Jennifer joined the RMFI team as Executive Director in 2014 where she leads a dedicated and passionate staff united around public land stewardship and sustainable outdoor recreation. As a young girl, Jennifer fell in love with the outdoors on numerous weekend backpacking and fishing excursions with her family along the Appalachian Trail. She carried that passion into her educational pursuits where she received both a B.S. and M.S. in Rangeland Ecology & Management from Texas A&M University and the University of Idaho, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Texas A&M University. Jennifer brings nearly 10 years of experience in environmental stewardship, watershed health, public engagement, and environmental education to RMFI. She also sits on the Board of the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance and was recognized by the Mayor of Colorado Springs with a Young Leader Award. Outside of the office, Jennifer enjoys any activity in the outdoors including hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, trail running, skiing, and mountain biking.
Hailing from Western Pennsylvania, Joe moved to Colorado in 2005 to pursue his interest of the natural world. Joe graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies with a focus on Sustainable Development. Prior to working for RMFI, Joe worked for the Colorado Springs Conservation Corps which focused on energy efficiency projects in the Pikes Peak Region. When he's not daydreaming about his next adventure, Joe can often be found teaching yoga or reading a good book. Joe is a NOLS-Alaska alum, Leadership Pikes Peak graduate, and Wilderness EMT. Joe earned recognition as a Rising Star by the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2016, and recently completed the Community Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership. Joe has been involved with RMFI since 2008.
Growing up in Oklahoma, Jay spent a lot of his time outdoors, but didn't get a first-hand glimpse of the mountains until his teenage years. He immediately fell in love with the scenic vistas and challenging environments that he found in the southwest and knew it was where he was meant to be. Jay developed a healthy respect for rocks while earning his BS in Environmental Geology at the University of Oklahoma. He developed an equally healthy respect for rock-walls during his seven seasons working within the Philmont Conservation Department in New Mexico. During that time, Jay was able to gain experience in all aspects of trail work, as well as environmental education and restoration work. Jay joined the RMFI team in January of 2018 and is excited to be a part of an organization that has such a strong positive impact on the members of the community and the public open spaces they enjoy. Jay is an Eagle Scout, certified Emergency Medical Technician, and Wilderness First Responder.
As an avid outdoor enthusiast and Colorado Springs native, Alex has developed a deep appreciation for the beauty emanating from the Southern Rockies. When the opportunity arose to work for RMFI, he knew it was time to turn that appreciation into action. Alex earned his BA in Communication with an emphasis in Leadership Studies at the University of Colorado Springs – Colorado. He was the top graduate of those in the leadership track and received highest distinction in UCCS’ Communication Honors program. Through his sustainable development minor and an internship with CoPIRG Energy Service Corps., he cultivated a strong interest in conservation, stewardship, and helping others connect with the natural world. Post-graduation he foraged his skills as a salesman at Time Warner Cable, but after a year decided to seek a balance between a career in sales and environmental work. Around this time Alex took a position with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. There he advanced BMP implementation for Denver Water’s Source Water Protection Plan. Recently, Alex obtained his WFR certification from NOLS and is currently working on a startup business in the UAS industry.
Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator
Molly is a Colorado Springs native and lifelong Colorado resident. She received her BA in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009 and has been working in public stewardship, community engagement, and the non-profit sector ever since. She has worked as a Trip Leader and Program Director of international youth service trips in Costa Rica and Argentina where she and her young crews worked on a variety of ecological and community-focused projects, while mixing in some requisite adventure travel. She additionally worked for several years as Denver Local Manager for the Chill Foundation, a non-profit youth development organization providing outdoor recreational experiences to underserved youth. Molly joined the RMFI staff in 2014 and, in 2018, earned her CVA, an internationally recognized Certification in Volunteer Administration.
Bronwyn was born in Maryland but moved many times during her childhood including a stop in Dallas, Texas where she became a life long Dallas Cowboys fan. She landed in Colorado in 1981 and loved it so much that she has stayed put. She graduated from Colorado State University in 1988 with a degree in Accounting. She has been married for 30 years and has two children. Her daughter is a preschool teacher in Denver and her son attends Northern Arizona University where he is working towards a degree in Photography. She has been the bookkeeper at Coaltrain Wine & Liquor for the past 16 years and has been a RMFI volunteer for the last 7 years. She is an avid hiker and enjoys skiing during the winter. Her other passions are baking and Christmas.
Jamie grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado and rarely spent any time indoors. She received a BS degree from Gonzaga University in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. She is a lover of heights, especially above fourteen thousand feet, and always willing to explore the natural world. Her first experience of RMFI’s work was through the Earth Corps program and she wanted to continue as a steward for the environment in her home city. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder.
Jacob became enthralled with the natural world in his childhood backyard in Memphis, Tennessee while observing ladybug larvae as they transformed. This love grew and brought him out to the mountains where he studied ecology at Colorado College here in Colorado Springs. Since graduating in 2015, he’s helped out with wildfire research, studied permaculture, traveled to the jungles of South America, taught at a high school and herded cattle in California. A deep appreciation for the natural world and understanding of ecological systems has led him into work that focuses on sustainable interactions between humans and nature. You may find him with his face to the ground searching for crystals or his eyes to his binoculars watching the birds.
Although he was born upon the tide in Southern California, Jarrod found his calling deep in the Sierra Nevadas. Led there every year since his 11th birthday by his grandfather and his father, Jarrod very quickly learned that trails were not magical entities that sprung up without human effort. "Stop cutting the switchbacks, you ratfink!" his grandfather would yell, and with that came the teaching that trails, and trail-building, is immensely involved and immensely important. Although he is relatively new to the building of trails, Jarrod is proud to be creating ways to introduce more people to the majesty of our natural spaces.
Growing up in Colorado Springs, Josh explored the trails throughout the Pikes Peak region. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Kansas, Josh realized that he needed to return to the mountains. Josh worked as a naturalist for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) as well as a ranger for Pitkin County Open Space and Trails in Aspen, Colorado. Josh is WFR certified and is also a NOLS-Alaska alum. Josh has also traveled extensively around the world, most recently in Southeast Asia. Josh joined the RMFI team in 2018 and is excited to continue helping to maintain some of the places he has loved his whole life.
Lindsay was born in Central Illinois but grew up here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, receiving a BS degree in Natural Resource Management with a Minor in Rangeland Ecology. After graduating Lindsay spent a season working at Castlewood Canyon State Park as an Interpretive Ranger leading school groups on hikes around the park. Lindsay is WFR certified and would like to further her training to become a Wilderness EMT. She looks forward to learning new restoration techniques and furthering her passion for stewardship.
High Alpine Field Instructor
Growing up on a small, rural island in Maryland, Mary spent much of her outdoorsy time on the water - swimming, kayaking, fishing, and boating. While the island had much to offer in the way of fast food restaurants and a thriving Kmart, her dreams were bigger - about 14,000 feet bigger to be exact. In search of these dreams, she first headed to western Virginia to earn her BS in biology at Jame Madison University. Enthralled with the old mountains of the Shenandoah Valley, she spent some time on the Appalachian Trail and while impressed, they were still about 10,000 ft too short. She decided to head west and started doing trail work and environmental restoration in hopes that maybe one of these outdoorsy folk she would meet could tell her of the fabled "fourteeners". She worked for a couple conservation corps based out of Arizona and then up to Oregon. She finally landed here in Colorado with RMFI after deciding that maybe that John Denver guy knew what he was talking about all along.
Deborah grew up in North Carolina and has always had a passion for wildlife and the outdoors. She graduated from Campbell University with a BS in Biology and is currently pursuing a second degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. Though Deborah has called many places “home” over the years, no place has matched her spirit quite as well as Colorado. She fell in love with the people, the mountains, and the countless outdoor activities. Deborah has experience in coastal ecology and conservation efforts and aims to expand that knowledge to trail work here in Colorado Springs. Deborah was drawn to RMFI because of its passion for stewardship and restoration and is excited to be a part of this great team.
William staked his claim in Colorado Springs in 2015, after years of traveling around the country and the globe with the United States Army. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, in pursuit of a bachelors of science degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, a minor in Geology, and Geographic Information Systems certification program. Since returning to civilian life, William has held several internships in the GIS field and has volunteered as a citizen scientist monitoring trail restoration efforts. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and, just as importantly, certified in making a mean wilderness coffee.
High Alpine Field Instructor
Born and then promptly occupying space for a seemingly long time in Utah, Porter always knew the world as one of intriguingly open scenery while growing into human form. The color green managed to put a dent in the landscape only where stubborn residents refused to accept the dominant earthy tones. He learned in time and took to heart that living things grow slowly and die easily when harassed too often in the arid west. It wasn’t hard to recognize that every brave critter and flower in his home land was just as sensitive to change and outside intrusion as the typical Utahn. He earned a degree in Outdoor Recreation Management and Exercise Science from Utah Valley University. He is thrilled now to be continuing his education by way of challenging and meaningful work in the delightful outdoor classroom of southern Colorado, where he’s finding the folks and scenery to be reasonably lovely and engaging. His favorite vegetables include ice cream and the exotic asparagus.
Born and raised in the great state of Georgia, James C. “Georgia,” Hawkins has enjoyed the outdoors nearly all his life. From fishing for catfish in Georgia with his Grandfather to Hunting in the mountains of Tennessee with his father he’s found himself easily at home in the forests of the south east. James is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science through Georgia State University and in the mean time acts as a public speaker for mental health advocacy, environmental conservation and financial wellness. After serving as 48th International Master Councilor for DeMolay International, James came out to Colorado for a school internship and ended up staying afterwards. Previously, James has traveled to every state in the U.S as well as Canada, Brazil, and Paraguay, and is now excited to be a part of such an outstanding team here in CO. James hopes to expand his knowledge of the beautiful parks in our state and do his part to keep them running smoothly. When asked his opinion on land conservation work, James simply replied, "Yeehaw!”
After graduating from the University of Dayton in May of 2017, Elise made her move across the country so that she could fulfill her passion for helping people and the environment. From organizing urban volunteer projects supporting local initiatives to hosting events promoting the exploration of the great outdoors, she has had firsthand experience with building relationships and confidence within multiple communities, especially when it comes to conservation and environmental sustainability. Elise is incredibly excited to now be a part of a team where she can make a tangible difference in our local trail systems and can educate the public about how to protect our recreation spaces for years to come.
Born and raised on the front range, Hunter grew up perpetually banished to the yard. This left him with a love for the outdoors and a passion for working in the dirt. He has worked three consecutive seasons with the Philmont conservation department and a season with the Western Colorado Conservation Corps.