Staff Bios

Clint Corley, Founder of Forest Floor Wilderness Programs

Clint Corley

Founder and Executive Director

Clint first discovered his love of all things wild by growing up camping with his family in the verdant forests of central Florida. Later he deepened his relationship to nature by building his own wigwam home from bark & saplings, and tracking wolves during a year-long wilderness immersion in the arboreal forests of Wisconsin. Having been deeply impacted by the transformative power of nature-connection, and further driven to help others find this for themselves, Clint founded Forest Floor to serve as a bridge between modern humans and our ancient earth-centered past.

Michael Ismerio, Co-Director at Forest Floor Wilderness Programs

Michael Ismerio


Michael Ismerio is a passionate teacher who has been teaching fiddle music to people of all ages for over 15 years.  In 2008 he became immersed in the growing Deep Nature Connection movement and shifted his focus to guiding others on their journey to awareness, authenticity, and connection.  Michael grew up in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, spent many years in the lush rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, and now calls Asheville home.

Michael’s website:

Head shot of Carmen Lescher

Carmen Lescher

Finance, Administration and Planning

Carmen (she/her) was born to European descended parents in Northern California on the indigenous lands of the Nisenan and Miwok peoples. She has lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina on the indigenous lands of the Catawba people since 2007 when she first came to Earthaven Ecovillage.

Carmen is dedicated to learning how to be human on this planet at this time. She is curious and cares deeply about how to be in right relationship with herself, her family, community, and this life-giving planet. She considers herself a generalist who is comfortable on the farm or construction site, around the kitchen, and in the garden or office. She has owned and operated a pasture-based poultry farm; worked on construction crews building passive solar, off-grid houses; and supported many small businesses with online marketing, administration, and bookkeeping.

Carmen is also currently the Treasurer of Earthaven Ecovillage where she is a community member, and Assistant Director, Bookkeeper, and Faculty at the School of Integrated Living.

Scott Carroll, Lead Instructor at Forest Floor Wilderness Programs

Scott Carroll

Field Director

Scott Carroll first discovered his love and sense of wonder for the natural world as a child and young man growing up on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The ponds, streams, inlets, shoreline, forests and fields were like a playground of endless discoveries, learning and connection. After years of being immersed in city culture, his passion and desire for reconnection was rekindled while participating in a traditional Native American Vision Quest. Since then he has studied and/or participated at various nature connection programs including Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School, The Art of Mentoring, Coyote Tracks and The 8 Shields Institute. Since 2012 he has been working as a Nature Connection Mentor within the 8 shields model primarily with children between the ages of 5 and 18. He considers it a gift to be able to work with youth in this way and is grateful for the opportunity to join the Forest Floor staff.​​

Scott Karas, Lead Instructor at Forest Floor Wilderness Programs

Scott Karas

Field Instructor

Scotty has been doing nature connection education work for Forest Floor and other organizations since 2014. He feeds his passion for nature with naturalist studies, natural crafts, and foraging food and medicine. Scotty is trained in Permaculture design and works locally designing and installing edible and medicinal gardens. He studied herbal medicine locally at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and keeps his relationship with plants alive by growing and foraging medicinal herbs and making medicines and meads. Scotty runs Deep Roots Nature Education from which he offers his services such as wilderness retreats, apprenticeships, camping trips, permaculture design, land consultations, tours, and more.

Scotty’s website:​

Educator Jacob Reid standing beside a waterfall

Jacob Reid

Field Instructor

Jacob is a didgeridoo player, martial artist, and nature enthusiast. He has explored his love of other cultures through extensive travel and language immersion. He thrives on encouraging children to engage viscerally with the natural world and gently push their boundaries.

He has led youth backpacking trips on the Appalachian trail, facilitated high ropes course challenges, and taught archery. It is his joy to empower others to learn and grow.

Grace Upshaw having fun playing with a black snake

Grace Upshaw

Field Instructor

Grace is a passionate educator and mentor who has found deep joy and fulfillment in her nine years of working with youth and adults. Through her work at earthskills gatherings, in classrooms, and in nature-based programs of all kinds, she supports people of all ages to become more fully themselves by connecting more deeply to each other and to the natural world.

Grace holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Lees-McRae College and has studied permaculture, leadership, ecosystem restoration, and educational psychology, continually honing her skills at supporting others to learn, grow, and thrive. She believes in the transformative power of learning to feel at home on the earth.

Instructor Katie Costanzo leaning against a tree

Katie Costanzo

Field Instructor

Katie aspires to live each day of her life embracing and nourishing the wild creature that she is. She has come a long way from the suburbs of long island NY, where she grew up playing in the ocean ~ seeking refuge in the beautiful south shore. She has adventured and lived in many different bioregions and ecosystems from Big Island Hawaii, to Skagway Alaska to now Southern Appalachia.

Katie got her BA in psychology and sociology going on to follow her passions in outdoor rec and education, electoral politics, community organizing, horticulture therapy, farming and birth work. She has studied to be a birth doula and apprenticed at Wild Abundance earning her PDC and learning about regenerative gardening, natural building, herbalism, earth skills and more! She loves cultivating rich, reciprocal relationships with the natural world whether that’s rock climbing or slowing down and narrowing her focus on little jelly fungus growing on decaying logs. She sees herself as a protector of the land and is always trying to weave in the work of dismantling oppressive and exploitative systems and culture.

She finds the most meaning dwelling in the playful parts of existence, building deep connection with herself and her community, and working towards collective liberation for all beings.

Nature connection teacher Sam Giovanetti

Sam Giovanetti

Field Instructor

Sam was born and raised on the outskirts of Philadelphia where skateboarding allowed him to explore the suburban environment in a different way. Once realizing that the world was not all pavement and buildings, he quickly set to work on going out to see it and learn more about it and himself. He has had the pleasure of walking the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. He has spent a year living in a tipi he had sewn with his friends while attending college.

Along the way, he has worked for several nature connection organizations throughout the country helping youth along their journey through life – and in turn, his.

Blacksmithing instructor Allen Stageman

Allen Stageman

Field Instructor

Hi, I’m Allen, one of the blacksmithing instructors here at Forest Floor. I have been blacksmithing for 5 years, beginning with a rudimentary setup in my backyard. This humble start into the craft that has become my passion drives me to inspire students not only to make and learn during class, but also to continue this craft for many years to come. Blacksmithing is one of the most amazing and satisfying skills to exist, and I am excited to do my part to inspire the next generation of craftspeople!

Head shot of Trinity Esola hiking in red rock canyon lands with a broad brimmed sun hat and hydration pack

Trinity Esola

Field Instructor

 Trinity grew up learning about plants and ancestral skills at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium where she made her first bow drill coals, ash cakes, and soapstone beads with Tamara Wilder and saw her first mountain lion tail swish tracks with Meghan Walla Murphy. As a teen she was fortunate to undergo a series of rite of passage ceremonies that blew her wide open, and gave her permission to follow the callings of those childhood experiences in her vocation. She has since picked up a passion for Blacksmithing and playing old time music while at Warren Wilson College and is so happy to be starting her journey as a nature mentor at Forest Floor where she gets to revel in the curiosity and play that come from spending time together outside, making things with our hands. She is so grateful to her mom for bringing her to all those skills gatherings, and to all the mentors that have guided her here by leading the kinds of dynamic lives that she hopes to live. 

Griffin Harvey head shot wearing bright bicycling helmet with big smile and long curly hair

Griffin Harvey

Field Instructor

Griffin’s love of nature has its roots in the forests surrounding his childhood home in Northern Virginia. He grew up playing amongst the trees, as well as riding his bike and camping in the Shenandoahs. Participation in the Boy Scouts introduced him to the world of crafts, campfires and nature preservation, and by the age of 16, he developed a strong interest in environmental sustainability. This led him to Warren Wilson College, where he studied environmental education and began to mentor youth. He’s been assisting with Forest Floor’s summer programs since 2019, and is dedicated to sharing his passion for the natural world with future environmental stewards.
Griffin also loves to garden, and has been working with soil since 2017. He’s an avid writer and photographer, and has published some of his work to his sustainability blog. Since graduating from college, he’s been exploring the world by bike, yet is gleefully returning to Asheville to continue working with Forest Floor’s beautiful learning community.

Callan Burton-Shore holding burning material showing primitive fire-starting skills

Callan Burton-Shore

Field Instructor

Callan grew up making fire, tracking, and sneaking in the woods at the Living Earth School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She eventually became an instructor there. She is studying regenerative agriculture at Warren Wilson College and has experience on all kinds of farms from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time she carves wooden spoons, hikes with her goats, and dreams about permaculture and plants. She is honored to be able to pass on the importance of deep connection to the land to students at Forest Floor.

Amy Duggins nature educator in the forest

Amy Duggins

Field Instructor

Amy grew up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, where she had the great good fortune to spend a childhood perching in trees, splashing in streams, and wondering under starry skies. She’s been head over heels in love with wild nature ever since. She spent many years working as a naturalist and ranger with the State Park systems in Colorado and North Carolina, where she led hikes and nature programs for kids and adults of all ages. She is delighted to be sharing the magic of nature connection with the kids at Forest Floor.