Mary Donahue welcomes you to her home page

Mary Donahue welcomes you to her De Anza College faculty website.

I’ve been on the faculty at De Anza College in Cupertino, California, since April, 1988, first in Physical Education, then in Biological and Health Sciences as well.

pool flags:
I’ve also taught at various Adult and Community Education centers, City Recreation Departments and have taught other groups as diverse as the staff of the Sunnyvale Senior Center; the staff of James Ranch/Harold Holden Boy’s Ranch (for the County of Santa Clara Probation Department); the Girl Scouts; Saratoga-Los Gatos, Milpitas and Fremont Union High School District staffs; Federal Court staff; De Anza’s Security staff; various corporate wellness centers and trainees for the California Conservation Corps. I’ve taught various subjects as a volunteer at the Santa Clara Valley Red Cross, the college, Harker Academy, the San Tomas Neighborhood Association and for Campbell/Cupertino/Saratoga/Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training exercises.

I’m a Red Cross certified lifeguard instructor, lifeguard instructor trainer, First Aid, CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Automated External Defibrillation instructor (and other Red Cross instructor certifications). I have trained Red Cross swim teachers.

I have been a member of the De Anza College Academic Senate Executive Committee since April 2012.

Shortly into my term as a De Anza instructor, I became the Senior Faculty Advisor to the Outdoor Club. Look at Outdoor Club Basic Info for details.

I’m proud to have been a lifeguard, lifeguard captain or in charge of the swim of 54 triathlons or open water swims.

I was retained as an expert witness in a near-drowning lawsuit. The good guys won.

I have been a volunteer with Yosemite National Park on and off for 15+ years, including five years with Preventative Search and Rescue when it was fully funded in the park.

Go to Personal Info for more about my resume.

Ahwahnee lane line:
Some of the classes I teach:

I usually teach every level of swim class each year. One of my favorites is Novice swimming (KNES 001A). It’s a class for VERY beginning swimmers – including people who have never been in a pool or are even afraid to get in a pool, as well as people who can swim some, but want to relearn or are not confident in deep water.

Health 57A (HLTH 57A), First Aid for the Community, Home, Wilderness and Disasters, is a one-unit class that is offered at De Anza almost every quarter. You can get the Red Cross certification or just take the class to learn first aid and get ready for an earthquake. The class meets for only four sessions, not all quarter and is done before finals week.

See the De Anza website for registration information:
Registration steps are at:

I teach the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training certification class and an occasional Lifeguard Instructor certification class off campus.




“Those who can, do. Those who believe others can also, teach.”

John E. King in Captive Notions

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

Maya Angelou




Contact Info: I prefer that my students talk to me in person in class.

When I am in town I usually check my De Anza College faculty email at least twice a day.

on top of Lembert Dome, Yosemite: official faculty photo August 2007:

on Tenaya Lake by Manny Respicio:

What I’ve been up to lately:

Baylands kayaking October 2022

Monterey kayak trip October 2021

Yosemite winter trip 2020

Monterey ocean kayak day trip October 2019

Monterey ocean kayak day trip May 2019

Yosemite winter trip 2019

Monterey kayaking October 2018

Grand Teton National Park 2018

Golden Gate Sharkfest July 22, 2018

May 2018 Monterey kayak adventure

February 2018 Yosemite trip

fall quarter 2017 Monterey ocean kayak day trip

Grand Teton National Park between-summer-and-fall-quarters 2017 trip:
Total Solar Eclipse in Grand Teton National Park

Volunteering at the 2017 Escape from Alcatraz Sharkfest swim.

2017 Monterey Bay kayak spring break trip

Yosemite National Park Outdoor Club snow camp 2017

De Anza College Monterey kayak trip October 2016

De Anza College Outdoor Club Monterey kayak trip March 26 2016

Yosemite winter camping trip 2016

Yosemite winter camping trip 2015

monterey kayak March 2014

2014 Yosemite winter trip

ocean kayak October 2013 group photos

lifeguards at the Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon 2012

Grand Teton National Park trip 2011

lifeguards at the 2011 Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon

De Anza College Outdoor Club winter Yosemite trip 2011

De Anza College Outdoor Club Grand Teton trip 2010

lifeguards at the Escape from Alcatraz Alcatri 2010

lifeguards at the Silicon Valley Kid’s triathlon 2010

waterfront lifeguard practice May 16, 2010

Outdoor Club Monterey kayak trip 2010 group photos

De Anza Outdoor Club Yosemite winter trip 2010

2009 Grand Teton trip

2009 Senior Games triathlon lifeguards

volunteer lifeguards at the Silicon Valley Kids’ Triathlon 2009

Yosemite Falls view in February snow and other seasons

blue and white lane line and a waterpolo ball

Newest webpages (besides the photo pages above) :

a former De Anza student, Ken Mignosa, swam the English Channel, completing the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

purifying drinking water while hiking, camping and backpacking

How to poop in the woods

using a dry bag

Logistics for a side trip to Canada from Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park boat launch access, boat-in campsites, boat trailer parking

map of gas stations in Grand Teton National Park and gas costs at some of them over the years.

You CAN float

Safe distances from wildlife

Wolf pack territories in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and wolf watching tips

Freestyle swimming breathing to the side

Top reasons not to speed in a National Park

places to take photos of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park (with maps)

places to take photos of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (with maps)

Mirror Lake Hike, Yosemite

Cook’s Meadow Hike, Yosemite

Yosemite floods display on Superintendent’s Bridge

Yosemite National Park regulations, policies and rules links

Yosemite Camp 4 map

Parking and traffic jams in Yosemite valley tips and tricks

Yosemite valley tent cabins tips and tricks

Essay on one of the five components of fitness

They were just taking a selfie . . .

First Aid Facts and Fallacies

Swimming in Yosemite National park

write this in your Red Cross lifeguarding instructor’s manual

write this in your Red Cross Lifeguarding manual

tips for guarding kids’ triathlons

Hands only CPR

Do it yourself earthquake preparedness

emergency information form

Cultural issues in first aid

Yosemite Valley Free Shuttle Bus

an eight person tent holds this many campers


History of lifesaving

Just another day at the home office

Do AEDs work?

First Aid for Public Safety Personnel study guide

Swim workout vocabulary

swimming vocabulary

California Lifeguards and Title 22

How to find the location of John Muir’s cabin (hang nest) in Yosemite Valley

Road trip advice and etiquette

fatal, near fatal or close call incidents/accidents in camping, backpacking, climbing and mountaineering

In early 2016 the server for the first De Anza College faculty websites was near failing and faculty were told to move their websites off of it.

I am the webmaster for this website.

In late October 2006 the original De Anza College version of my faculty website, one of the first at De Anza, received its one millionth hit. April, 2008 it received its two millionth hit. In late 2009, the original site at the De Anza server received its three millionth hit. In late 2010 it had four million hits, in late 2011 five million. In March 2016 the server was failing and I moved the faculty website here. In 2019 this new webpage received its four millionth, and then 5, and in 2021, 6 million total hits.



Some of the most read pages at this website, when It was on the De Anza College server, were: (as of early 2016) Blood donation FAQs had 467,129 hits, How to pass a Red Cross written test had 379,415, Oxygen administration quick facts had 367,923, Lifeguard Training FAQs had 306,358, History of swimming section (which is used as a homework assignment by a professor at a Texas college) had 274,292 hits, fatal, near fatal or close call incidents/accidents in camping, backpacking, climbing and mountaineering had 145,081, How Can I Tell If I Am a Good Swimmer? had 128,287, Thunderstorm and lightning safety had 122,983, AED quick facts had 107,118, CPR Pro skills review questions had 98,890, Lifeguard training, swimming, CPR and first aid links had 94,982, swimming vocabulary (which is used as a homework assignment by an English as a second language school in Paris, France), had 86,729, CPR quick facts had 83,070, How to rescue a drowning victim using a reaching assist or a shepherd’s crook had 83,027, snow chain rentals had 80,729, common mistakes in professional rescuer CPR skills had 76,869, Camping Solutions for women had 56,759, Rocky Mountain mammal size comparisons had 54,373, Snow or rain camp must-haves had 53,846, Road trip bingo or scavenger hunt had had 54,134 Simple Secondary Survey Study Sheet had 50,352, Grand Tetons had 48,775, How much water will there be in the Yosemite waterfalls had 47,860, Backpacking Advice had 47,823, Road Trip Advice and Etiquette had 46,326, Cascade Canyon, Grand Teton National Park had 45,638 fast basic neurological exam had 44,693, History of Lifesaving had 43,772 have more fun camping had 43,542, swim workout vocabulary had 43,135, novice swimming had 42266, Safe driving in rain and fog (which is used as a homework assignment by a driving school) had 41,433 hits, wilderness first aid had 41,854, camping equipment checklist had 37,191, Bloodborne Pathogens quick facts had 36,428, Camping Blunders had 35,816, Sneaking exercise had 39,758, Novice swim FAQS had 35,791 and first aid for public safety personnel study guide had 35,312.




I take great pride in ensuring the accuracy, correctness, completeness and reliability of the content of this website, but I make no representations or warranties as to the content’s accuracy, correctness, completeness or reliability. The website may contain inaccuracies, out-of-date information / links, typographical errors, or other errors or omissions. Also, unauthorized additions, deletions, or alterations could be made to the website by third parties without my knowledge. If you believe that information found on this website is inaccurate or unauthorized, please let me know.

No liability can be accepted by myself, the De Anza College Outdoor Club, De Anza College or the Foothill – De Anza College district, for loss, damage or injury caused by any errors in, or omissions from, the information given. I, the De Anza College Outdoor Club, De Anza College and the Foothill – De Anza College district assume no liability for accidents happening to, or injuries sustained by, readers who engage in the activities described at this website.

There are links to other websites from my website; however, these other websites are not controlled by me and I am not responsible for any content contained on any such website or any loss suffered by you in relation to your use of such websites. You waive any and all claims against Mary Donahue, the De Anza College Outdoor Club, De Anza College and/or the De Anza Foothill College District regarding the inclusion of links to outside websites or your use of those websites.


lane line in swimming pool with a tiny frog sitting on top of one of the lane line floats