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:​

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.

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.

Aris Lara standing in the forest, glancing sideways

Aris Lara

Field Instructor

Aris is an experienced facilitator with a background in the 8 Shields Model and Deep Nature Connection Mentoring. Connecting his passion of nature connection to his passions for movement and martial arts, provides a powerful container for participants in his classes.

He approaches facilitating with a focus on re-childing, curiosity, and playfulness.

Photo of Kerensa Bartlett the nature connection mentor seated on a log in the forest

Kerensa Bartlett

Field Instructor

Kerensa got her first taste of nature connection mentoring when she was a young homeschool student at Vermont Wilderness School. Her passion for sneaking, crafting, critters, stories, and firemaking later bloomed into teaching roles at expeditionary and nature based schools across southern New Hampshire and Vermont. Kerensa found her way south by way of Warren Wilson College, where she studied printmaking, worked on the forestry crew, and took advantage of the school’s paddling club and vast hiking trails. After graduation in 2019 she returned to the Northeast to teach at Vermont Wilderness School during the height of the pandemic.

In spring of 2022 she was called to return to the mountains of Western North Carolina and has been happily mentoring kids at Forest Floor, hiking, painting, and dancing ever since.

Nature connection mentor and fiber artist Abby Willis aside a tree

Abby Willis

Field Instructor

Abby’s lifelong passion for nature connection was ignited by her father’s background in outdoor education and ignited her own passion for inspiring others to appreciate and protect the natural world. She began working with Forest Floor through a cooperative program with the Appalachian Academy of Therapeutic Arts (AATA).

She fell in love with Forest Floor and joined the team full-time in the summer of ‘22. She is a proud native of Western North Carolina and currently teaches fiber arts and kindergarten alongside Forest Floor.

Experienced nature connection mentor Josh Roberts wearing a baseball cap at the edge of the forest

Josh Roberts

Field Instructor

Josh discovered his passion for wilderness survival skills in Vermont in the late 90’s. His passion for earth skills and ecology continued through his undergrad studies of outdoor education and environmental studies at Prescott College.

He went on to gain immense experience leading youth through organizations like The Vermont Wilderness School, Wild Earth, Tom Brown’s Tracker School, The Roots School, Living Earth School, Trackers Earth, Ancestral Knowledge, SCA, Earth Skill Rendezvous, Twin Eagles, and Vermont Art of Mentoring.

Through the years, Josh has learned that nature is one of the greatest teachers, and learning to be a child of the earth and caretaker is a birthright and powerful force of healing. Josh recently relocated to Asheville where he enjoys permaculture, primitive archery, wild edible foraging, mentoring, and learning earth skills.

Nature connection mentor Jessica Gifford holding two daisy blossoms up in front of her eyes playfully

Jessica Gifford

Field Instructor

Coyote Mentoring found me during my travels in Alaska. Inspired by this philosophy, I moved to WA state to finish up my self-designed degree, “Environmental Stewardship: Connecting people to place through ecology and the arts.”

For 6 years I worked for Wild Whatcom’s Explorers Club, an all girls mentoring program. I attended Wilderness Awareness School’s Coyote Mentoring Program and began my journey to facilitate Rites of Passage. I am also a gymnastics coach and spend my free time out hiking or rock climbing.