Past Rocky Mountain Conservancy Education Fellows

Meet Some of Our Past Education Fellows


Mike Innes

2018 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Canonsburg, PA
College: Penn State
Career Goals: : It is Mike’s goal to work full-time within the National Parks where he can spend each day connecting people to the natural world.

Fellowship Duties: Mike continued to build on his education and environmental interpretation skills while gaining experience in developing his own educational programs.



Emily Ross

2018 Bailey Education Fellow
Hometown: Folsom, CA
College: Colorado State University
Career Goals: Emily’s goals include bringing children into the outdoors to ignite their passion for the outdoors. She thinks that giving children time outdoors makes them have a much healthier life and she would love to be able to facilitate that.

Fellowship Duties: Emily created effective, interactive environmental education programs for both young adults and families. She also gained experience in working with a non-profit and was able to shadow other employees of RMC to see what their jobs looked like and assisted them with daily tasks.



Rosemary Truman

2018 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Overland Park, KS
College: Truman State University
Career Goals: : Rosemary would like to work for an organization supporting an environmental cause, such as the national park system.

Fellowship Duties: Rosemary assisted staff at the conservancy and RMNP by presenting informational programs, drafting news releases, engaging in community outreach, and teaching nature activities to multigenerational audiences.


Morgan Lawrence

Morgan Lawrence

2017 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Hamilton, Montana
College: University of Montana
Career Goals: : Morgan planned to work as a conservation educator with a field institute or university in the United States. After the fellowship, she was applying to graduate programs throughout the west with the hope of obtaining a master’s degree in Environmental Education or Conservation Leadership.

Fellowship Duties: Morgan was involved teaching the Conservancy’s Kids’ Classes, both with the park’s environmental education program, and with the After School Program at the Estes Park School District. Morgan also attended the “Indigenous Histories and Contemporary Connections in RMNP” workshop which explored the histories of the indigenous people who recognize this sacred space as their ancestral homeland as part of her ongoing studies and interests.


Rachel Donebedian

Rachel Donebedian

2017 Bailey Education Fellow
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
College: University of Michigan
Career Goals: : Through this fellowship, Rachel wanted to further her education in ecology, and to pursue a career that would allow her to use her love of biology to motivate others to protect the environment.

Fellowship Duties: Rachel designed and led a variety of kids’ classes in Rocky Mountain National Park on topics ranging from art to animal tracking, led an after-school program at Estes Park Elementary which focused on natural history and assisted the park’s Environmental Education division to provide educational field trips to Rocky Mountain National Park for school groups of all ages. She was an educational tour leader for the “Elk to Aspen” bus tour and designed lesson plans, and registered visitors for tours and classes. Rachel also spent several days doing data collection for the “Pikas in Peril” project, a citizen science initiative run by the NPS.


Colleen Pennington

Colleen Pennington

2016 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia
College: Eckerd College, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Career Goals: Colleen looked forward to being an expert environmental educator and interpreter.

Fellowship Duties: Colleen taught interactive family, youth and school group nature activities and programs for the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Field Institute and Rocky Mountain National Park.


Dominic Rickicki

Dominic Rickicki

2017 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Bolivar, New York
College: Paul Smith’s College

Career Goals: Dom was a strong believer in the monumental power of experience as a key facet toward fostering a feeling of stewardship for the land. Dom hoped to use guiding and environmental education to help provide these experiences for other people.

Fellowship Duties: Dom led educational snowshoe hikes in the Wild Basin area, guiding bus tours, working with the environmental education department at RMNP, teaching after school programs, and learning about the workings of a non-profit. He helped register people for classes, promoted the field institute, and was involved in a variety of other behind-the-scenes projects at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.


Mariah Nelson

Mariah Nelson

2015 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
College: Colorado State University

Career Goals: Mariah was exploring careers opportunities to find the best fit and to make the biggest difference.

Fellowship Duties: Mariah developed her professional goals, taught interactive nature activities and programs, assist with program development, planning and implementation, complete basic advertising and marketing projects, present informational programs about opportunities at RMNP, draft news releases and feature articles, engage in community outreach, and drive the Institute bus.


Maggie Poyant

Maggie Poyant

2015 Bailey Education Fellow
Hometown: New Bedford, Massachusettes
College: Northeastern University

Career Goals: Maggie had set her sights on becoming an environmental geologist.

Fellowship Duties: Maggie taught young visitors and their families about the many interconnected ecosystems within Rocky Mountain National Park and how to continue to protect and appreciate all of its natural resources.


JoAnna Wurst

JoAnna Wurst

2013 Bailey Education Fellow
Hometown: Grant, Nebraska
College: University of Wyoming

Career Goals: Jo hoped to be active in nature and wilderness education following her fellowship as she is applying to graduate programs around the nation. She hoped to eventually get masters and doctorate degrees in anthropology.

Fellowship Duties: Jo developed curriculum and led informational day programs for the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.


Kara Wadenstierna

Kara Wadenstierna

2015 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Rochester, Michigan
College: Wheaton College (IL)

Career Goals: Kara was focused on working as an Interpretive Ranger in the National Park Service or teaching outdoor education in the western U.S.

Fellowship Duties: Kara developed and led interactive winter youth and school group nature programs, and assisted with the development and implementation of Field Institute programs. She also worked to promote the educational programs through press releases and marketing venues.


Geoff King

Geoff King

2011 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Corvallis, OR
College: Carleton College

Career Goals: Geoff hoped to work in some form of advocacy contributing to the improvement of life experiences. In the long term, he would like to help develop and facilitate the creation of healthy communities.

Fellowship Duties: Geoff introduced and participated in Field Seminars, planning, developing, and implementing on-demand programs for adults and children, writing newspaper articles, updating the organization’s website, marketing programs through fliers and brochures and instructing the Estes Park After School Program.


Rachel Brooks

Rachel Brooks

2012 Olson Family Fellow
Hometown: Allenspark, CO
College: Colorado State University

Career Goals: Coming from a family of teachers, Rachel has a passion for teaching and intended to pursue a career in education, focusing on natural science, environmental science, and experiential/alternative education.

Fellowship Duties: Rachel created lesson plans and led educational programs in the field and developed promotional materials for the Field Institute programs. Rachel discovered the different facets of the partnership between a nonprofit organization and Rocky and how the partnership enhances the success of both organizations.