About Us

Administrative Team

Nicole Stafford, 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 – she believes in those moments, 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. Ask Nicole to demonstrate her secret talents: a mean raptor walk and a pretty decent crab imitation.


Kristen Wilkinson, Program Coordinator
Grad School
Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Our awe-inspiring program coordinator hails from 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 facilitating that process. 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 get out of messes, Kristen spends her time hiking, running, reading, knitting, and camping.

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

Spencer Lane, Service Coordinator and Site Maintenance
Majoring in Horticulture
Minoring in Plant Health

Spencer is our incredible site maintenance expert and volunteer coordinator who comes to us from his distant homeland of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Through his passion, dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm, Spencer keeps our trails, signs, bathroom, and classroom clean and welcoming. He enjoys working at the ELC because it give him the chance to make decisions and create projects. Spencer hopes to inspire students to see the beauty and value of plants. When he’s not out at the ELC working on a project or leading volunteers, Spencer enjoys gardening, playing guitar, and hiking.

Fun Fact – The animal that Spencer most relates to is the flamingo because he searches for balance in the same way that a flamingo balances on one leg. Very inspiring.


Hannah Dresang, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Minoring in Global Environmental Sustainability

Hannah is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She started working at the ELC last year and loves to share her passions and help kids appreciate nature. Hannah’s open-mindedness makes everyone feel welcome in the ELC community and allows her to appreciate many points of view. Working at the ELC has given her new perspectives and a new place to call home. Hannah has a wide variety of interests and enjoys running, hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, painting, reading, and writing. Looking to the future, she would like to work within communities in developing countries to promote sustainability and improve quality of life.

Fun Fact – If Hannah was stranded on a desert island, she would bring a comedian to make her laugh, a good friend to rely on, and an expert at living on desert islands. If she got off the island, she would probably head to Madison, Wisconsin to get her favorite ice cream flavor: orange custard chocolate chip.


Anna Eick, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Minoring in Conservation Biology

Anna is from Colorado Springs. She loves getting outside and working with kids, so working at the ELC has been a win-win. Anna describes herself as an introvert but believes that this secret power gives her the ability to connect with kids who are more shy or less inclined to jump into the programs’ activities. She hopes to show kids that science and nature are accessible to anyone and not restricted to certain personalities. Anna also hopes that as these kids grow up, they would become a voice for the natural places in their communities. Anna enjoys photography, reading, hiking, camping, and napping in her free time and would love to work as an environmental interpreter for the National Park Service someday.

Fun Fact – Anna’s favorite flavor of ice cream is grasshopper. Before you get grossed out, grasshopper is a mix of cookies and cream ice cream and mint chocolate chip ice cream – no bugs involved!


Tyler Eisenhand
Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Minoring in Business

Tyler started his work at the ELC this summer and is quickly adjusting to non-camp ELC life. Tyler originates from Indian Hills, Colorado and is currently a junior at CSU. Also a gymnastics coach, Tyler brings his willingness and ability to listen to others and adapt plans accordingly to the ELC. He feels that one of the most important things he, as an environmentalist, can do to ensure a better future for our planet is to encourage play in and connection to nature. When he’s not romping around the forest or teaching backflips, Tyler enjoys paddleboarding, hiking, and skiing.

Fun Fact – Ever practical, Tyler would bring a boat, compass, and flashlight with him if he was stranded on a deserted island.


Ally Gran, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Forestry with a concentration in Biology

If you’re trying to find Ally on a weekend, you should probably check the nearest national parks or fourteeners before looking anywhere else. This adventurous tree-hugger (literally – her hobbies include hugging trees) hails from Rochester, Minnesota. Ally’s charismatic, enthusiastic attitude shines through her passion and excitement for the natural world. She enjoys working at the ELC because she feels that the ELC provides an amazingly unique environment for kids with curriculum that allows for learning as well as exploration. Students are often learning without knowing it because they are having so much fun! When she’s not on an adventure, Ally works on her minivan to make sure she can make it to the next thrill!

Fun Fact – When asked which animal she would most relate to, Ally said she relates to a Douglas-fir because she is tall, likes to go out on limbs, always strives to get a good view, can grow happily in many environments but thrives in certain conditions, stays close to her roots, and drinks plenty of water. While this is a great description, Ally might want to review the differences between plants and animals…


Lauren Hughes, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Minoring in Global Environmental Sustainability & Political Science, concentration in Environmental Affairs

If you hear a bubbly laugh coming from the ELC, chances are it’s coming from Lauren. This outgoing, fun-loving yogi is one of several ELCers that come to us from Albuquerque. A senior in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (with plenty of minors to keep her busy), Lauren’s favorite part about working at the ELC is when she watches a child light up as they discover a ‘creepy-cool’ insect or an ‘awesome’ flower (note the cheery enthusiasm in her word choice). Lauren hopes that her love for nature and the outdoors is infectious for those she teaches and that such a love will equate to active, environmentally friendly citizens. When her time at the ELC is up, Lauren hopes to work for a non-profit engaged in environmental and social justice issues.

Fun fact – Lauren enjoys hoop dancing and brewing her own kombucha (flavors of choice are ginger-lemon and Palisade peach). It’s easy to tease her for personifying the ultimate natural resource student stereotype, but don’t be fooled, she’s as unique as they come.


Dan Kelly, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Fish, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology

Dan is from Centennial, Colorado and enjoys rock climbing. He has a passion for wildlife biology field techniques and a zeal for engaging kids with the parts of nature that are usually too “messy” for their teachers to consider emphasizing. This includes creating displays of animal bones, taking kids off trail, and having students examine animal scat. Dan hopes that the kids that he works with will find that learning can be hands-on and exciting and that they will discover a profound love for nature within themselves, so that they will spend more time in it and protect it. When he grows up, Dan would like to be happy…and also a mountain guide.

Fun Fact – The animal that Dan most relates to is the racoon because it climbs, eats everything, and likes to break the rules. His secret talent is his ability to bend a bottle cap in half with one hand.


Abi Miller, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Natural Resource Management and Forestry

Abi hails from Texas – don’t worry, the cool part, Austin. As a double major in Natural Resource Management and Forestry it’s a wonder she has time to do anything else, but this is Abi’s fourth year with us! Aside from her sassiness (her words, not ours), Abi brings organization and her willingness to share her experiences with others to our team. Through her work at the ELC, Abi aims to create a deep sense of caring about nature in youth with the hopes that they grow up to be lawmakers and activists who make tangible changes in how we treat our environment. Upon graduation, Abi would like to work for an environmental education non-profit that focuses on reaching low-income and minority communities.

Fun Fact – If she could have any animal adaptation, Abi would choose the camouflage of the cuttlefish. She’d like to be able to spy on people. Hmmmm, Abi, we’re not sure what this says about you.


Aileen Palma, Environmental Education
Majoring in Conservation Biology

Aileen is proud to call Fort Collins home! Aileen joined the ELC community this past fall and came prepared with everything she would need to be an environmental educator: her cheerful personality and her passion to educate people about the environment. Aileen loves working with kiddos and hopes that they find joy or peace in the outdoors. She also hopes to bring a diversity of kids outside, because every kid deserves to enjoy the environment, or at least experience it. Aileen enjoys hiking and backpacking and would love to work as an environmental educator or interpreter for the National Park Service someday.


Fun Fact – The animal that Aileen most relates to is the owl because a Buzzfeed quiz once told her that she is wise. We tend to agree!


Aaron Provencio, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Wildlife
Minoring in Spanish Language

Although originally from Beavercreek Ohio, Aaron has lived in Fort Collins for most of his life. Aaron is an ELC alum and hopes to guide the future of the next generation like the ELC once did for him. He hopes that one day environmental education will be standard practice, environmentalism commonplace, and that places like the ELC will be made obsolete simply because everyone will be receiving environmental education in their families and schools. Until that day, Aaron will continue to bring his energy and little-to-no volume control (his words) to show people how cool it is to be able to spend time in nature. When he’s not teaching kids how cool nature is, Aaron enjoys reading, mountain biking, spending time with friends, watering plants, and not cleaning his room.

Fun Fact – If he could choose an animal adaptation, Aaron would want gills. If he could breathe underwater, he would go to all sorts of places that humans can’t go and find buried treasure and all that good stuff.


Yvonne Schramm, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Minoring in Zoology 

Yvonne started working at the ELC this school year and her passion for organization keeps the office and supply closet spick and span. Yvonne came all the way to Colorado from her hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. She would love to see every student who visits the ELC find one thing they are passionate about in the outdoors and be encouraged to learn more about that topic at home too. Yvonne loves working at the ELC because she sees kids smile in the outdoors every day! After she graduates, Yvonne hopes to continue to be an environmental educator or conservation leader.

Fun fact: Yvonne’s secret talent is baking. She also enjoys reading and would bring a Bottomless Book Box of her choosing if she was stranded on a deserted island. Ask her about her favorite animal: the giraffe.


Becca Venable, Environmental Educator
Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Minoring in Conservation Biology

Becca calls Orange County, California home. This wolf-loving gal began her adventure with the ELC this past fall and has brought her high energy, enthusiasm, and positivity to every event. Becca is excited to be a part of the growth that happens with small humans (her words) when they learn about the natural world. She hopes to present ideas that are so fascinating that young minds will have no choice but to love and appreciate the natural world. Always enthusiastic, Becca expects to learn from the kids just as much as they learn from her. When she grows up, Becca would like to be an educator at a zoo or aquarium while also being a part-time professional photographer.

Fun fact – Becca seems to know how to enjoy the best parts of life – her hobbies include taking photos, hiking, swimming in any possible body of water, long drives while listening to good music, and eating incredible food.