Carolina Duncan is known as Ms. Cat by students and their families. She was born and raised in South Austin. While she was growing up, her mom was a first-grade bilingual teacher. Her mom is now a curriculum administrator for HaysCISD.
When Ms. Cat was 25 years old, she went back to college and nervously entered Texas State University. Having an established love for the outdoors and because she found nature to be her sanctuary, she wanted to major in environmental science in some way. After finding her major, she made 4.0s until she graduated in May of 2016. She obtained many honors, including Gamma Theta Upsilon, which is the university’s geography honors society. She officially majored with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental and Resource Studies with a Nature and Heritage Tourism minor and an Environmental Interpretation Certification.
Her internship at the end of her college career landed her at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in their environmental education department. The nonprofit organization hired her following the internship, as a Summer Camp Counselor for their highly successful pilot year of their summer camp program. Ms. Cat then wrote natural science curriculum and set standards for a local preschool before she was highly trained at the Austin Nature and Science Center for their popular summer camp. That following Fall semester, she joined Earth Native Wilderness School where Ms. Cat was able to experience and learn Coyote Mentoring, primitive and survival skills.
All of her accomplishments were no small feat. She was always innovative, but by going through some hardships and still carrying out her goals, her creative abilities have flourished. To always resume growth, Ms. Cat continues to attend teacher workshops, classes, and maintains certifications such as First Aid, CPR, & AED. Additionally, she attends primitive gatherings, such as SkyEarth in Graham, Texas and Fire2Fire in Tabiona, Utah.
Combining the philosophies she has been taught over the years, the knowledge of her mentors, and her long list of training, she created Primitive Instincts Youth Nature Program.
During COVID, Primitive Instincts YNP took a hiatus for safety reasons. During this time, Ms. Cat became certified as a Texas Master Naturalist for Hays County.
She dreams to build a strong community along with growing children’s passions, hoping it leads them to wonderful journeys in their adult life and for them to become future land stewards.
Current Certifications Ms. Cat Holds:
Environmental Interpretation Certification
Hays County Texas Master Naturalist
Texas Stream Team Standard Core Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training
Leopold Education Project; LEP Educator Workshop
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Angler Education Instructor Workshop
Basic Water Rescue Certification
First Aid/CPR/AED Certification