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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.

Robert Larsen - President

Barbara Rogan - Secretary

Pam Hoult - Treasurer

Kris Ingram - Director

Our Staff.

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

Natalia Dal Porto, Director of Philanthropy
natalia@ysi-ca.org

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

Cassie Vaniotis, Program Manager
cassie@ysi-ca.org

Rameen Malaekeh, Program and Office Administrator
rameen@ysi-ca.org

Dorothy Johnson, Senior Animal Curator

dj@ysi-ca.org

Serena Flores, Wildlife and Nature Center Interpreter
serena@ysi-ca.org

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

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

Instructors
Kat Active
Colter Cook
Allyson Dudzinski
Ros Edmonds
Vanessa Ferkel
Elizabeth Geurts
Hannah Hoagland
Janet Hoffmann
Sarah Huckaby
Olivia Kramer
Kai Lange
Joanne Lewis
Sarah Lofgren
Jasmin Moreno
Mike Mulugeta
Chris Prendergast
Alex Schord
Haley Skov

IRS Form 990 (click to download PDF copy).

Financial Statements (click to download PDF copy).

YSI Policies.

YSI In The News.