The M.O.B. Team
The My Own Backyard Staff is made up of motivated individuals with strong leadership qualities. If you believe that you fit this description and are interested in joining our team, feel free to check out our employment page (click here) for more information.
Brett Mayer studied Environmental Science and played soccer for the University of Virginia. Upon graduation, he discovered a passion for teaching, and found his way into the world of education. He has an extensive background in environmental education and for the past six years has taught at a private independent school near the nation's capital. My Own Backyard arose out of a culmination of his personal and professional experiences. Following his work with educational institutions, non-profits, and companies, he developed a firmly held belief that the best way to educate people on global issues and the importance of global citizenship begins with a strongly rooted local approach, and a connection to the environment, lands, and resources in one's own backyard. In 2007 he converted an old diesel Mercedes to run on waste vegetable oil and drove the car throughout the United States filming a documentary called 'A Different Life'. He used the film as a platform to speak to youth about the importance of renewable energy. In 2008 he worked with a student to film a documentary on the subject of mountaintop removal coal mining in West, Virginia. The experience had such a large impact on him, he vowed to continue a connection with those communities and expose as many young people as possible to the degradation of mountaintop removal mining. Shortly following this experience, he led a group of students to the small Andean village of Chilca outside of Cusco, Peru. They spent three weeks constructing a barn out of adobe bricks later used to raise guinea pigs and generate revenue for the small school. Following a river expedition in Ecuador, Brett left for the Inspire Antarctic Expedition 2009. He traveled through Antarctica with global leaders in renewable energy and climate change to explore how to best implement change in corporate and social institutions. Months later he led a group of students to Belize to discuss and explore the issue of climate change. Brett is an avid whitewater kayaker. Many of his philosophies and beliefs about life stem from his experiences on the water. He also enjoys surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and backpacking. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder.
Kerry Mayer acts as the 'Mini-M.O.B.sters' program coordinator. She has a degree in early childhood education, and for the past six years has taught pre-kindergarten at an independent school in the nation's capital. She enjoys backpacking, running, and spending time outside.
Eric Orenstein works as a program counselor and whitewater kayak instructor. He recently graduated from Colorado College with a degree in physics and will be pursuing a doctoral degree in Ocean Physics at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography beginning fall 2011.
Curt Joyce works as a lead instructor in the 'River Mobsters' whitewater paddling program during the spring season. He is a river guide on the White Salmon River in Washington State during the summer season, and works as a geospatial analyst in his spare time.
Jeff Girts works as a lead instructor in the 'River Mobsters' whitewater kayak program during the fall season. He is always up for a great adventure, and enjoys running through the woods like a bear in the middle of winter.
Jenny owns and operates JMD Farm in Staunton, Virginia. She helps oversee and coordinate all program activities that take place on JMD Farm. She is an avid mountain biker and has a pet cow named Delilah.
Scott Anderson works as a program counselor and as an instructor in the River M.O.B.sters whitewater program. He is a friendly presence on the Potomac River, and a graduate of George Mason with a degree in English. His favorite river is the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.