Elements has crafted to help and assist its students find new direction, fulfillment, and peace in their lives.