Sam Coffman, Founder, Head Instructor

Sam Coffman has over 10 years of military experience as a U.S. Special Forces Medic, an interrogator and a linguist. He studied botany and bioregional medicine both privately and at several outdoor schools in Colorado, and during his military service as a Green Beret Medic he logged thousands of hours in the field as a team medic, military emergency rooms and troop medical clinics.

Over the past 25 years, Sam has not only taught survival for military and civilian students, but also has focused on post-disaster and remote-medicine using primarily (if not exclusively) plant medicine. He has worked as a clinical herbalist on his own and in conjunction with functional medicine doctors (M.D. and D.O.) for chronic as well as acute illness and injury. Sam has been highly focused on bio-regional plant medicine for infection, injury and illness most commonly encountered in a post-disaster, remote or underserved environment when there is no higher definitive medical care.

Sam has taught wilderness first aid certification, remote and post-disaster herbal medicine, urban and primitive survival skills and self-defense for over two decades. He is co-founder of the non-profit organization – Herbal Medics – that travels to remote areas in Nicaragua as well as medically underserved urban areas in the USA, providing herbal medicine clinics, off-grid and salvage-based engineering solutions (water purification, sustainable power, sustainable agriculture, etc.).


James Brock, Instructor

Following an interest in traditional Scandinavian knifemaking, James began making knives by stock removal in early 2001. In 2009, prompted by the desire to make damascus steel, he acquired a small gas furnace and began making hand-forged blades, eventually learning to make damascus from ABS Master Smith Harvey Dean in February 2011.

James’ passion as a bladesmith centers around salvaging old, worn, or otherwise discarded pieces of high carbon steel (i.e. automobile leaf and coil springs, bearing races, worn out saw blades and files, broken plowshares, etc…) and giving them new life on the anvil. He specializes in Scandinavian-style bushcraft knives, EDC’s, and hunters.

James has also led our team of off-grid blacksmiths to the jungles of Nicaragua to teach the Rama tribe forging skills for making their own spears, arrows and tools. He teaches a series of blacksmithing and blademaking courses for The Human Path that center around using reclaimed, recycled and found materials, with an emphasis on off grid techniques.


Dennis Fivecoat, Instructor

Dennis Fivecoat is a retired US Army physician assistant with a wide variety of functional background and experience. He is a combat veteran that has seen service in 8 different countries encompassing desert, jungle, snow, & maritime missions. Dennis has responded during national hurricane relief efforts, military airplane crashes, and Defense Support to Civil Authority (DSCA) missions – working with a variety of local, state, and federal agencies to include the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Dennis is a very active firearm and defensive tactics instructor with over 25 nationally recognized instructor certifications. His credentials include instructor development with: NRA Law Enforcement Division, FLETC, the Dept. of Energy, Gunsite, the Surefire Institute, John Farnam, Gabe Suarez, and many others. He is rated as a National Rifle Association Training Counselor that can certify instructors for the NRA.


Suchil Coffman, Program Director

Suchil is the Program Director for The Human Path as well as the Director for the non-profit organization Herbal Medics. She brings a diverse background to the Provider program at the school, with a strong history of preserving and canning foods, a love of wildcrafting and a mission to take the school into more sustainable and off-grid directions whenever possible.

She has a degree in Fine Arts Photography and studied journalism, worked as a neuromuscular massage therapist for a decade, received her Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoffrey Lawton in 2015, and helps to organize and manage apothecary operations in clinics and classes.

Suchil teaches homesteading courses at the school and helped to develop The Apothecarist program, an intermediate medicine making course that she helps to instruct with two others.


Heather Skye, Instructor

Heather has over 20 years professional culinary experience and cooking/preparation knowledge in everything from vegan to paleo diets, to planning and preparing large meals for corporate facilities and children’s camps- in environments spanning diners to fine dining establishments, running her own restaurants as well as wilderness campfire and contingency/makeshift situations.

Heather holds a Bachelor’s degree in English, and Associate’s degrees in both Media Arts and Massage Therapy. In addition, she has attended culinary school as well as a wide variety of apprenticeships, supplemental skills workshops, including several martial arts. Heather considers herself a ‘Jill-of-many-trades’ and over the years has made a living as a chef, seamstress, woodworker, actor, artist, and a writing tutor.

Heather left small-town Texas to experience broader horizons and cultures, traveling and living across the U.S., France, and Japan. She has since returned to the Texas hill-country, bringing with her, life experience and passion for diverse food and lifestyles appreciation, and alternative housing and Earth-conscious living.

Heather teaches a series of sustainable skills classes at The Human Path designed to re-familiarize students with lost or forgotten skills that help create independence and a richer quality of life. In addition, Heather makes up a trio of instructors that teach The Apothecarist Program, an herbal medicine making program for intermediate herbalist students.


David House, Instructor

David has a wide variety of skills and interests, which include a range from construction, metalworking, woodworking, photography, cooking, and pretty much anything artsy, craftsy, or tasty. David’s personal mission to be more self-sufficient and recapture ancestral skills led him to The Human Path, where he quickly became a part of the blacksmith and herbal medicine programs. Following a belief that one learns more through helping or teaching others, you may find David assisting or teaching across a variety of subjects at our school, most notably Blacksmithing and Herbal Medicine, or their related subtopics.

David is also part of a trio of instructors that teach The Apothecarist Program, an herbal medicine making program for intermediate herbalist students.


Katia LeMone, Instructor

Katia LeMone is an Herbalist and a Certified Professional Midwife with over 25 years of experience in homebirth and childbirth education. She has caught over 600 babies in out-of-hospital settings. She has her Masters Degree in Public Health and served in Tanzania East Africa for five years in the 1980s. It was during her time in Tanzania that she understood the need to have real skills in a changing world. Midwifery was the path she chose and then set about to teach others.

As a midwifery educator, Katia has trained countless birth assistants and midwives through Maternidad La Luz Birth Center and School.Katia is our lead instructor for the Family Herbalist Program that includes doula certification, pediatric herbal medicine, womens’ reproductive herbal health and emergency childbirth training.

Jen-Osha Buysse, Instructor

Jen-Osha has over 20 years of experience as outdoor educator and activist, living in the mountains of West Virginia. She is the Director and Co-founder of the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School, a sister school of the Human Path.  At Mtn SOL, she is the lead instructor for the Medic path and co-instructor for the Scout and Herbalist Programs. She is certified as a Wilderness Herbal First Responder, instructor for Wilderness First Aid and helps lead the West Virginia Chapter of Herbal Medics.
She gratefully learned her woods skills from the wise women of Appalachia and her homesteading experience as a mother in West Virginia.