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.
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
Elizabeth Stephens, Summer Instructor
NOW: Breathing life into an ember to build fire. THEN: Conservation Club camping trip, circa 2012.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Food & Farming, as well as a major in English. This is her first season teaching with Kestrel, however she is no stranger to the organization having attended Kestrel’s Conservation Club from 6th grade until High School. Besides this, she has worked with other non-profits such as The Backyard Growers, done tall ship sailing/ acidification research off the coast of New Zealand, spent a winter in Alaska taking care of sled dogs and baby goats, and has done extensive traveling throughout North America. Elizabeth enjoys embroidery, gardening, and climbing on things that are taller than she is.
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).