A welcome addition to our director team and teaching staff, Benny Jacobs-Schwartz (he/his) is a lifelong Angeleno with an extensive background in environmental education, international trip leading, and wildlife photography. Classically trained as a biologist and environmentalist at U.C. Santa Cruz, Benny leverages his powerful media, and hands-on expertise to facilitate learning and development wherever he goes.
Benny’s journey as an educator began when he was 14, and a participant on multi-week adventure trips. Giants in his eyes, his program instructors changed his perspective on life and welcomed him into their world of outdoor recreation, community building, and passion for the outdoors.
Since his formative years in these programs, Benny has made it his life work to provide fun, safe, and educational experiences for youth in the outdoors. He firmly believes, “If you don’t love a place, how could you ever be expected to protect it?”
Benny lives and breathes the outdoors and actively pursues; surfing, rock-climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, snowboarding, backpacking, doing yoga, and reading natural history field guides!
When not working with Biocitizen, Benny runs and manages his own business called BIRDS by BIJS where he offers Nature-based Wellness Programs for adults, and guides private birding trips locally and internationally.
Benny aims to inspire others to care about their local environment with the goal of loving and protecting these spaces for all to enjoy!