Our team consists of experienced wilderness instructors with expertise in a variety of fields. We are passionate about the skills we teach, and equally passionate about passing on our knowledge to others. Our teaching styles are very hands-on. Classes are spent in the field where students can develop first-hand experience. We limit our class size to a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio in order to create an effective learning environment. See you in class!
Gabe Garms, Instructor
Gabe is the core instructor for the Ethnobotany Immersion Course as well as a co-instructor for the Wilderness Survival, Natural Medicine Making, Permaculture and Bird Language/Behavior short courses. His two greatest loves in the natural world are plants and birds and he believes permaculture is one of the only ways that we can heal the damage that we've done to this planet. He's originally from the Midwest and honed his nature skills in northern Michigan, the Northwoods of Wisconsin and along the Mississippi River in northeastern Iowa. He has certifications in permaculture design, wildlife tracking and wilderness ecology and has co-taught 4 permaculture design courses. As a core instructor at a wilderness ecology and survival school in Monroe, he taught short term survival skills, ethnobotany and bird language in addition to permaculture. He is passionate about natural medicine and teaching people how to grow their own medicinals within a permaculture system. He regularly goes on short term survival trips with peers to hone in on his skills for the short courses and in his spare time, he frequently birds, goes on plant walks, gardens and plays guitar/sings.
Fil Tkaczyk, Instructor
Fil is the core instructor for the Tracking Immersion Course. He also leads the naturalist walks and teaches many of our short courses including Bird Language/Behavior and Mushroom identification and foraging. He is an experienced naturalist who has extensively studied the ecosystems of Washington state for a decade. He is certified as a Track & Sign Specialist, holds a Permaculture Design Certificate, and earned a B.S. in Wildlife Science from the University of Washington. Included in his experiences as a naturalist, he has led bird walks with Seattle Audubon and taught tracking/outdoors skills to adults and youth for various organizations such as the Wildlife Society. Filip has also worked with the Olympic National Park conducting bat research, and for the University of Washington, leading an in-depth study on nutria in the Seattle area. He is also a professional nature photographer who has captured wildlife images around the world. He is also the author of "Tracks and Sign of Reptiles and Amphibians" through Stackpole Books.
Georgieann Denny Lilgreen (aka Jumping Mouse), Instructor
Born into the Saanya Kwaan lingit Tribe of Saxman Alaska and raised in the Haida village of Kasaan Alaska where living off the land was the way of life. Restoring the connection between the land and the people is her main goal as she teaches classes in the following subjects: long term survival, short term survival, is a co-instructor for the Ethnobotany Immersion Course, basketry and more. Georgieann also holds a Cybertracker Level II Tracking Certification and a Permaculture Design Certificate.
Jamie Weaver, Instructor
Jamie is the core instructor for the Hunter-Gatherer Immersion Course as well as many of our short courses such as survival, bow making, and wild-foraging. She has a passion for subsistence and self-reliance, which has led her into the studies of wilderness survival, wild-foraging, primitive skills, and permaculture. She has a degree in Integrated Ecological Design through Fairhaven College, as well as a certification in Permaculture Design and a Level III Track & Sign Certification through CyberTracker Conservation International. Prior to teaching primitive skills and wilderness survival, Jamie spent ten years as a raft guide by summer and snowboard instructor by winter. She has a deep love for nature and the recreation it provides.
Jeremy Cobb, Instructor
Jeremy Cobb is a Traditional Skills and Tracking instructor.who will be teaching our upcoming five day Flaked Stone Tool Intensive course. He has a deep passion for the skills past peoples used to navigate their daily lives. He began pursuing his skills as a boy on his Father's pony ranch, Plum Creek Farm, and in the woods that surround them. he continued this Journey by receiving certifications in Wilderness Education and Ecology, Permaculture Design, Flaked Stone Tool Technologies, Wilderness First Response, and Several Track and Sign Certifications From Cybertracker Conservancy. He is currently pursuing a degree in Anthropology with a focus on Lithic Analyses in Southern California.
Nigel Thomas, Instructor
A fun loving fungiphile and fermentation fanatic, Nigel is a member of the millennial generation who (as a whole) are moving ever further from a natural existence. However, he is doing his part in reclaiming and sharing a lifestyle that works in harmony with the natural world which brings satisfaction to the soul and health to the environment we all share.
Nigel is driven by a passionate belief that good stewardship and intimate personal connection to the web of life are of the upmost importance as we attempt to solve the socio-economic issues facing us today, and for the posterity of future generations. Growing up and beginning his naturalist journey in nearby Snohomish has left him with a deep rooted love for the Pacific Northwest and a sense of obligation to care for this special region. He has studied under our other instructors during a 9-month naturalist program and has acquired certifications as a permaculture designer, wildlife tracker, wilderness first responder, survivalist, and ecologist. Mycology is another subject studied extensively by Nigel. With a strong understanding of the roles fungi play in nature and permaculture systems, he has integrated edible and medicinal mushroom production into our landscape and food systems.
Here at Raven's Roots Nigel aids with managing the farm and designing new systems. He is eager to share what he has learned in his studies and teaches our fermentation workshops as well as assisting as an apprentice instructor in some of the other courses we offer.