Dave_amy_freemanDave Freeman, Executive Director, is the driving force behind the Wilderness Classroom’s programming. Dave does it all, from planning and executing expeditions to maintaining our website.

Dave graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied Biology and Anthropology. Dave is also a web master, programmer, and wilderness guide. He has worked as a dogsledding, sea kayaking, and canoeing instructor for 15 years, introducing hundreds of people to wilderness travel. 

His first Wilderness Classroom expedition was solo. During the Border Country Adventure in 2001, Dave used a lap top computer and satellite phone to post journals, photos, and other educational resources to the internet to a handful of classrooms across the country. This has been the foundation from which the Wilderness Classroom has grown. During the last eleven years he has played a vital role in the development and implementation of more than a dozen expeditions.

Amy Freeman, Director of Development, is always on the lookout for new sponsorship or grant opportunities. She also is in charge of PR, marketing, and fundraising events. Amy has a Masters Degree in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in addition to a BA from Macalester College in Studio Art and Psychology. The Superior Waters Project (2006) was Amy’s first Wilderness Classroom expedition. She has spent 8 years guiding kayak and dogsledding trips in northern Minnesota, exposing people of all ages to the wild shores of Lake Superior and the beauty of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Amy also participated in the Trans-Amazon Expedition (2007-2008), which involved cycling and paddling 3,000 miles across South America from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

Dave and Amy Freeman have crossed both North and South America on human powered expeditions. They have traveled over 30,000 miles by canoe, kayak, and dogsled across of some of the world’s wildest waterways. Their current project, the North American Odyssey, is a 3 year, 11,700 mile journey by canoe, kayak, and dogsled.



Dolores Burdick

Dolores Burdick’s teaching experience began at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy where she helped design and teach the Summer Adventures Program and facilitate the Summer Challenge Program for two summers.  She has taught mathematics at DePaul’s Summer Gifted Program, and Chicago’s 7th and 8th grade Gifted Mathematics program during the regular school year.  She has taught mathematics across the grade levels (including High School) She designed and implemented integrated Math and Science units, Family Math Nights, and a Math Computer Lab.

Dolores enriched her student’s learning by following the Wilderness Classroom during the Amazon Expedition. Dave visited the school for both pre and post assembly presentations.  The students visited the Shedd Aquairum’s Amazon Rising Exhibit. The school’s hallways were decorated to become an Amazon Rainforest during the annual reading night. Utilizing the Wilderness Classroom Web Site was truly a memorable experience for both students and teacher.

Dolores Burdick graduated from the University of Illinois circle campus with a Masters of the Science of teaching mathematics.  She began her college studies after raising her 4 children, has taught for 15 years, and is now assisting the Wilderness Classroom by bringing additional resources into schools in Chicago that participate in our Student Explorer Program, writing lessons and helping with teacher training.

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