Tim Corcoran, Founder
I was born in 1954, in San Francisco, California. My Irish heritage, as taught to me by my uncle and my grandfather, has linked me deeply to Earth peoples' philosophy of life.
I first went to the woods at age six. I knew then that this was my home. At seventeen I spent four months alone in the Canadian Wilderness practicing Earth living skills.
I began a career teaching wildlife conservation, in 1974. During this time I learned how to communicate with the spirits of the animals I worked with.
My most recent and important wilderness experiences have been greatly enriched by the teachings of Tom Brown Jr. the well known tracker and author.
In 1992, with Headwaters Outdoor School, I realized my lifelong vision to share what I have learned from the Earth and to inspire people to discover their own connection with the Earth.
Julie Boettler, Cook
Julie has been a part of the Headwaters family for many years. She first came to Headwaters as a student, then as an apprentice. She now works as Headwater's camp cook and caretaker.
She loves to listen to your stories, so come prepared to share, while she serves you up one of her superb and satisfying meals.
Jon Bock, Teacher
Classes: Boys Rite of Passage
John helps Tim teach the Apprentices during the summer, guiding them on backpacking trips and climbing Mt Shasta. He was part of our Apprentice program for a few years and is now an outstanding mentor at the school.
Evert Broderick, Teacher
Classes: Exploring Plant Medicine
Mucking through cattail marshes, intimate contact with stinging nettles, testing my current level of immunity to poison oak and marveling at the beauty of monarch butterflies on milkweed blossoms have become part of the fabric of my life. Ever since an inauspicious revelation involving a dandelion some twenty-five years ago, plants have been my guiding passion. My primary interest is in the human uses of wild plants for food and medicine although botany, just studying plants for the joy of knowing more about them, ranks a close second. Many excellent teachers have fostered my appreciation and understanding of the world of plants. Most recently, I graduated from Michael Moore's Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. Not only do plants continue to feed my spiritual and intellectual growth, they are at the core of my livelihood: I work on an organic farm near Redmond, Washington and teach Plant Identification at Bastyr University.
Kim Powers, Teacher
Classes: Exploring Plant Medicine
I have been driven by a desire to be a healer for as long as I can remember. Years ago I discovered that a healer; more importantly, we are all healers. Since then I have focused a great deal of my time and energy developing knowledge, skills and sensitivities in the healing realms while also encouraging other people to tap into their own innate healing abilities. Medicinal plants, essential oils and food as medicine are among my key interests. I completed both the Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy programs through the Australasian School of Health Sciences, and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University. I now spend my time working with herbs, essential oils, and energy medicine to help people find and maintain their balance in a world where this is the ultimate challenge!
Deborah Newlen, Teacher
Deborah Newlen's early life was infused with joy and meaning by spending time in the woods and lakes of southern New England. The writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau inspired her while in high school to later become a teacher of adolescents. She has spent the majority of the last 16 years teaching a variety of subjects in high schools in California and currently serves as a teacher and the Community Development Director at the East Bay Waldorf School near Berkeley, California while creating a new high school education model in her spare time.
She began working as a hypnotherapist and teaching about the human mind in 1995 and works both with individuals and groups to help them realize their deeper potential and remove obstacles to succeeding in their lives and organizations. Her education includes undergraduate work at Hamilton College in English and Drama, a Masters of Liberal Studies from Naropa University and certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist.
She discovered the magic and power of Headwaters as a high school teacher in 2005 and began teaching in the Earth Philosophy 1 class in 2012. She is excited this year to be able to expand her teaching and time spent at Headwaters, one of the most amazing schools on the planet!
Lou Ponig, Teacher
Lou has been working with Tim at Headwaters from day one back in 1992. Lou helps teach the Winter Class as well as the Earth Philosophy classes. Lou's skills seem to come as second nature to him now. He enjoys getting out in the woods as much as possible walking his talk. He brings a strong background of experienced knowledge, humor and some fun music around the campfire.
John Brennan, Teacher
JB was initially attracted to the power of Nature by attending camp on Lake Winnipesaukee in rural New Hampshire in the 1940's and in 1950 reading Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger.
John is a veteran Sierra Nevada long distance hiker, an eager Mt. Climber having summited major peaks in the West and Hawaii, and a resolute telemark skier. JB has been an apprentice with Tom Little Bear of the Esselen Tribe since 1991. He pours and sings in the Esselen Sweat Lodge. JB started studying shamanic healing in 2003 with teachers from diverse shamanic backgrounds. He provides services as a shamanic healing practitioner.
In 2003 he received the gift of wholly immersing himself in Nature on a regular basis by moving here to Hammond Ranch and building a strawbale home.
JT Beggs, Teacher
Classes: Edible and Useful Plants
JT's connection to nature was fully realized as soon as he was old enough to cover himself in dirt. Since then he has found nearly every excuse to deeply immerse himself in the ocean, the garden and the wild lands that he calls his home. JT discovered the potential to make this a lifestyle when he met an old bear in the woods named Tim Corcoran. Since then he has continued his study with Tim, the founder of Headwaters, as well as Tod Haddow, Lynx Vilden and countless others. He has been sighted in numerous locations around the country playing his concertina, herding sheep, tanning hides and absorbing natural history. He is constantly on the trail of new experiences and skills that will build stronger ropes between humanity and the earth. JT can be spotted at Headwaters but only if you really take time to look, for his dream is to guide children and adults deeper into their relationships as members of the earth community in a personal and empowering way.
JT has spent over six weeks of his life living off of excusively wild foods and loves finding ways of getting wild plants into every aspect of his life. He is very excited to be taking over the Edible and Useful plants class with his friend Sean Dugan.
Elliot Drake-Maurer, Teacher
Elliot was introduced to hiking, camping, and frolicking in the natural world at a very young age, and has never stopped. Born perhaps a few thousand years after his time, he has an avid interest in primitive cultures and learning about their relationships with their environment, as well as martial arts, music, and writing and ecology. He found Headwaters as an apprentice in 2009, and has found his second home, now assisting with teaching, cooking, and other tasks to keep the camp running. He is currently studying Outdoor Education at Northland College in Wisconsin. He returns every summer to his home state of California to teach and learn at Headwaters.
Paul Dirks, Teacher
Classes: The Winter Class
Paul found Headwaters in 1998 and the following year had his first Winter Class experience as a student. Paul hasn't stopped since and makes this class an annual event as an instructor. Although Paul has participated in almost every one of the school's classes, he finds the winter experience to be the most life changing in both physical and nature skills. Paul's teaching specialties are "how to stay comfortable in the cold", "sleeping comfortably", "winter shelter building", and "introductory awareness and tracking skills". Paul enjoys people, community, and music through his bluegrass banjo playing around the campfire.
Join us and Paul around the campfire for a life changing experience during some of the most peaceful time of the year
Aaron Beverly, Teacher and Guide
Aaron's life with Headwaters began in 2002 as a participant in the Apprenticeship Program. Since then he has transitioned completely from his former life as a software engineer into a life in the outdoors. He works as a mountain guide year round on Mount Shasta leading summit and skiing trips. When not on the mountain, he works as a ski patroller and a white water river guide. He is the program coordinator and co-founder of Shasta Disabled Sports, a non-profit corporation providing outdoor experiences to persons with disabilities. He holds Avalanche Level I and II ceritifications and is an EMT-B. He still remains involved with Headwaters, helping out on various classes including the Winter Class. In the summer, he leads the Headwaters' apprentices to the summit of Mount Shasta.