Meet The Team

Kestrel is a collaborative learning community. Staff at all levels contribute original ideas, knowledge, and suggestions to help guide the organization. We plan together, work together, and connect with the natural world together. We pay fair wages and provide excellent training to qualified instructors. 

Jessica Kagle, Founder & Program Director

Jessica holds a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has a lifelong passion for playing in the woods. She has 15 years of experience as a professional naturalist and educator, and a great love for the wildlife and lands of New England. She is also a certified K-8 science teacher with several years of classroom teaching experience in both public and independent schools. Jessica teaches primarily through asking children to design creations based on real experiences, and by encouraging them to be silly, adventurous, and muddy.  She loves nothing more than educating people through relationships with wildlife. Jessica can often be found bicycling around New England or standing out in the rain watching frogs and salamanders. 


Curtis Sarkin, Program Instructor

Curtis Sarkin received a bachelor’s degree in Natural History from UMass Amherst.  Before working for Kestrel, he taught hands-on marine science, conducted whale and turtle research, and explored the rainforests and reefs of Central America and Australia.  Curtis has been educating the public about local wildlife for over ten years, and enjoys nothing more than when children ask him challenging and thought-provoking nature questions.  He has been flipping over rocks in search of insects since he could first walk, and enjoys fish keeping, fossil collecting, and debating eclectic topics.


Eliszabeth MacDougal


Eliszabeth received a bachelor's degree in Geology-Biology from Brown. She is passionate about making natural science accessible and intriguing to every audience. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, identifying fungi, and deciphering what rocks can tell us about a region's history. As a child, the time she spent investigating tide pools and peeking under stones in the woods helped shape her values and personal connection with ecological concepts. As an instructor with Kestrel, she is happy to support students' exploration of local, natural environments, seeing them use their newfound knowledge to create models, maps, and inventions of their own.



Emily Johnston


Emily received a degree in Ocean Studies and Marine Affairs from the University of New England in 2016. Before Kestrel she spent her summers sailing aboard the schooner Lady Maryland, teaching students about whales and the ocean environment while sailing along the New England coast. Emily has a deep love for the ocean and terrestrial environments and their interconnectedness and loves helping others come torealize how cool nature really is. She enjoys SCUBA diving, walks in the woods with her dog, and exploring every tide pool she can find.  


Tracy Bowen, Bookkeeper  

Tracy is grateful to have grown up in a place and a time where she was free to roam unsupervised in the Great Sippewissett Marsh and play with the animals at neighboring Sacconnesset Farm on Cape Cod. She's a great believer in giving kids time to explore nature, and in Kestrel's mission; she's hopelessly drawn to working in non-profits. Plus, she enjoys an on-going argument with Jessica about whether cats or dogs are better (cats are).