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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.

Our Board of Directors.

Pam Hoult, President

Robin O'Hern, Secretary

Sandy Knell, Treasurer

Meghan Burton, Director

Kris Ingram, Director

Robert Larsen, Director

Marisol Mendoza, Director

Eva Uzun, Director

Joe Van Sambeek, Director

Our Staff.

Erika Buck, Executive Director

Marc Cooper, Program Manager - School & Group Programs

Cassie Vaniotis, Program Manager - Camp Programs

Jennifer Biggerstaff, Program and Office Administrator

Dorothy Johnson, Senior Animal Curator

Serena Flores, Wildlife and Nature Center Interpreter

Glen Marchant, Animal Curator

Colter Cook
Allyson Dudzinski
Ros Edmonds
Vanessa Ferkel
Elizabeth Geurts
Janet Hoffmann
Sarah Huckaby
Olivia Kramer
Kai Lange
Jasmin Moreno
Sarah Porter
Alex Schord
Haley Skov
Jordan Sortino

IRS Form 990 (click to download PDF copy).

Financial Statements (click to download PDF copy).

YSI Policies.

YSI In The News.