Meet Our Staff

Adminstrative Staff

Nicole dragging a tree in the snow
Nicole Stafford (she/her)
Director

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.

Student Staff

Sully hikes on a mountain with his dog
John “Sully” Sullivan (he/him)
4th year, Natural Resource Management and Entomology

From humble beginnings in the true north, Buffalo, NY, Sully is a second bachelors’ student who is studying Natural Resource Management and Entomology (he really loves insects!). Sully loves spending his free time outdoors, whether it’s exploring wild lands or playing sports.  Sully decided to move to Colorado and go back to school to pursue his dream of working in and with nature. Sully is really, really, REALLY, good at picking stuff and putting it down again, to the point that he competes in local competitions. He enjoys hiking with his pup Oscar T. Dog and they have even started climbing 14ers together.  Sully hopes that by teaching the children of Fort Collins about nature he might inspire them to follow their nature dreams as well.

Fun Fact – Being from Buffalo, Sully is a lifelong Bills fan and is certain that this year is their year.

Esme crouches in a tree and smiles
Esme Wissinger (they/she)
4th year, Forest Management

Esme is from St. Louis, Missouri, where she grew up participating in environmental education programs through Girl Scouts and her local botanical gardens. She is super passionate about nature and wants to share that passion with others through environmental education with the hopes of inspiring future stewards and caretakers of the environment. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors, playing board games and baking.

Fun Fact- Esme’s favorite animal is an ant and she is always excited to share a fun ant fact with anybody who shows interest.

Trevor holds up a mushrom as big as his hand
Trevor Thomas (he/him)
4th year, Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Trevor is from Simi Valley, California and is sick of being called “Cali”. He moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology in a setting close to protected areas in the Rockies. Trevor became obsessed with the outdoors when he “saw that bug that one time when he was a child” and has loved it ever since; spending his time fishing, hunting, foraging, logging, and cooking what he gets from those activities. Trevor believes that exposing children to nature is the key to saving the planet and he hopes that every child he works with comes to love nature more than he does. He thinks that by working at the ELC he can inspire children to make connecting with nature an everyday part of their lives and eventually become natural resource professionals themselves.

Fun fact- Trevor loves moss and WILL touch any that he comes across. Nobody can stop him, and he will one day touch ALL OF THE MOSS.

Chloe crouches over a camping stove cooking beans
Chloe Comcowich (she/her)
4th year, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Chloe is from Burlington Vermont where she found her love for skiing, hiking, and enjoying our natural resources. She moved out to Fort Collins for school and has no plan to leave Colorado any time soon. She is a fourth year Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Major and hopes to one day enter the sustainability field specifically in outdoor retail manufacturing. She gained an appreciation for nature at an institution similar to the ELC and aims to help children achieve the same love for our environment. Lastly, if Chloe were to be an animal, she would be a Golden Retriever because of her positive attitude and excitement.

Fun Fact: The only food she’s ever tried and hasn’t liked is Greek Yogurt.

Jack stands in a river holding a fishing rod
Jack Allen (he/him)
2nd year, Fisheries and Aquatic Science Biology

Jack comes to us from Fort Worth, Texas. He is an avid fly fisherman and photographer, he would even tell you fly fishing is not just his hobby, but his lifestyle. He is currently a sophomore studying Fisheries and Aquatic Science Biology. He loves to be outside hiking, camping, road tripping, or on any body of water he can find. Jack spends his summers working and guiding out of a fly shop in Colorado, taking his clients to catch fish like the native Greenback Cutthroat in Rocky Mountain National Park. Jack loves working for the ELC because he gets the chance to pass along the knowledge that he has accrued about our natural world to younger generations. He hopes that they will take this new found knowledge and use it to understand and appreciate the natural world around them. When he is not in school he can be found with a camera in hand capturing all of nature’s beauty or fly fishing a new stretch of river with good friends.

 

Fun Fact – Jack would like to have the adaptation of the mudskipper which can survive in and out of the water.

Abby Sand (she/her)
4th year, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Originally from Chanhassen Minnesota, Abby is a senior at CSU studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. She is passionate about getting kids excited about connecting to the natural world through hands-on experiences. Abby hopes that through our programs, kids can learn about their personal effect on nature so they can become better stewards of nature. In the future, Abby hopes to be anything but bored! She hopes to have a life full of traveling and connecting with people of all backgrounds. Abby finds herself relating to squirrels because they are always entertained, scampering around, love food, and are very resourceful. Her favorite ice cream is mint cow tracks from Kemps and in her free time she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, playing outside, and yoga. If Abby could have any animal adaptation she would choose gills because she has always wanted to be a mermaid!

Abbey Shaneyfelt (she/her)
3rd year, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Abbey is a third-year student from Manhattan, Kansas studying Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Although her plans are ever evolving, Abbey’s sights are set on becoming an environmental interpreter who owns an epic tiny farm. While working at the ELC, she looks forward to spending time outside while helping kids get their hands dirty, and brings a whole lot of enthusiasm for cultivating lasting relationships with nature. If she could have any animal adaptation, she would have a vulture’s ability to eat almost anything so she could conquer food waste at last! If Abbey was stranded alone on a deserted island with only three things, she would choose to have a public library, access to Spotify, and her dog, Emmy.

Marisa Granados (she/her)
Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Graduate

Marisa is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a recent graduate of CSU with a degree in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. She works for the ELC because she believes that connecting young people to the outdoors and fostering love for the planet is a key step in solving the climate crisis. She hopes that young people walk away from our programs understanding the power they have in shaping our planet and preserving its beauty for the future. Marisa most relates to a sloth because she enjoys taking naps and can whistle through her teeth. In her free time, Marisa enjoys snowboarding, reading, running, and hanging out with her dog, Waffles.

Curran Jett-Moore (he/him)
4th year, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Hailing from Niwot, Colorado, Curran is a fourth-year student studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. He hopes to work somewhere outdoors where he can get into the mountains! Curran loves sharing his knowledge about the environment with future generations to hopefully make a positive impact on the community, and he thinks that young people being aware of environmental science is vital for the future of our planet. The animal he relates most to are pacific giant salamanders because while they are predators, they keep it chill and don’t show off despite their fantastic adaptations to their environment. In his free time, Curran likes to ski, fish, mountain bike, backpack, hike, and run.

Skylar Cunningham (she/her)
3rd year, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources & Biological Sciences

A Colorado native from Lakewood, Skylar is a third-year student studying Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Biological Sciences. She hopes to pursue a career in marine biology after the completion of her degrees. By working at the ELC, Skylar hopes to effectively teach people about the environment so they can better understand how to conserve it. She hopes that the youth we work with are able to understand and enjoy the environment in a safe and sustainable manner. The animals Skylar most relates to are a puffin or parrot because of their social behaviors and if she could have any animal adaptation it would be the ability to breathe underwater so she could observe the awesome aquatic ecosystems. In her free time, Skylar enjoys reading, being outside, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends.

Cory Milligan (he/him)
3rd year, Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Cory is a third-year student at CSU studying Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation biology with an emphasis in conservation biology. He is from Newbury Park, California and is an avid baseball fan. Cory works for the ELC because he loves to teach and believes that one of the biggest things he can do to have an impact on the environment is to pass on his knowledge to future generations. Cory hopes to foster a good relationship between the youth he works with and the Earth so that they can show others what it means to respect our planet. Cory’s favorite ice cream flavor is anything with chocolate chips, and the animal he relates most to is a giraffe because of its height.

Jack Hagenbuch (he/him)
2nd year, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Jack is a second-year student from Palatine, Illinois studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. He had people in his life who inspired him to pursue his interest in the environment and he hopes that by working at the ELC he can inspire others to do as well. Jack brings positivity and creativity to the ELC team and is looking forward to lesson planning and teaching groups of students! If he could have any animal adaptation, he would have gills so that he could breathe underwater. Jack is secretly really good at finding cool clothes in thrift stores and in his free time enjoys making music, hiking, climbing, camping, and creative writing.

Riana Zinn (she/her)
3rd year, Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Riana is a third-year student in wildlife biology from Broomfield, Colorado. She hopes her studies will lead her to a career in conservation and she is passionate about inspiring others to conserve and preserve our natural resources. She is especially excited to work in our GASP! programs, inspiring girls to find their place in the field of environmental science. Riana hopes that through working at the ELC she can get kids excited about the little things in nature like plants, invertebrates, soil, and fish. The animal she most relates to is a lemur because they can both have lots of energy but also enjoy relaxing by basking in the sun. In her free time Riana enjoys hiking, basketball, board games, and snowboarding.