The mission of The SummerTree Institute is to provide both environmental education experiences and knowledge-based products to the public in order to enhance environmental awareness and promote a healthier environment for all living things.
The overarching goal of the Institute is to embrace, learn from, and share the profound insights, knowledge, and wisdom of Earth’s model citizens: those scientists, researchers, spiritualists, shaman, singers, storytellers, artists, writers, children, and enlightened people who can help us in … Making Environmental Education Irresistible.
Our Founding Story
On a memorable sunset at the turn of the century (in 2000), Robin Kobaly was pulling the entry gates closed for the night at the federal wildlife preserve she was managing, when her husband asked her an intriguing question: “What do you REALLY want to do, Robin?”
Crickets chirped as she thought. Letting her imagination take flight, she answered, “I want to make environmental education irresistible.”
“How are you going to do that,” Doug asked.
Robin considered her career options. “I don’t think I could make that happen working for the federal government. I would have to start a new environmental education non-profit, and then design our own programs.”
And that evening, the seed was planted for the future non-profit organization, “The SummerTree Institute.”
One year later, Robin, Doug, and a group of like-minded passionate educators had founded The SummerTree Institute, dedicated to “making environmental education irresistible”. Their passion for nature and their educational experience still drives the programs and projects that guide The SummerTree Institute to this day.
Our Executive Team
Director, Program Development
Director, Media & Communications
Our Board of Directors
Robin is a professional biologist with a Master’s Degree in botany. After receiving her Master’s Degree from the University of California Riverside, Robin traveled the world continuing her lifelong fascination with plants, birds, and wildlife. She then began a twenty-year career with the Bureau of Land Management as a botanist, wildlife biologist and natural history interpretive specialist teaching school children in both classroom and outdoor education facilities. She has received national acclaim for development and management of a premier environmental education facility and wildlife preserve. Read Robin’s Bio
Patricia is a credentialed life-science teacher who has taught in California for thirty years, has developed science curriculum for the State of California, has been responsible for the selection of science books for the California school system, and was a 2001 nominee for the Disneyland Creativity in Teaching Award. Patricia has received numerous awards for her innovative approach in teaching science. Read Patricia’s Bio
Justine is the co-founder and co-president of the nationally syndicated public radio network, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network, and New Dimensions Radio, both projects of the New Dimensions Foundation. She has worked with many of the leading edge thinkers, social innovators, and visionaries of our time, incorporating her keen interest in non-traditional education and innovative learning techniques. She is the producer of the award-winning radio series, “Deep Ecology for the 21st Century,” and “Bioneers: Revolution From The Heart of Nature.” Read Justine’s Bio
The SummerTree Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, organized to provide new and refreshing viewpoints toward our environment, our place in it, and our responsibility to it.