Meet Dan

picture of Dan Gardoqui smiling while learning from birds on a crisp spring day by the ocean

Here’s a few ways that I can help you…

  • You’re a Business Owner / Nonprofit Director looking for support and guidance in your work…
  • You’re a Teacher / Administrator who wants to integrate nature into curriculum and culture…
  • You’re a Curious Adult looking to better connect with your local landscape, including integrating more wild, local foods into your diet.
  • You’re an Education Director looking for new programming from an experienced educator and presenter.
  • You’re a Middle-Aged Parent who wants to re-connect to nature and get out of your indoor funk?
  • You’re a Community Volunteer who wants to create a stewardship or science project.

Why Dan?

Dan Gardoqui image

Curious & Engaging

Passionate & Playful





…and a little bit of a trickster*

Acknowledging the Land & People Where I Live…

I’m Dan Gardoqui and I live with my family near the Maine seacoast – lands that have been inhabited by indigenous people for at least 12,000 years: including traditional lands of the Accominta People of the Penacook Tribe of the Wabanaki Confederacy. That’s what I’ve learned in my research – but much indigenous history has been altered, erased and whitewashed, so it may inaccurate. If you know different, please let me know – as I’m always open to learning more.

Feather copyright by Sierra Henries

Wabanaki peoples have stewarded this land for countless generations and continue to live here today, despite centuries of the devastating effects of colonization. I affirm their inherent sovereignty in this territory, support their efforts for land and water protection and restoration and for cultural healing and recovery. In addition to acknowledging this important and disturbing history, I’m committed to learning to be a helpful ally of the indigenous people of this place. To learn more and support Wabanaki health, wellness & self-determination, please support:

Life’s a journey…let me be YOUR Guide

For over 30 years, I’ve been a student, teacher, observer and active participant in the more-than-human-world. At Lead with Nature, I bring that experience as YOUR guide, helping YOU reach YOUR goals while connecting with the many healing powers of nature. To see my resume, click here.

“Dan founded and led one of the most successful nature connection schools in the United States for over 20 years, inspiring the growth of countless other schools (including Wild Earth) while training young leaders. As a wisdom holder and master educator, Dan Gardoqui is uniquely exceptional: He brings you everything he’s got with joy for life, laughter, good humor, and a healthy dose of humility. Best of all, he always leaves you hungering to learn more. Dan is a truly gifted teacher!” 

David BrownsteinExecutive Director, Wild Earth


As a suburban New Jersey teen, I met my first mentor, Jon Young, who set me on a journey as a naturalist, a mentor and a leader. That journey led me to many other mentors, students and landscapes that have taught me priceless lessons. For the past 25 years, I’ve lived and worked in both human and wild communities in New England.


With decades of focused naturalist and wildlife tracking studies, a Master’s degree in Natural Resources, and years of professional development – I know the student experience.

Maine Guide Patch

My teaching began as a peer mentor of teens and college students and, eventually, as a college faculty member. As a Registered Maine Guide (w/ recreational & hunting credentials), I’ve led hundreds of people in the Maine woods – via hiking trails, canoe routes, animal trails and off-trails. My guiding ranges from custom nature guiding (e.g. birds, wild foods, tracking animals, ecology, hunting and more).


In 1999, Kate Ehrenfeld, Matt Wild and I founded White Pine Programs. For 20 years, I served as Executive Director, creating a very successful nature-connection organization collaborating over 100 partners. My leadership, success and results earned the respect of colleagues around the globe – connections that I utilize to help YOU achieve your goals.

“Dan’s innate curiosity and love of nature translates to an almost-electric buzz, and those around him are challenged to look deeper and do more. Despite spending every moment I could outdoors, Dan gave me the ability to deeply immerse myself in nature – something I’ll always have with me and for my family. Dan’s lessons help us remember that the world is much bigger than ourselves and that the chatter of our minds can prevent us from joining a rich conversation that all other beings are engage in every day.”

Kristen LambExecutive Director, Center for Wildlife


My core areas of expertise and depth fall into these categories:

  • CONSULTING & MENTORING– creating and maintaining connections are the core of my work. I’ve guided dozens of organizations, businesses and their leaders via my consulting services. Learn more on the services page.
  • BIRD LANGUAGE – Connecting to birds promotes mindfulness, well-being and instills conservation ethics. I’ve helped develop the field of Bird Language via intensives, trainings, co-creating an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science, and through the book “What the Robin Knows.” To understand Bird Language, watch the short film “The Birder” below. Check out my current lineup on online courses.
  • NATURE-CONNECTION – Forgetting that we’re a part of nature comes with costly consequences to our personal & community health and well-being. The field of nature-connection addresses this disconnect with solutions. I’ve worked in this field since the 1990’s, serving as a main contributor for the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and authored a chapter of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, hailed by Richard Louv as “good medicine for nature-deficit disorder.”

  • WILDLIFE TRACKINGOver the past 30 years, I’ve taught tracking to hundreds of people of all ages, intensely mentored over 125 tracking apprentices and earned Certified Wildlife Tracker status on multiple continents. I’ve applied both my own skills & encouraged my apprentices to test their skills on scientific research projects focused on Eastern Wolves, New England Cottontails, Bobcats, Snowshoe Hare, Blanding’s Turtle and Canada Lynx.
Dan Gardoqui leading a group of wildlife trackers along the trail of a wolf pack in Algonquin Park
On the trail of Eastern Wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park – Ontario, Canada
  • HUNTING & FORAGING – The practice of hunting for wild food and gathering from the landscape both meets basic human needs and deeply nourishes the soul. Responsible hunting is a vital part of the management of wildlife populations and wild places. I’m a member of the New England chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and a Registered Maine Guide. Learn more about ethical hunting for conservation here.

* AND….A NOTE ABOUT MY HUMOR * I’m a big fan of humor – some of it everyone might not appreciate. From practical jokes to snowball fights, I’m hardwired for shenanigans. While capable of difficult conversations, I firmly refuse to take myself TOO seriously. Humor, laughter and play are vital, especially when working hard to make change in the world. If you don’t appreciate this approach (or want to learn to), you best move on now and find a better fit. Thanks!

Browse upcoming ONLINE COURSES

Is my EXPERIENCE a good fit for you?


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