Workshop Speakers

Maite Arce is the founder, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation.  Her leadership has informed and empowered individuals, youth, and families on the issues of workforce development, financial empowerment, outdoor recreation, and environmental conservation. Maite’s organization and leadership has resulted in Latino advocates and communities making key contributions in the designation of six national public lands monuments, the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund; placed more than 400 young people in internships and jobs on public lands and watersheds; and engaged hundreds of partners in recreational, volunteer, stewardship, and roundtable events through signature initiatives including, Latino Conservation Week.

Maite lives with her husband Ted and parents, Elena and Jose near the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in Virginia.

Dr. Chris Armatas joined the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute as a research social scientist in March of 2020. His research background focuses on wildlands management and planning through an interdisciplinary, social-ecological systems lens. More specifically, his research includes qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand how human well-being is supported by the variety of benefits flowing from our public lands, social vulnerability to environmental and land use change, and methods for integrating science into public engagement efforts for large planning processes (Forest Plan revision, comprehensive river management planning). Chris’ desire to work in support of effective stewardship of wilderness and wildlands stems from years spent working on the Yellowstone River and exploring the wild places surrounding Yellowstone National Park.

Ben Barry is the Southern Sierra Regional Representative for the Pacific Crest Trail Association.  Ben originally started with the PCTA as a volunteer in 2012, then returned as one of our Trail Crew Technical Advisors in 2015 and 2016. He became a permanent staff member in 2019. A native Californian, Ben traveled far and wide working on trails seasonally, including time on the Appalachian, Florida and New England National Scenic Trails. Most recently he was the trail manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s southern regional office. Ben graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and did graduate work in wilderness management at the University of Montana. Happy to be back in his home state, Ben can be found climbing high in the Sierra or untangling his fly line on the banks of the Kern River

Christina Boston has served as the Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Program Leader for the US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region since May 2010. In her current position she provides leadership for all or portions of 64 designated wildernesses (approx. 5 million acres) and 23 designated wild and scenic rivers on National Forest System lands (18 National Forests) in California. Christina earned a B.A. in Geography with a minor in International Relations  and emphasis in Journalism from Humboldt State University and completed two years at Colorado State University in the National Resources Recreation and Tourism M.S. program with an emphasis in Wilderness and Protected Area Management.

Dr. Andrew (Andy) Bower is a geneticist with the US Forest Service in Olympia, Washington. He has a bachelor’s degree in forestry from U.C. Berkeley, M.S. in forest science from Oregon State University, and a Ph.D. in forest sciences from the University of British Columbia. He is the Forest Service Area Geneticist for Western WA and Northwest OR, and covers the Olympic, Gifford Pinchot, Mt. Hood, and Siuslaw National Forests. He is also currently the Project Coordinator for the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region (Oregon and Washington) Whitebark Pine Restoration Program. His professional interests include population and conservation genetics of forest trees and native plants, and conservation/restoration of rare or threatened trees, especially whitebark pine. He also works with botanists and foresters providing
guidance on seed movement guidelines and genetic issues relative to trees and herbaceous native plants.

Dr. Greg Bratman is an Assistant Professor of Nature, Health, and Recreation at the University of Washington.  Gregory Bratman’s work takes place at the nexus of psychology, public health, and ecology, and is focused on investigating the ways in which the environment is associated with human well-being. He takes both empirical and theoretical approaches to understand how nature experience impacts human mental well-being, specifically cognitive function, mood, and emotion regulation, with an emphasis on people living in urban environments. He is also working to inform the ways that the mental health effects of nature can be incorporated into ecosystem service studies, and in efforts to address health inequities. Gregory is a Harvard JPB Environmental Health Fellow and the Doug Walker Endowed Professor.

Togan Capozza is the Assistant Program Manager for the Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers and the Pacific Crest Trail for the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region. She started with the Forest Service in 1999 as a seasonal river ranger and has worked in a variety of jobs over the course of her career including serving as a climbing ranger and wilderness ranger. She holds a Master’s degree in Resource Geography from Oregon State University. 

Liam Caulfield is Ranger at Yosemite National Park.

 

David Cernicek is the Wild & Scenic River Coordinator and Ranger on the Bridger Teton National Forest.

 

 

 

Jesse Chakrin is the director of the UC Merced Wilderness Education Center and the Yosemite WildLink Bridge program. During the last few years, Jesse also has been involved with national committees working to address the issues of leadership development, relevancy, and succession planning for the Park Service. He is currently working with a consortium of six universities that are developing graduate-level education to help the next generation of National Park leaders address the challenges of the 21st Century.
Jesse began his Park Service career in 1999 at Denali National Park working as a wilderness ranger. While there, he developed his ranger skills and fostered his love of parks and the great outdoors. In 2004, he moved to Yosemite National Park to continue his development as a wilderness ranger and pursue his newfound passion for rock climbing. He became involved in SAR and traditional tools operations and began assisting with educational endeavors. In 2006, Jesse developed, funded and implemented the Yosemite WildLink Bridge Program, and in 2007, he became the Wilderness Education Center’s first director.
During his years as a seasonal park ranger, Jesse spent many winters traveling and exploring the world. He has traveled extensively in Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe and Asia. His travels have helped broaden his worldview and foster a love of different cultures and people.
Jesse received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and a graduate certificate from the Leadership for Public Lands and Cultural Heritage Program.

Brie Chartier (she/her), photographed by Irene Yee, worked at a number of National Park units before coming to work in law enforcement and then outdoor recreation planning for the Bureau of Land Management. When she came out as transgender, she found her passion in advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and the world; especially the outdoors. When Brie is not climbing, she caves, goes on bike tours, explores canyons, and volunteers as board president for the Bakersfield Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity.

JoAnne Clarke is a volunteer with the Sierra Club.

Joel Clement is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School' Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  In addition to his role at Harvard, he is an Associate with the Stockholm Environment Institute and a Senior Fellow with the Union of Concerned Scientists.  With a background in resilience, climate change adaptation, and Arctic social-ecological systems, he is conducting research and working with partners to improve the knowledge and tools necessary to reduce climate risk and increase resilience in frontline areas such as the Arctic region.  He has been featured and interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Democracy Now and has been published by the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Guardian, NBCThink, and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Prior to joining the Harvard Belfer Center, Mr. Clement served as an executive for seven years at the US Department of the Interior.  Before serving in the federal Government, Joel was the Conservation Science Program Officer for the Wilburforce Foundation in Seattle, where he focused on climate change adaptation strategies and landscape scale conservation efforts from Alaska to New Mexico. Prior to his career in philanthropy, Joel spent a decade as a forest canopy ecologist, developing and contributing to research and conservation science programs in temperate and tropical ecosystems around the world. 

Angela Coleman serves as the Acting Associate Chief of the USDA Forest Service. Prior to this new assignment, she served as Forest Service Chief of Staff beginning in 2015, where she oversaw the Chief’s Office daily operations and staff, issues management, Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs programs. She provided senior-level support to the Chief of the agency and the Executive Leadership Team to advance and deliver the agency’s natural resource conservation mission.

 

Dr. Monika Derrien is a Research Social Scientist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, based in Seattle. She studies the human dimensions of natural resource management, especially related to social, cultural, and health aspects of outdoor recreation and tourism planning

 

Ed Dunlavey worked as a law enforcement Park Ranger with the National Park Service for 33 years.  In March 2020, he retired from that capacity as the Wilderness Manager of Yosemite National Park.  Currently he works at the Yosemite National Park Superintendent's Office as the Hetch Hetchy City Manager and Yosemite Conservancy Liaison.

 

 

Dr. Robert (Bob) Dvorak is a Professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration at Central Michigan University. Bob’s professional teaching and research interests include wilderness and protected area management, examining visitor use issues in parks and wilderness, and understanding the relationships and attachments people form with wilderness and protected areas. He has collaborated on wilderness research in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Zion National Park, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. He has been a mentor in Wilderness Stewardship Certificate Program since 2014 and a Board Member of the Society for Wilderness Stewardship from 2011 to 2017. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Wilderness.

Dr. Jeffrey (Jeff) Englin is a professor in the Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management.  He received his B.S. in economics from the University of Minnesota and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  His areas of expertise include the economic valuation of natural environments, outdoor recreational activities and forest disturbances.  He has worked throughout North America and Europe.  His current work focuses on long term effects of social change on the valuation of the environment.

 

Mark Fincher is the Wilderness Specialist for Yosemite National Park. He is responsible for ensuring Wilderness Act compliance in park planning efforts and other administrative activities. Areas of expertise include the intellectual and legislative history of the Wilderness Act, minimum requirements analysis, ecological intervention decision making, and management of recreational use, scientific activities, and commercial services in wilderness. He has worked in Wilderness Management in Yosemite for 29 years.

 

Jimmy Gaudry is the Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Program Manager for the Northern Region of the US Forest Service. During his twenty five year career with he has worked as a wildland firefighter, wildlife biology technician, trail crew member, snow ranger and wilderness ranger and manager. In his current role he feels lucky to be responsible for some of the wildest landscapes in the lower 48.

Lisa Gerloff is the Monitoring Program Director for the Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana. She is also the Executive Coordinator for the Rocky Mountains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (university/federal agency partnership facilitating research, technical assistance and education projects for the federal resource management agencies). Lisa has a B.A. (with honors) in geology from the University of Minnesota, Morris. and a M.Sc. in geology from the University of Calgary, where she studied late Pleistocene/Holocene environmental change in the Mission Mountain Wilderness in Montana.  She was a founding board member of Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation and served as its chair for the first 10 years.

 

Steph Gillin is a wildlife biologist with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.  Stephanie’s first experience with wildlife was working for the Salish Kootenai College, participating in a Reservation-wide survey of reptiles and amphibians. She began her career as a Wildlife Biologist Trainee in 1997 while attended the University of Montana, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology. Stephanie has been working as a Biologist with the Tribe for 14 years. She has worked on several projects, including monitoring of Chronic Wasting Disease in ungulates, big game hunting permit organization, permit issuance and compilation of harvest data. She annually conducts numerous public outreach and environmental & cultural education on local wildlife and wildlife issues for local schools and other groups. She represents the Tribes as the Wildlife Biologist on issues related to Yellowstone bison hunting issues and management. She also assists with a wide variety of wildlife projects, including the Highway 93 post-construction monitoring of wildlife crossings and avian surveys.  Outreach and education has always been her passion.  She enjoys combining science and culture into everything she teaches.  She feels it is very important to people to re-connect our youth to honor and respect the world around them.

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and an independent consultant and educator in environmental justice policy planning.  At CSUSM she teaches courses on environmentalism and American Indians, traditional ecological knowledge, religion and philosophy, Native women’s activism, American Indians and sports, and decolonization. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. As a public intellectual, Dina brings her scholarship into focus as an award-winning journalist as well, contributing to numerous online outlets including Indian Country Today, the Los Angeles Times, High Country News and many more. Dina is co-author with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of Beacon Press’s “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (2016), and her most recent book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock, was released in 2019.  

José González (he/him/él) creatively weaves together the roles of Conservationist/Environmentalist,Chicano, and Educator. He navigates through a self-created identity of a "Green Chicano" as he seeks to connect with people who want to strengthen communities around issues of education, conservation, and culture. He is the founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors, a partner with the Avarna
Group, and recent Pisces Foundation fellow.

 

Ken Graves is Co-director for the US Forest Service Pcific Southwest Region’s Pack Stock Center of Excellence where he works to to coordinate efficient utilization of pack stock resources throughout the Region to support the efforts of wilderness managers in preserving wilderness character, and to ensure ongoing capability for use of primitive skills and tools by offering high quality, hands-on pack stock and primitive skills education, community outreach, and field-going services in support of fire, ecosystem, and wilderness management.  Ken believes training the next generation is one of the most important jobs he has.  He has worked for over 40 years on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California.

Dr. John Hausdoerffer is an environmental philosopher, teacher, organizational founder, and writer from Gunnison, Colo. His books “Catlin’s Lament“; “Wildness“; and (forthcoming) “What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?” ​imagine how environmental health must come from and result in the healing of deep histories of social injustice and cultural trauma. Dr. John is the founding Dean of the School of Environment & Sustainability and Director of the Master in Environmental Management (MEM) program at Western Colorado University. Finally, he has co-founded numerous organizations dedicated to more resilient community systems.

Dr. Evan Hjerpe is Founder and Director of the Conservation Economics Institute. He has published multiple articles and chapters on the economics of Wilderness. Evan has expertise in conservation benefits, forest management, ecological restoration, and ecosystem services. He has consulted for private businesses, non-profit organizations, federal agencies, and universities and was previously Senior Economist for The Wilderness Society.

 

Bill Hodge is the Executive Director of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation.  He joined the Foundation from the same position at Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, an organization that he led for nine years.  Bill's passion for wild places is linked to a lifetime of exploring public lands across the country and his desire to see our National Wilderness Preservation System as relevant today as it was in 1964.
Bill is a co-founder of the Wilderness Skills Institute, and the 2013 receipient of the Bob Marshall Award as external champion of wilderness by the United States Forest Service.  In 2014 Bill was recognized at the White House as a "champion of change" for his work to connect a new generation to their public lands.
Bill is a graduate of the University of Evansville and spent 25 years as an executive leader in the collegiate sports and broadcasting industry.
Bill and his wife Laura both love to explore on foot, and in kayaks, all the incredible public lands Montana and the country have to offer, often with their dogs in tow and way too much camera gear.

Vicky Hoover is a Sierra Club volunteer leader and wilderness champion extraordinaire Vicky started backpacking in the Sierra Nevada with her family a few years before the 1964 Wilderness Act was passed. Since then, she's climbed 247 Sierra peaks, led countless outings to wild places that need protection, and been instrumental in achieving protection for many of them. 

 

Leigh Karp is the Bureau of Land Management's California National Conservation Lands lead for the California Desert.  Leigh partners with MSI and NGOs to provide a path for the next generation of land stewards through career development and service learning opportunities.

 

Peter Keller is the National Wilderness Program Lead at the Bureau of Land Management.

 

 

Steve Kimball is the Local Government Forest Advisor for the Montana Department of Natural Resources in Missoula, Montana.  Steve retired from the Forest Service where his positions included Natural Resource Staff Officer on the Payette National Forest, Wilderness-Rivers Program Manager in the Northern and Alaska Regions, Idaho National Fire Plan Coordinator, and District Ranger on the Salmon-Challis NF, Green Mountain NF, and Tongass NF.  Steve is married to Susan Jenkins, a Project Leader for the Forest Service’s National Technology and Development Program. He has three sons and a daughter. He enjoys hiking, sea kayaking, and serendipitous discovery.
 

Lissie Kretsch is the Wilderness Educator Coordinator at Yosemite National Park.

 

Tim Kuhn is an Ecologist at Yosemite National Park.

Ben Lawhon is a seasoned conservation professional with deep commitment to environmental protection through education, partnership, public/private collaboration and the stewardship of natural resources. He joined the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics staff in 2001. As the Education Director his responsibilities include research, curriculum development, management of national education and training programs, agency relations and oversight of national outreach efforts.

Dr. Megan Lawson leads Headwaters Economics' research on outdoor recreation, economic development, and demographics. She is an economist with a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Williams College.

 

Ryan Leahy is a Wildlife Biologist at Yosemite National Park.

 

 

 

Julie Mach is the Conservation Director at the Colorado Mountain Club.  She manages the Conservation Department’s stewardship programs and outdoor recreation advocacy initiatives. Previously, she worked as Program Director for the Southwest Conservation Corps and has diversified experience in economic development, IT services, and small agriculture entrepreneurship. Although originally from California, Julie received her Bachelors of Science from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania before relocating to Colorado and landing in Salida, CO where she currently lives, works and plays outside whenever possible.

 

 

Heather MacSlarrow is the Executive Director of the Society for Wilderness Stewardship.  Heather grew up in Northwest Washington and Hong Kong, both of which gave her an appreciation for wilderness and solitude.  She received her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and from there embarked on a 10-year adventure in public land and Wilderness stewardship with conservation corps across the West from Arizona to Alaska.  Heather left corps work to pursue her Masters of Natural Resources through the University of Idaho and work with the Colorado Mountain Club as the Lands Director. Heather is highly dedicated to the professional stewardship and management of Wilderness.  She sees this as the key to allowing Wilderness to do what Wilderness does best - facilitate life-changing experiences and maintain important ecological systems, both of which provide essential support for, and strengthen, our communities. 

Dr. Salif Mahamane is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Western Colorado University.

 

 

Peter Mali is the National Wilderness Program Manager at the United States Forest Service.

 

 

 

Jesse McGahey is a Ranger at Yosemite National Park.

Dr. James Meldrum, Research Economist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), investigates the benefits of ecosystem services and human dimensions of natural hazards. His research topics include wildfire risk mitigation, forest and sagebrush restoration, water and energy resources, recreation, the value of scientific information, and invasive species management. James has a PhD in environmental economics from the University of Colorado Boulder and a BS in physics from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

Dr. Carol Miller is a Research Ecologist with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, MT. She earned an MS in Forest Science and a PhD in Ecology at Colorado State University where she developed and used a simulation model to study the interactions among climate, fire, and forest pattern in the national parks in the Sierra Nevada of California. She is particularly interested in fire as an agent of landscape pattern formation and the scientific value of wilderness as a natural benchmark for change. Her program of research at the Leopold Institute seeks to help land managers understand how to include wildland fire as an ecological process to landscapes.

Michael Morse is Co-director for the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region’s Pack Stock Center of Excellence where he works to coordinate efficient utilization of pack stock resources throughout the Region to support the efforts of wilderness managers in preserving wilderness character, and to ensure ongoing capability for use of primitive skills and tools by offering high quality, hands-on pack stock and primitive skills education, community outreach, and field-going services in support of fire, ecosystem, and wilderness management.  He has worked for over 40 years on the Inyo National Forest in California.

Syren Nagakyrie (they/them) is the founder of Disabled Hikers. Syren grew up with multiple invisible disabilities and encounters numerous barriers to outdoor recreation, but has always found connection with nature to be a source of comfort. As a long-time disabled activist and community builder, Syren is committed to an outdoors culture transformed by fair representation, accessibility, and justice for disabled and all other marginalized outdoors people.                       They are the author of The Disabled Hiker’s Guide to Western Washington and Oregon: outdoor adventures accessible by car, wheelchair, and foot, to be published by FalconGuides.

 

Dr. Sean Parks is a Research Ecologist with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. Sean often uses data collected in wilderness to conduct his studies, thereby using wilderness as a natural laboratory. He has conducted several studies in the Gila, Selway-Bitterroot, Frank
Church – River of No Return, and Bob Marshall Wilderness Areas.

 

Anna Perry is a co-owner and Research Associate at Key-Log Economics, an ecological-economics research firm.  Anna is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, earning a B.A. in Economics/Public Policy and a minor in Global Sustainability. She has interned for the UVA Office for Sustainability (for whom Key-Log Economics has developed a sustainability dashboard) and continued research on the economic costs associated with nitrogen emissions from UVA’s purchased utilities. She has also been a researcher for the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, most recently developing a report on the feasibility of implementing an internal carbon charge at UVA.

 

Jessica Rivas (she/her/ella) is the Interpretation, Education, Youth and Volunteer Programs Fellow at Yosemite National Park.  Jessica was introduced to parks through a partnership between the University of California Merced and Yosemite National park. She has nine years of experience working with the public through Yosemite's Wilderness branch and is currently a fellow with theInterior regional office of the National park Service, supporting the management of youth and volunteer programs.

 

 

Clay River is the Director of Miwumati Healing Center, operated by the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, which provides Health and & Social Services to the Inter-Tribal community of Mariposa County. River holds a BA and MA in Indigenous Education and Curriculum Development. River is a cultural artist and advocate for Tribal Rights.

 

 

 

Nancy Roeper is the National Wilderness Coordinator for the Department of Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service. She holds a Master’s of Science in Zoology from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. For 2.5 years, Nancy worked for the World Wildlife Fund on international wildlife trade issues before joining the US Fish and Wildlife Service. For nearly 10 years for the Division of Law Enforcement as an Intelligence Research Specialist working on international trade issues and assisting on Special Operations cases; as a Biologist working on Sikes Act and LAPS issues; for the National Wildlife Refuge System on biodiversity and Ecosystem Approach issues until 1999 when Nancy became the national wilderness coordinator. Nancy’s professional interests include Wilderness; Leave No Trace and her personal interests include gardening, bicycling, Invasive plants removal, canoeing and birding.

Lisa Ronald has been a motivated environmental communications linchpin with experience developing national media strategies and forging diverse partnerships that create long-lasting place-based connections for more than 15 years. Her work includes developing and administering compelling rivers and wildlands outreach, conservation alliances, long-standing programs, large and small events, and running media campaigns including the 50th anniversaries of the Wild & Scenic Rivers and the Wilderness Acts, and the 2015 & 2016 National Wilderness Workshops. She has held various positions with the Wilderness Institute, including taking several partial sabbaticals to lead key projects with partners. In addition to serving as Wildlands Communications Director for the Wilderness Institute, she now also leads partnership and communications efforts for the Wild & Scenic Rivers Coalition. She served on the board of the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation from 2015-2018, and is the organizer of Ladies of the Lochsa, an annual women's whitewater kayaking event.

Dr. José Sánchez graduated from University of California, Riverside with a PhD in Environmental Sciences focusing on natural resources and environmental economics. Currently, Dr. Sánchez is a Research Economist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station in Riverside, California. Some of his research interest includes fire risk management, nonmarket valuation of ecosystem services, connecting people to nature, and improving recreation opportunities to underrepresented communities.

Dr. Courtney Schultz is the Research Fellow for Park Rx America. With over a decade of experience, she has developed an expertise in the design and execution of behavioral research across the lifespan specifically for improved health outcomes. Dr. Schultz is the Executive Director of Health & Technology Partners, a social science research consultancy, sits on the advisory council for the SHIFT Emerging Leaders Program, and is Adjunct Faculty for the University of Missouri. Dr. Schultz holds a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from NC State University, along with a BS and a MS in Parks and Recreation Management from the University of Missouri.

 

Roger Semler currently serves as Chief of the Wilderness Stewardship Division for the National Parks Service.  Prior to this appointment, he worked as the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks deputy parks director. He has more than 26 years of federal service in the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, during which time he specialized in wilderness management and stewardship.  During his career he has worked in seven different areas that were designated Wilderness or proposed for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.  During his tenure with the National Park Service, Roger was recognized at the national level as a leader in progressive wilderness management.
Roger has a passion for wilderness preservation and stewardship that was fostered during his career of federal service where he specialized in wilderness management.  He retired from the National Park Service in 2003 and has a strong desire to continuing sharing his time, energy, and expertise to foster professional excellence in wilderness management, inspire progressive agency actions and practices, preserve wilderness resources, and promote citizen understanding and appreciation of Wilderness values.

Joshua Simpson grew up in Southwest Nevada near Yosemite N.P. before moving to Oregon after high school. He graduated with a B.S. in Recreation Resources Management and a Wildlife Resources Minor out of Oregon State University in 2000. Joshua worked seasonally in all aspects of Recreation, Wilderness and Trails in Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho before moving back to Nevada in 2004. He spent 11 years in Ely, NV managing 9 Wilderness areas before moving to McCall, ID in 2015 where he currently works managing the 2 nd  largest portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, as well as, an active developed recreation, trails and noxious weeds program. When not working, Joshua enjoys spending time with his family (wife and two kids), gardening, and trail running.

 

 

Sandy Skrien retired from the US Forest Service working as the National Program Manager for Wilderness for the Forest Service in Washington DC after 40 plus years.  Sandy served on and chaired the Interagency Wilderness Steering Committee and with peers in the Washington Office and regional offices on wilderness policy and programs. She was the advisor to the Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group. 
Sandy grew up near the BWCAW on the Canadian border in Minnesota and began her career on the Superior National Forest writing wilderness permits, working as a wilderness ranger, winter and summer trails crews and YCC crew leader.  She spent 20 years on the Tongass National Forest working in two large visitor centers and on two districts as recreation, wilderness, land and minerals staff officer.  She returned to the Superior to be the Public Service Team Leader for eight years before serving in the Washington Office. 
She has a BS in Biology, a minor in Environmental Studies from St. Cloud State University and an emphasis in secondary education.  A lifelong learner, she completed post graduate classes in several states and completed a two-year lay ministry course in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.  She has served as a lay minister and music minister in three ELCA congregations in Alaska and Minnesota. 
Sandy lives in Minnesota with her husband Wayne and yellow labs Cedar and Juniper.  They have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in various states.  Sandy and her husband enjoy boating, fishing, gardening and wood carving. 

Scott Snelson is the District Ranger on the Spotted Bear Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest.

PJ Solomon is the Wilderness Permit Supervisor at Yosemite National Park.  PJ was born and raised in the San Gabriel Mountains, and has been a Yosemite Wilderness Ranger since 2007.  In her spare time, she is an amateur cucumber farmer.

 

 

 

Kara Stella is the Deaf Services Coordinator, a Park Ranger, and an Interpretive Coach at Yosemite National Park.

 

 

Nancy Taylor is the Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Congressionally Designated Areas Program Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service, based in Portland,Oregon. She has been in this job since July of 2019, moving there from the Eastern Region of the Forest Service where she was in a similar position as the regional wilderness program manager. She has worked as the Recreation and Wilderness lead for the Yellowstone Ranger District of the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, and the Ruby Mountains, Jarbidge, and Mountain City Ranger Districts on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in northeastern Nevada. She has had the privilege of stewardship for four Nevada wilderness areas: Ruby Mountains, Jarbidge, East Humboldts, and Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak; and the Absaroka- Beartooth Wilderness in Montana.  She lived in Nevada for 13 years, and enjoyed managing diverse challenges related to recreation, trails, wilderness, and natural resources. During the summer of 2015 she worked on Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest and spenttime in the South San Juan, Weminuche, La Garita, and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness areas. Nevada, Colorado, Montana and the Eastern Region have been wonderful experiences, and she looks forward to her work and new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.
She has been a ski patroller and search dog handler, an EMT and Wilderness First Responder.  She has always enjoyed the mountains in all seasons, beginning with hikes following her dad in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as a kid.  Those early adventures in the outdoors inspired her passion for wilderness, and she now travels with her Service Dog, Kasha, hiking, backpacking, skiing, and snowshoeing in wild places at every opportunity.   She has BS and MS degrees from Montana and Utah State Universities, and completed a graduate certificate in wilderness management through the University of Montana’s Wilderness Management Distance Education Program.

Joshua Theurer works with researchers to design community-science based projects that leverage the outdoor community to collect difficult-to-obtain data. These projects range from studying coral reefs along the Pacific Mexican Coast, to collecting timber samples in Eastern Europe to contribute to a reference library intended to fight illegal timber trade. He came to Adventure Scientists by way of Yellowstone National Park, where he conducted similar work designing, implementing and managing citizen science projects with National Park researchers.

Saveria Tilden (she/her/hers) is the founder and CEO of AdventurUs Women, a women-led company dedicated to providing opportunities for women of all ages, races, sizes, backgrounds and experience levels to learn new skills and try outdoor activities in beautiful environments. She is passionate about creating affirming learning environments that encourage friendship and skill building while connecting with nature in stunning locales.
 
 
 
 

Wesley Trimble (he/him) is the Communications and Creative Director for American Hiking Society and is
an advocate for outdoor recreation and conservation. From birth, a mild form of cerebral palsy has
hindered his strength and coordination on the right side of his body, but it hasn't slowed him down.
Wesley has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, climbed all 54 of Colorado's fourteeners, and spent four
seasons building and maintaining trails in the Rock Mountains.

Jacob Wall is the Program Director at the Society for Wilderness Stewardship.  Jacob is a 2016 Colby College graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy and Geology. His environmental policy honors thesis researched deforestation in Ethiopia analyzing spatial, ecological, and socio-cultural factors. After graduating from college, Jacob worked in Yosemite National Park as a Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern. There he participated in vegetation restoration projects as well as developed habitat models for rare plant species in order to understand how climate change will impact future habitats. In 2017, Jacob worked as a Wilderness Fellow with SWS in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho where he gained an appreciation for solitude in one of the nation’s largest wilderness areas. Jacob continued his work with SWS as a Wilderness Character Monitoring Core Team Leader, in which he provided technical assistance to Forests and Fellows working on Wilderness Character Monitoring. Aside from exploring different Wilderness areas, Jacob enjoys skiing, reading, and cooking.

Sonia Wang Sonia is a co-owner and policy analyst at Key-Log Economics, an ecological economic consulting firm. She is currently pursuing a masters of environmental management at the Yale School of Environment.

 

 

Randy Welsh served 36 years with the USDA Forest Service with assignments throughout Idaho, Utah and in Washington DC.  Working primarily in wilderness and wild and scenic river programs, Randy was the National Wild and Scenic River Program leader in the Washington Office from 2011-2013.  He served as the Chair of the Interagency Wild
and Scenic River Coordinating Council during the same period.  Previously he was the Wilderness and Rivers Program Manager for the Intermountain Region from 1996 -2011.  Earlier assignments included District Ranger, Forest Planner and Recreation Forester.  He finished his Forest Service career as an Assistant Director of Recreation,
retiring in January 2015.
Since 2016, Randy serves as the Executive Director of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, an association for volunteer wilderness stewardship groups protecting and preserving wilderness areas around the country.  A Lifetime member of the River Management Society, since 1996, Randy recently served as RMS Treasurer from 2016-2018, and as an Agency Liaison to the RMS
Board from 2009 to 2013.  He was Vice Chair of the Southwest Chapter from 2008-2011.
An avid whitewater boater, hiker, and camper, Randy has floated many of the rivers in the west, and enjoys spending time on the water and in the outdoors with his wife, Jan, and their three golden retrievers Nora, Gracie, and Izzy. Two adult daughters Abbey (with husband Corey with two grandkids Finn (4) and Henry (1)) and Tessa complete the family.

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk was born and raised in southwestern Colorado. She is a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Towaoc. She has spent 10 years in the information technology field, working for Chief Dull Knife College and the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribes. In October of 2013, she was elected to serve as a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal leadership.
At an early age, Lopez-Whiteskunk began to advocate for land, air, water, and animals, and she strongly believes that the inner core of healing comes from the knowledge of our land and elders. She is a former co-chair for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and education director for the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose.
Currently, she is seeking a Master’s of Environmental Management with Western Colorado University. Lopez-Whiteskunk has traveled extensively throughout the country sharing the Ute culture through song, dance, and presentations, and is honored to continue to protect, preserve and serve through education, creating a better understanding of our resources and culture—a great foundation for a better tomorrow.
 
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The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is a non-profit, charitable organization under the 501 (c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code.