Jayden Samuels

Teacher

Jayden (he/him) grew up with a love for wildlife and nature because of the National Geographic books and documentaries he indulged in as a child. Jayden is an avid birder, wildlife photographer, hiker, and animal enthusiast. He is a part of a small but strong group of black birders in the Los Angeles Area, and he has been honored with an LA Times feature where it speaks on his passion and drive to create accessible spaces in nature for people of color. He has extensive knowledge on birds, especially native CA birds in the SoCal region. This knowledge and his success in wildlife photography were also rewarded with an opportunity to host a Santa Barbara Audubon Society talk on bird ethics and hummingbird/shorebird photography.

He just graduated High School, a specialized biology and zoology magnet program partnered with the LA Zoo. During his time at this program, he was able to work a pilot program with the many zookeepers at the LA Zoo, one where he was able to work with a wide variety of animals such as cassowaries and chimpanzees; plus endangered, threatened, or rare birds at the LA Zoo’s endangered bird center including Bali Mynas and Tawny Frogmouths. His knowledge gained at this program is still applicable to native species due to similar conservatory practices being used.

He is spending the next year of his life at UC Santa Cruz with the proposed major of environmental science. After one year there, he plans to transfer to Cornell to study Ornithology. Jayden’s unique and awesome experiences are something he loves to share with the kids, and he loves to teach and guide the kids on the native California ecology!

In his free time, Jayden enjoys birding/photography, mountain and street biking, reading, and hanging out with family and friends.