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Tyler Randazzo

Program Director/Instructor

He/Him

Needham, Massachusetts

University of Puget Sound

BA in History, minor in Education

My STORY

What types of outdoor experiences inspired you into an interest in nature and nature based education?

I went to a high school that had a really strong outdoor education program, and those experiences were integral to my growth as a teenager. I never wanted to stop being outside and recreating in nature - so I just didn’t.

 

Have you ever had a “close call” in nature whether with an animal or with the environment?

Many. Probably my worst and most stupid was when I fell backwards off of a (small) ledge and tumbled down a boulder field about 50 feet while working for the summer in the Front Range of Colorado. I was fine apart from a pretty deep puncture wound in my side from bouncing off a bunch of rocks really hard.

 

How many countries/states/national parks have you traveled to?

Countries: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Canada, Kosovo, Spain, France, Portugal, Nepal, Mexico (so 10, I think?)

States: MA, NH, VT, CT, WA, CA, NM, FL, TN, VA, NV, OR, NY, ME, NJ, PA, MD, NC, CO - 20ish, but I am missing most of the middle of the country.

 

National Parks: This one is hard because there’s so many small ones. But I’ve been to a bunch. Glacier, Yellowstone and Arches are on my to-do list.

 

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Getting to see my students grow in their confidence and abilities!

 

Do you believe that what we do is contributing to saving our environment or our species and if so how?

I believe that what we do has ripple effects. We may not be contributing in hugely significant ways at this exact moment (ie stopping sea level rise), but by helping our students develop healthy and reciprocal relationships with nature, we are planting seeds that will hopefully one day grow into something much bigger than us. 

 

Describe your relationship with nature and how it has changed over your life.

Nature is therapeutic for me - being outside allows me to slow down and reflect. I’ve realized in the past few years that I used to put too much emphasis on doing “big” things outside - ie long backpacking trips, long days mountain biking, big ski tours. If I wasn’t doing those things, I felt like I’d failed as an outdoors person. I try to focus on spending time outside as a way to connect with my own humanity and with the world around me instead.

 

What environment have you spent the most time in or which do you enjoy the most?

The White Mountains in the Fall. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back to New England in the fall but it is really the only season where I find myself truly homesick - there is just something so special about watching the leaves change as the seasons do.

 

Which environment would you like to spend more time in?

I grew up around a lot of snow, and the past few years in California I haven’t made it to the snow very often. I’d like to spend some more time honing my snow science skills and getting out into the snow soon.

 

If you had ten tools to take with you alone into the wilderness what would they be? 

A knife, ferro rod, emergency blanket, tarp, paracord, water bottle, backpack, steripen, fishing pole

 

What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Developing our “Bike Shop” class from scratch. It was a lot of work, but it’s been amazing to see it go from an idea to where it is now.


 

BIOGRAPHY

A New England native, Tyler cultivated his love of the outdoors as a high school student in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and later as a college student in the Pacific Northwest. Tyler is passionate about making the outdoors accessible and finding adventure everywhere. He loves taking students on bike rides to local parks, playing fetch with his Pitbull Layla, and exploring new places on his mountain bike. Tyler received his BA in History from the University of Puget Sound in 2019 and now lives in Oakland with his partner Casey and their dog.