Jonathan Turer (Education Director) is a Brooklyn based tour guide who received his MFA from Goldsmiths College, London. He has been fascinated with the city's water supply ever since he went to summer camp in the Catskill Mountains. He began talking to kids about nature while at Connecticut College, leading tours of the school's arboretum. He studied photography at School of Visual Arts (NYC). He is excited to combine his interest in NYC's infrastructure and history with inspiring children about the natural world.
Born and raised on the mean streets of Greenwich Village (with summers in the beautiful Catskill Mountains), Mike Morgenthal has always been fascinated by the blending of urban and natural landscapes that can only be found in a place like New York City. A professional tour guide in New York and Washington DC, Mike loves educating his groups about the continual evolution of the urban environment, emphasizing how people can minimize their impact on the ecosystem and help promote a greener way of life. Mike graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Newspaper Journalism and History, and worked for 15 years as a professional journalist.
Gnaomi Siemens (guide) has a BA in poetry from Columbia University, and is an MFA candidate in poetry and literary translation at Columbia University’s School of The Arts. Her work, which explores the materiality of language, life in the anthropocene, and climate migration in a post technological world, can be found in Slice Magazine, Asymptote Journal, and Words Without Borders. She is also a field guide for NYC H2O.
Lena Greenberg (guide) is a Brooklyn native and lifelong student of the city. She admires NYC's water system and its surrounding ecosystems, and believes that water education is vital to democratizing natural resource management. Lena holds a BA in Environmental Studies from The New School In addition to leading tours and coordinating communications for NYC H2O, she teaches arts-based, experiential environmental education in public schools around NYC. In her free time, Lena rides her bike and fights for climate justice.
Amelia Zaino (guide) is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst and educator. She has interned at the NYC Department of City Planning and Westchester County GIS, and has taught GIS at LaGuardia Community College. She now teaches environmental science at Wave Hill, Bronx, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Bronx, and leads Water Ecology and Engineering field trips for NYC H2O. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Fordham University and a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science from Lehman College.
Ken Chaya is an avid urban naturalist, and educator who over the past two decades has focused his time and study on the natural flora and fauna found in Central Park. A Manhattan-based Art Director and graphic designer by profession, Ken is the designer and co-creator of the tree map of Central Park, "Central Park Entire." He is currently involved in two nature-related publishing projects, and the continuing development and modification of the interactive app version of the "Central Park Entire" map, as well as a scientific field survey of the flora of Central Park.
Julián Mesri is an educator, theater maker and composer. He is dedicated to using art and education to bring people together and in multiple languages. He works as a Senior Educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where he brings past and present together in the story of immigrant families in New York. He is also an adjunct professor at Pace University of Performing Arts and runs a bilingual theater company called Sans Comedia. Having grown up in New York since he emigrated from Argentina at age 6, he is delighted to share his passion for the city's history and its beautiful parks with students.
Jennifer Classon joins NYC H2O as an environmental educator and enjoys teaching about the water system and how a healthy ecology produces healthy water. She is pursuing a MA in Teaching Biological Sciences with the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP), a partnership between Wildlife Conservation Society and Miami University in Ohio. AIP puts inquiry at the foundation of learning and is based on the principle that education should extend beyond the classroom. Formerly, Jennifer worked with youth and community development with a focus on civic engagement and experiential learning.