Coral Conant Gilles Storytelling Naturalist
Curiosity. Connection. Exploration.
I combine my passions for storytelling and nature in my work. I tell folklore, original tales, and personal stories. My stories build connections with the natural world and between communities. My hands-on nature activities facilitate exploration and foster curiosity. Adults, early learners, teens, and seniors all find joy in discovering the world around them in new ways.
My programs create a sense of wonder and belonging; they engage and entertain.
Dive into science and nature. Enjoy fantasy and silliness.
Wonder. Reflect. Laugh.
Trot, sing, wiggle, dance, and hunt along with Coral and the animals in her stories.
There are programs for the youngest, wiggliest listeners, the most contemplative listeners, the listeners that enjoy a good laugh, and everyone in between.
Photo Gallery - Click on Pictures for More Information
Oral Storytelling; Hands-on Nature Activities; Pond Critters; Inter-generational Programs; Literacy and Storytelling Activities; Discovery Hikes; Audience Engagement; Activities for All Ages
How'd you become a Storytelling Naturalist?
Quite by accident.
With my parents and sister being educators, I fled from the idea. It took me years to realize that every job I'd ever had was an education position - from teaching swimming, gymnastics, and backpacking to tutoring and facilitating supplemental instruction. I was an educator too. I eventually realized that education was my passion, but desks were not.
During one of my jobs as an environmental educator that lead me to this discovery, I was teaching 4th graders about the Missoula Floods. I taught the same information day after day, and even though I knew the Missoula Floods were wildly fascinating, I watched 100s of kids' eyes gloss over every week when I threw big numbers like 10,000 years, 500 cubic miles, 60 miles per hour, and 300 feet at them. One day, I had them close their eyes. Together we traveled to the ice age and built a fire along a creek. Then they built a raft as a lake formed in front of them. Pretty soon they were racing through the Columbia Gorge at 60 miles an hour as trees snapped like twigs and boulders crashed around them. They were hooked and so was I.