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Mark Werley

Mark Werley

Position: Petroleum CD, Missouri River Conservation District Council, Musselshell Watershed Coalition; Winnett, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with project planning, aquatic invasive species initiatives, field collections, and monitoring
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Mark was born and raised in central Florida, where he learned to love exploring outdoors especially Florida’s wetlands. He attended the University of Florida and obtained a B.S. in Sustainability and Planning.  He recently finished an AmeriCorps program with the National Civilian Community Corps where he led a crew building trail in Yosemite, constructing homes for the homeless in Bozeman, and fighting fire in Northern California. He is incredibly excited to return to Montana and bring his background and knowledge as a member of Big Sky Watershed Corps to help the people and environment of this beautiful country. When not working or reading a good book, you will find him exploring the mountains and snow, both new and exciting experiences for someone from Florida.

Aspen Ward

Aspen Ward

Position: Upper Yellowstone Water Group/Park CD/MARS; Livingston, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with project planning and manage social media campaigns on multiple platforms
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Assist with wetland and stream monitoring

Aspen was raised in rural Montana where she grew up skiing and backpacking around North America, and eventually attended the University of Montana to obtain a B.S. in Resource Conservation. During her time at UM, she worked as an undergraduate researcher and field technician for the Forest Ecology lab where she helped with research in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and Yosemite National Park. Aspen has spent the past four years working as a field researcher on a gamut of projects, such as establishing a long-term forest dynamics plot in Cedar Breaks, Utah to an ecohydrologic study in the cloud forests of Veracruz, Mexico. In her free time, Aspen focuses on getting out climbing and backcountry skiing as much as possible, while also enjoying painting, writing, and baking bread when time permits.

Sophie Trull  

Sophie Trull  

Position: Swan Valley Connections; Condon, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with aquatic invasive species, water quality, forest carnivores, and wetland function monitoring
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention
  • Community outreach and education initiatives

Sophie spent her childhood in the Swan Valley where she grew to value the importance of place-based education. She earned her degree in Environmental Studies and Nonprofit Administration from the University of Montana. During her summers throughout college, she worked in Talkeetna, Alaska as a Summer Program Instructor for a local nonprofit developing outdoor education programs for youth and was a Naturalist for the Alaska Nature Guides. After finishing her degree in 2017, she moved to Talkeetna to serve as a Rural Alaska Youth AmeriCorps member with Northern Susitna Institute. Sophie is excited to be back in the Swan Valley with her husband and serving as the 2019 Big Sky Watershed Corps member with Swan Valley Connections.

Liz Shull  

Liz Shull  

Position: Wildlife Conservation Society; Ennis, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Planning, organizing, and promoting the seventh annual Summer Wildlife Speaker Series
  • Manage social media campaigns on multiple platforms
  • Exploring options to reduce community impact on lands

Growing up on the North Shore of Lake Michigan, Liz has had a love for rivers and lakes from a young age. Through six years of international travel and a B.S in Watershed Science from Colorado State University, she found a passion for the relationships between water, people, and the future. These passions have led her to be an international guide for Natural Resource and Leadership oriented trips, a community volunteer within Southwest Montana, and an advocate for our watersheds. She is excited and honored to be a part of the 2019 Big Sky Watershed Corps serving with Wildlife Conservation Society.  If Liz isn’t in the office, you can find her mountain biking, fishing, skiing or just outside soaking up the sunshine.

Brieana Shook  

Brieana Shook  

Position: Madison CD; Ennis, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Plan, implement, and manage community pollinator garden
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Assist with strategic plan implementations and communications

Brieana is originally from Columbus, Ohio and is very excited to now be living in the beautiful state of Montana. She is serving with the Madison Conservation District in Ennis, Montana for her Big Sky Watershed Corps 2019 term. Brieana earned a B.S. in Environment and Natural Resources with a specialization in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from The Ohio State University. She has an immense passion for wildlife and natural resource conservation. Brieana has previously worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida as a Biological Science Intern, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) as an Animal Specialist Intern, and has volunteered for a plethora of research projects and outreach around Ohio. In her spare time, you can find Brieana outdoors; exploring with her dog, hiking, birding, and skiing.

McKenzie Schessl

McKenzie Schessl

Position: Clearwater Resource Council; Seeley Lake,  MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with the development of high priority management plans, field collections, and monitoring
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention
  • Community outreach and education initiatives

McKenzie was born and raised in the Finger Lakes region of New York where she spent summers exploring every river, lake, and creek she could find. She received her BA in Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University in upstate NY, where she focused her studies on water pollution management and international restoration techniques. After spending three years pursuing marine conservation and rehabilitating sea turtles in Kenya, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago, she found that her calling was actually much closer to home, in learning about and conserving freshwater lakes and rivers. Having never been to Montana or spent any time out west, she decided to join Big Sky Watershed Corps for her next adventure. McKenzie loves traveling, cooking, hiking, and trying new things.

Ryan Schaner

Ryan Schaner

Position: The Nature Conservancy; Malta, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with wildlife, rangeland, and noxious weed monitoring
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Participate in project development and research initiatives

Ryan Schaner grew up in the Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota area, and played hockey competitively for 16 years. He is the youngest of 5, and has a 14 year old dog named Toby. In December 2018, he graduated from Valley City State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Science, Biology, and Environmental Science. If not in the office, you can usually find Ryan in the rink, or pursuing some of his outdoor passions. A self-labeled adventurist, Ryan avidly hunts, fishes, hikes and camps. He also enjoys golfing in the summertime.

Anthony Sammaratano

Anthony Sammaratano

Position: Montana Audubon Center; Billings, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Deliver existing curriculum and programming

Anthony grew up in the Chaparral Mountains of Southern California, and took a love of the natural world with him as he completed his B.S in Ecological Restoration from Humboldt State University.  With his education in hand, he set out traveling across the western U.S as a seasonal environmental technician, working as an alpine foreman/ranger in Colorado, a restoration technician throughout the great L.A area, and a field ecologist for the Nevada BLM.  He is excited to be serving with the Montana Audubon Center located in Billings, Montana as a Big Sky Watershed Corps member. When found recreating, Anthony enjoys cross-country running, amateur botanizing, backpacking, and reading Science-Fiction.

Natalie Poremba

Natalie Poremba

Position: Crown Managers Partnership; Polson, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with Transboundary Conservation Story Map
  • Collecting and analyzing data on invasive species
  • Stakeholder engagement and event coordination

Originally from Ohio, Natalie graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. She has previously worked as a researcher, studying topics like the population dynamics of sea turtles, crow behavior, and bear canister usage in the Adirondack Park. Additionally, Natalie has spent time as an educator in midcoast Maine, where she facilitated connections between local youth and their environment. She is excited to join the Crown Managers Partnership and continue to foster her passion for environmental conservation. In her free time, you can find Natalie rock climbing, playing ultimate frisbee, or dancing.

Lauren Odom

Lauren Odom

Position: Lake County CD; Ronan, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Plan, implement, and manage Soil Health and Forage Improvement initiatives
  • Assist with water quality monitoring and aquatic invasive species early prevention detection
  • Community outreach and education initiatives

Lauren Odom has been enamored with nature ever since she can remember. Growing up her heroes, Mother Teresa and Theodore Roosevelt fostered her love for service and her passion for nature. These ideals, and the pull of the mountains, lead her to dream of moving to Montana and becoming a member of the conservation field. She laid down the foundations for her dream in Oklahoma, were she received a B.S. in Environmental Science, with a focus in Water Resources, and completed undergraduate research on water percolation differences between Oklahoma soil types. Soon after, her hard work paid off when she accepted an offer to be a 2018 Big Sky Watershed Corps member. She enjoyed a year of teaching, planning, grant writing, designing, sampling, monitoring, networking, and exploring in Western Montana. For her second term, Lauren is excited to once again serve with the Lake County Conservation District in Ronan, and looks forward to her new partnership with the Flathead Lake Biological Station near Bigfork. If she isn’t in the field, on the lake, or in the office, you can probably find her on the trials, soaking in every moment under the big sky.

Julia Nave

Julia Nave

Position: The Nature Conservancy; Bozeman, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with GIS and Water Fund project initiatives
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Julia is originally from Juneau, Alaska where she lived and worked in the rainy Tongass National Forest. She received her B.A. in Geology at Colorado College and decided to stay in Colorado for one more winter to ski. That turned into several years living in Telluride, CO and two years in a Master in Environmental Management program at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, CO. In graduate school, she focused on both social and ecological issues related to climate change. Julia has worked as an environmental consultant, wildlife biology technician, and environmental educator, among many other side jobs. She moved to Bozeman in 2017 to continue pursuing work in natural resource conservation and climate change adaptation projects and is excited to be serving an AmeriCorps term with the Nature Conservancy through Big Sky Watershed Corps. She’s looking forward to working with new people and exploring Montana through conservation fieldwork.

Zachary Lenning

Zachary Lenning

Position: Bridger Plant Materials Center; Bridger, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with installation, maintenance, and evaluation of research studies, trials and demonstration plots
  • Culturing and growing native plant species
  • Cover crops and pollinator initiatives

Born and mostly raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Zach has spent most of his life trying to escape the Midwest. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Technical Systems Management, he moved to Vermont to be closer to family. Among other, less exhilarating pursuits, he worked as a kayaking instructor and gained a passion for all types of skiing. Then last June, he took a road trip to Glacier National Park and the rest was history. Less than a month later Zach was back in Montana working on a trail crew with the Montana Conservation Corps. Now he serves with the Bridger Plant Material Center, helping to produce seed for conservation efforts across the state. When not at work, he can be found in the nearest forest.

Emilie Lahnemen

Emilie Lahnemen

Position: Bitter Root Water Forum; Hamilton, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Assist with restoration projects, field collections, and monitoring
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Emilie is originally from a small town in Southern Maryland where she obtained a B.S. in Geographical Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Systems and Natural Resources from the University of Maryland. Growing up minutes from the Chesapeake Bay, Emilie spent many days on the water boating, fishing and crabbing. With such a unique ecosystem at her disposal, she gravitated toward environmental stewardship and education when she entered college. She is excited to be serving with the Bitter Root Water Forum and looks forward to conducting restoration efforts and facilitating environmental education across the Bitterroot Valley.

Mitch Hoffman

Mitch Hoffman

Position: Petroleum CD, Missouri River Conservation District Council, Musselshell Watershed Coalition; Winnett, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with project planning, aquatic invasive species initiatives, field collections, and monitoring
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Mitch was born and raised in the foothills of Colorado. A lifelong outdoorsman, he became an Eagle Scout in 2014 and then started his education at Colorado State University. He majored in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Watershed Sciences. Recently graduating with this degree, he made the long overdue move up to Montana. In his free time, you will find Mitch backpacking, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, or doing some really shoddy cooking.

Tori Hill

Tori Hill

Position: Friends of the Missouri Breaks; Helena, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Assist with monument’s cottonwood restoration                                               
  • Work with the Bureau of Land Management Monument Specialists Natural Resources Strike Team    

Tori grew up in Sidney, one of the easternmost towns of Montana, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Carroll College in Helena. After working as a Biological Science Technician for the United States Department of Agriculture, she felt the mountains pulling her West again. Having debated for four years at Carroll, she is a politics nerd and enjoys (friendly) conversation about any domestic or international policy topic, preferably while hiking up Mount Helena. Tori will be serving alongside Lacey Gunther at the Friends of the Missouri Breaks.

Lauren Herbine

Lauren Herbine

Position: Lolo Watershed Group & Lolo National Forest; Missoula, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Managing social media campaigns on multiple platforms
  • Assist with restoration projects, field collections, and monitoring  

Lauren grew up on her father’s one-man sawmill operation in the Appalachian foothills of Virginia. She graduated from The College of William & Mary with a degree in Geology, and went on to complete a GeoCorps service term with the Forest Service in Oregon, and then to the mountains of Southern California to work as an outdoor education instructor. Soccer has played a large roll in her life; she’s played, coached, refereed, and trained referees. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking, skiing, road-tripping, kayaking, and petting pups. Montana will help her complete her quest to live and work in all US time zones!

Lacey Gunther

Lacey Gunther

Position: Friends of the Missouri Breaks; Helena, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Assist with monument’s cottonwood restoration                                               
  • Work with the Bureau of Land Management Monument Specialists Natural Resources Strike Team    

Lacey Gunther grew up just outside of Portland, Oregon on the banks of the Willamette River. She learned from a young age just how important it is to have access to nature, and is stoked to be working with the Friends of the Missouri Breaks as a Big Sky Watershed Corps member in 2019 to assist with projects aimed at the protection and stewardship of public land. Lacey received her BS in Environmental Science from Oregon State University with a minor in Water Resources. She spent the past year working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as an Experimental Biology Aide performing stream habitat and salmon spawning surveys. In her free time, you can find Lacey hiking or biking, playing ultimate frisbee, or hanging out with dogs.

Sarah Ganter

Sarah Ganter

Position: Upper Columbia Conservation Commission; Whitefish, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with the planning, implementation, and management of a Marina/Moored Vessel AIS Prevention Pilot Program
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Manage targeted outreach campaign within the Upper Columbia Basin

Sarah grew up in a small town in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York. She went to school at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse and acquired a B.S. in Environmental Science with a Minor in Water Resources. Sarah enjoys camping, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, and reading in her free time.

Haley Gamertsfelder

Haley Gamertsfelder

Position: Missoula County Weed District; Bozeman, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Monitor invasive weed biocontrols and aquatic invasive species
  • Weed mapping, monitoring, and treatment
  • Plan, implement, and manage community educational pollinator initiatives   

Haley began her post high school education at a community college in her home state of Maryland. After two years she transferred to the University of Maryland to finish her bachelor of science in Environmental Science and Technology, with a concentration in Natural Resource Management. After graduation she traveled for a few months before settling into Montana to serve for AmeriCorps through Montana Conservation Corps as a Conservation Intern. After a brief stint in the southwest and California, Haley is delighted to be back in Montana. She loves being involved in the local art and music scene wherever she finds herself, while pursuing her great big love of the great big outdoors.

Anna Floyd

Anna Floyd

Position: Gallatin Valley Land Trust; Bozeman, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Plan and implement stewardship enhancement projects with lands team staff
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Anna was born and raised in Austin, Texas, where she grew up wandering the woods and playing in the Colorado River behind her house. She earned a B.A. in Plan II Honors and a B.A. in European Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Anna spent her college summers working in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, which fostered her passion for conservation and her love for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. After graduating, she worked as a ski instructor in Keystone, CO, a wilderness trail crew member for the US Forest Service in Grand Lake, CO, and a trail crew leader for the City of Boulder, CO. She is exceedingly excited to be at Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman, Montana, working to protect the pristine landscape and waters of southwestern Montana. When she’s not at work, you’ll find Anna playing pick-up soccer, skiing, taking long day hikes, playing music, reading, or writing poetry.

Grant Flaming  

Grant Flaming  

Montana Trout Unlimited & United States Forest Service-Northern Region; Missoula, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Collect instream flow water reservations throughout the state
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Project design and implementation along the Upper and Middle Clark Fork River drainages  

Raised on a farm in central Kansas, Grant discovered a passion for cold-water streams during fishing trips to the Rocky Mountains. While obtaining his degree in Environmental Science from Goshen College, he gained experience surveying fish populations and water quality in Northern Indiana with an electroshock survey team. Having moved to Missoula, Grant will be serving with the US Forest Service and Montana Trout Unlimited as part of the 2019 BSWC team. When he isn’t working, you can find him chasing trout, backpacking, reading a good book, and exploring the area.

Meg Desmond  

Meg Desmond  

Position: Blackfeet Natural Resource CD & Blackfeet Tribe Agricultural Resource Management Plan; Browning, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Drought planning, water quality, and irrigation infrastructure improvements
  • Community outreach and education initiatives
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Meg grew up in Massachusetts before moving to the Green Mountains to attend the University of Vermont. Here she developed her passion for environmental policy and advocacy through her studies and work with the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Graduating in three years with a BA in Environmental Studies, she crossed Lake Champlain to intern with the Adirondack Council. During this time, in the office and on trail, her enthusiasm for conservation grew. She is thrilled to bring this experience to the Big Sky Watershed Corp to serve and learn from the community. You can find Meg in the mountains, hiking, biking, and backcountry skiing.

Katie Behme

Katie Behme

Position: Bozeman Field School; Bozeman, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Working along faculty and leadership advisor as an apprentice teacher
  • Deliver existing curriculum and programming
  • Expanding outreach and community partnerships

Katie is from the suburbs of Chicago where she spent her childhood summers playing on the beaches of Lake Michigan. She went on to pursue a B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Meteorology at Iowa State University. During her time in college, Katie worked for the ISU Outdoor Recreation Program, which reinforced her appreciation for natural resources and the effect they can have on communities nationwide. Upon graduation, Katie started her first AmeriCorps term as a Conservation Intern serving with the Blackfeet Tribe to protect native lands through noxious weed management. She is delighted to be placed at the Bozeman Field School in order to work towards watershed conservation by helping to educate the next generation. When she’s not working, you can find Katie learning a new outdoor skill, dancing to jazz music, or baking a pie.

Valerie Bednarski

Valerie Bednarski

Position: Gallatin River Task Force; Big Sky, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Initiatives with Headwaters Alliance governance along the Gallatin and Madison
  • Projects related to the implementation of the Upper Gallatin Watershed Restoration Plan
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Valerie is from Southern California and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Marine Science.  She’s spent most of her time on the coast studying the air and sea, however, she decided to opt for a change in scenery by heading to the mountains of Montana to work with fresh water as a Big Sky Watershed Corps Member. She has researched in the turquoise water of Tahiti, the warm water of the Outer Banks, and the cool kelp forests off the California coast, and looks forward to adding the Gallatin River to the list.  Valerie makes the effort to give 100% in her work and relationships with others. She is honest, determined, ambitious, and genuine. In her free time she enjoys backpacking, scuba diving, snowboarding, and watching wildlife.

Zane Ashford

Zane Ashford

Position: Greater Gallatin Watershed Council; Bozeman, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Initiatives with Community Watershed Stewards Program
  • Establish and manage inventory of Gallatin Watershed Restoration Projects
  • Community outreach and education initiatives

Zane is originally from Upstate New York, but has made Montana her home for the past 5 years. She attended Montana State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Geospatial Analysis, along with a minor in English writing. During this time, Zane pursued research on stream restoration, invasive weeds and their relation to soil quality, and wetlands. These projects led to her strong passions for ecological restoration and conservation of Montana’s natural resources. Zane is excited to join the Greater Gallatin Watershed Council as its Big Sky Watershed Corps member for 2019. When she’s not working, you can find her skiing up at Bridger Bowl, hiking, climbing, or hanging out with her cat.

Kendra Allen

Kendra Allen

Position: Blackfeet Nation Fish and Wildlife & Center for Large Landscape Conservation; Browning, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Several watershed projects including a Healthy Watershed project within the tribe
  • Initiatives with the Blackfeet Aquatic Invasive Species program
  • Beaver related water initiatives with the Ksik Stakii Project

Growing up around the bountiful lakes of Minnesota, Kendra has been drawn to water from a young age. With the urge to travel, Kendra headed east to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning a BS in Environmental Science. While there, she took a semester abroad to live in a remote eco-village in Iceland studying sustainability through community, finishing up her degree a year early. When Kendra is not in the office, you can find her fishing, hiking, hunting, knitting, going to concerts, or anywhere that has cute dogs.

Claudia Macfarlane

Claudia Macfarlane

Ruby Valley Conservation District

Position: Ruby Valley CD; Sheridan, MT

TERM ENDEAVORS INCLUDE:

  • Assist with restoration projects, field collections, and monitoring
  • Manage social media campaigns on multiple platforms  
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and retention

Claudia is from California’s Central Valley and is excited to be back as a second year Big Sky Watershed Corps member, serving another term with the Ruby Valley Conservation District. She came to the program in 2018 from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Environmental Earth Science, a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies, and an enthusiasm for learning, ecology, and conservation.  She is excited to be able to continue living the small town Montana lifestyle and continue to be a part of the Sheridan community. Claudia loves Montana’s open spaces and stunning landscapes and in her free time, you can find her staring at nature, hunting for mushrooms, reading or cooking!

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