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. Jessica is certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and is a certified Lifeguard.

Stephanie Scadding, Development Associate


Stephanie has a degree in English from the University of Vermont, and 10 years of development experience at Oxfam and Alliance for Democracy. She is working on establishing more long term revenue for Kestrel, through grant writing and donor relations.

She enjoys being able to engage with donors, and helping to connect them with projects they find meaningful. Outside of work, Stephanie loves spending time outdoors with her family and new dog Lucky. Her current favorite job perk is hanging out with baby turtles.

Lis Kernan, Spring Program Instructor

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Elizabeth Kernan, Program Instructor

Lis graduated with her BSc in Zoology & Ecology from James Cook University in Australia, and spent virtually all her free time in the tropics meeting as much of the unique native wildlife as she could find. She worked for many years at Tolga Bat Hospital in Queensland, Australia where each wet season she morphed into a full-time mother bat for hundreds of orphaned baby flying-foxes. She grew up exploring her “own” woods in her backyard in Lexington, MA and can be found most summers hiking and backpacking in the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. Lis is unendingly curious about the surprising behaviors, habits, and interactions of living things that can be found in natural and urbanized spaces right around us, and is passionate about fostering a peaceful (and beneficial!) coexistence between humans and wildlife. She is excited to be a part of the Kestrel team because she believes that young humans are often the best naturalists and deserve a platform to explore, question, and deepen their own connection with their world.

Fern MacDougal, Program Instructor


Fern has a tendency to seek out long adventures and to find new ways to look at the natural world, such as from tops of trees. Growing up in Gloucester, Fern spent countless hours rambling in Dogtown's rocky and piney north woods. Fern graduated from Warren Wilson College with a degree in Environmental Science, and recently got her Master’s in Conservation Ecology from University of Michigan. Fern is in love with the secret wild places of the Cape Ann area. She spends a lot of her spare time identifying plants and observing wildlife while on wild adventures.

Emily Craig, Program Instructor

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Emily graduated from Essex Technical High School with a concentration in Natural Resource Management. She is now a student at Endicott College majoring in Early Childhood Education. Emily found Kestrel her senior year of high school and interned for us throughout the winter and spring. As she moved on to college she could not resist coming back to Kestrel and now teaches for us! She enjoys being outside, learning, and adventuring, and has a passion for teaching and the outdoors. She grew up in a very adventurous family where she got to explore the environment around her but she wishes she had a resource like Kestrel when she was growing up!

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).