CAMP MONROE STAFF

Camp Director

Camp Director James R. (Randy) Monroe has spent his science teaching career as a knowledgeable and competent up-to-date Scientist, embedding and integrating cutting-edge science technologies and techniques in to processes and topics covered through a standardized Earth, Life and Physical Science curriculum.

Monroe has received a Bachelor of Arts, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a Science Authorization, a Single Subject Earth and Planetary Science and a Master's of Science in Technology Leadership from California State University East Bay (CSUEB) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). He also served for a decade as a board member of the Contra Costa Science and Math Education Association.

Monroe has relationships and collaborates with many of the leading local, state, and national scientific organizations, institutions and businesses. This includes a Native Cold-blooded Critters Program developed with the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, the Desert Tortoise Society and California Fish & Wildlife. He is both a New Horizon Educator (Pluto/Charon: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab & NASA) and MAVEN Educator Ambassador (Mars Atmosphere Volatile Evolution Lawrence: Berkeley National Lab & NASA).

Monroe's step-father James Christy's discovered Pluto's largest moon Charon in 1978, naming it after Monroe's mother Charlene. He has also served over summers for Industrial Initiatives for Science and Math Educators (IISME) at Lockheed Martin Space Systems as an Engineer in missile defense studying infrared technologies, focal plane arrays and cryo-stats & cryo-coolers.

Through his fascination with hydrothermal vent ecology and astro-biology, Monroe served as adjunct faculty for two years at the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA as part of the Microbial Ecology Program (MEP) through both Lawrence Livermore National Labs and IISME.

Monroe has directed coordinated and facilitated scores of field/study trips; both for his former and current middle school sites and collaboratively with all 9 (10) MDUSD middle school GATE Programs. The Lassen trip has been in operational since 2001 with the exception of 2013 and scheduling difficulties.

Field Coordinator

Kurt Erickson is a teacher and an adventurer, making him the perfect asset as the Camp Monroe Activities Coordinator. As a native of the Bay Area of California, he loves teaching, exploring the outdoors, and feels that health and wellness are very important. For over a decade, Kurt has taught an English & History core for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District; He was initially at his alma mater Glenbrook Middle, where he and Randy Monroe met and more recently at El Dorado Middle.

Kurt’s experience working with children began in high school and continued while he attended Diablo Valley College where he worked with early adolescents. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in San Francisco and increased his knowledge of health, training, and also his love of bicycles. This passion led him to conduct seminars on bicycle mechanics, ergonomics and fit, as well as general nutrition. After graduation, he transported his bicycle to Europe and rode from Genova, Italy to Barcelona, Spain while camping in the terraced olive groves of the Mediterranean. This nurtured his love of the outdoors and world travel.

Kurt eventually sought after even more adventure and joined the U.S. Peace Corps. Stationed in the impoverished island nation of Grenada from 1997 to 1999, he found it to be both brutal and beautiful. Working in the Youth Development program, his duties included: teaching English to underserved youth ages 12 to 22, program design of a non-profit school, fund raising with local businesses and government ministries, developing and coaching a youth soccer team, establishing and overseeing community internships for the school’s graduates, participation in various community service volunteer projects with students, and counseling students with various needs. Kurt found that working in the Peace Corps did indeed support their slogan, “The toughest job you’ll ever love.”

After he completed his teaching credential in San Francisco, Kurt moved to his hometown of Concord and began working at the same middle school he had attended as a youth. It was there that he met and befriended Randy Monroe. Kurt accompanied Randy on the inaugural Mt. Lassen Annual field trip, and has worked with him as Camp Activities Coordinator ever since.

Kurt is a certified scuba diver and continues to travel and participate in bicycle races. He is currently seeking certification in the health and wellness field, and spends his free time enjoying the outdoor beauty of the Northern California area.

Camp Manager

Sue Hinchcliffe has a Master’s Degree in Education and has taught middle school in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for the past 14 years.

A believer in hands-on, experiential learning, Sue is the teacher – leader for the Eighth Grade Spring Break Trip to Washington, DC for her school. She is an active, outdoors person and trains year-round for triathlon events. She is a lover of the changing night sky; when her three boys were younger, many summer nights were spent watching the sky from the backyard trampoline. Another activity her family enjoys, camping, now includes the youngest member of the family, Sue’s first grandchild.