About Us

Administrative Team

Nicole Stafford, Director

Woman drags christmas tree through snowy pine forest.

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 Director
Graduate School
Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resourcessmiling woman holds clam that she found on a tidal beach.

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

 

Isaiah Sandoval, Service Coordinator and Site Maintenance
Junior
Majoring in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Isaiah is our incredible site maintenance expert and volunteer coordinator who comes to us from Walsenburg, Colorado. Through his passion, dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm, Isaiah keeps our trails, signs, bathroom, and classroom clean and welcoming. 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!

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!

Parker Allen, Environmental Educator
Junior
smiling man leans over the edge of a wooden deck.Majoring in 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. This experience is evident in his enthusiasm, high energy, and passion for teaching and mentoring kids. Parker began working at the ELC this year and he 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 Baize, Environmental Educator

Junior

Majoring in 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 still stay focused in community outreach. Anna loves hiking, running, camping, hanging out with trees, and photography! She’s excited to write her own lessons plans and get 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!

 

 

 

Kiera Deneham, Environmental Educator
Senior
Woman standing outside holding a large snake.Majoring in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Kiera is mostly from Colorado Springs – among other places – and made her debut at the ELC this summer. 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 and learning about why it is important to us, she hopes that the ELC can teach future generations why we need to protect and fight for 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?

 

Claire Silvestre, Environmental Educator

Junior

Majoring in Ecosystem Sciences and Sustainability

Minoring 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 at helping 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).

 

 

 

Emma Riley, Environmental Educator

Junior

Majoring in Conservation Biology

Emma is from New Brighton, Minnesota . Her hobbies include backpacking, fishing, identifying plants, and basking in the sunshine! Like a lot of awesome employees 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 and hopes along the way the kids will teach her things as well. 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 Bachofen, Environmental Educator

Junior

Majoring in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability

Carmen is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she grew up loving the outdoors and doing anything outside. Her hobbies including climbing, hiking and painting. She’s excited to be able to start teaching programs at the ELC and getting to 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).

 

 

Aaron Provencio, Environmental Educator
Senior
Majoring in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Wildlife
Minoring in Spanish Language smiling man stands in a jungle.

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.

 

 

 

Kaili Schroeder, Environmental Educator

Junior

Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Kaili was born and raised right here in Fort Collins, and 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 over the course of this year. She hopes the kids she teaches will grow to have just as much of an appreciation C for the outdoors as all the staff at the ELC does. 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.

 

Sloan Moore, Environmental Educator

Senior

Majoring in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Minoring in Leadership

Sloan is from Edwardsburg, Michigan, where he had little access to nature areas such as those we have here at 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!

 

Vica Gurevich, Environmental Educator

Junior

Majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Minoring 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 for her. 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, and 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 Moody

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 workshops. 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.

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 Kelly

Senior

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Minoring in Global Environmental Sustainability

Saphyre’s hometown is Aurora Co and she is currently completing her 4th and final year at CSU. She has always wanted to save the world either through machines she could invent, solutions she could propose, or through 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 or are excited about what they are doing. She feels like 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 world that is diverse and use efficiently.

Fun Fact- Saphyres favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chip.