Meet Dan

Here’s a few examples of how I may help YOU…

  • You’re an Executive Director of a nonprofit looking for coaching to improve your leadership skills…
  • You’re a Teacher / Administrator who wants to integrate nearby nature into school curriculum and culture…
  • You’re a Healthcare Practitioner who seeks to to help your patients reap the healing powers of nature…
  • You’re the Education Director looking for new programming from an experienced presenter and educator.
  • 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?

Curious & Engaging

Passionate & Playful





…and a little bit of a trickster*

Acknowledging the Land & People Where I Live…

I’m Dan Gardoqui (he-him) and I live with my family near the Maine seacoast – lands that have been inhabited by indigenous people for over 12,000 years. Specifically, this land is the traditional territory of the Accominta People of the Penacook Tribe of the Wabanaki Confederacy – at least, that’s what I’ve learned – but much indigenous history has been altered, erased and whitewashed, so please forgive me if inaccurate. I’m always open to learning more.

Wabanaki peoples have stewarded this land for countless generations and continue to live here today, despite centuries of the devastating cultural and individual 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 history, I’m also 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 natural world. At Lead with Nature, I bring that experience in service as YOUR guide, helping YOU reach YOUR goals while connecting with the many healing powers of nature. To see my CV (e.g. presentations, publications, awards, etc) click here.


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.

My teaching began as a peer mentor of teens and college students and, eventually, as a college faculty member. As a Registered Maine Guide, I’ve led hundreds of people in the Maine woods. Let my depth of experiences guide your work through nature-based consulting.


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.


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

  • MENTORING & COACHING – relationships are the core of my work. I’ve guided many organizations, businesses and their leaders via mentoring calls, consulting visits and training. 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 over thousand people, deeply mentored over 100 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 , Canada Lynx.
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!

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