Staff | Introduction

Meet Our Staff



Who Keeps ACE Running?

Without the hard work and dedication of all our staff we wouldn’t be able to provide the incredible opportunities and continual support to our corps members, volunteers, and interns. ACE’s senior staff has over 100 years of combined experience in youth development, non-profit management, and in the development of extensive field skills. Get to know our fantastic team, read their individual biographies, or find out how to contact them below.

Staff | CEO and President


CEO

ACE President and CEO

Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker

CEO and President

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Christopher Baker founded ACE in August of 2003 after spending nearly 6 years leading and coordinating crews with the Coconino Rural Environment Corps, six months volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia (then called ATCV), and one year as Director of the Nevada Conservation Corps. Nearing the completion of his 18th year of conservation and youth development work, he continues to be inspired and amazed by the relentless dedication of volunteers and staff within our organization and among our dozens of agency sponsors.

Staff | Central Operations


CENOPS

Central Operations

Flagstaff Office:
2900 N. Fort Valley Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

 928-226-6960
 926-226-1549

Susie “Sooz” Jardine

Susie “Sooz” Jardine

Director of Communications and PR

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Susie, or “Sooz” as she is warmly referred to by her colleagues and friends, has been with American Conservation Experience since 2008. Susie started her journey in conservation as an administrator for a county-based conservation corps program based out of Flagstaff, AZ, where she worked within the AmeriCorps program for 3 years. Following that Susie transitioned into the private sector, working for a major banking institution, and then took some time to start a family. Susie was asked by her former colleague and ACE-founder Chris Baker, to join ACE and assist with administration and accounting. In 2010 Susie was able to use her previous AmeriCorps administration experience to help launch ACE’s AmeriCorps program as the National Program Coordinator. Susie has now transitioned to working on staff communications, social media management and marketing, alumni management and coordination of ACE’s nationwide operations. While not at work Susie loves traveling, pursuing her artistic interests, and creating culinary masterpieces but most of all spending as much time as possible doing anything in nature with her husband and their 3 beautiful children.
Tim England

Tim England

Director of Technology

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Tim grew up in central Iowa where he attended Drake University studying Journalism with an emphasis in Radio and Television Broadcast. After leaving Drake, he moved to Utah and began his career in Information Technology, working as a systems administrator for both small and large companies. In 1999, he moved to California where he worked for Apple, Cisco, and EFI, honing his IT skill set in areas such as interface development, web application development, and large-scale network deployment. In 2003, he decided to move back to Utah and work for one of the leading robotic research and development companies, SARCOS. AfterSARCOS was acquired by Raytheon in 2007, he continued to develop his IT skill set, working in systems administration, project management, system architecture, and system integration.

Tim currently holds a BS in Information Technology from Western Governors University, with an emphasis in Security, and is currently working on a MBA in Information Technology Management. His industry certifications include A+, Security+, Project+, CCNA Security, CISSP and MCITP. With over 15 years of technology experience, Tim comes to ACE looking to champion, promote and provide technologies and systems for ACE and its partners striving to conserve and enhance public lands and wildlife. Besides developing and refining new techniques, he is a staunch advocate for greater sharing of information and more consistent use of assessment and monitoring tools, so we can besure that the work we do actually benefits people and the environment.

Ben Pohl

Ben Pohl

Technology Support Specialist

Colin Geigrich

Colin Geigrich

National Safety Officer

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Colin moved to Flagstaff from Northern New Jersey in 2006 to continue his education and enjoy the abundant opportunities to play in the outdoors. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in the winter of 2008 Colin began working with ACE as a crew leader the following summer. Following several successful seasons of leading trail crews throughout Arizona and Utah he moved into the newly developed Safety Coordinator position where he now performs risk management and training duties for all of ACE’s programs. In addition to his regular duties, Colin is a Wilderness Medicine instructor and licensed contractor for ACE. When not at work Colin is an active climber, mountain biker, boater, and disc golfer.

Midge Fleishman

Midge Fleishman

Director of Finance

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ACE is proud to have Midge on the team as the Director of Finance. Previously, she spent 23 years with a Flagstaff-based commercial general contracting firm – managing all aspects of payroll, job cost tracking and financial management. From there she worked as a Project Manager for a local property management firm and successfully navigated the challenges of managing various tenant improvement projects on everything from historic residences to commercial warehouses.
When not at work, you can find Midge on the mountain skiing or kayaking down south as well as taking in live music shows and sporting events with her husband. They take great pride in their children’s accomplishments with son Jake earning his Civil Engineering degree and working with a local engineering firm in stream restoration while daughter Erin is completing her university degrees in social work and Spanish for International Service in the D.C. area. The whole family loves adding new stamps in their passports and have been to all continents except Antarctica & Africa! Fun fact – Midge loves penguins!

Janet Tongen

Janet Tongen

Accounts Receivable & Office Manager

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Janet Lee Tongen, joined our ACE Administrative team in the summer of 2011, bringing years of construction background in Accounting, Bookkeeping, purchasing and inventory control experience.

A Native of Flagstaff, Janet has raised 5 children, as well as teaching and coaching students of all ages.

In addition to Office work, Janet previously owned The Flagstaff School of Ballet, and is an avid outdoors woman along with her Husband, Adult children, and Grandchildren, and Dakota Rain – her baby dog.

Her favorite spot to relax and enjoy nature is Lake Powell. “The Beauty and Peace found on this Lake still takes my breath away even after 40+ years.” Often accused of being overly Chipper, Janet tries to be upbeat and helpful to anyone in need.

Elizabeth Lundahl

Elizabeth Lundahl

Accounts Payable Manager

Charisse Peterson

Charisse Peterson

Human Resource Manager

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Charisse brings years of experience in the Administrative field while working in the medical industry with private practices. She also has experience as a Regional Manager with skilled nursing facilities training bookkeepers in accounting, HR, Payroll.

Born in Iowa and grew up in the Midwest she relocated to Arizona to raise her 3 children and now has 1 grandchild. She has lived in Portland, Oregon the past few years and returned to Flagstaff to be back in the beautiful mountains in the pines. She loves to Hike and be outdoors whenever possible, camping and enjoys painting and crafts. She has two dogs – a Boxer and a Boston Terrier.

Greg Benson

Greg Benson

Payroll Manager

Tony Anderson

Tony Anderson

Operations/Accounting Specialist

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Outdoor pursuits have always been central to my experience – from hiking trips through the National Parks as a child, to living off the grid in a yurt in Washington state, I’ve always been very close to the land. The opportunity to work with ACE and promote the values of land stewardship I believe in is an opportunity I am very excited to pursue. I have a wonderful family – my wife Kaitlin is an extremely qualified sea kayaker, and my daughter, Emmy, is in training for all these activities. If you want to catch me when I’m not at work chances are I’ll be hitting the slopes in the cottonwood canyons, or looking for waves somewhere exotic, if I’m lucky.

Jessica Plance

Jessica Plance

Photojournalist

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Originally from rural upstate New York, Jessica grew up exploring the wilderness of the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains. During travels with her family her father began to show her how to use a camera which lead her to Rochester Institute of Technology to study photojournalism and environmental studies. During her time there she was constantly drawn to documenting stories about environmental issues and the people they affect. Jessica now works to tell the story of the American Conservation Experience by gathering images, video, and audio from projects across the nation. When Jessica isn’t in the field documenting various projects with ACE she enjoys exploring the National Parks of the southwest, scuba diving and listening to the stories of people she meets along the way.

Staff | EPIC

EPIC

National Internship Program / EPIC

Salt Lake City Office:
623 East 2100 South Suite #B1
Salt Lake City, Utah 84106

 801-946-5379
 866-604-9307

Shane Barrow

Shane Barrow

National Internship Director

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Shane Barrow completed his Bachelor of Arts in Geography and his Master of Science in Natural Resource Management, with an emphasis on environmental restoration from CSU Sacramento. With 18 years of land management experience, including 9 years of designing and implementing landscape level restoration projects and coordinating community volunteer groups as an employee of the Bureau of Land Management in California, Shane believes that conservation is a human endeavor and that service to others through the environment is one of the best ways to inspire both the young and experienced.  Prior to becoming the ACE National Internship Director in 2011, Shane worked on a multitude of restoration and natural resources projects and programs with the Bureau of Land Management California.  During his nine years with BLM California, Shane worked as an Outdoor Recreation Planner, Natural Resource Specialist, NEPA Coordinator, and Assistant Program Manager for the Atwell Island Project.  Shane then went on to work for two publicly focused land trusts including the Catalina Island Conservancy as the Catalina Habitat Improvement and Restoration Program  Manager and the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust where he continued to develop programs addressing various resource management issues. Shane is passionate about getting young recent graduates into the outdoors and developing multi-levels of professional development opportunities in resource management for the emerging generation of resource managers.

Annie Meltzer

Annie Meltzer

Federal Grants and Finance Manager

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Annie joined the ACE team in February 2016 as the Federal Grants and Finance Manager. She draws upon her grants management experience from National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration and grant writing experience from graduate school at the University of Tennessee. Her international fieldwork experience in environmental geography sparked a passion for conservation of National Parks and public lands. On the weekends, you can usually find her on a ski lift or a bike trail.

James Lynn

James Lynn

Logistics and Operations Specialist

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James joined the American Conservation Experience EPIC team in November 2014 as an Administrative and Office Assistant where he is great asset to the team with his conservation and technology background. He now supports the office as the Logistic and Operations Specialist. James began his tenure with ACE as a OHV Trail Technician Intern with BLM where he designed and implemented strategies to maintain OHV trails. He then worked as a Backcountry Wilderness Trail team member in the high sierras building and maintaining wilderness trails. On top of working full time, James is finishing up a degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on structures. With the little free time he does have he enjoys playing Xbox, cinema, and attending comic con.

Kevin Sloan

Kevin Sloan

National Program Manager USFWS

Peter Woodruff

Peter Woodruff

National Program Manager
NPS

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As the National Program Manager for ACE EPIC Nat’l Park Service partnerships, Peter oversees all aspects of project logistics, budget management, recruiting and selecting talented candidates, counseling professional development, and maintaining relationships with ACE’s many amazing agency partners.

Peter brings a host of conservation experiences from the field including backcountry patrol in the Brooks Range and Yukon River of Alaska (NPS); resource management as an AmeriCorps member in coastal Massachusetts (DNR, Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore, and non-profit land trusts); wildlife monitoring in the Sierras (Sequoia National Forest, USFS); and vegetation dynamics research in Chobe Nat’l Park, Botswana. When he’s not rubbing elbows with awesome EPIC Interns/Fellows and NPS or Refuge staff, Peter can be found running or backcountry skiing in the Wasatch, or enjoying SLC.

Kelly Barrett

Kelly Barrett

National Program Manager
BLM

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Kelly joined the ACE team in March as the National Programs Manager. Kelly manages our Bureau of Land Management and US Forestry Service partnership programs. Kelly comes to ACE with a background in National Service and environmental stewardship. Kelly has served 2 terms in AmeriCorps NCCC, VISTA, and worked on a conservation crew for 5 months in Southeast Alaska. With her BS in Criminology, Kelly began her career by introducing/exposing youth to outdoor opportunities through camps and various programs. Kelly discovered her passion for environmental stewardship while removing invasive species in Wisconsin. With ACE, she gets to combine her appreciation for public lands and its resources, with her career. When not working, Kelly can be found exploring new regions, camping, hiking, and/or off-roading.

George Grygar

George Grygar

National Program Manager
USFS & AmeriCorps

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George joined ACE in 2017 as an AmeriCorps and US Forest Service Program Manager. Prior to joining ACE, George spent 10 years working with non-profits in various capacities, including leading trail crews along the Pacific Crest Trail and in the Central Wasatch, coordinating individually placed environmental interns in the northwest, guiding youth leadership development as far as Peru, and even stacking books at the local library. Most recently, George ran operations for a local non-profit which works closely with land management organizations to fill the needed void in stewardship and education programs in the extremely busy Cottonwood Canyons of Salt Lake City. Perhaps more interesting than his work experience, George can often be found exploring on foot or by boat, and enjoys reminiscing of adventures gone awry, or of his 11-month residency in a tree house in Southern Washington.

Melissa Early

Melissa Early

National EPIC Recruitment Specialist

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Melissa joined the ACE team in January 2017, coming from nine years in the field as a seasonal ranger in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. After graduating from Sewanee: University of the South with a degree in Environmental Policy, Melissa discovered her love of Western wild lands, watersheds, and wildlife while an Interpreter at Mount Rainier National Park. During graduate school at the University of Montana in Missoula, Melissa researched ranchers and farmers who are “predator friendly,” and utilizing diverse methods to co-exist with wolves, bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and more. After graduating with a M.S. in Resource Conservation in 2012, Melissa spent five more years working as a backcountry Wilderness ranger in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She is continuously fascinated by the interdependence of the GYE’s Whitebark Pines, grizzlies, cutthroat trout, elk, and sage grouse. Melissa spends nearly all her free time on public lands: hiking, backpacking, fly-fishing old rivers and exploring alpine lakes, hot-springing, skiing, and wildcrafting!

Zoë Moskwa

Zoë Moskwa

National EPIC Recruitment Specialist

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Zoë joined the ACE team in January as a Recruitment Specialist where she assists in recruiting talented young people ACE EPIC’s National Park Service programs throughout the country. Zoë has a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI and is a New Hampshire native. After college, she completed a term in AmeriCorps working on a USDA Organic vegetable farm and teaching nutrition and environmental education in Belfair, Washington. Zoë also comes to ACE with years of experience as the Outreach/Education Coordinator for Salve Regina University’s Hydroponic Lab. In addition, she interned with the Rhode Island Audubon Society, and was a summer Research Technician with New England Water Resources Network studying macro-invertebrates and water quality. Zoë brings to ACE her deep-rooted passion for environmental education, sustainability, and conservation of our public lands and remaining wild spaces. When not at work, Zoë can be found exploring our National Parks, planning her next road trip, or hanging out at a local coffee shop.

Staff | Conservation Corps National Headquarters


InterMountain

ACE Conservation Corps
National Headquarters

Flagstaff Office:
2900 N. Fort Valley Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
 928.226.6960
 928.226.1549

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts

National Director

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Matt’s arrival with ACE in the summer of 2004 provided just the influx of scientific knowledge, management experience, and boundless energy ACE needed to thrive through our early years of growth. Matt has a PhD in Fish Immunology from the University of Keele, UK, and drives himself to gain extensive technical expertise in dry stone masonry, sustainable trails design, and mechanical trail construction. In nearly 9 years with ACE, Matt has provided leadership, guidance, and advice to thousands of participants in ACE, always promoting the message of quality and professionalism as the foundation of our program. Matt serves as the Director of ACE Arizona.

Brad Hunter

Brad Hunter

National AmeriCorps Program Manager

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Hailing from the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Brad has been working in and with National Service programs since beginning his post-collegiate career. After completing his final AmeriCorps*VISTA term, with the Maine Commission for Community Service, Brad leapt at the opportunity to move to the Southwest and has been working with ACE since 2012, where he has found a natural fit managing ACE Arizona’s growing AmeriCorps programs. As a multisport enthusiast he spends his free time training on and exploring the limitless trails in the Flagstaff area, and is always down to watch a sweet science fiction show.

Jeff Bousson

Jeff Bousson

Development Director

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Jeff began his career in environmental stewardship and sustainability as an ACE AmeriCorps member in January, 2010. Since then, Jeff has worked up the ACE ladder by serving as Field Crew Leader, Outreach Coordinator, Grant Writer, and the Director of ACE Utah. In late 2015, Jeff graduated with his Master’s degree in Climate Science and Solutions from Northern Arizona University. Jeff recently returned from Patagonia, Argentina, where he produced a scientific manuscript communicating the impacts of land management practices on the local biodiversity and soil carbon content. Jeff now works alongside the National ACE Crew Program to develop new and existing programs as well as the future generation of conservation leaders.

Mark Loseth

Mark Loseth

National Trails Coordinator

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Mark came to ACE in 2011 as the winner of a nationwide search for a trainer with multipe years of technical trails experience with land management agencies. Mark spent 4 years learning dry stone manonry and trail construction technique with the US Forest Service in Lake Tahoe, 4 more years leading Youth Conservation Corps crews and refining rock working skills as a member of the trail crews at Grand Tetons National Park and Saguaro National Park, and participated in a trail crew exchange with the Argentina Park Service.

Hannah Wendel

Hannah Wendel

Director of Youth Programming

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Hannah is responsible for all pre–program training, intern support and professional development mentoring, and assuring relevant and high quality candidates are selected for ACE internships. After completion of her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Environmental Studies and Spanish from the University of Oregon, Hannah has worked in education, interpretation, and public outreach with the National Park Service and non-profit park partners at Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Bureau of Land Management, leading and developing formal and informal education and service-learning programs for k-12 youth, volunteers, and visitors, including developing inquiry-based and multi-cultural program curriculum and activities for a variety of programs and collaborating with the public and creating partnerships with local schools and community groups to increase program productivity, specifically engaging underserved youth. While working as the ACE Youth Coordinator Fellow for the BLM Arizona, Hannah managed the BLM Phoenix District Youth Initiative program that created academic and career pathways in natural resources for urban youth in underserved communities. In 2012, Hannah helped lead the BLM Phoenix District Youth Initiative in receiving the prestigious Secretary of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award.  Hannah is passionate about inspiring and mentoring youth to become strong leaders within their environments and their communities through internships that integrate education and career experience. When not in the office, Hannah can be found hiking and exploring the beautiful Utah Mountains and deserts with her dog.

Ian Torrence

Ian Torrence

National Restoration Director

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Ian rejoins the ACE family after a brief stint with the organization in 2006. He now fills the role of National Restoration Director.

While acquiring his B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College (PA), he spent his summers serving as a Student Conservation Association Backcountry Resource Assistant at Shenandoah National Park. Following graduation, Ian spent 10 more years fulfilling various restoration roles for the National Park Service including lead supervisor for the Lake Mead Exotic Plant Management Team, Vegetation Manager for the Southeast Utah Group and as a wildland firefighting sawyer at Grand Teton National Park.

Ian is well known in the trail and ultrarunning community having now finished more than 200 ultras, 27 of which were 100-mile races. In all, Ian has won 53 ultramarathons. Some of his wins include the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run twice and the Superior Trail 100 Mile Run. He’s a two-time, top-ten finisher at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. He’s finished the JFK 50 Mile Run 22 times, placing as high as second twice. He was part of a four-person team that won and set a course record at the Oxfam Hong Kong Trailwalker 100K in 2001. In 2002, he completed the Grand Slam of Ultramarathons by finishing Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, Vermont 100 Mile, Leadville Trail 100 Mile, and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile in a single summer.

What’s more, Ian is also an ultrarunning coach, shares Arizona Trail Steward duties for Sections 35B and 36A with his wife, Emily, and race directs Flagstaff’s only 100-mile running event — the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 Mile/55K/Relays.

Staff | Southwest


AZ

ACE Conservation Corps
Southwest (Arizona)

Flagstaff Office:
2900 N. Fort Valley Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
 928.226.6960
 928.226.1549

Jordan Rolfe

Jordan Rolfe

Director of ACE Arizona

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Originally from Lincoln, England, Jordan joined American Conservation Experience as a corps member in 2006. His love for conservation and his specialty working on fencing projects brought him back in the spring of 2007 as a crew leader. He has been an integral part of the ACE Arizona management team, beginning his management role in 2010. In 2014 Jordan made the leap to Director, overseeing the operations of our entire Arizona program. In his off time Jordan is an avid hiker, rugby enthusiast and book worm and enjoys spending time exploring the beautiful landscapes of Northern Arizona with his wife, Kristina.

A.J. Conrad

A.J. Conrad

Associate Director

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Originally from Wisconsin, A.J. is a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan and outdoor enthusiast. His childhood was spent exploring the many lakes and forests of northern Wisconsin and Michigan, which is where his love of nature began. His excitement for conservation grew in college while on a research trip to Bhutan, where he was able to study the impacts of forest encroachment on rural farmers. After graduating from UW-Madison with a degree in Biological Anthropology, he had no idea what was next for him. He took a chance and chose to serve as an AmeriCorps Member with a conservation Corps in Massachusetts, which was one of the best decisions he ever made. Upon coming to Flagstaff, AZ he has worked to support ACE’s Corps Members and provide them with the exciting and formative experiences he was lucky enough to have during his AmeriCorps term. In his free time A.J. enjoys golfing, photography, traveling, and perfecting his secret smoked ribs recipe.

Keean Ruane

Keean Ruane

Trails Trainer and Coordinator

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Keean began working for American Conservation Experience (ACE) in 2010 as a Forestry Intern and then went through the 900 hour AmeriCorps position the following year. Upon his AmeriCorps graduation he began leading crews building trails, logging out trails and removing invasive species among other things. He found his niche in trails over the 2 years he spent leading crews and moved into the Trails Trainer position in May of 2014. When Keean isn’t building, repairing and envisioning trails he spends his time playing music and singing as well as enjoying some good competitive ping-pong and billiards.

Dan McLendon

Dan McLendon

Texas Restoration Project Manager

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Dan graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Physical Geography, and he has been with the National Park Service for 4 years working as a Biological-Science Technician prior to starting with ACE. He worked a year with The Blue Ridge Parkway, Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California, and three years with Lake Mead National Recreational Area. Within his time with the NPS, he had the pleasure of working restoration assignments in over 20 National Parks, Forests and other public lands including BLM, Wildlife Refuges, and County and State parks. He is also a licensed Arborist and pretty handy with a chainsaw.

He looks forward continuing my career as a humbled steward of the land and doing everything he can to support my fellow crew members become knowledgeable, safe and successful professionals not only in restoration ecology, but in conservation as well.

Dana Howard

Dana Howard

AmeriCorps Program Manager

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Dana’s love of nature stems from spending her childhood camping with her family and exploring the Phoenix Zoo where her mom worked. She first moved to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University and has lived there on and off over the last 15 years with breaks to England, Turkey, Malta, and Portland, OR. Dana is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Conservation Biology through the Miami University of Ohio, and her prior experience in the environmental field includes work at City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program, the Arboretum at Flagstaff, and the Arizona Museum of Natural History. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, bicycling, reading, and going on hikes with her pup Baxter.

Claire Smith

Claire Smith

Member Support Coordinator

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Claire grew up in Minnesota, where she first developed an appreciation for the outdoors during summers canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. After various travel and work experiences including an AmeriCorps term in New York City; a NOLS program in Arizona and British Colombia; college in various places including Quito, Ecuador and Bilbao, Spain; driving a city bus in Amherst, Massachusetts; and leading canoe trips in Wisconsin; she found her way to ACE Flagstaff as a corps member in 2015. She found ACE helped her develop her love of the outdoors into a passion for conservation work. After spending the following two summers on a salmon fish tending vessel in Valdez, Alaska, she is excited to get back to conservation work as part of the ACE team. In her free time she likes to watch hockey, play outside, and knit.
Christian Bopp

Christian Bopp

Field Operations Manager

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Christian graduated in 2015 from the University of Wyoming with a double major in Wildlife Biology and Environment & Natural Resources and a minor in Spanish. When not in school, Christian enjoyed summers with the Wyoming Conservation Corps leading crews, tracking lions in Kenya for his thesis, and wildland firefighting throughout the West. Luckily for Christian he was never eaten by any lions and he can now enjoy passing on his skills to future conservation superheroes who are pursuing their passions with ACE.

Ben Richard

Ben Richard

Southwest Restoration Project Manager

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Ben is originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he grew up a proud New Englander. He obtained a B.S. in Marine Science while minoring in Environmental Science from Coastal Carolina University. His love for all outdoor activities brought him to ACE in March of 2016. His passion for Conservation grew while becoming a crew leader and now in his current role as Southwest Restoration Project Manager. In his off time, Ben enjoys playing ice hockey, disc golfing, hiking, and traveling.

Jimmy Gregson

Jimmy Gregson

Conservation Trainer & Coordinator

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Jimmy first joined ACE as a volunteer in 2011. After catching the Conservation bug, Jimmy went back to School and graduated with an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation. Jimmy worked on numerous conservation projects in the UK, Indonesia and Australia as well as leading ACE crews in 2014-15 developing a passion for Trail work and dry-stone masonry, before moving into the role of Conservation Trainer & Coordinator in 2016. In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys exploring the Southwest, hiking, playing pool and trying not to fall off his mountain bike.

Kelsee Taylor

Kelsee Taylor

Southwest Restoration Project Manager

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Kelsee is originally from Prescott, AZ. She obtained a B.A. in environmental science with a minor in humanities from Prescott College. She began as a corps member in 2012 and worked her way up as a crew lead and found her passion in restoration work, leading to her current role as the southwest restoration project manager. When not at work she enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, and crafting.

Staff | Pacific West

CA

ACE Conservation Corps
Pacific West (California)

Santa Cruz Office:
328 Ingalls Street, Suite B
Santa Cruz CA 95060

 831.427.1091
 831.427.1047

Sarah Miggins

Sarah Miggins

Director of ACE California

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Sarah finds time in nature both energizing and healing and that is why she chose to serve in this arena. She knew early on that she wanted to work alongside fellow nature enthusiasts and introduce her experiences to those that have not realized the benefits of the outdoors. Sarah’s priorities include continuing to increase ACE’s impact, and for her that means both increasing the numbers of young people engaged and enhancing the depth of their experience – which affects both the people and the landscape. Prior to her position at ACE, Sarah spent two decades working in Southern California for organizations that actively involve volunteers and corps members in caring for public lands through innovative programming and conservation services. Sarah holds a Master of Management from the University of Redlands and a Baccalaureate of Science in Geography and Environmental Studies from Ohio University.

Eric Robertson

Eric Robertson

Director of Operations

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Eric began volunteering with ACE California and quickly moved into field leadership roles within the California branch. Stationed in Bishop, CA during the summer of 2014, Eric functioned as the Regional Project Manager of the Inyo National Forest, where he coordinated and oversaw logistics of many Eastern Sierra based ACE crews. As the Director of Operations, Eric now works out of the Santa Cruz ACE office and is often found sipping tea and mentoring ACE members. Before finding ACE, Eric’s occupation was an Artistic Consultant living in Madison, WI where he was employed by a commercial art firm after finishing his degree. During his free time Eric takes interest in all things outdoors, but most times is cycling, fishing, or rock climbing.

Carolyn Getschow

Carolyn Getschow

AmeriCorps Program Coordinator

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Carolyn started as an intern with ACE in July 2013, and began her current role as AmeriCorps Program Manager for ACE California in February 2014. Though never an AmeriCorps member herself, Carolyn has a passion for volunteerism – She is a lifetime Girl Scout, a volunteer Exhibit Guide at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and a helping hand at various community events around Santa Cruz. Carolyn brings previous admin experience from her time as a Library Security Supervisor at the University of Southern California, where she trained, scheduled, and managed a team of forty student workers, and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Biology and Mathematics. Her passion for environmental conservation stems from her SCUBA diving experience during a semester at Wrigley Marine Institute on Catalina Island, as well as from two long-distance bike tours spanning several weeks in September 2012 and May 2013. Originally from Ohio, she considers herself a native Californian at heart, and hopes to remain in Santa Cruz and perhaps pursue a graduate degree at UCSC.

David Jones

David Jones

Logistics Coordinator

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David began working with ACE in early 2014 and came from working several years in administration with UC Santa Cruz recreation, sports and environmental sustainability programs. His educational background is in holistic health and human performance. Born in San Francisco, he grew up in northern Arizona & Texas and has lived in Santa Cruz since 1997. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, barbecuing and many other outdoor activities. He also has a crazy cat named Roy.

Patrick Parsel

Patrick Parsel

National Trails Trainer

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After graduating from UC Davis in 2009, Patrick joined the first ever ACE AmeriCorps cohort in Flagstaff. He quickly developed a passion for trail work and especially drystone masonry while working in the backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park. Patrick then moved into a leadership role, leading ACE crews in Lake Tahoe, Grand Canyon NP, Zion NP, and Coronado NF. Between stints working for the US Forest Service in Lake Tahoe and Joshua Tree NP, Patrick was ACE California’s Director of Operations. He has recently moved into his current position as a National Trails Trainer, where he enjoys teaching trail skills to ACE corpsmembers. In his free time you will find him trail running, surfing and rock climbing.

Marcel Coppolino

Marcel Coppolino

International Volunteer and California Outreach Coordinator

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Marcel began with ACE California in May of 2010 as the Volunteer and Logistics Coordinator. After serving in the Peace Corps for two years, he found ACE via the networking assistance presented to exiting volunteers completing service and returning home. Marcel now use the same website and many others to spread awareness of ACE. Using his three years of experience supporting crews based out of Santa Cruz, he now focus solely on the generation of new applicants to the volunteer and AmeriCorps programs. Marcel works closely with the operations staff in CA when not traveling around the state to career fairs and other events.

Dennis Frenier

Dennis Frenier

ACE CA Restoration Coordinator and Trainer

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Dennis came to ACE as a volunteer in early 2014 and quickly moved into leadership roles around California.During chainsaw training he knew that that was his concentration and dedicated his time to getting to know the ins and outs of the little devils. Prior to coming to California, he graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 while studying English, architecture, and film. If you see him in his free time he’ll probably be getting dirty while creating spaces.

Travis Reid

Travis Reid

Project Manager

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Travis joined the ACE team in the spring of 2017 to serve as project manager for the Sinkyone Wilderness trail building project. Travis joined ACE with a diverse background in conservation ranging from trails work with the Forest Service and volunteer work with Colorado’s Division of Parks and Wildlife, to managing fuels reduction, fire mitigation, and beetle kill forestry projects across the southwest. Hoping to turn his passion for conservation into a career, Travis recently returned to school and received a Master’s in Conservation Leadership from Colorado State University. He looks forward to continue working with ACE as a project manager and is excited to work alongside others who share his passion for the natural world.

Staff | Southeast


SE

ACE Conservation Corps
Southeast (North Carolina)

Asheville Office:
127 Fletcher Commercial Drive
Fletcher, North Carolina 28732

Adam Scherm

Adam Scherm

North Carolina Director

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Adam Scherm graduated with a Degree in Zoology and a minor in Spanish at Oklahoma State University. After college, Adam served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama focusing on environmental conservation from 2006-2008. That experience led him to apply for a job as an Assistant Crew Leader with ACE. After several months, he began leading crews on public lands all over the Southwest. In 2013, He assumed the role of Trails Trainer and Coordinator for the Arizona office. He managed the trails projects as well as trained crew leaders and corps members in technical rock work, rigging, trail maintenance, and layout. Adam is currently the Director of ACE’s Southeastern branch in Asheville, North Carolina which supports and manages 40 youth in conservation activities and is working with 6 different Land Management Agencies and non-profits.

Sean Reckert

Sean Reckert

Logistics Coordinator

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Sean graduated from Warren Wilson College with a degree in Environmental Policy.  While attending school, he worked as a climbing guide and spent much of his time enjoying the outdoor opportunities that the Southeast has to offer. In the summer of 2016, Sean joined ACE as an Americorps Member. Once his term was up, he took on more responsibilities behind the scenes leading him to the position of Logistics Coordinator.

Joshua Burt

Joshua Burt

Field Operations Manager

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Joshua Burt began his conservation career in 2002 working as a conservation intern with the Student Conservation Association. Following that experience, he taught outdoor education in his home state of Ohio and continued leading trail crews for SCA in the summer. In 2005, Josh moved to China and taught English in Shandong province, but continued to return in the summer to lead trail crews. In 2007, he returned to the states more permanently and began working in various staff positions for Southwest Conservation corps. In 2011, he became the trail crew leader in Deep Creek District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and there learned about ACE. He joined ACE as the Operations Manager of the North Carolina office in 2014.

Krishun Karau

Krishun Karau

Operations Coordinator

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Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Krishun finds herself at home in the woods and around the water. It was in Wisconsin where she got her degree in natural resources management with an emphasis in wildlife ecology. Upon graduation, Krishun spent time working outdoors on both coasts. In the low country of South Carolina, she was a Naturalist intern assisting with sea turtle surveys and teaching others about coastal ecology. In the California Bay area, she worked at an environmental non-profit as a habitat restoration technician battling invasives and and planting native species. In 2015 she heard the Blue Ridge mountains calling; She joined ACE as an Americorps member and was quickly promoted to Crew leader. After 2 rewarding years leading crews she is happy to lend mentorship and guidance to multiple crews throughout the east as Operations Coordinator.

Mike Santiago

Mike Santiago

Ecological Restoration Manager

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Mike came to ACE in February of 2010 after 5 years working in Manhattan with several financial firms. He decided to begin his pursuit of a career in conservation by joining ACE as an unpaid volunteer. After spending late winter and early spring volunteering, Mike was given an AmeriCorps position at the end of April, 2010. By early July, Mike was helping to lead vegetation crews at the Grand Canyon along with several other sites throughout the southwest. At the beginning of 2011, Mike took over the position of Field Operations Coordinator. This position involved various duties to ensure that each ACE crew was prepared for their projects in the field. Its major focus became restoration projects based out of ACE’s Arizona office. Mike also began to handle many of ACE’s contracts and cooperative agreements.

Nell McCallum

Nell McCallum

Logistics Coordinator

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Nell has a BA and a Master’s Degree in Geography from the University of Arizona, which she attended from 2004-2009 and 2011-2013. In 2009 and 2010, She worked as a second language English teacher in France for a year and did a yearlong AmeriCorps term of service with Tucson Village Farm, an agriculture and nutrition education site in Tucson, AZ. She also led an SCA High School crew in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After moving to North Carolina in 2013, she worked for Great Smoky Mountains National Park on their Vegetation Management Crew as a forestry technician and as an Adjunct Lecturer at Western Carolina University in the department of Geosciences and Natural Resources. She started with ACE in 2016, where she oversees AmeriCorps compliance and food packing.

Bethany Coury

Bethany Coury

Recruitment Specialist

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Bethany grew up in the Midwest and studied Communications in college. After graduation, she chanced upon an opportunity to aid in disaster relief efforts, through an AmeriCorps NCCC program. She loved working with a team of people and lending a hand to affected communities. After her term, she left to teach English in Thailand for about a year. She had great fun exploring the new country and is looking forward to exploring the Southwest. Bethany enjoys running, lifting, exploring and climbing mountains!

Staff | Mountain West

UTAH

ACE Conservation Corps
Mountain West (Utah)

St George Office:
376 Sunland Drive, Suite 3A
St. George, Utah 84737

 801.367.7628

Jake Powell

Jake Powell

Director, ACE Utah

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I was born and raised in Utah and was heavily influenced by the trails, camping areas, and recreational opportunities of the Wasatch Mountains. I love anything that lets me be in or next to water, especially if it involves a boat. I also love hiking, biking, and downhill skiing. I especially love doing these hobbies with my awesome wife and kids!

I have always wanted a career that let me actively influence the natural world for good. As a preparation for this type of career I studied landscape architecture and environmental planning as well as watershed science at Utah State University and started my career planning and designing ski resorts. I decided to go back to graduate school at Penn State and continued to study landscape architecture, but focused on my real loves, recreational space design and watershed planning and restoration.

I come to ACE after acting as the Upper Weber Watershed Coordinator. While in the position I was in charge of implementing plans and projects that improved the water quality of the headwaters of the Weber River. This task included designing and implementing stream restoration projects, watershed planning, agricultural improvement projects, developing and administering grants, and coordinating the efforts of local governments, agencies, citizens, and watershed committees.

I joined ACE to continue the noble task of being stewards of our natural landscape, to get dirty, and change the world in a real and lasting way. I am constantly in awe of the great work, dedicated staff, and hard work of crew members throughout the ACE family. I am honored to be part of this great team and excited to be involved in building project partner relations and growing and expanding project opportunities within ACE Utah.

Allie Devor

Allie Devor

Senior Crew Supervisor

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Seeking a bit of adventure, as well as an escape from the bitter Illinois winters, Allie began her career in ACE as a three-month volunteer with ACE Flagstaff in February 2014. Upon returning to Illinois for the summer, she quickly realized that what began as an adventure had become a passion. Allie joined ACE Flagstaff for a second time in August 2014 as a six month AmeriCorp member. She knew she didn’t want to move back to Illinois again, so with some hard work and guidance she was able to earn a crew leading position. Allie led crews for ACE Flagstaff until May 2016, when she thought it was time to move on and tackle The Last Frontier. After a summer running chainsaws in Alaska, she realized once again that leaving ACE was a mistake. Allie is excited to be in a position where she can continue to mentor and develop AmeriCorp members and the next generation of ACE leaders. She insists she has learned her lesson this time and vows to never leave ACE again.

Kip Valesano

Kip Valesano

Field Operations Manager

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Kip began his conservation career January 2007, as a supposedly brief respite from his grueling degree in “undeclared” and hasn’t returned from the woods since. He has spent the ensuing years working/leading/cooking for crews of various conservation corps and National Park trail programs. He prefers to travel and recreate outdoors but must admit that their are some benefits to this desk job he has secured with ACE. He looks forward to trying to feed every corps-member better then the week before and to wrestling with the paperwork beast on their behalf so that they may never have to stare into its beady hungry eyes…

Michael Pietak

Michael Pietak

ACE Utah Logistics Coordinator

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Michael grew up in a small town on Lake Ontario, just north of Buffalo, New York. He has a great love for the outdoors, especially hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, and skiing. Michael is a recent graduate of George Mason University in Virginia, where he studied Conflict Analysis and Resolution and had a minor in Environmental Science. While living in Virginia, Michael worked at a local outfitter and discovered that his love of the outdoors was something he wanted to pursue not only in his personal life, but also in his professional. After school Michael worked as a Research Assistant with the Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program, where he did extensive research into the relationship between environmental degradation and community health as well as helped with events planning and promotion of a clean energy economy. He then set his eyes on Utah, a place he has always loved to visit for its incredible outdoor recreation opportunities. As the ACE Utah Logistics Coordinator, Michael is enjoying the opportunity to be a part of direct conservation and improve the opportunities for others to get out and share in his own passion for the outdoors.

Board of Directors


Board

ACE Board of Directors


 

ACE is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors representing a diverse range of conservation, education, and business specializations:

James Allen: Professor and Executive Director of the School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University. Board member since 2008.
Brad Bippus: Founder and Owner of Arizona Irrigation & Maintenance. Board member since 2006.
Gordon (Boz) Bosworth: New Board member as of January 2013.
Charlie De La Rosa: Graduate student, Ph.D. program in Conservation Biology at UCLA. Former operations supervisor, invasive plants program, Catalina Habitat Improvement Restoration Program. New Board member as of January 2013.
Pamela Foti: Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation, Northern Arizona University. Board member since 2009.
Patsy Kraeger: Professor at Georgia Southern University in the Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies. She teaches public and nonprofit management in the Masters of Public Administration program. She holds a PhD in Public Administration from Arizona State University. Board Member since 2010.
Shayne Miller: Business Banking Specialist, US Bank, Salt Lake City, UT. New Board member as of January 2013.

 

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