Mary Claire Noble

Youth Instructor

  • Purdue University - Plant Sciences with a minor in Plant Biology
  • Mycological Society of America - Undergraduate Research Award 2017
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • USA Archery Level 1 Instructor


Growing up less a mile from White Pine campus, Mary Claire spent her childhood camping, spending time in the creek at Marrot Park, climbing trees, and gardening with her grandmother. She was a Girl Scout while in grade school and would spend time each Summer camping, exploring, and becoming a Jr. Park Ranger at every park her family went to. When she was in high school, her family spent two weeks camping in South Dakota and Wyoming. Unknown at the time to her, this trip was what sparked her desire to study nature more.
While at Purdue University, she was unsure what she wanted to study. She contemplated dropping out after her initial major choice turned out to be a career field she didn’t want to enter. While reflecting on what she loved most, she decided to change her major to Plant Sciences. During her undergrad, she studied everything she could that would make her a better naturalist; including botany, forestry, geology, history, and mycology.
After her sophomore year, she joined a fungal lab at Purdue that specialized in biodiversity of the tropics and evolutionary genetics. During this time, she worked with a variety of species her professor brought back from Guyana and ended up discovering three that had never been documented before. She devoted the rest of her undergrad to working on these species and describing them, ultimately leading her to presenting her research to the Mycological Society of America and winning the Undergraduate Research Award, which provided her funding for her research after she graduated. After graduating in December 2018, she stayed at Purdue for the Spring to be a microbiology TA and spend time working towards a publication.
 After finishing her chapter at Purdue, Mary Claire moved back to Indianapolis, discovered White Pine Wilderness Academy, and has been working with White Pine since then. In her spare time she loves to spend time on any river, exploring state parks, spending time with family, riding horses, and camping whenever possible. Though she does not know what the future holds for her, she knows that she always wants nature to be in the forefront of what she does. Her favorite part of working at White Pine Wilderness Academy is the patch ceremony; when everyone is cheering each other on, when the focus is unbreakable, when the child finally gets that fire they’ve worked so hard to make, and seeing them proud of themselves and each other. Those moments are so special; reinforcing the timeless saying “it takes a village”. And how wonderful is that? To be a part of something bigger than ourselves. To give our time and talent to someone who can pass it down the line. To be a part of the White Pine Wilderness Community.
“People need wild places…. Wildness puts us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans may influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own.” -Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder