The Piney Staff

Dan Gardoqui: Co-Founder, Executive Director, Mentor & Trainer

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Dan lives in the Agamenticus region of the Maine Seacoast.  He has been studying naturalist skills, wildlife tracking, bird language & mentoring since 1990. Dan has a M.S. in Natural Resources, is a Certified Wildlife Tracker, Registered Maine Guide & served as Science Faculty at Granite State College for over a decade. Through wildlife tracking, Dan has contributed to wildlife studies and served as science editor for the bird language book “What the Robin Knows.” While not navigating the landscape of nonprofit leadership & management, Dan loves spending time trail running, hunting, playing music & being a dad to his boys.
Contact Dan:

Matt Entwistle: Incoming Program Director

Matt brings a diverse background in wilderness living. His work with non-profits and federal land management agencies has long empowered and educated people with passion for protecting wild places. He has over a decade of leadership in programs based on primitive skills & backcountry living behind him. As a guide, he’s led groups overland & downriver in the Alaskan wilderness, run sled dogs in Colorado, and taught wooden board building with Grain Surfboards. Contact Matt Soon!

Dan Hansche: Program Director, Mentor & Trainer

Dan has been practicing wildlife tracking, naturalist, and survival skills for the past decade. He has taught at various wilderness schools. Dan is a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, has a Wildlife Track & Sign Specialist certificate through Cybertracker Conservation, and is a Registered Maine Guide. He is member of the International Society of Professional Trackers as well as the New England Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Dan has been involved in many conservation projects involving endangered wildlife including Canada lynx, Blanding’s turtle and black racer. He enjoys listening to old delta blues, playing guitar, and being with his little girls, Veery & Minka.
Contact Dan:


Caren Vigneault: Finance Director, Registrar, Human Resources & Office Manager


Caren is a banjo-playing, kid-loving, seacoast-dwelling, jack of most trades here at White Pine (just look at her lists of titles!). While the anchor of the admin staff at our Cider Hill House offices, she can occasionally be found checking in kids, baking treats for staff, or cleaning an outhouse. Caren enjoys the diversity that comes with her work here. She is a Registered Maine Guide, Wilderness First Aid certified and a Kamana II graduate. She has studied with many wilderness schools to gain naturalist and survival skills. Caren’s diverse & valuable office talents have been earned as needed at White Pine.
Contact Caren:

Amy Martinez Beal: Development Director, Program Manager, Mentor & Trainer.

Amy shares life with her husband, three children and various and sundry animals on their small farm in Cape Neddick. She has a deep love of being in the woods whether wildlife tracking, XC skiing, walking the dog or just being quiet. Amy served as a Founding Board Member at White Pine from 2004-2010, is a Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship grad, and is now one of our core staff members. She holds a Level III certificate in Wildlife Track & Sign and is Wilderness First Aid certified. Amy plays guitar, surfs the waves at Long Sands, and her naturalist passions include frogs, fire-making, medicinal plants, and going on woodland adventures. Contact Amy:


Karen Hawkes: Summer Program Director

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Raised in the deserts of Utah, Karen was delighted to discover the trees and water of Southern Maine over 25 years ago. Karen has a BS in Medical Technology and has studied music education. Her five children helped her find her passion for outdoor education and adventure where she enjoys gardening, hiking, cycling and bike camping. A home-school mom, you can often find her walking her dog, Cleo, in the woods, doing yoga or teaching creative problem solving to youth groups. Her latest interests include vermiculture, ridding her house of plastic, and dreaming of tiny homes. Contact Karen:



Marie Richey: Program Manager & Mentor


Marie is a graduate of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She has been working in nature connection & outdoor education for over 3 years, and has been working with youth for 8 years. She grew up exploring the woods and streams of the northeast is a Certified Wildlife Tracker, a Registered Maine Guide, a Wilderness First Responder and is certified by the American Canoe Association in swift-water rescue.  Marie enjoys rock climbing, surfing, and general outdoor adventuring in her free time.
Contact Marie:

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Matt Dickinson: Program Manager & Mentor

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Matt is a passionate naturalist, wilderness explorer and educator. He is a Registered Maine Guide, Certified Wildlife Tracker & Lifeguard. His studies of tracking and nature connection started before he can remember. He’s a College of the Atlantic graduate, where he studied natural history & human ecology. Matt has worked on a diversity of wildlife research involving seabirds, songbirds & plants, and has worked for organizations such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Maine Natural History Observatory. He most enjoys sunbathing, canoeing, watching bumblebees and playing the banjo.
Contact Matt:

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Trish Taylor: Administrative Support Staff

Trish and her husband James have been married forever. They share four grown Suns that were home-schooled and are founding White Pine Graduates. They live on a small farm on the edge of York, packed with many animals. Trish enjoys listening, watching and feeling the outdoors, everyday. Horseback riding, gardening, photography, and animals in general make her happy. She brings to White Pine Programs a BA in Communications/PR, experience with small business and lots of elbow grease.
Contact Trish:


Bronwen Melton: Volunteer Coordinator & Program Mentor

Bronwen lives with her family in an old farmhouse raising chickens, a puppy and each other. She enjoys live music, being with family, reading, hiking, snow, gardening, and baking. Her great loves are family, friends, community, and stories. She is a Tracking Apprentice, Kamana Naturalist Training Student, and is certified in Wilderness First Aid. Her children are long-time Piney’s and avid nature lovers. Her background is in social services.
Contact Bronwen:


Julie Goldberg: Program Mentor

Julie lives with her husband and tribe of children in southern Maine. She enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, snowshoeing, running, dabbling in winter tracking, creating essential oil concoctions, and volunteering in the York schools. From a young age Julie found solace in the outdoors and shared many adventures with her father in the White Mountains. Julie has instilled the importance of the outdoors into her own family and loves making fairy houses, mud pies, creating shelters and climbing mountains with her children.



Stefan Gaschott: Program Mentor


Stefan grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He has a great affinity for all things wild and is always up for an adventure – whether it’s a jaunt through the woods in search of mushrooms or a strenuous bushwhack to the top of a forgotten peak. His recent obsession is birding and he can be found peering into hedges and trees, binoculars and field guide in hand. If you are ever in a car with Stefan in the spring be prepared for a bit of drive-by birding where he will shout out the names of birds and ask, “Was that a tweet, tweet, teedee, or tweet, tweet, teedah?” Stefan enjoys birding, rambling, paddling, baking bread, mushroom hunting, and discovering something new and sharing it with others.


Jen Del Deo: Program Mentor

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Jen was fortunate to experience her childhood in close relationship to Nature, in the woods and fields of her tiny New Hampshire home town. She was born with a passion for plants and worked for many joyful years as a gardener. In addition to her role in the Acorn Weevils at White Pine, she teaches at a local preschool and volunteers in several youth development and mentoring programs. Favorite pastimes include sewing, camping, creating, and silliness!



Deneen Bernier: Program Mentor & Administrative Support Staff


A southern Maine native, Deneen lives to be outside.  Nature is her source of inspiration in all her play and work: making wild plant medicine, jewelry & music; trail running (and tracking) through the fields and forests near her home in Wells; mentoring preschoolers – teens through her nature yoga programs and spending quality time with her family and friends.  She earned a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from USM, is Wilderness First Aid Certified and a graduate of Kamana II and the WPP Tracking Apprenticeship.


Ernie Hansche: Expedition Staff

Spending time in the woods with Ernie Hansche is a real treat. In addition to be a practiced storyteller and accomplished musician, Ernie has a strong connection to the spirit of the wild. After helping raise two boys into young men, Ernie went back to school and got his degree in Outdoor Education. Over the last 10 years, he’s been leading wilderness experiences for a variety of populations. While not in the woods, Ernie might be found rock climbing, picking at an instrument, or playing with his granddaughters by the ocean.