Staff and Instructors

P.I.N.E. Project Staff

Andrew McMartin – Executive Director
Andrew Mcmartin Andrew believes that dirt under fingernails and rain in a child’s hair are essential components to growing up healthy, resilient, and connected to the place we call home, the local natural environment. He is passionate about education, having spent the better part of the last 15+ years working with children in the outdoors. He’s a certified teacher in Ontario,  and has taught and traveled all over Canada and the world, but has come back home to Toronto to bring the things he feels are most important to the place that needs them the most. Andrew is the founder of the p.i.n.e. project, bringing 15 years of teaching experience in the outdoors, and 10+ years of nature based mentoring and community building work with affiliate and parent organizations across North America.

Certifications include:

  • B.Ed. from Lakehead University (Outdoor, Ecological and Experiential Education Program – 2006)
  • B.Sc./B.P.H.E. from Queen’s University (2002)
  • Wilderness Medical Associates Wilderness Emergency Medical Responder (2007)
  • Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Rescue Instructor (2007)
  • Ontario Recreational Canoe and Kayaking Association Moving Water Instructor (2002)
  • Ontario F-Class drivers license
  • Bronze Cross


Chris Gilmour – Muskoka Regional Director
Currently living in the Muskoka area of Ontario, Chris is a professional outdoor educator and wilderness guide. He has 10+ years of experience helping people of all ages deepen their knowledge of the natural world through experiential education. He is the founder of Earth Mentorship Programs, a business focusing on naturalist mentoring and wilderness training for various types of groups and organizations. Chris is passionate about wildlife tracking, herbal medicine, ancient wilderness living skills and is a devout student of the natural world. Chris runs training programs, is helping to organize the Art of Mentoring course in the summer, and is one of our fantastic Summer Camps Staff!


Visiting Instructors:

Laura Alward
Laura AlwardLaura Alward has been studying ecology, healing and art for 8 years. Laura spent 3 years learning sustainable agriculture and herbalism in Western Canada and US, and earned a Permaculture Designers Certification in California. Laura currently works as a Terrestrial Ecologist for an environmental consulting firm in Muskoka. Laura loves to cultivate, harvest and honor wild plants which she uses for food, healing and crafts. She volunteers helping her local community with stewardship activities such as environmental education, shoreline restoration and nature scaping at schools, and is honored to be helping create a new culture of nature connection in Ontario through the Headwaters Gathering and Art of Mentoring.  When she’s not playing with plants Laura loves to go tracking and assist with wildlife research in the Algonquin Park area.

Alexis Burnett  – Earth Tracks Adventures
Alexis BurnettAlexis Burnett is a Naturalist, Tracker, Wilderness Skills Practitioner and Canoe Guide from Orangeville, ON. He currently resides on the west side of Algonquin Park, spending his days tracking and running his Canoeing Adventure and Nature Education company, Earth Tracks. Alexis has spent significant time learning from wilderness survival and tracking experts such as Tom Brown Jr., Jon Young, and renowned Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. He has been practicing indigenous skills and naturalist studies for over ten years, and has run the Orangeville Tracking and Nature club for the past seven.

Eddie Starnater – Practical Primitive
Eddie StarnaterEddie Starnater began spot-and-stalk hunting with his father at age ten and discovered bow-hunting in his late teens, when he began building his own bows, fashioning his own arrows, and competing in Traditional Archery tournaments. Soon after, Eddie discovered Flintknapping and it wasn’t long before he was producing top-quality arrowheads, spear points, jewelry and other eccentric pieces. Over 25 years later Flintknapping is still Eddie’s greatest passion among the primitive arts.  An avid practitioner of all aspects of primitive living, Eddie has spent many years building baskets, making salves, soaps and tinctures, experimenting with many different styles of shelters, and learning how to find, identify, harvest and cook wild edibles in every season. He has published multiple articles sharing his skills and experiences in magazines including Primitive Archer and Wilderness Way.  A former Hunter Safety Education Instructor for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Eddie spent over 10 years conducting workshops in Texas prior to becoming an instructor for, then Director of, Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School. There he taught primitive skills, tracking, and nature awareness to many thousands of students.
 Wanting to return to his roots and get back to teaching in the manner in which he was taught, Eddie founded Practical Primitive in January 2007 with Julie Martin, and they now run it together.

Skeet Sutherland – Sticks and Stones Wilderness School
Skeet Sutherland is founder, program director and lead instructor of Sticks and Stones Wilderness School and has spent the last several years devoted to wilderness education and the development of indigenous skill sets. He spent time as an Instructor at Tom Brown’s Tracking, Nature and Survival School in New Jersey and now spends his days teaching these skills, based in the Orangeville area. Skeet also works as a certified Plan Approver for the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) in Ontario. Skeet assists landowners in preparing stewardship and sustainable forest management plans for their lands.  In efforts to raise local ecological awareness, Skeet coordinates local community stewardship initiatives and volunteers his time at the Headwaters Tracking Club.