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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.

Joan Leis, President
Senior Vice-President, Deposit Relationship Manager, Heritage Bank of Commerce

Joe McCreary, Ed.D., Vice-President
Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, Berryessa Union School District

Katy Courson, Treasurer
Director, Strategic Initiatives, Stanford Health Care

Annie Chatterjee, Ph.D., Secretary
Field Applications Scientist, ProteinSimple 

Our Staff.

Diane M. Riccio, Ph.D., Executive Director

Erika Buck, Sr. Manager of Development and Programs

Christy King, Program Administrator

Mel Sarmento, Alum Rock Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator

Ethan Federman, Summer Camp Manager and Community Outreach Liaison

Dorothy Johnson, Senior Animal Curator

Glen Marchant, Animal Curator

Sophia Bryan, Animal Curator

Ryan Chappell
Breanna Denicola
Natalia Dal Porto
Ros Edmonds
Serena Flores
Elizabeth Geurts
Hannah Hoagland
Janet Hoffmann
Greg Kerekes
Mary Kinder
Sarah Lofgren
Danny Nguyen
Lana Togami

IRS Form 990 (click to download PDF copy).

Financial Statements (click to download PDF copy).

YSI Policies.