Tara Hostnik

Roles at NAAEE:

CCC Fellow

Sequoia Field Institute Manager
Sequoia Parks Conservancy

Tara has been living and working in Sequoia National Park for almost 5 years. Arriving to the Park with a degree in Biology from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and experience in outdoor guiding and non-profits, a certain cross-country road trip inspired her to move to the west coast to pursue a career in environmental education. In the Park, Tara leads hiking tours for school groups, and private tours for the general public. She also manages astronomy, living history, campfires, and other naturalist programs and has organized the first ever Dark Sky Festival for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Apart from teaching, Tara also enjoys skiing, backpacking, biking, and traveling. 

Fellowship Project

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are not only home to the largest living trees on Earth but they also contain some of the darkest skies in California. The first ever Dark Sky Festival during the weekend of July 25-27, 2014, in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks hopes to promote this incredible, scenic wonder to Park visitors, amateur astronomers and wilderness enthusiasts. Activities range from speakers on robotic mars missions to current and former astronauts; water rocket launches to Junior Sky Ranger programs. 
Sadly, we are losing our ability to see the stars with increasing light pollution and only one-third of Americans can see the Milky Way with the naked eye. This event hopes to inspire people to preserve dark skies in their homes and communities through action. The International Dark Sky Association, also attending the Festival, will showcase actions to help share this message such as changing outdoor light fixtures to direct light downward, creating community ordinances, and simply turning off our lights when we don’t use them. If successful, this event will return for 2015, and continue as an annual event for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.