Meet Our Staff

Adminstrative Staff

Nicole dragging a tree in the snow
Nicole Stafford, she/her/hers

Our noble leader has been the ELC director since the summer of 2016. Growing up, Nicole lived in many different places. Since she has now lived in Fort Collins longer than anywhere else, we’ll let her claim it as her hometown. Nicole has degrees in Parks and Protected Area Management and Environmental Communications and finds solace, adventure, escape, and more in nature. She cares deeply about the natural world and wanted to ‘save the environment.’ While she still wants to save the world, a part of that has morphed into helping to grow good humans (her words). Her favorite programs are those that allow participants to discover nature on their own terms through semi-structured exploration, when participants do the most learning and growing. Nicole hopes program participants leave the ELC feeling comfortable and confident in the local environment and that the student staff finds in the ELC a positive place to learn and grow. Like any good leader, Nicole brings the 30,000 foot view. She keeps the ELC’s mission and goals in mind through all of the work we do and all the decisions we make. Her personal values of growth, adventure, and connection are embodied in her work at the ELC. She brings idealism and, at the same time, pragmatism. When she’s not making big decisions, Nicole enjoys trail running, rafting, SUPing, crafting, exploring new places, learning, romping around outside, and snowboarding.

Fun Fact – Nicole has two secret talents: a mean raptor walk and a pretty decent crab imitation.

Kristen hiking with dog
Kristen Wilkinson, she/her/hers
Program Director

Our awe-inspiring program director grew up in Albuquerque. Kristen’s attention to detail, ability to problem solve, organizational skills, and willingness to serve as a sounding board for student staff keeps the ELC running smoothly. She believes that every child deserves the opportunity to have a connection to nature and wants to be part of providing that access. Kristen enjoys working at the ELC because she believes in the mission and gets to feel like she is making a difference. When she’s not problem-solving or helping student staff, Kristen spends her time hiking, running, reading, and working on jigsaw puzzles.

Fun Fact – Kristen’s favorite ice cream flavor is Tillamook mudslide, which is basically as much chocolate as you can get into an ice cream. Keep this in mind if you want to be on Kristen’s good side.

Student Staff

Sloan stands on a beach
Sloan Moore, he/him/his
Junior, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources with a minor in Leadership

Sloan is from Edwardsburg, Michigan, where he had little access to natural areas like the ELC. As such, he knows the value in nature and hopes to inspire youth to find their own passion in the outdoors. Sloan loves the positive energy that we all share here at the ELC, and we all love the happy energy and laughter that Sloan brings everyday! He hopes to foster a strong connection to nature in our students, and to inspire the next Steve Irwin. But most of all, he just wants students to walk away from each event happier than when they arrived. When he’s not teaching or making everybody smile, Sloan spends most of his time rock climbing!

Fun Fact – If Sloan were stranded on a deserted island, he would bring the best speaker in the world with all of his favorite songs, lots of books, and (you guessed it) his rock climbing shoes!

Parker leans over a wooden wall
Parker Allen, he/him/his
Sophomore, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Parker is from Fort Worth, Texas and does, in fact, own a cowboy hat. He grew up getting outside a lot and values both the time he got to spend outside and the people who encouraged him to explore the natural world. Parker also worked as a summer camp counselor, where he developed his enthusiasm, high energy, and passion for teaching and mentoring kids. Parker sees the ELC as a way to give back; he looks forward to showing kids how awesome the natural world is and why it is important. When he’s not talking about summer camp, Parker likes to climb, hike, and try his hand at baking bread!

Fun Fact – Parker is not half bad at ukulele, at least according to his mom (according to Parker). The animal that Parker most relates to is a Yeti because of his blond hair and his appreciation for snow, ice, and climbing mountains.

Anna stands on top of a mountain
Anna Baize, she/her/hers
Junior, Wildlife Biology with a minor in Forestry

Anna is from Indiana and when she grows up she wants to focus on research related to plants, wildlife, and forestry but also stay focused on community outreach. Anna loves hiking, running, camping, hanging out with trees, and photography! She’s loves writing her own lessons plans and getting kids excited about the outdoors. She also brings creativity, a little bit of humor and a smile to the ELC team. Anna hopes the kids she teaches take away a special appreciate for their surroundings and an excitement to learn about the world around them!

Fun Fact – Anna can sometimes beat box on the flute!

Claire stands at the top of a canyon
Claire Silvestre, she/her/hers
Junior, Ecosystem Sciences and Sustainability, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Claire is from Dallas, Texas and is not used to the Colorado winters. Claire’s hobbies include reading, watching TV, and appreciating nature. She wanted to work for the ELC because she believes that educators are the most powerful tool we have to create a more sustainable and positive future. She brings enthusiasm and experience with teaching children to the ELC team. Claire is most excited about learning how to be a better educator and scientist this year.

Fun Fact – Claire can retain a lot of weird and random information, the more random the easier to remember (it is apparently never useful).

Kiera holds a python
Kiera Deneham, she/her/hers
Junior, Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Kiera is mostly from Colorado Springs – among other places. When she was in 5th grade, she had a teacher that changed her entire outlook on the environment and exploring nature. Ever since, Kiera has made it her goal to share that passion with others. Throughout this lifelong quest, Kiera is always sure to bring her positive attitude and lots of laughter! Her hope for the youth in our programs is that they all discover something new. Some have never seen macroinvertebrates, others have never caught a toad, and a few have never built a tree fort. Kiera would love to help them experience these special moments in nature. By discovering the wonders of nature, she hopes that the ELC can teach future generations why we need to protect our planet. When she grows up, Kiera would like to be a conservation biologist or an educator.

Fun Fact – Kiera plays trombone in the CSU Marching Band, so she’s basically a celebrity! She can also ride a horse with no saddle. The real question is: can she do both at the same time

Isaiah stands on top of a mountain
Isaiah Sandoval, he/him/his
Junior, Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Isaiah comes to us from Walsenburg, Colorado. Having known him since his first week on campus, we can tell you he is one of the hardest working humans around. His work ethic is something to behold and his perseverance is the same. We are very excited to have Isaiah on staff as our site maintenance and volunteer coordinator. Isaiah is most excited about working outdoors, gaining knowledge, learning new skills, and working with great people. He hopes to improve the ELC property with his skills in leadership, carpentry, and construction and with his positive attitude! When he does take time to play, Isaiah enjoys rock climbing, art, making music, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, exercising, and climbing Colorado’s 14ers!

Fun Fact—Isaiah would like to inherit an adaptation from the Kangaroo Rat—the ability to survive without ever drinking water. He thinks his 14er hikes and other outdoor adventures would be a lot easier if he didn’t have to worry about water!

Emma stand in front of a tree
Emma Riley, she/her/hers
Junior, Conservation Biology

Emma is from New Brighton, Minnesota. Her hobbies include backpacking, fishing, identifying plants, and basking in the sunshine! Like many at the ELC, Emma believes that the greatest tool we have to help shape the future of tomorrow is through education. Emma is most excited to learn new things from every program she teaches. The animal Emma can relate to most is her 16-year-old house cat, Mochi, because cats are always happy with their surroundings but eager to know more about the world. She hopes that with each program she teaches kids will leave the ELC with a greater understanding of the world around them, and more compassion for all the living things that call it home.

Fun Fact – Emma is the ELC’s unofficial graphic designer which was a secret talent she didn’t know she had till now!

Carmen stands in the snow
Carmen Bachofen, she/her/hers
Junior, Environmental Sciences and Sustainability

Carmen is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she grew up loving the outdoors and doing anything outside. Her hobbies include climbing, hiking and painting. She’s excited to teach programs at the ELC and inspire the next generation of nature lovers. Carmen hopes to inspire the kids she teaches to appreciate the world around them and understand how interconnected humans are with their surroundings. But also, to never stop asking questions and learning, no matter how old you are!

Fun Fact – If Carmen could have any animal trait it would be to jump like an African Bush baby squirrel. (If you haven’t seen a video of it, go look it up. It’s awesome).

Kaili stands in front of a mountain landscape
Kaili Schroeder, she/her/hers
Junior, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Kaili was born and raised right here in Fort Collins. Above all else when she grows up, she wants to be happy. She brings enthusiasm, positivity, and a willingness to try new things to the ELC team. Kaili is most excited about how awesome all her fellow coworkers are and is excited to work with them. She hopes the kids she teaches will grow to have just as much of an appreciation for the outdoors as all the staff at the ELC. Kaili also wants the kids she teaches to become informed citizens of the world who always stay active learners.

Fun Fact – Kaili’s spirit animal is an otter because, just like her, they are communal animals and love being in both water and on land.

Vica stands on a beach
Vica Gurevich, she/her/hers
Junior, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability with a minor in Role of Sustainability in Peace and Reconciliation

Vica is a Colorado native, from Aurora, though her parents immigrated from Belarus! She really loves being able to work outdoors, and adores working with kids, so the ELC is the best of both worlds. Vica hopes to share her passion for the environment so that kids will want to take care of the earth the same way that she does. She hopes to live in a future in which everybody has a deep connection with nature and value it for all that it provides. Some of Vica’s hobbies include painting and drawing, being kind, spending time with loved ones and her kitty!

Fun Fact – The animal that Vica relates most to is a snake. She deeply relates to the idea of rebirth, and second chances, similar to the “shedding of skin” that snakes experience.

Margaret hiking in the mountains
Margaret Moody, she/her/hers
Junior, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Margaret comes to us from Vermont where she grew up skiing, hiking, running, and having a passion for being outside. Her passion for the environment started in high school, when she became a member of her high school’s environmental club. She helped start a school-wide composting and environmental workshop. Margaret would love to work as an environmental educator and/or guide after she graduates. She started working for the ELC because she wants to make an impact by spreading love and excitement for the outdoors. Margaret believes that her positivity and stoke is a great addition to the ELC team. We couldn’t agree more!

Fun Fact- If Margaret were stranded on a deserted island, she would bring a water bottle to hold clean water, her twin sister Kat and of course her crocs!

Saphyre on the ELC trails
Saphyre Kelly, she/her/hers
Senior, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources with a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability

Saphyre’s hometown is Aurora, Colorado and she is currently completing her final year at CSU. She has always wanted to save the world either through machines she could invent, solutions she could propose, or actions she could take. Saphyre loves to sew, knit, and paint. Saphyre works for the ELC because she is passionate about environmental education. She loves working at the ELC because of the smiles on the faces of all the students as they learn a new idea. She brings a passion for education and the knowledge about how to educate. Saphyre hopes that the students we work with at the ELC grow an appreciation and connection with the environment. She believes this attitude can foster a society wherein we all work together to ensure our survival as humans in a diverse world.

Fun Fact – Saphyre’s favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chip.

Hannah stands next to a pond
Hannah Gormley, she/her/hers
Senior, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Hannah hails from Black Diamond, Washington and is a senior at CSU. When she grows up, she wants to help kids get outside and love the outdoors. Hannah is excited to be part of the ELC team because she wants more kids to have positive experiences outside, learning about their natural surroundings. The animal that Hannah most relates to is a Black Bear, because they both love their family, berries, and sleep! If Hannah could have an animal adaptation it would be gills, because she loves to swim. If she could be like a mermaid she thinks that would make her life a little bit sweeter.

Fun Fact – If she could have three things on an island, Hannah would bring a bike, a hammock, and a coloring book.