Wildlife Camps Staff | Recreational Services

Our staff is what makes our program successful! We're lucky to have a group of fun, adventurous, dedicated, and dynamic people lead our camps.


Meredith Caskey

Director of Wildlife Camps 

I came to Wildlife Camps in the summer of 1999 and was assigned to Eagle Camp teaching Wetlands Study and was hooked after the first day exploring Spider Pond with campers. I stayed on after that summer at School of the Wild and eventually moved into leading the Ornithology curriculum.  This includes using mist nets to catch songbirds safely and placing federal aluminum bands on their legs to track them. Through the years I've taught everything at Camps and create curriculum for all of them, as well as develop new programs.  Always looking for that perfect balance between environmental education and outdoor recreation is a continuous goal. Finding fun and safe ways for campers to experience the wild continues to be my focus.  When I'm not learning alongside campers, you can find me adventuring with my family.  We like to rock climb, bike, go stand-up paddle boarding and play Farkle. Our small home zoo consists of 3 chickens, 2 cats, a turtle, 2 bunnies, a fish, and one old dog.


Chad Swope

Eagle Camp

This is my 16th summer working at Wildlife Camps. I'm excited for another summer of doing the job I love, working with the best staff in the world, and giving kids one of their greatest summers yet!


Jacob Lampe

Hawk Camp

Spending time outside is one of my favorite activities and helping kids learn only adds to that enjoyment. I have a degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services and have spent 3 wonderful summers working at Wildlife Camps.


Alissa Doling

Harrier Camp

I am a sixth grade teacher during the school year, but I love that I have the opportunity to spend time with children in the summer learning, exploring, and appreciating all that nature has to offer!  My favorite parts of Wildlife Camps are the hiking, crafts, and games.  Overall, I enjoy helping the kids discover their interest in the environment, plants, and animals through engaging outdoor experiences.  I can’t wait for another great summer!


Jeff Conner

Owl Camp

I am a science teacher at Iowa City West High school. I love adventure and appreciate the beautiful complexities of nature. One of my goals in life is to share these passions with young people and to help them develop their own connections with nature.


Christine Sobocinski

Falcon Camp

I teach first and second grade at Willowwind School in Iowa City and am a recipient of the Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award for my efforts in outdoor education and authentic learning through experience.  I'm passionate about playing outside and love studying biology and environmental science each summer alongside our campers.


Ellen Carman

Kestrel Corps

I am a student at the University of Iowa studying Science Education. I believe teaching and learning in the outdoors is the best way for us to connect to each other, our fellow organisms and the spaces we inhabit. I am excited to be back with Wildlife Camps for my fourth summer!


Laura Waldo-Semken

Osprey Camp

I have a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Kansas, an AAS in Parks and Natural Resources from Kirkwood Community College and I am currently working toward a master's degree in environmental education and interpretation from University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. I have been with the Wildlife Camps program since 2001 because I love exploring the woods with kids and discovering meaningful ways to connect children with nature. I am also the assistant director of the Iowa Raptor Project.


Eryn Dillard

Harrier Camp

I grew up in the beautiful bluffs of Wisconsin and have been enamored with all things nature for as long as I can remember. I now teach a multiage class of first and second grade in Iowa City where I live with my husband. I am so excited for a summer of exploring and learning with you.


Amanda Heath

Merlin Camp

I'm Amanda Heath and I'll be coordinating Merlin Camp. I love being outdoors hiking, canoeing, exploring, and most of all rock climbing. This is my second year at Wildlife Camps and I can't wait to build micro environments, create rivers, and explore the Macbride Nature Recreation Area with the campers!