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About Us

The Youth Science Institute (YSI) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization whose mission is "to inspire enthusiasm for science and a love of learning". We fulfill our mission by offering hands-on, nature-based, science education to children, families, and the general public. We offer School and Group Programs, Summer Science Camps, weekend Science Safaris, and annual community events. Many of our programs include live animals and nature hikes. Each year, we deliver inquiry-based life, physical, earth, and social science to nearly 30,000 pre-K to sixth-grade students. Since our founding in 1953, we have served hundreds of thousands of children.

YSI maintains three Science and Nature Centers, where we deliver our hands-on science and experiential environmental education programs: Alum Rock Park, San Jose, CA; Sanborn County Park, Saratoga, CA; and Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos, CA. Each Center has unique artifacts, collections, and resources that connect the public with nature while teaching science. To learn more about what YSI has to offer, please take a look at our programs.

Our Board of Directors.

Joe McCreary, Ed.D., President

Merriam Young, Vice President

Gail Ausman, Secretary

Andrew Gaweco, Treasurer

Mel Ausman, Director

Annie Chatterjee, Ph.D., Director

Trung Ho, Director

Robert Larsen, Director

Parisa Nunez, Director

Kate Spring, Director

Long Tran, Director

Our Staff.

Erika Buck, Executive Director
erika@ysi-ca.org

Christy King, Program Director
christy@ysi-ca.org

Adira Sharkey, Program Manager of Camps, Volunteers, and Outreach
adira@ysi-ca.org

Julie Pike, School and Group Program Administrator
julie@ysi-ca.org

Dorothy Johnson, Senior Animal Curator
dj@ysi-ca.org

Glen Marchant, Animal Curator
glen@ysi-ca.org

Sophia Bryan, Animal Curator
sophia@ysi-ca.org

Instructors
Kat Active
Laura Castro
Natalia Dal Porto
Dionne Dettmer
Ros Edmonds
Serena Flores
Ariella Garcia
Elizabeth Geurts
Nikki Hammit
Hannah Hoagland
Janet Hoffmann
Meredith Jacobson
Mary Kinder
Olivia Kramer
Sarah Lofgren
Danny Nguyen
Mel Sarmento
Alex Schord
Lana Togami

IRS Form 990 (click to download PDF copy).

Financial Statements (click to download PDF copy).

YSI Policies.