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.
Carl comes to RMFI with a wide range of natural resource knowledge and experience. An enthusiastic environmental steward and public servant, Carl is excited to join the passionate and dedicated RMFI team. Carl served several seasons as a member of an AmeriCorps conservation corps, worked as a natural resources intern with the National Park Service in Denver, and served as a Wilderness Fellow with the US Forest Service in Lake Tahoe, California. Carl earned his master’s degree in Natural Resource Management and Policy from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs in May of 2019. Carl grew up in Austin, Texas, where he enjoyed hiking around the rolling Texas Hill Country, swimming and fishing its numerous lakes, rivers, and springs. On the weekends you can find Carl playing a game of pick-up basketball, out for a bike ride, or on a stream bank struggling to untangle his fly line.
Jamie grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado and rarely spent any time indoors. She received a B.S. 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. Jamie first got involved with RMFI in 2016, when she participated in Earth Corps. She became a Field Instructor soon after, advanced to Field Coordinator for a couple of seasons, and began her role as Program Manager in January of 2020. She is certified as a 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
Elise made her move across the country from Ohio to Colorado to fulfill her passion for helping people and the environment. From organizing urban volunteer projects supporting local initiatives that revitalize downtown spaces to hosting events promoting the exploration of the great outdoors, she has had firsthand experience with building relationships and confidence within multiple communities. She graduated from the University of Dayton in 2017 and received a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment. After a season as a Field Instructor and her 5 years of working for various nonprofits, Elise is thrilled to utilize her skills and experiences to coordinate volunteers, plan events, work with amazing partners, and represent RMFI throughout the region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Alpine Field Instructor
Born and raised in northern Virginia, Joe's childhood adventures were full of Calvin-and-Hobbesian sojourns into the modest forests and foothills of his suburban hometown. While studying at the University of Virginia, Joe began volunteering with his local park agency and discovered the pleasure (and pain) of trail work. After graduating with a double major in Foreign Affairs and Spanish, Joe decided that he wanted to pursue neither foreign affairs nor Spanish, and instead wanted to build trails. Joe traveled out to California to serve as an AmeriCorps NCCC team leader, where he led a conservation crew that worked with the BLM on several projects throughout the state. He has since worked for the National Park Service as a trail builder and interpreter, and for the outdoor apparel company Parks Project, where he coordinated volunteer programs and events. Joe is excited to bring his skills and experience to RMFI to support trail projects in the thin, fresh air of Colorado's fourteeners.
High Alpine Field Instructor
As a Denver native, Trina enjoyed growing up with all the fun outdoor activities Colorado has to offer and explored many places with her parents and older brother. After finishing college in Ireland and England, Trina returned home to be back in bigger mountains (especially those over 14,000 ft.), which she deeply missed while being abroad. In 2018, she completed a solo-thru hike of the Colorado Trail and became more aware of the efforts of conservationists and stewards of our lands. This desire to give back led Trina to work with the Southwest Conservation Corps on the Kit Carson project in 2019, where her love for trail work blossomed.
In past winters, Trina has worked as a youth ski instructor at Copper Mountain to help share her passion of sliding on snow with kids of all ages. She is excited to apply her passion for connecting people with nature through her first season working for RMFI. Throughout the year, you can find Trina wandering through the woods or canyons, or admiring the views above treeline, always looking for the next adventure.
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.
Dani grew up in northern Minnesota rescuing frogs from her home window wells, swimming in countless lakes, fishing for walleye, and running on recreational trails. Although Minnesota has a lot to offer, it also has nine months of winter and the sun doesn’t always shine. Looking for more sunshine and a new adventure, Dani moved to the colorful state of Colorado. Dani then had her share of AmeriCorps days serving with a couple of splendid organizations including the Southwest Conservation Corps and Alpine Achievers Initiative.
These experiences motivated her to go to graduate school for Conservation Leadership and become a leader in the environmental field. After graduating, she accepted a job with a land trust in southwest Colorado. Although working at the land trust was a great learning experience, she longed to be back on the trail doing hands-on conservation. She can’t wait to join the RMFI team and see where this adventure takes her next!
Kelly is a Colorado native that spent her childhood playing in the dirt and climbing trees. She has always had a love for the outdoors instilled in her by her parents. Kelly lived for spending the summer at her family’s property in Wyoming where she would spend her days out in the sunshine (with sunscreen of course) and nights singing around a campfire.
She graduated from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs with a degree in Geography and Environmental Science and a certificate in GIS. Kelly is excited to join the RMFI team and to get back to spending her days outdoors.
After two years at the most prestigious and elite community college in the furthest west tip of Texas, Marc decided to enroll in the school of life to follow his own path, free of the comfortable, picture-perfect lifestyle he saw everyone around him chasing. With only a crashpad, a beat up truck and $200 to his name, Marc set out on his newest and most important adventure to the Colorado Rockies where he not only found his passion working land conservation, but also a welcoming community that shared his passion, further fueling his drive. Along the way Marc found direction and a career path in a field that not only is personally satisfying but is directly impactful to something that’s bigger and more important than himself.
Dallas grew up in the unique world of ranching on his family-owned cattle ranches in southeast Colorado. This Colorado native earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. His fondness of snow and cold weather drives his dream to see the Arctic Ocean, Antarctic Circle, and everything in between. After volunteering with RMFI in 2019, Dallas found his passion for conservation and is eager to continue implementing conservation efforts throughout his life.
Samuel was born in Wisconsin and grew up in upstate New York. He ran cross country in high school, which gave him a serious avenue to explore his environment. This is where he began to find value in outdoor spaces and outdoor recreation nearly every day he was able to go someplace outside, and many times these were someplace new. Samuel continued my running career in college, where he began backpacking in the Adirondacks and really found where he felt the most at home: in the mountains.
After graduating with a degree in anthropology, he discovered that he wanted to use his love of the outdoors as a career path and ended up getting a job in the National Parks Service. While there, he discovered his passion for teaching people about the natural world and learned that the more he stayed in this career field, the more he would be able to learn for himself. After that summer season he moved to Colorado Springs, where he could access hiking and climbing in an unprecedented way.
Savannah was born in Florida, but grew up in North Georgia. From throwing cast nets off the dock to hiking along the Blue Ridge Mountains, she was never too far from the outdoors. After leaving fried food and 110 percent humidity behind to work on a bison ranch in South Dakota, she decided the West was for her. Since then, she has worked in various sectors of agriculture but has decided to pursue conservation through hands-on work with RMFI. She's excited to be a part of a team that is working for the betterment of the land and the community.
Field Instructor - Alpine
Rand, originally from Reno, received a Bachelor's degree in both Sociology and Psychology from the University of Nevada. He worked three AmeriCorps terms: two with the Nevada Conservation Corps building and maintaining hiking trails and the other with the Casa Verde Builders of Austin, Texas constructing tiny houses for the homeless population and renovating homes for low-income residents in the city.
Rand and his best friend, Dayl, spent the last few years house and pet sitting in New Zealand and Australia. They looked after a wide variety of animals, including one job where they cared for different 34 animals! In the future, Rand desires to become a wildland firefighter.
Field Instructor - Alpine
Growing up in Colorado gave Olympia plenty of opportunities to become familiar with the great outdoors and eventually cultivate a passion for environmental stewardship. Although most of their formal education surrounded music performance, Olympia left college and their musical studies to pursue a career in natural resources. They began this path in 2018 as a Land Conservation Leader with the Mile High Youth Corps, crew leading both hand and saw crews. The following year, Olympia became the Southern Front Range Program Coordinator, eager to train new Corpsmembers and strengthen the partnership between RMFI and MHYC.
As a previous project partner and volunteer with RMFI, Olympia is honored to work with their peers to conserve the precious lands we are so fortunate to experience. The practice of learning is a lifelong journey and Olympia hopes to further expand their skills in rock work, trail maintenance, and wildland firefighting for as long as they can.
Ellen spent their childhood summers in the backyard treehouse castle built by their dad in their hometown of St. Louis, MO. They found their passion for wilderness shenanigans in 7th grade, when they joined their school district’s uniquely awesome Adventure Club. Through the group's leadership, Ellen learned the basics of backpacking, canoeing, and the scientific method. They even helped to create a semi-viral video on salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Ellen moved to Colorado in 2017. In the summer of 2018, they served their first term with Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC). Since then, they have acquired a mountain of skills and happy memories from their three wonderful seasons working with MHYC. They are especially interested in backcountry work, due to the strong bonds they have made with other sentient beings in remote settings like Devils Playground. Their favorite trail tool is a paleo, and their favorite nickname is hot sauce. They love trees, lichen, and making people laugh until it hurts.
Heather grew up in the San Gabriel Mountain town of Wrightwood, CA. Almost every summer, Heather and her family would pack up the car and drive to a different National or State park. With the woods as her playground and a childhood of adventure, she grew up with a love and reverence for the Earth. Heather moved to Colorado Springs in 2014, and immediately fell in love with the community and the trails and open spaces of the area.
After spending the 2019 summer season with the Southwest Conservation Corp, Heather went back to school to pursue an Associates Degree in Outdoor Leadership. She is also working toward her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification. Having volunteered with RMFI in the past and seen the outstanding work they do, Heather is honored and elated to join the RMFI team as a Field Instructor. She hopes to continue her gratifying work as a steward for the land and the community.
Field Instructor - Alpine
Born in New England and raised on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Tom always loved playing in the dirt, camping, and learning about the world. However hard he tried to shake it, that passion never really went away, and he eventually graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Earth Science and Minor in Geomorphology. He was first drawn west of the Mississippi by none other than RMFI's Earth Corps program in 2018, where his time on Kit Carson mountain proved to be an immensely formative experience. Forays into the woods for overnight trips during college fostered a desire to help others see and respect more of the natural world, and other trips west cemented the idea that this would be a place he could thrive. He is excited to have found a way to give back to RMFI, the natural world, and the community of people who appreciate it.
When not finding excuses to be outside, employed or otherwise, Tom may be found reading or playing music, having developed a keen passion for jazz and Irish traditional music. In fact, sometimes, one may hear the birdlike call of whistles through the woods...