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The Team 

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Bri Wold- Founder, Education Director, Instructor

Bri Wold is a 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 and she couldn't be more excited about starting Rugged Research!

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Jesse Weiland- Founder, 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.

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Michele Mandeville- Director of School and Community Engagement

 

Michele has always felt a deep calling to share her love of nature with others, particularly youth. Her experience includes teaching in public and private education for over 20 years, leading yearlong nature programs, and most recently serving in the Thompson School District as an elementary school teacher, wellness coordinator, running coach and outdoor educator. In addition, she is also a facilitator for Colorado Project Learning Tree and is a certified yoga teacher from Holistic Yoga School of Colorado. She has a B.A. in English and a Masters in Education. 

Michele enjoys spending time with her family, is an avid birder and loves to inspire nature connection with everyone she meets.

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Alyssa Myers- Instructor

Alyssa is a park ranger in the Front Range of Colorado. She has a Bachelors degree in Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality, with an emphasis in Parks and Recreation. Alyssa has been rock climbing recreationally for 4 years, primarily bouldering, and enjoys sharing the sport with others. What she loves most about working with kids is seeing their excitement for the outdoors grow with each class.

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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. When she isn't in class, Rangering, or Instructing, Breyer can be found relaxing under the stars around a crackling bonfire with her partner, Ben, and dog, Leo by her side. 

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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!

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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."