After receiving a B.S. in Chemistry from Central Michigan University, and deciding I did not want to work in a lab, I have been in the world of trails and conservation for most of my 20s. I have had the pleasure of working all over the southwest from the Sierras to the Rockies. I love being able to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, which is why I enjoy putting in the work to help keep wild spaces well maintained and accessible to future generations. Hobbies in my free time include: hiking, yoga, climbing, playing music or enjoying a good book.
Ben’s love for the outdoors and recreating began while working in Glacier National Park. He’s traveled all over the world, trekking to the Himalayas, backpacking in the Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park in New Zealand, and big wall climbing in Spain. Ben wanted to develop a career that would allow him to be outdoors every day, which led him to conservation work. Over the past four years, Ben’s passion for conservation work has grown. As a project leader and crew leader, Ben has worked for several different conservation corps in Montana, Arizona and Idaho. When he’s not working on conservation projects, Ben is climbing, hiking, backcountry skiing and canyoneering.
Michael joined ACE in 2014 and after completing a 900-hour Americorps term he went on to lead crews in Hurricane, Utah. Wanting to expand his knowledge of conservation and restoration, Michael then attended Utah State University where he completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Forest Ecology and Management. At USU Michael also worked as a dendrochronologist and a timber cruiser in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache and Bridger-Teton National Forests. After completing his degree Michael then moved to North Carolina where he currently lives on a nice parcel of land with his partner. In his free time Michael likes to build things, play soccer, or read.
Allie was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, deciding to attend undergrad close to home, she graduated from Kenyon College in 2018 with a B.A. in International Studies: Global Environment, a minor in Biology, and a concentration in Environmental Studies. Shortly after finishing undergrad she moved to Nashville, TN to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with a local environmental nonprofit. Having gained great experience from her service and unlocking her passion for education, she chose to move out west to Seattle, WA to attend grad school at the University of Washington’s IslandWood Residency. When COVID-19 hit in early 2020 she was presented with the opportunity to assist Colorado by helping to recruit and manage AmeriCorps members in their Covid-19 Containment Response Corps. Having recently graduated from the University of Washington with her Master’s in Education, Allie chose to join the ACE team as a Member Support Coordinator in their Sacramento, CA office serving under their Pacific West division. When not at work Allie enjoys hiking, reading, gardening, cooking, and anything that allows her to get outside!
I was born and raised in Washington where I grew up spending most of my time in the outdoors. I was fortunate enough to have access to the vast public lands of Washington, where I had endless opportunities to surf, fish, hike, and explore in the wide range of ecosystems that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Grady has been doing seasonal natural resource management since 2015 or so. His travels have sent him everywhere from Ohio to Alaska…twice. He is a self-proclaimed highlands river pirate who specializes in invasive plant management as well as a variety of tree work categories. His experiences have seen him go from backpacking herbicide to flying a 55’ bucket truck trimming palm trees to canyoneering with a chainsaw clearing trees off the sides of cliffs in Alaska. Whenever he isn’t hanging precariously off cliffs wielding chainsaws, he enjoys studying pirate history, cooking delicious meals, and woodworking. If you come across him in his natural habitat, he can be positively identified by his fantastic facial hair, brightly colored clothing, and generally cheerful demeanor. Some sightings have noted his fashionable kilt attire, but this has yet to be professionally verified.
Danielle joined ACE in 2021 as one of two EPIC – FWS Division Fellows. She will serve a one year term in this new internal fellowship intended to provide young professionals with a broad range of experience and career development opportunities. Since graduating from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Danielle has worked in the nonprofit, academic, federal, and consulting sectors, primarily in avian research and wildlife monitoring. Outside of work she enjoys bike touring, paddle boarding, camping, and baking.
Ian serves as ACE’s National Restoration Director. He leads the organization’s invasive, noxious plant control and restoration programs. He trains crew leaders and AmeriCorps crew members in conservation work skills, basic environmental education and restoration skills. His efforts focus on assisting division managers, project managers, crew leaders and corps members in project preparations and providing support as needed to develop safe and successful restoration projects and oversees restoration crews while assisting in logistical/project coordination, pesticide application, quality control, safety compliance and equipment maintenance for ACE crews.
Ian has more than 15 years of experience in natural resource management and river and riparian restoration in the west and southwest United States. Ian has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Allegheny College (PA) and is an Arizona State Pesticide Qualified Applicator and chain saw US Forest Service certified B Faller.
Ian has spent 10+ years fulfilling various restoration roles for the National Park Service including lead supervisor for the Lake Mead Invasive Plant Management Team, Vegetation Manager for the Southeast Utah Group, and as a wildland firefighter at Grand Teton National Park.
Julia Parish is the Pacific West Restoration Specialist within the Solutions program of the national non-profit organization – American Conservation Experience. She studied at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, focusing on tropical ecology and island biogeography. Upon graduation, she became an AmeriCorps volunteer field technician with the Oahu Invasive Species Committee. This year-long service experience solidified her passion of providing service opportunities for youth in the non-profit natural resource management sector. For the past decade, she has worked throughout the Pacific region conducting restoration practices focused on invasive species control, wildlife monitoring, and cultivating new generations of environmental stewards. While working as a Plant Conservation Manager with the Catalina Island Conservancy, Julia supervised several seasons of American Conservation Experience CREW and EPIC members. ACE members worked on major restoration projects from felling hazard trees, removing dense stands of Arundo, and surveying hundreds of acres of steep terrain for invasive broom species. These members inspired her to join the ACE team! Julia feels most at home when controlling acres of invasive plants under a sky full of seabirds.
Carl joined ACE as the National Forestry Specialist in November of 2017. As a 15-year career wildland firefighter for both federal and local fire agencies and an active US Forest Service C Faller, Carl has an extensive background in wildfire suppression, prescribed fire operations, hazardous fuels mitigation, firewise assessments, hazard tree mitigation, chainsaw training and sawyer evaluations.
The great outdoors has always been an important part of Carl’s life having started camping and hiking from an early age at many of our National Forests and Parks. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping and listening to live music with his wife and son. Carl is excited to be a part of ACE and to be able to pass on his knowledge and excitement of forestry and the outdoors to the younger generations.
Michael graduated from Baylor University in 2016 with a strong desire to explore the world. After teaching internationally from 2016-2018, he moved to Arizona to work as a Curriculum Coordinator. In Arizona, Michael discovered the beauty of the Southwest and realized he was spending most of his time outside of work enjoying nature, so he looked for ways he could help protect the land that had brought him so much joy. Michael eventually decided to transition from the education field to conservation by joining the ACE Mountain West division. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, he spent six months in 2020 working on conservation projects throughout Utah, and in 2021 he accepted the Member Support Coordinator position. He is excited to use his background in business, education, and conservation to help recruit and support corpsmembers. After work, Michael can be found photographing wildlife, chasing sunsets, and hiking the beautiful trails of Southern Utah.
Nick Klein-Baer joined ACE as a National Trail Inventory Data Technician in February 2021. He has a background in conservation, starting as a corpsmember in the California Conservation Corps and later as a trail maintenance worker at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. He also enjoys volunteering with trail stewardship organizations such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. It was through this volunteering that he first became involved with ACE, working alongside an ACE Americorps trail crew on the PCT in 2018. After receiving his B.A. in Geography and Geospatial Analysis at Humboldt State University in May 2019, he completed an ACE EPIC Direct Hire Authority (DHA) internship at the BLM Salt Lake Field Office. Following this he worked as a contractor at the USFS Geospatial Technology and Application Center analyzing remote sensing data. In his free time he enjoys riding his bike, gardening, botanizing, playing chess, and backpacking.
Marilyn is a native Texan, but went to school at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, earning a degree in Environmental Science and minoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies. During college, she studied abroad in Chile and met her husband while backpacking in Patagonia. After school, she worked on a USGS sage grouse project, chasing after birds for a season, and then worked at Lake Amistad in southwest Texas for a year doing GIS and field work. She’s excited to join ACE to work on GIS and data management for the USFWS Trails Program. In her free time, Marilyn enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and birding. She lives with her husband, Carlos, and their cat, Buddy, in San Antonio, TX.
Adam comes to ACE with experience with various public lands agencies in Colorado including Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Boulder County Parks and Open Space. Adam has a passion for the youth corps world having served on a chainsaw crew with the Nevada Conservation Corps and also as a crew leader with the Mile High Youth Corps in Denver. Previously, Adam grew up in Maryland and earned his BA in Environmental Studies from Bates College in Maine. Adam is excited to join ACE in 2021 as a Division Support Specialist in the Fish and Wildlife Service Division. Outside of work, you can find Adam enjoying soccer, ultimate frisbee, and a variety of outdoor activities on public lands.
Bianca (Oneida, Kiowa, Comanche, and Ottawa) hails from the plains of central Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma, earning degrees in Environmental Sustainability and Native American Studies and completing research on Native participation in National Parks. After graduating, she spent a summer at Grand Teton National Park through ACE EPIC, where she found a passion for working and educating in the great outdoors. Bianca loves a good balance of activity and relaxation. You are just as likely to find her climbing a mountain as you are to find her sunbathing on a beach. She loves her daughter, her dog, and her husband (in that order).
Having had the opportunity to live and grow-up in a variety of unique ecosystems and landscapes, Ellie fell in love with conservation science and engaging others in the outdoors. She received her B.A. in biology from Vassar College, and completed her M.S. degree at Boise State University where she studied the human-environment system interactions of outdoor recreation and human well-being. Since then, Ellie has participated in ecological community mapping, wetland and stream restoration efforts, and environmental education. In her free time, Ellie likes to read books, bake bread, as well as go hiking and exploring with her husband.
Madison has had a profound love for wildlife and the natural world as far back as she can remember. This love was nurtured throughout her childhood by her role models like Steve Irwin and Jane Goodall, and by her family through their travels across the country exploring our National Parks. She was born and raised in Tampa, Florida which fostered her fascination with coastal and wetland ecology, and it was no surprise that she then attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. From there, her experience in conservation science ranges from ecological research in the savannahs of South Africa and Eswatini to the mountains of Idaho. Her story with ACE began as an education and interpretation park ranger intern stationed in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She continued her work with ACE as crew leader for a vegetation research project on federal lands around the Great Smoky Mountains area, and then as a community engagement coordinator out of Great Smoky Mountains National Park headquarters. With a strong background in ecology and conservation, as well as environmental education and outreach, she is thrilled to take on this new role as a Recruitment Specialist for American Conservation Experience to assist other emerging professionals in conservation by finding their career path through the National Park Service. Due to having lived and worked in such vastly different ecosystems, Madison enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, from surfing and kayaking to hiking and camping. She also loves horseback riding, wildlife writing and photography, and any activity she can do with her two favorite companions – her fiance and her dog.
Born on the east coast in Maryland, Hannah didn’t really see truly big mountains till she moved to Reno, Nevada. After moving west she discovered her love of all things outdoors, specifically climbing and back country skiing in Mammoth and the Lake Tahoe area. After a few years of rock and snow filled adventures through California and Nevada, she moved to southern Utah. Her love for the outdoors introduced her to the abundance of outdoor advocacy projects, non-profits, and coalitions all working to help protect the land that she loves and gets to play on everyday. Hannah came to ACE Mountain West in 2021 to be a part of protecting that land, and serve as a Member Support Coordinator to directly support the crew members who do just that. After work, she can usually be found riding her bike at Hurricane Cliffs, Gooseberry Mesa, or painting at home.
Alana Boies recently started work as one of two EPIC – FWS Division Fellows. Alana will serve a one year term in this new internal fellowship intended to provide young professionals with a broad range of experience and career development opportunities. For the last 4 years, Alana has been working seasonal positions with birds and botany mostly in the West. In 2018, she had a short seed collection position with ACE and never forgot the positive impression the organization made on her. Alana is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology with a minor in Botany at the University of Wyoming. Her favorite outdoor activity is plant identification, masked as hiking.
Jack became involved with ACE in 2020 as a member of an Ecological Site Inventory team for the Bureau of Land Management in the western deserts of Utah. Originally from the coastal state of Rhode Island, Jack attended Appalachian State University in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountainswhere he studied Geography, focusing on GIS. He is thrilled to help get passionate people involved in conservation and land management. Prior to joining the ACE team, Jack had worked in the outdoor recreation industry as a rock climbing instructor and kayaking guide and is often torn between the ocean and the mountains. In his free time you might find Jack trying to figure out how to make his guitar sound good, climbing in the Wasatch range,or fantasizing about adopting a dog.
Carolyn Getschow joined ACE in July 2013 as a Management, Development, and Logistical Support Intern, and stepped into the role of AmeriCorps Program Manager in February 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she earned degrees in Biological Sciences and Mathematics and spent a semester studying at the Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island. Carolyn is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts, and her favorite habitat is underwater, in the kelp forests of California. She lives in Santa Cruz with her cat Colby and enjoys cross stitch, baking, and volunteering as an official for the Santa Cruz Roller Derby league.
Scott is an ACE Partner Conservationist with NRCS Louisiana. He grew up in Decatur, Alabama, spending time on the Tennessee River and exploring Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and Bankhead National Forest. Scott was a wilderness leader in Hawaii for one summer with Wilderness Adventures where he led students on surfing, scuba, and sailing adventures. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 2017 with a degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management, then worked for Ducks Unlimited Inc, as a biologist for one year in Lafayette, LA. Scott completed his M.S. in Wetland Science at LSU where he studied coastal wetland loss using radioisotope dating techniques to measure marsh vertical accretion. Scott is a certified PADI Divemaster and enjoys traveling to see the underwater world in places like Cozumel, Hawaii, and Mozambique. His simple pleasures in life are thrift stores and Taco Bell.
Marcel began with ACE in May of 2010 as the Logistics Coordinator, managing the crew member housing, orientations, vehicles, and food supplies in the Pacific West Division. After serving in the United States Peace Corps for 27 months in the country of Belize, he found ACE via the assistance provided to returning PCVs seeking to advance their careers. Marcel now advertises ACE Crew opportunities on those very same websites that provided assistance years ago, raising awareness of ACE and managing our recruitment and outreach efforts. Using his three years of experience supporting crews based out of our Pacific West division, he now focuses on finding the next great members of the ACE Conservation Volunteer and Crew programs. Marcel works closely with the operations staff throughout the division and when not conducting Crew member interviews, manages our Alumni Ambassador program, virtual and in-person career fairs and other outreach events.
Inspired by the rolling hills and flowing cricks of her hometown in central Pennsylvania, Nicole set out west in 2014 to Flagstaff, AZ to learn more about conservation as a corps member with ACE. After two 900-hour terms with ACE, Nicole began leading crews until 2017, when she then transitioned to seasonal trail work with NPS and USFS throughout the west, while also pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainable Communities. After Nicole completed her graduate degree with her thesis research focused on the intersection of conservation and justice, she has circled back to working with ACE in this position of Associate Director of Member Resources to cultivate community within ACE and to support emerging conservationists on their ACE journey. Outside of work, Nicole enjoys tending to her plants, reading science fiction, taking nature strolls, and spending time with her partner, dog, and cat.
Chris’ passion for long-distance hiking and cycling led him to pursue a career in conservation. Since 2008 he has served as a volunteer, crew leader, trail manager, operations director, and deputy director for a number of non-profit conservation and trail organizations around the country. Chris holds undergraduate degrees from Boston College and advanced degrees in landscape architecture and natural resource management from Utah State University. He lives at Lake Tahoe and is an active member on his local Search and Rescue team.
Scott Springer currently serves as a Supervisory Natural Resource Specialist and Regional Realty Officer with the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, at the California-Great Basin Region, in Sacramento, CA. The disciplines under his supervision include realty, land and water uses, outdoor recreation, wildland fire and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since 2015. Scott has also served 7 years as the Regional Outdoor Recreation Planner at the California-Great Basin Regional Office of Reclamation, where he provided advice and assistance to the Area Offices regarding recreation issues, policy guidance and partnership development beginning in 2008.
Scott is a born and raised Washingtonian. He lived in western Washington state as a child growing up in a small town in Grays Harbor County. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildland Recreation Management, from Washington State University, Pullman, WA in 1990.
Scott has a broad spectrum of educational and experience opportunities in various urban, rural, and backcountry recreation settings. Beginning in 1986, Scott has held recreation positions with the Washington State Parks and Recreation as well as the Department of Natural Resources. He began is federal career with the Bureau of Land Management on the Rogue River in Grants Pass, Oregon in 1990. His experiences then shifted to 18 years of recreation and land management experience with the U.S. Forest Service in the Congressionally designated Hells Canyon National Recreation Area of Idaho and Oregon and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Scott enjoys being in the great outdoors with his dog. Backpacking, fishing, golfing, biking and completing five marathons in the past 15 years. He visits the great Pacific Northwest often, spending a majority of that time in northeastern Washington at a family farm outside the small town of Chewelah.
I was born and raised in Flagstaff Arizona. I have been hiking and exploring with my father for as long as I can remember. I believe this gave me a unique perspective on the outdoors and an interest in conserving its beauty for everyone to enjoy. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work for ACE and help fulfil the goals of this organization.
Mark Comer was born in Bisbee, Arizona. With ten years of experience in the automotive industry under his belt, he moved north and joined ACE SWA as an AmeriCorps member in 2018. He was able to end his term early and join SWA as Fleet and Facilities Manager in 2019. He is our repairman of engines small and large, driving instructor, and handsaw-sharpening aficionado. When he is not managing the fleet, he enjoys attempting to tame his dog Flynn, dirt biking, and generally adventuring around this state he loves.
Matthew joined the ACE Family back in 2017 as a 900 hours corps member. Matthew moved on to lead crews for ACE for two years before stepping into his current role as project manager. Over the past three years Matthew has led a wide range of projects operating chainsaws, constructing trails, dry-stone masonry, and more. Outside of work, Matthew can be found enjoying the disc golf courses and sport climbing routes of Northern Arizona.
Victoria is proudly from Buffalo, New York, where she studied English and Creative Writing at Canisius College. After graduating in 2014, she performed a year of volunteer service through Mercy Volunteer Corps on the Navajo Nation in St. Michaels, Arizona. Drawn to the Great American Southwest, she returned to Arizona in 2017 for a 900-hour Americorps term with ACE Flagstaff. After her term, she moved through the roles of Assistant Crew Leader, Crew Leader, then to her current role as Project Manager. Her favorite projects involve fearlessly distributing anti-aggregate bark beetle pheromones in beautiful places and maintaining backcountry wilderness trails. In her free time, she enjoys tending to her plants, yoga, reading, and judging what the rest of the country deems an appropriate chicken wing.
Project Manager John Donovan started with ACE as a crew leader in 2006, after 18 seasons with the U.S. Forest Service in Arizona and New Mexico. He was a Recreation Technician in Wilderness, Trails and Fire Prevention. Most of these jobs were of the “Ranger” sort – traveling through the back country and front country on foot, truck and (when he was lucky) horseback, contacting forest users, educating the public in LNT and forest regulations/issues, law enforcement, trail work, resource protection, and firefighting. John’s very enthusiastic about natural and cultural history (he has a B.A. in Anthropology), and exploring the desert regions of the Southwest. He lives in the Sedona area with his wife Kristi, and cats Gavin and Tucker.
After 12 years leading ACE crews on every sort of project including fencing, trails and restoration, John moved into the Project Manager position in 2018. Although he’s a generalist, he is the point person for fencing and restoration projects. He also conducts L.N.T. sessions for new Corps Member orientations. As a Project Manager, John is in charge of three or more projects, and his primary responsibility is to help the Crew Leaders to successfully lead those projects. He also has Crew Leaders who report to him for reviews, advice, and coaching.
Born on a small island in Maryland, Mary enjoyed spending all her free time playing on the water and in the marshes. Determined to see more of what nature had to offer, she decided to attend college in the Shenandoah Valley of VA. She graduated from James Madison University in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology. Promptly after graduation and with another jump in ecosystems, she landed in Flagstaff, AZ where she completed two terms as a corps member with ACE. She left the sunny, dry deserts to explore the foggy forests of the northwest spending a year in Oregon leading youth crews and teaching environmental education. Again, she packed her bags, bound for the Colorado Rockies where she continued doing trail work and environmental education but this time at 14,000 feet. Now she’s back in Flagstaff and excited to help foster a passion for land stewardship in all the ACE corps members she gets to interact with!
Jack first joined ACE as an international member back in 2011, his first project took him to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and after that he knew this was a place he wanted to work. Jack worked as a Crew leader in 2011 and 2012 and loved every moment of it developed a love for trails and the South West area. That love of the South West brought Jack back in 2016 and he has been with ACE ever since. In Jack’s down time he loves spending time hiking and exploring the great outdoors with his Wife Sarah and Daughter Maggie.
Keean began as Corps member with ACE in 2010 after moving out west from Pennsylvania. After only 4 months he was hooked and has never looked back. During his time with ACE he has worked as a Crew Leader, Project Manager, Associate Director and moved in the SWA Division Director role in 2020. Keean also instructs Crosscut Saw use and relishes the opportunity to get out into the field and teach traditional skills whenever possible. Outside of ACE Keean enjoys playing music, mountain biking and taking his dirtbike out whenever possible.
Dennis started with ACE Pacific West in early 2014 as a Conservation Volunteer before moving into an Americorps member, Crew Leader, California Restoration Coordinator, and most recently the Associate Director of Partnerships. Dennis has spent much of his time on the road supporting restoration and forestry projects over the years, but has moved into a more remote administrative role here in ACE PW with the main focus of setting up new and existing projects all around the West Coast. He hopes to see you in an upcoming training or a fuel reduction on the beach soon!
Anna joined ACE in 2017 as a corps member in the Southeast Branch. With ACE she enjoyed working on restoration and trail projects, later transitioning to assistant crew leader working on trails projects in the Smoky Mountains. After realizing how much she enjoyed rock work and building trails she joined the trail crew in Yosemite National Park for 2 seasons. Anna’s excited to be back with ACE providing meals and logistical support for the crews in Utah.
Frank graduated in 2018 with a degree in Conservation & Environmental Science from UW-Milwaukee. Inspired to do fieldwork in conservation, Frank joined ACE as a corps member in the fall of 2018. During his time as a corps member, Frank worked on many trail projects in Caliente Nevada as well as projects in Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, and various BLM lands throughout Utah. Frank eventually became an Assistant Crew Leader for ACE before he left in 2019 to move home. After working for a few months and traveling in between, Frank decided he wanted to move back to Utah and work for ACE as a Member Support Coordinator. In this role Frank hopes he will be able to facilitate great experiences for ACE’s Americorps volunteers, and make sure their time in ACE helps them to grow and develop professionally.
Aaron joined ACE in 2019 as Regional Director for the Mountain West Division, and brings to ACE many years of experience directing facilities, programs and high-performance teams in the recreation, sustainable travel/tourism and outdoor behavioral health industries.
For the past eight years prior to joining ACE, Aaron served as Executive Director and founder of an expedition travel and gap year provider for young adults in the for profit outdoor behavioral health segment. In this capacity Aaron was responsible for building entrepreneurial teams, developing all divisions, and creating world class adventure education programming with a strong emphasis in environmental conservation stewardship volunteerism.
With an extensive professional guiding and adventure videography background, Aaron is a certified Wilderness EMT and brings the perspective of thousands of backcountry days leading and filming expeditions including: mountaineering, rock climbing, canyoneering, fly fishing, paddling, trekking, ski & snowboard touring, mountain biking, scuba diving, adventure motorcycling and wilderness self-reliance through traditional life ways.
Aaron holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Brigham Young University in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership, Leisure Services Management with an Entrepreneurial Business Marketing emphasis through the Marriott School of Business. In his free time, Aaron enjoys travel adventures with his children and pursuing his passion for aviation. Aaron holds a private pilot certificate and enjoys building and flying experimental aircraft.
Karen grew up in the Atlanta area and got her first taste of hiking and camping in the Smokies and the mountains of north Georgia. She has degrees in Environmental Science and Forestry. She spent the early part of her career doing restoration with the NPS and other organizations out west, including many summers at Yosemite National Park. In 2006, she also happened upon a little upstart conservation corps called ACE and worked out of Flagstaff for a few winters. She moved back east for a job at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and now is excited to be working for ACE again after all these years!
Kerri Ryan began her conservation career as a corps member for ACE Southwest in early 2014 after earning a degree in Environmental Geoscience. After serving as an ACE corps member for about 9 months, Kerri became a Crew Leader for the ACE Southwest division. Kerri led ACE crews on various field projects focusing on Restoration projects, but also leading trail, forestry, and other projects throughout the Southwest. After ACE Kerri worked for the Forest Service seasonally, and then accepted a more permanent job with NYC Parks Natural Resources Group. In NY Kerri helped with Forest Restoration projects throughout the 5 boroughs of NYC, and helped plant thousands of native trees and shrubs each spring and fall throughout the natural areas of NYC. Kerri is very excited for the opportunity to return to ACE as a project manager for the Southeast division.
Benton Wright graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Urban Planning and Sustainability. While working in OU’s Office of Sustainability and the Outdoor Recreation Department, he decided to pursue a career in conservation to protect the outdoor spaces he loves and help other people get there too. He enrolled in ECO AmeriCorps in Vermont and spent his service conducting water quality planning, working on conservation projects, doing trail work, and volunteering at other nonprofits including the Green Mountain Club. While in Vermont his love for green mountains and the outdoors grew. Benton then accepted his current position with ACE as the Southeast Division’s Outreach Manager and as a Member Support Coordinator. Here at ACE he enjoys helping others fall in love with conservation through AmeriCorps service and helping others access the outdoors.
Nick is an ACE Partner Conservationist with NRCS Idaho. Prior to joining ACE, Nick held positions with varying capacities in conservation – he has worked in education, as a naturalist, a forester, and with several conservation nonprofits. When he joined ACE in 2018, he was the NRCS Division’s first partner conservationist. He has a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and master’s degree in environmental conservation from New York University (NYU). At NYU, he published research on environmental decision making and served as a referee for several academic environmental psychology journals. He also co-wrote a middle school textbook on climate change in conjunction with Earth Day Network. When not working to improve and expand conservation easements, he can often be found chasing birds in the hills of Idaho with his pointer, Pete.
Nathaniel is an ACE Partner Conservationist with NRCS Indiana. Originally from East-Central Indiana, he graduated from Ball State University in 2017 with degrees in environmental management and biology. Prior to joining ACE, Nathaniel worked as an invasive plant and animal specialist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and as an environmental regulatory compliance inspector for 7NT Engineering. Nathaniel now works out of the Vincennes NRCS office in southern Indiana. Nathaniel is passionate about ecology and natural systems and looks forward to continuing to help provide these types of beneficial restorative services for individuals and the wildlife of the midwest. He enjoys gardening, silversmithing and painting in his free time.
Hayley has led NRCS monitoring programs at ACE since June 2019. She carries out nationwide easement monitoring projects and leads the development of an ecological questionnaire. Her exploration and education of the natural world began along the shores of Lake Superior while studying Environmental Science at Northern Michigan University. Her interest in wetlands, restoration ecology, and natural resource monitoring and management was set in motion during her work with NRCS-Tennessee supporting the wetland easement programs. She completed her graduate degree from Montana State University in Environmental Science and Land Resources. She is thrilled to be working with ACE, stomping around in wetland projects. In her free time, Hayley enjoys hiking, biking, camping, writing bios about herself in the third person, reading, and slacklining.
Whitney is an ACE Partner Conservationist with NRCS Indiana. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, she has a master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Central Michigan University, where her research focused on genetic structure in wild-rice populations in Michigan. Prior to joining ACE she worked for two seasons as a Fire Effects Monitor at Indiana Dunes National Park. She has completed a variety of internships and AmeriCorps positions with National Parks and nonprofit organizations around the country, focusing on vegetation monitoring and restoration on both private and public lands. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a minor in Horticulture from Michigan State University. Whitney is passionate about botany and conservation, and enjoys gardening, botanizing, and spending time outside.
Fiona provides specialized program support for the NRCS Division. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Fiona grew up swimming in the Pacific Ocean, hiking and camping in the redwoods, and traveling to nearby National and State Parks. She took her love for the outdoors to Utah where she worked in the outdoor behavioral health industry prior to joining ACE in 2019. Fiona has over a decade of experience in the mental health field, working with adolescents and adults, and continues to be passionate about mental health work in an outdoor setting. She has a BS in Psychology, with minors in Spanish and Peace and Conflict Studies. In her spare time, Fiona loves to travel, bake, and spend time with her husband and two cats.
Dan began leading the NRCS Division’s restoration program in 2020. For three years prior, he was ACE’s Division Director with the Gulf Coast- Conservation Corps program- headquartered in Corpus Christi,Texas. Since graduating from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 2010, Dan’s career has been entirely focused on restoration ecology and land management in the federal and non-profit sector. During his tenure with the National Park Service (NPS), Dan had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow land management specialists in over 20 NPS units across the Southeast and Southwest United States. His passion for progressive land management practices is driven by nearly a decade of experience in invasive plant ecology, monitoring, wildland fire, forest management and leveraging the power of collaboration. Dan spends his weekends exploring the unknown with his wife, Kristy, and their two pets out of a 22’ RV.
Crystal leads the NRCS Division and its related conservation service programs. Trained as an environmental planner and practiced as a collaborative leader, she has managed stewardship programs and legal defense for over 7,000 acres of private lands protected by conservation easements. Crystal has led strategic visioning; developed regional advocacy and conservation policies; provided technical assistance to landowners; monitored the environmental efficiency of conservation practices on private lands; and has directed multi-year and multi-stakeholder programming. She did her graduate work in environmental planning and engineering at UC Berkeley. Crystal lives in the mountains with her husband Zack, their daughters Wren and Ivy, and lab Marlowe.
Cody joined ACE in 2020 as the USFWS Division Support Specialist. Cody grew up in the Rocky Mountains and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Resource Conservation. While living in northwest Montana, Cody tracked lynx and wolverine through the winter, collected visitor use data in Glacier National Park, and worked multiple seasons as a wildland firefighter. This time spent in the woods encouraged Cody to pursue a degree in Forest Resources from Penn State, focusing on the social and ecological components of prescribed fire. Upon completion, Cody worked in logistics for the United States Antarctic Program and on a trails crew for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Outside of work he enjoys trail running, river trips, bird watching, and printmaking.
Grace joined ACE on the National Trails Inventory project in April of 2019 after working in Washington DC on a multi-use trail as a Visitor Services and Safety Steward. She grew up in Western Massachusetts spending her summers on the water and her winters in the mountains. Grace graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Science. While at UNH she studied abroad in New Zealand monitoring the repopulation of Kiwi Birds on offshore islands. She is passionate about helping mentor the younger generations of environmental stewards by tutoring in Math and Science. In her free time Grace loves to read, ski, taking her dogs on walks, and volunteering in her community. She even can teach you how to ride a bike!
Ellen has been with ACE since her graduation from Vanderbilt University in 2017. She grew up in Ohio, but fell in love with the west after her first position as an ACE-Americorp intern, doing resource inventory for the BLM in northern California. Her term with the BLM only strengthened her passion for conservation and public lands, and she pursued another position with ACE as the logistics coordinator for the USFWS National Visitor Survey project, based in Colorado. She has since come on as the Agreements and Project Manager for the USFWS division, and loves helping others on their conservation career path. In her free time, Ellen can be found outdoors – she is an avid hiker and backpacker, and a geologist by hobby.
Josh has spent his life chasing outdoor adventures and now focuses on sharing these experiences with his daughter, Cody Ann. Josh is a passionate and accomplished backcountry skier, mountain biker and trail builder. “I believe trails aren’t just about getting from point A to point B. Good trails are like those bumper stickers that say that life is about the journey, not the destination. A great trail IS the destination as they provide an adventurous experience that highlights the landscape and hugs the natural contours, takes the user to beautiful viewsheds, rock outcroppings and other points of interest. Trail design and construction isn’t just a job for me, it’s an artform.”
Agreements & Compliance Specialist: Molly began her work with ACE as a volunteer in the Salt Lake City office in sugarhouse. She has developed into her current role where she performs all state and federal background for each member in the EPIC Program. Her dedication to her duties ensure a safe work environment. Molly got her B.S. in Environmental Studies from Westminster College and grew up working for an environmental restoration company in both New Jersey and Tennessee. As an avid Snowboarder, Molly loves hitting the slopes during the winter and in the off seasons you can find her near the water as she tries to find any excuse to go surfing.
Colby joined the ACE team after five years of working with nonprofits serving refugees in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT. He monitored compliance for several federal grants, conducted data analysis, and administered a cash assistance program for newly resettled refugees. Colby also has a background in Archaeology, volunteer development, museums, and GIS, and is excited to return to these roots in contributing to the mission of ACE.
A.J.’s career in the non-profit conservation field began in 2013 as an AmeriCorps member with the Student Conservation Association in western Massachusetts. There he learned invaluable skills regarding hands-on conservation projects and environmental education for future land managers. He began working for ACE in 2014, starting out as an Outreach Coordinator for the Southwest Arizona division in Flagstaff. He has since been fortunate enough to assume various roles throughout the organization such as AmeriCorps program management, agreement management, compliance, and administration. Having lived in states ranging from Arizona to Maryland he currently lives in his home state of Wisconsin. In his spare time he enjoys golfing, landscape photography, and spending time with his Golden Retriever, Macy.
David graduated from university with dual Mathematics and Art Education degrees. After teaching art in the downtown Salt Lake community for a couple of years he joined the development team in May 2020 as a user interface designer and front end web developer. Currently, his job is to make sure CNSRVIT looks as beautiful as possible and to assist in any other development need. In his free time he loves to paint, draw, mountain bike, and hike.
Born on the land now known as Wisconsin, Mackenzie began her conservation journey as a child “up der in da north woods,” scouring streams for rocks and helping her dad with outdoor projects. After graduating from Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 with degrees in Biology and Spanish (and a Certificate in Gender & Women’s Studies), she used her aquatic background to complete an internship with jellies at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium before getting into invasive species work. In 2016, Mackenzie made the move to Arizona for her first of two 900-hour Corps Member terms and later helped facilitate the start of the Gulf Coast Division as a Crew Leader. After finding great fulfillment working as the Youth Programs Coordinator, Mackenzie is now happy to be a part of the Marketing & Communications Team as she works towards a graduate degree in Sustainable Communities. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys a good nonfiction read, getting outside, and catching up with ACE family all around the country!
Joel served with ACE as a corpsmember and Crew Leader in the Southwest Division before departing to pursue new opportunities and finally returning! Joel has built many trails in his time working with various conservation organizations and the National Parks Service. Of those truly innumerable trails, the one that weathered the years the most stolidly was the trail that has led him back to ACE. A Washington native he grew up loving to spend time getting covered in dirt, a passion that has been foundational in his continuing career in conservation, and one that continues to be his guiding star.
Courtney joined ACE as a Member Support Coordinator for the Southwest division in 2020. She grew up in rural Wisconsin. After receiving her Master’s degree in Biology in Virginia she enjoyed two year-long terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and then at Lula Lake Land Trust. Her last term ended due to COVID and she then spent the next few months working as a Recruiting Coordinator and Member Engagement Coordinator for VISTA Summer Associates on a COVID-19 Contact Tracing Project with Conservation Legacy. In her free time, Courtney enjoys getting outside and learning about cool things like frogs.
A native of Maine, Sol grew up canoeing and hiking in the great north woods and along the coast and is excited to add the mountains, deserts, and forests of the Southwest to that list. Sol studied design in college but after working at a summer camp teaching girls to chop wood, make fires, and appreciate the outdoors they decided they wanted to go into a more environmentally focused industry. Sol comes to ACE after working as the Program Coordinator for the Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship AmeriCorps program and as an AmeriCorps alum, serving three terms of service as an Energy Auditor, A VISTA, and a VISTA Leader. Along with the environment, outdoors, and national service, Sol enjoys working with acrylic paints and ink, trying to train her cats to stop eating her food, and drinking good coffee.
Nick is a globally minded humanitarian with a wide array of teaching and leadership experiences. He graduated from Iowa State University in 2017 with a B.S. in Global Resource Systems and Environmental Science. Leading outdoor trips in the back and front country, collecting vegetative data for the US Forest Service in support of their conservation efforts of the Greater Sage Grouse and working on an organic and biodynamic farm with over 450 heirloom tomato varieties (and almost as many goats) are snapshots of the projects he has been involved in over the past few seasons. He continues to pursue a career that allows him to bring together and support young people for the achievement of an imperative, overarching mission- especially when it comes to restoring public lands!
Joe started ACE in the Summer of 2019 as a volunteer member (non-AmeriCorps) serving throughout the central California coast. Joe accepted the position of Logistics Coordinator within the Pacific West Coast division shortly after finishing his volunteer term. When Joe is not at Costco shopping for upcoming ACE hitches, he can be found scouring the coastline looking for uncrowded waves. Congrats, Joe!
Deidra brings a medley of experiences to ACE – from team building facilitation, outdoor adventure education, environmental education, and resource interpretation – all with the common thread of supporting emerging professionals developing into incredible leaders. Deidra holds an Integrated Studies BA (Florida Gulf Coast University) and will soon be working towards an MS in Experiential and Outdoor Education (Western Carolina University). Deidra started off a professional public lands connection by participating in the 2016 Grand Teton NPS Academy, and since has worked in three national parks as intern, as well as Bureau of Land Management (Yaquina Head O.N.A. on the Oregon coast) as a seasonal ranger. Other professional pursuits include 8 years as an experiential educator in recreation and environmental education settings. Outside of work, Deidra is a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Next Generation Advisory Council. Hobbies include hiking with dogs Cairo and Neri, paddling, incredibly amateur photography (her words!), playing the viola, and ziplining.
Katie Lyon joined the USFWS Division as the National Trail Inventory Project/Data Manager in 2020. She previously worked with ACE and USFWS on the national visitor survey project and is excited to join the ACE team. Katie holds a bachelor’s in Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism and a master’s in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University. She currently lives in Lander, WY, with her partner Chris and Aussie dog Alta, and enjoys gardening, climbing, hunting, and paddleboarding.
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.
Mitch grew up in central rural North Carolina where he went on to study Natural Resource Management and Forestry at Western Carolina University. He served with AmeriCorps NCCC and then transitioned into the conservation field, working for Coconino Rural Environmental Corps (C-REC) as a corps member then a mentor for YCC in Flagstaff, Arizona. Mitch continued in building his conservation experience working as a crew leader for The Conservation Corps of Minnesota and the Conservation Corps New Mexico. Outside the Corps world, he has worked in the outdoor recreation industry including guiding paddling trips, working as a camp counselor for a summer camp, and grooming ski trails in Colorado. Outside of the ACE office, Mitch can be found hiking, kayaking, and fly fishing across the southwest.
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.
Alassane Naing joined the ACE team in 2019 as part of the ACEglobal division. Alassane works with all staff on basic administration, human resources, and program development. He is originally from Mali, Bamako, Africa but moved to the United States when he was seven years old. His first languages are French and Bamara, but he learned to also speak, read and write English upon arriving in Utah. Alassane is a black belt in Shotokan Karate and recently completed his final year of eligibility as a cornerback at the University of Utah Pac12 Football team. He is currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah and about to graduate from the University of Utah with a BS in Economics and a minor in Computer Literacy.
Jim has been with ACE for over 10 years and oversees the maintenance and construction needs of all ACE properties in the Western ACE Divisions, including office spaces and member housing. When not at work, you may find him coaching the local high school cycling team or even out for a race himself. With over 20 years of cycling experience, Jim is constantly lending his expertise to help reconstruct and re-purpose bikes around the office.
Not only does Jim bring a lifetime of prestigious accomplishments and skills to his position but also invaluable kindness and dedication. Without him and the help of his team, we might quite literally fall apart at the studs!
Rafael Rosa joined ACE in 2020 as Chief Program Officer.
Rafael spent six years with the Student Conservation Association as a Regional Vice President for Partnerships (RVP) and Senior VP of Program. As an RVP his team was responsible for all SCA partnerships in a 16 state area. As SVP his team placed and supported 2500+ members each year.
Previous to SCA, Rafael spent 25 years in the museum environmental education and conservation field in Chicago. He led teams that developed and implemented environmental curriculum in museums, schools and in local communities with an emphasis on helping youth understand that despite living in an urban area they were not divorced from nature.
While not at work, Rafael enjoys spending time with his wife and sons who as a group have visited National Parks and other natural areas in 44 states and counting.
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.
Brandon began his conservation career as a corps member for ACE in early 2015 after earning a degree in biology from Western Connecticut State University. After serving as an ACE corps member for a little over a year working in the Mountain West- Utah branch, the Puerto Rico branch and the Southwest branch in Flagstaff, Brandon became a Crew Leader for the ACE Mountain West- Utah program. For two years, Brandon successfully lead ACE crews on various field projects ranging from trails, fencing, forestry, restoration, and everything in-between throughout Utah and the mountain west region. In Spring of 2018, Brandon embarked on another conservation career trail working as a Rangeland Fellow with the BLM in Nevada before rejoining ACE this September as a Project Manager.
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, climbing, hunting, 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 Mountain West AmeriCorps Program Manager, 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.
Originally from Racine, Wisconsin I grew up a huge Packers fan. I went to college in Madison, Wisconsin for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies. Afterwards, like many others, I hadn’t a shred of any idea of what to do with my life moving forward. Through word of mouth I found ACE. Word of mouth will always be the best avenue in finding a great job. I began as a corps member, and eventually, with plenty of sweat, I moved on to Crew Leader, and now in my position as a Project Manager. I find a lot of joy in navigating the labyrinth of tasks my job entails. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the hard work of my coworkers, I give them most of the credit.
My advice is to stick to your interests. Find a job that suits them. Don’t worry if you don’t get paid what you want right away, money will come. Be patient, proactive, and most importantly hardworking. People have eyes and know who is doing a good job.
Hannah grew up in the Northern Chicago Suburbs and gained a love of nature early on through her family’s many vacations to different national parks. She pursued her Bachelor’s of Business Administration at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and also spent time studying in Orlando, Hawai’i, and Central Europe. After graduating, she held a couple different administrative, coordinative, and project management-related jobs. During this time she learned that she loves working in team-oriented and people-focused positions, particularly with nonprofit organizations. Finally, she decided to settle down near the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of her favorite spots throughout her travels. With this, Hannah was grateful to have found the perfect opportunity there, though ACE, to work with members and to help them find their next journeys in conservation. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting, singing, at-home yoga, cuddling with dogs, and watching sunsets over the mountains.
Lauren grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago, Illinois and frequently went camping and hiking with her family throughout her youth. After graduating college with a BFA in photography, she changed paths and went on a long section hike of the Appalachian Trail. After hiking 800 miles she decided to get a job in the conservation field in order to continuing being outdoors and to give back to nature. At this time, Lauren started working with the Utah Conservation Corps in Cedar City, Utah. While there she worked on an invasive species removal project for 3 months in the Escalante Grand Staircase National Park. After her time in Utah, Lauren found ACE and had the opportunity to do a 450-hour term based out of Asheville where she worked on trail work, restoration, and invasive species removal projects. After being a corps member, Lauren came back onto the ACE Southeast team as the Assistant Logistics Coordinator. She is grateful to be working with an organization like ACE, and is eager to help facilitate this wonderful opportunity for others wanting to do conservation work.
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.
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.
As the National Division Director for ACE EPIC, and its NPS partnerships, Peter oversees all aspects of project creation and management, ensuring that smooth and positive partnerships continue without a hitch.
Peter brings a host of conservation experiences from the field including backcountry patrol work in the Brooks Range and Yukon River of Alaska (NPS); resource management and environmental education as an AmeriCorps member in Barnstable Co, Massachusetts (DNR, NPS, and non-profit land trusts); wildlife monitoring in the Sierras (Sequoia National Forest, USFS); and vegetation dynamics research in Chobe National Park, Botswana. When he’s not working with talented EPIC Interns/Fellows and amazing NPS staff, Peter can likely be found running or backcountry skiing in the Wasatch, or traveling with his amazing wife.
Kevin grew up in rural Mississippi where he spent his youth exploring, hunting and fishing in the pristine riparian forests and wetlands along the Mississippi River, less than a mile from his home at the time. Nature was the primary source of adventure and entertainment in his youth.This early love for outdoor adventures and wild creatures led to a wildlife conservation career spanning 35 years, two wildlife agencies and 11 states. He began his career as an alligator and alligator snapping turtle researcher with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries before accepting a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987. Before retirement in 2017, he had served in biological and management positions in eight states with the FWS at National Fish Hatcheries, Ecological Services Field Offices, National Wildlife Refuges, and with Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (Federal Aid). In 2011, he graduated from the Service’s Advanced Leadership Development Program.
He shares life with a wonderful, supportive partner of 26 years, Valerie, and 2 children, Dhara (13) and Dustin (8) and two Australian shepherds, Jade and Ciera. Valerie is a Montessori educator.
Kevin spent more than 20 years either rock climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, fly fishing or backpacking across the west. Now, he enjoys family and pets, traveling, fishing, gardening, birding, hiking, camping, cooking, photography, and music.
Caroline joined the ACE recruiting team in September 2019, coming from a background of environmental nonprofits. Originally an East Coaster, she grew up running canoes down rivers and there gained a deep love and respect for public lands and waterways. She received a degree in Environmental Management and Policy from the University of North Carolina- Asheville and promptly headed west to serve two terms with AmeriCorps NCCC and VIP, putting her in the field of wildfire restoration, trail work and environmental education up and down the Pacific coast. This landed her in Southern California for a time, working with a coastal protection nonprofit and recreation advocacy groups. Her love of alpine peaks and seasons brought her to Utah, where you’ll now almost always find her climbing her way through the canyons, enjoying long hikes into the backcountry and kicking back under the stars.
After years of bouncing around the west in various ecology and conservation positions, Josh returned to his native Utah as a BLM Recruitment specialist here at ACE. Josh began his career in academic research in ecology with a passion for plant-soil interactions and the mechanisms governing ecosystem fluxes. However, he continually found himself being pulled toward outreach and conservation. He enjoys learning about the various ways people interact with their environment and helping them expand their experience. Josh most recently led a youth conservation crew in the northern Sierra Nevadas, teaching them conservation work as well as camping and life skills. He’s excited to continue facilitating access to conservation opportunities. On his own time, Josh can be found travelling, playing the brazilian martial art Capoeira, hiking, camping, or just sitting around. He has recently decided to take up baking.
Celia began her conservation journey back in 2005 with the Western Colorado Conservation Corps on a saw crew and never looked back. Over the years she has worked for Acadia National Park, Appalachian Mountain Club, Amargosa Conservancy, Student Conservation Association and the Southeast Conservation Corps to build and maintain trails all over the U.S. while leading and managing youth and young adults in service to the land and surrounding communities. She enjoys reading and exploring all the nooks and crannies nature has to offer in her free time, no matter the urban or wild landscape!
Erin joined the recruiting team at ACE in January 2018 after years of seasonal positions in the public and private sector. She’s a native New Yorker and has a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut. Since joining a trail crew in the summer of 2013 in the Klamath National Forest, Erin’s been hooked on conservation, working in the field and living among mountains. After graduating from UConn, Erin lead youth trail crews in multiple national parks, surveyed lands with wilderness characteristics throughout the Mojave Desert with the BLM, worked at environmental education centers across the country from Maine to Alaska and worked extensively behind the scenes with other conservation corps. Her passion for public lands, environmental education and helping people make her a great fit for ACE. Outside of the office, you might find Erin running mountain trails, climbing at the local crag, snuggling her dog or sleeping in a hammock.
Shayne has been a member of ACE’s Board of Directors since the spring of 2013. He has served as the chair of the board’s finance committee and served on the special committee charged with selecting ACE’s current CEO and President. Shayne brings experience in accounting, real estate transactions, finance and banking. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Youth Health Associates, Inc. located in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has held previous positions as a controller and analyst for small companies in real estate and construction and in business banking with US Bank. Shayne lives with his family in Sandy, Utah and enjoys Utah’s variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, especially the world-class fly fishing.
Pam was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio State University in Parks and Recreation. During that time, she ventured to the west and fell in love with the Grand Canyon. While pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Nevada-Reno, she explored more of the west’s outdoors, became a black belt in Karate and taught classes at the University. After graduating, she became the head park ranger and peace officer at Lahontan State Recreation Park. In 1983, Pam moved to University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue my doctorate in in the Department of Urban and Rural Planning in Environmental Studies and also gained a second master’s degree in public administration. During her years at Wisconsin earning degrees, she was a recreation planner with the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Wisconsin.
After graduating in 1987, Pam landed a job as professor and served as chair of the Department of Parks and Recreation for six years with Northern Arizona University until she retired as Emeritus Professor June of 2018. Her passion in research took her to studying human impact monitoring with many of her undergraduate and graduate students in Idaho, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona with National Parks Services, National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management plus some private, non-profit preserves. She has been the president of the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association and served six years on the State Parks and Recreation Commission. Presently, Pam serves on the Coconino County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Board of ACE.
Pam shares her life’s explorations and research passions with her spouse of 31 years, her two sons, her dogs as well as hundreds of her students over the years. Pam’s hope is that the work that she has done has helped to preserve our public lands and create a love of the outdoors.
Jeanne Wade Evans served as the Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service for seven years before retiring in 2017. In her final leadership role, she directed all State and Private Forestry programs in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Islands. She also strategically led Fire, Aviation, Safety and Acquisition programs for the region affecting 18 National Forests, 8000 employees and annual budgets of over $500 million. She held numerous other leadership positions over her 40 years of public service.
Previous to that position, Jeanne served as the Forest Supervisor of the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California where she led over 600 employees through large organizational change and delivered numerous programs to improve the public forest experience and land stewardship. Prior to this assignment she spent six years at the Forest Service National headquarters in Washington D. C. focused on solving Fire, Aviation, Forestry, Range, Partnership and Legislative issues that impacted the entire agency. She did this in her roles as Deputy Director for Forest and Rangelands, Policy Specialist for Fire and Aviation, National Fire Plan Coordinator, and as the agency representative to the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation.
Before beginning her service in the Forest Service’s National headquarters, Jeanne worked for 22 years in various Forest Service field positions in Arizona. She immensely enjoyed her role as District Ranger on the Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona believing that this is where a direct impact on land stewardship occurs. She began her Forest Service career in 1977 on the Coconino National Forest in Arizona as a Range Conservationist. Jeanne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resources from Arizona State University, completed course work in Environmental Policy at the University of Arizona and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard. She was committed to continuous learning over her career and focused on leadership development for her employees. She still mentors those in the agency.
Jeanne demonstrated commitment to partnerships throughout her career. She realized that it is in the public interest to bring together those who care about land stewardship through collaborative public private business models. She partnered with many different conservation corps and conservation organizations over the years to achieve ecological restoration on the ground. Her passion was doing all she could to insure everyone arrived home safely after every work assignment. To that end, she helped lead the Forest Service through a leader engagement strategy with a focus on being a learning organization. During her tenure safety and risk management saw increased focused leadership attention at all levels of the organization and reduction in serious injuries and fatalities.
Jeanne has been connected to the outdoors since she was a young girl camping and fishing in the Rocky Mountains with her family. She currently spends time enjoying and sharing experiences with her young grandchildren when she is not traveling.
Bob is currently the executive director of Windsor County Mentors, a nonprofit organization supporting youth mentoring in local Vermont communities. His career passion has been imagining and creating youth and young adult national and community service programs in the out-of-doors. Following two years of service in the United States Peace Corps, Bob completed a master’s in public administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he was involved in hosting the first AmeriCorps national service conference. He joined the Student Conservation Association in 1994 as the Director of the New Hampshire Conservation Corps.
Over the next 20 years he played leadership roles in SCA’s Northeast, California-Southwest and Midwest regions. As Senior Vice President for Programs, he helped to lead SCA’s national program growth and revenue. He is proudest of having created six residential SCA AmeriCorps programs that have provided hundreds of young people with an opportunity to serve on public lands.Bob joined the Vermont Conservation Corps in 2015 where he served as chief Operations Officer strengthening program quality, risk management and developing educational outcomes.
He served six years as a board member of National Association of Service and Conservation Corps now the Corps Network.Bob attended the University of New Hampshire after which he worked for United States Senator Warren Rudman (R-New Hampshire) on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC.
He served in the United States National Guard and Reserve.
Bob lives in South Pomfret, Vermont with his wife Philippa Richards and their three children, Claire, Will and Ian plus a barn yard of animals.
Brad has started multiple small businesses over his life in Flagstaff. Currently, he is the owner of AZ Irrigation & Maintenance. A local landscape contracting business designed to benefit its employees to support themselves with decent wages and a teamwork environment. They have been serving the Flagstaff community since 2012. Providing the best irrigation, lawn maintenance, and landscape services in the area. Always striving to improve their skills, capacities, and customer service.
Brad loves hanging out with his book-worm kids. Forcing them to engage with the real world just outside the window. Creating a loving environment for them to be themselves. Fully supporting their interests of reading and diving.
He built, with his own hands, a straw bale house. Designed to be maintenance and bill free. This did not work out exactly as he planned. Another of his passions is his love of mountain biking. You will find him throughout the country riding his mountain bike and enjoying the great outdoors. Last but not least is his love for travel. He enjoys to travel overseas and stretch out his time when he is in a foreign land. For him, the period of a week is never enough and not worth the effort. Many of his excursions. last a minimum of three weeks and it’s been known for him to leave for 3 months at a time.
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.
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.
Chris has an extensive background in conservation and resource management, most recently spending the past six years with the Student Conservation Association in a variety of roles. As Vice President of Partnership, his responsibilities included program and partnership development, government relations, and staff management.
Originally from England, Chris took the opportunity after university to come to the United States and work for the US Forest Service in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon. Subsequently, Chris moved to Arizona and spent 8 years working for the City of Phoenix operating outdoor recreation programming for youth and people with disabilities, before moving back to
Oregon taking the position of Recreation Manager for Oregon State University, College Forests, in Corvallis Oregon, Chris holds degrees from Writtle College, England in Rural Resource Management, and Arizona State University in Recreation Management.
Before joining ACE, Randy spent the last fourteen years with the Student Conservation Association in various management and operations roles. During his time with SCA, he oversaw program development, financial management, compliance, and risk management for upwards of ten regional urban conservation programs. This included development and management of a state-wide workforce development program with the State of Pennsylvania. He also emerged as member and leader trainer on topics such as member experience, risk management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Before the glow of the conservation world drew him in, Randy spent time with Job Corps recruiting and placing participants. Prior to that he spent three years as a Child Life Specialist providing psychosocial care to children at a teaching hospital. With close to twenty years of experience with youth and young adults through non-profits, he is thrilled to continue his career with an organization dedicated to conservation service. When away from his desk, you can find Randy coaching high school and youth sports and spending time outdoors with his wife and two daughters..
Kris comes to ACE with over 20 years of environmental non-profit experience, in addition to having volunteered with the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and the US Forest Service. Kris brings unique experience and perspective as an HR professional because she comes from field programs. In her tenure at SCA and Ecology Project International she held the roles of Conservation Crew Program Coordinator/Manager/National Operations Director, Chief Medical Screener, Risk Management Officer, and HR Manager. She knows the job and life of field staff first-hand, and brings that awareness to her HR work daily.
Kris is passionate about community building, successful communication, and supporting others. Most recently she’s been intrigued by and exploring organizational culture, Systems Thinking and Learning Organization principals. Kris is excited to dive in, learn more about ACE, and figure out how she can contribute.
In her play time, Kris can be found camping, hiking, and hanging in the desert Southwest with her 9-year-old son Sky (who luckily loves adventures as much as she does). When at home she enjoys hanging out with Sky, throwing pottery (on a wheel, that is), and volunteering with the Humane Society.
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 Tech Support 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.
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.
Heather grew up in the deep south – Memphis, TN – with cotton fields surrounding her high school. After graduating, she moved to Flagstaff to pursue a degree in Mathematics. In college she ended up switching her major about 5 times, so like any early twenty something year old, she moved to Portland, OR to find what she was passionate about career-wise. Life led her back to Flagstaff, college goals changed to Accounting, her beautiful daughter Rosalie arrived and work took a turn to the dental industry. Still feeling that accounting/mathematics nudge, she joined the ACE finance team. Heather manages our Accounts Payables and all things credit card. Her work with ACE will help hone her Accounting skills so that she can finish her degree, once her daughter starts Kindergarten.
ACE is lucky to have recruited such a smart, organized and amazing finance-minded addition to our staff.
After spending 20 years in various roles with ADP in Seattle, I spent a couple years living on Maui working for the Pacific Whale Foundation running AP and Payroll. I relocated back to Arizona in 2016 and spent a year and a half running payroll for a commercial sign and lighting company in Tucson, and also spent some time working for the city of Tucson. I have always been an advocate for the environment, and an avid outdoorsman. I am pleased to bring my many years of accounting and payroll knowledge to ACE, and my goal is to bring an easier and more user friendly payroll process to all staff and interns.
When not at work I enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing and photography. I enjoy traveling and exploring our national parks.
ACE is proud to have Midge on the team as Finance Director. 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, taking in live music shows and spending time with her family. The whole family loves adding new stamps in their passports and have been to all continents except Antarctica & Africa!
Midge is super thankful for her amazing Finance staff and all she works with in support of ACE’s mission.
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.
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.
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 working as the lead administrator for the CREC program based out of Flagstaff, AZ, where she managed 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 off to start a family. In 2008, she was asked by ACE Founder and President Chris Baker to join and support ACE in a variety of roles. In 2010 Susie was able to use her previous AmeriCorps administration experience to help launch ACE’s AmeriCorps program as the National Program Coordinator. In 2013, Susie was given the opportunity to transition in to the role of Director of Communications. She continues working on staff communications, social media management and marketing, alumni management and public relations as well as taking the lead as ACE’s Board of Directors Liaison. While not at work Susie loves traveling, pursuing her artistic interests, gardening and creating culinary masterpieces but most of all spending as much time as possible with her husband and their 3 beautiful children.
Laura Herrin joined ACE in 2018 as President and CEO.
Laura has a long tenure working in the youth conservation arena serving fifteen years with the Student Conservation Association in numerous roles, ultimately as the Senior Vice President for Program. In this role, Laura was responsible for all aspects of program and partnership development and implementation, risk management and safety, and organizational growth. In her tenure she implemented a number of initiatives including summer youth employment programs and conservation service programs for urban and underrepresented youth.
Most recently Laura worked with the Corps Network overseeing fund development and partnerships for the membership organization supporting the work of more than 130 Service and Conservation Corps across the country.
Laura’s professional career has always been in the non profit space and includes work with Children Youth and Families as well as the US Ski Association.
Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and Leadership. Additionally, she is a certified black belt in Innovation Engineering.