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Group of Green Leaves

The Team 

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Bri Wold- Founder,  Director, Instructor

Bri Wold is a former Park Ranger in the Rocky Mountains and the founder and co-director of  Rugged Research. Her experience includes working in highly diverse areas of the world, including rainforests, deserts, oceans and is now a Park Ranger in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Bri has led educational expeditions for students to Hawaii, Belize, Costa Rica and many other extraordinary sites. In addition, Bri has a Masters in Education and was previously a high school science teacher in Colorado where she had substantial involvement in curriculum development and outdoor education.  Bri's passion lies in sharing the wonders of the natural world with the next generation.


Jesse Weiland- Founder, Co-Director, Instructor

Jesse Weiland is the founder and Co-Director of Rugged Research. He is a former Park Ranger who has worked with the National Park Service and local Colorado parks as well. Before becoming a Park Ranger, Jesse was a Biological Science Technician for Rocky Mountain National Park, a tour guide in the Mediterranean, an outdoor educator in Hawaii and high school science teacher. Jesse has a Masters in Environmental Science and his past research has ranged from studying chimpanzees in Africa to bumble bees in New Jersey and now he can't wait to show kids the amazing  natural wonders that  Colorado has to offer!

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Aliy Louie- Little Ranger Program Leader

Aliy Louie is a Rocky Mountain park ranger and full time mom. Growing up in a family of teachers, she started her career in Elementary Education, but was torn when it came to being outdoors in Colorado. She learned that being a park ranger meant teaching outdoors and teaching people about nature, and was hooked!  Her favorite part of being a park ranger is getting kids excited about nature. She has 3 kids and loves taking them hiking, camping, swimming, and just all around exploring! As a family, they have visited 14 National Parks already, more than half of those multiple times.  She regularly does talks at moms’ groups, churches, and campfire programs pertaining to kids and nature.

Breyer Kinzer- Instructor, Admin Assistant 

Breyer Kinzer is a Park Ranger and student studying Restoration Ecology and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. Originally from rural Illinois, Breyer grew up fascinated by Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks, as well as the multiple rivers that cross through her hometown. After being an avid volunteer throughout highschool, she earned her Associate degree and began her career journey as a Summer Camp Counselor, a Zipline Instructor, and an Environmental Chemist. With a passion for gentle child care and a deep love for Conservation, Breyer takes pride in helping students' explore the natural world. 

Sara Mickow- Instructor, Curriculum Team Lead

Born and raised in the Midwest, Sara’s appreciation for all things outdoors started at a young age with annual trips to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Sara attained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at St. Ambrose Univeristy where she immersed herself in the world of curriculum and child development. As an instructor, Sara loves to incorporate creative & interactive hands-on activities within her lessons, ensuring the kiddos are always having fun! Sara has spent recent years teaching social-emotional curriculum and life skills in both the classroom and home settings and is excited to bridge her love of the outdoors and child development together at Rugged Research!


Kasey Weingarten - Instructor

Born and raised in Arizona, Kasey attended Arizona State University where she studied Sustainability, Environmental Education, and Spanish. Kasey is now enrolled in her Master's program in Biomimicry (innovation inspired by nature!). She is passionate about empowering students to develop deep and meaningful relationships with nature. "When we have a better understanding of our place in the world, we become more connected with ourselves and all the beauty and wonder that surrounds us!" When she's not teaching or in school, Kasey enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring the Colorado outdoors with her husky Apollo!


Paige Link - Instructor

Paige is a Colorado native and has spent her whole life loving the outdoors, especially backpacking and skiing. She is passionate about nature, adventure, fitness, and working with youth. Paige earned her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from CSU. She has worked in many fields, including a Background-Ski instructor for Winter Park Ski and Ride school, an Outdoor education instructor for the YMCA of the Rockies, a Personal Trainer, and a Fitness and sports coach for youth. When not instructing with Rugged Research she is also currently a group fitness instructor and a substitute teacher for Poudre School District. 


Sophie- Mascot

I have been a professional mascot for 3 years and Rugged Research has been, by far, the best company I've ever been a mascot for.  My favorite activities include chasing bunnies, playing with kids and barking at people who knock on my front door. My biggest role model is Scooby and If there was one quote I live my life by it would be "Never stand between a dog and a fire hydrant."

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