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Staff

Heather MacSlarrow

Executive Director

Heather grew up in Northwest Washington and Hong Kong, both of which gave her an appreciation for wilderness and solitude.  She received her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and from there embarked on a 10-year adventure in public land and Wilderness stewardship with conservation corps across the West from Arizona to Alaska.  She worked with the Washington Conservation Corps, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Steamboat Springs, Montana Conservation Corps, Youth Corps of Southern Arizona, Southwest Conservation Corps in Tucson, and Southwest Conservation Corps in Salida.  Her last position in corps was as the founder and Executive Director of the Southwest Conservation Corps in Salida, Colorado.  Heather left corps work to pursue her Masters of Natural Resources through the University of Idaho and work with the Colorado Mountain Club as the Lands Director.  Through these positions, Heather worked with many Wilderness Areas, including: Buffalo Peaks, Collegiate Peaks, Sangre de Cristo, Great Sand Dunes, Spanish Peaks, South San Juan, Weminuche, La Garita, Admiralty Island, Glacier Bay, Wrangell Saint Elias, Misty Fjords, Kenai, Organ Pipe, Chiricahua, Gila, Saguaro, Rincon Mountain, North and South Maricopa Mountains, Superstition, Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, Selway Bitterroot, Rattlesnake, Mission Mountains, Bob Marshall, Mount Zirkel, and High Uintas.  

Heather is highly dedicated to the professional stewardship and management of Wilderness.  She sees this as the key to allowing Wilderness to do what Wilderness does best - facilitate life-changing experiences and maintain important ecological systems, both of which provide essential support for, and strengthen, our communities.  

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Sarah Albright

Wilderness Dayen

Sarah grew up in California where she completed her B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz. Sarah has found a deep passion for stewardship and management by working in a variety of systems including coastal scrublands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, shortgrass prairie, and the alpine. Sarah recently completed a M.S. in ecology at Colorado State University, where she has spent the last two and a half years conducting an updated population assessment of burrowing owls in eastern Colorado. She looks forward to continuing to grow as a conscious steward and manager of wild spaces. Sarah is currently working on Wilderness Character Monitoring within the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, where she is excited to broaden her research scope and contribute to the working knowledge of Wilderness conditions in the area. In her free time, she can be found doing a variety of outdoor activities including gardening, swimming, climbing, and enjoying the rugged stillness of nature. Or making small progress towards learning the piano.

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Claire Anderson

Wilderness Dayen

Claire grew up in Western Washington and developed a love for the outdoors as a child through annual camping trips to Mt. Rainier with family friends. After receiving her B.A. in Environmental Policy and GIS at Western Washington University, she spent several years exploring the environmental sector, including working at a land trust and farm, an environmental lab, and timber cruising in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest. Claire recently completed a M.S. in Natural Resources at Cal Poly Humboldt and is excited to have more time to explore the redwood forests and learn more about the Northern California landscape in the Shasta-Trinity and Mendocino National Forests. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, skiing, attempting to sew, and obsessing over her dog, Freya.

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Nick Barba

Wilderness Dayen

Nick grew up in Michigan and fell in love with nature by spending time in big bodies of freshwater. He graduated from the mitten state's Oakland University in 2020, where his studies focused on urban pollinator conservation and environmental GIS. In the summers, he furthered his outdoor passion as a high ropes coordinator and a Rocky Mountain Conservancy corpsmember in Estes Park, CO. After graduating, Nick went on to enter the seasonal work circuit in a variety of different positions, including compiling GPS and GIS data in the American Southeast, taking pictures for viewpoint management on the Appalachian Trail, and working as an environmental educator on Catalina Island in California. He fell in love with California's diversity of ecosystems and experiences, which even outweighed the gas prices. The golden state became his homebase, where he now connects with nature by spending time in big bodies of saltwater. 

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Isabel Bauer

Wilderness Dayen

Isabel studied environment and geography at Michigan State University and wielded her GIS skills at Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) before finding her way to SWS in April of 2023. She has since been monitoring wilderness character in the Hiawatha and Huron-Manistee National Forests of her home state and providing support for WCM in wildernesses across the country. Outside of sharing her passion for wild spaces, Isabel also has a great love for solo adventures, folk music, and bodies of freshwater.

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Valerie Brazfield

Wilderness Dayen

Valerie graduated in 2016 from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies paired with a Paralegal Certification. She developed a strong passion for environmental advocacy as well as citizen stewardship and the protection of our natural environment. She worked as an Environmental Legal Technician and successfully assisted her legal team in challenging and altering the Sandpiper Pipeline Project and the USACE Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project. She went on to practice artisan goat cheese making and worked on a small goat dairy farm in Skagit Valley, Washington. She enjoyed learning about sustainable agriculture and its impacts on the local environment. She also worked with Washington State Parks in their Northwest Region and fell in love with the striking beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Since then she became a team member of The CROP (Cannabis Removal on Public Lands) Project and helped raise national awareness on the environmental crime taking place in some of our most pristine natural spaces. Wherever she goes, Valerie seeks out local environmental learning centers and volunteers her time. She loves environmental education and helping to provide communities with opportunities for local stewardship. Valerie is currently based in Knoxville, Tennessee, working on the Wilderness Character Monitoring on Angelina - Sabine, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston National Forests. In her free time, she likes to go camping and hiking with her family, cook new recipes, and create fun art.

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Gillian Chirillo

Wilderness Dayen

Gillian is from Michigan and studied Forestry as well as Sustainable Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at Michigan State University. As a Wilderness Ranger Intern for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation in Northwestern Montana, she witnessed the dedication of the stewards around her to protect and promote precious wild spaces and was inspired to make Wilderness a big part of her life. She also worked as a Park Guide at Canyonlands National Park and as a Forestry Technician in Southwestern Montana before moving to Oregon. She spent a summer in the wilderness areas of Mt. Hood National Forest implementing Wilderness Stewardship Performance Plans and is now working with the Forest to conduct Wilderness Character Monitoring.  In her free time, she likes to run, bike, backpack, and listen to loud music. 

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Mitch Clark

Wilderness Dayen

Mitch Clark is a documentary filmmaker from Salt Lake City, UT. He received his graduate degree in environmental science & natural resource journalism from the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. He has received awards for his work from the Society of Professional Journalism and various film festivals. Storytelling at the intersection of adventure and human/landscape interaction is his passion. When he's not behind the lens, Mitch can be found on the trails running and riding with his dogs.

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Hannah Cochlin

Wilderness Dayen

Hannah grew up in Minnesota and graduated with a BS in Environmental Science with certificates in Sustainability and Global Health from the University of Wisconsin. She has held many roles in the climate and food justice fields and has also spent a lot of her time working with youth. She is passionate about making the outdoors accessible to everyone, no matter their background or location. Before her role with SWS, she worked at the US Fish and Wildlife Service managing a summer internship for a crew of 12 in the Twin Cities metro area. Hannah is currently working on Wilderness Character Monitoring in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona. When she's not on the job, she can be found cooking new recipes, traveling to new and exciting places, reading in her hammock, tending to her garden, hosting game nights, and hiking/camping whenever possible.

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Julia Cotter

Program Director

Julia graduated from Colorado College in 2018 with a degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology. Since graduating, she has conducted research in riverine and forest ecology with a focus on entomology. In 2019, she moved to Montana to conduct research with the University of Montana Flathead Biological Station where she worked in the floodplains of the Flathead River, Glacier National Park, and across western Montana and northern Idaho. In 2021, she led the first all-women trail crew for the Montana Conservation Corps, clearing and maintaining trails in the Selway Bitterroot and Frank Church Wildernesses.  Through her work, she has developed a fierce love of wild spaces and hopes to dedicate her career to better understanding and protecting them. In her free time, she likes to hike, bake, knit, and cross-country ski with her dog Monty. 

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Ben Gelderloos

Wilderness Dayen

Ben graduated from Colorado College in 2021 with a degree in Environmental Studies. His passion for learning deeply about wild places and how people protect them has driven him to study Maori co-management of parks in Aotearoa New Zealand, sustainable recreation through cultural change with the Sherpa in Nepal, and stakeholder perspectives on collaborative conservation efforts in Colorado. He developed a habit of heading deep into the backcountry through Boy Scouts and an opportunity as a Wilderness Ranger Intern at the peak of Covid’s outdoor boom. Ben uses his enthusiasm for the outdoors to share the experiences that make public lands worth protecting. Previously, he has worked as a mountain bike guide leading multi-day trips across the American Southwest as well as day rides through the redwoods in Santa Cruz where he lives. After seeing how important it is to advocate for the preservation of places we enjoy, Ben is excited to be working on Wilderness Character Monitoring in Northern California. Off the job, Ben is frequently on long bike rides on two wheels (outside of Wilderness) or hiking on two feet.

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Atticus Habel

Wilderness Fellow

Atticus is from Reading, Massachusetts and lives and works half the year on the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont in partnership with the Forest Service. His work in the wilderness has included air quality monitoring, stocking fish ponds, map and sign installation, wilderness character monitoring, and working with Leave No Trace to revegetate heavily affected wilderness campsites. He is a strong believer in expanding access to and education about natural areas around New England, and outside of work, he is a voracious reader of history and loves any creative activity from painting, music, and writing to mixology and cooking as well.

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Radyn Hall

Wilderness Dayen

Radyn is from Merritt Island, Florida, and has been passionate about the environment from a young age. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2022, earning a B.S. in Forest Resources and Conservation. While earning her degree, she assisted with research projects in the Department of Agriculture Education and Communication. Radyn will be working on Wilderness Character Baseline Assessments in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. In her free time, Radyn enjoys being on the water or spending time with friends and family.

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Victoria Jarvis

Wilderness Information Director

Vick ​started working for SWS as a Fellow in 2020 when her local Forest entered a partnership to complete the Wilderness Character Baseline work for their 8 Wilderness areas. Prior to SWS, she worked as a Wilderness Ranger for the Forest Service for 8 years. In her time with the Forest Service, she helped manage protocol and project development for various elements of the Wilderness Stewardship Performance program for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. During grad school, she merged her two loves of Wilderness and maps in a Natural Resources program with coursework and research focused on Wilderness management and geospatial analysis of campsite impacts. When she's not thinking about or spending time in Wilderness, she's probably knitting sweaters, sewing, staring at topographic maps, riding her bike, shoveling snow, or sitting by the fire with her husband at their home in central Washington state.

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Jason Labrie

NRM Specialist

Jason received a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Political Science from Villanova University in 2015. He spent three years after school traveling to and working in wild places all over the world while beginning his career in wildlife sciences. He worked with species across the animal kingdom, from bats to cats to birds to frogs. Jason spent the most recent 5 years of his career working as a wildlife biologist for a California timber company, where he surveyed and managed for listed species that could be negatively affected by timber harvest. Throughout this time he never lost his passion for wilderness and adventure, and continues to have many professional interests surrounding land management decisions and their effects on natural resources. In his free time Jason enjoys skiing and mountain biking, while often making pit stops to identify a wildflower or an amphibian that happens to have crossed his path.

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Ali Laird

Wilderness Dayen

Ali is from Lolo, Montana and has a BA in Humanities from Villanova University and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research focuses on the ontology and values central to conservation biology. She is particularly interested in species concepts and the practical implications of the species problem on environmental laws and protections. She is also interested in wildlife reintroduction ethics, large carnivore management, and land use planning.  Ali has worked in western Montana for the Forest Service and various conservation collaboratives on a number of applied forest ecology and resource management projects, including invasive plant control, monitoring logging impacts, and documenting the effects of repeat wildfires on ecosystem structure. In her free time she likes to cook and trail run, and is always trying to get better at plant ID.

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Kat Lyons

Wilderness Planning Director

Kat started working for SWS as a Fellow in 2016, working on Wilderness Character Montoring for 26 wilderness areas across Region 4 of the Forest Service and a stint in Florida as a Fellow for the Gulf Islands National Seashore for the National Park Service. As the SWS National Program Coordinator, she supported the National Wilderness Fellow program for two field seasons. She left to pursue her graduate degree at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where she received her Masters in Environmental Management in 2020. Her masters project focused on the role that non-tribal partners could play to support more inclusive and collaborative landscape conservation strategies. After graduating, she worked as the Conservation Project Coordinator for the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, where she brought her love of collaborative landscape conservation to develop a strategic plan with leading conservation experts to conserve the ecological integrity and climate resilience of the 14 state region within the Appalachian Landscape.

 

Kat is excited to be back with SWS as the Wilderness Planning Director. Kat looks forward to using her interdisciplinary background in environmental science and policy, landscape conservation planning, and skills in coordinating collaborative conservation projects to work on the largest national forest in the nation, the Tongass. In her free time, you can find Kat backpacking, fly fishing, or sitting around a campfire with friends.

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Brenna McDaniel

Wilderness Dayen

Brenna is from Bellingham Washington and graduated from Western Washington University in 2022 with a BA in Business & Sustainability, along with a minor in Political Science. For her capstone project she created a framework to institutionalize zero waste practices at all university-sponsored events to maximize waste diversion on campus. She previously interned at a nonprofit conducting research on nature-based solutions for regenerative agriculture, which aligns with her passion for climate change mitigation and adaptation to advance environmental justice. In her free time she enjoys exploring all that the North Cascades and British Columbia have to offer through hiking, climbing, and biking.

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Lily McGlothern

Wilderness Dayen

Lily, hailing from Napa, CA, earned a Bachelor's in Winemaking from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. For over a decade, she immersed herself in winemaking on the Central Coast but craved a deeper connection to nature. After 12 years of living near the picturesque Central California coast lines she headed back to the Northern California forests. Lily now enjoys swimming in local creek swimming holes, strumming her bass, hunting for unique mugs in thrift shops, and tending to her flourishing garden. She is thrilled to use her skills to transition into the world of environmental work, where she can contribute to conservation efforts and make positive impacts on the natural world she holds dear. 

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Matthew Merritt

Wilderness Dayen

Matthew is originally from West Winfield, NY and graduated from Paul Smith’s College in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management. Post graduation, Matthew pursued a Master of Environmental Management at Western Colorado University. Matthew’s thesis project centered around the need for expansion of land stewardship resources in the Gunnison Valley. Working as a Wilderness Dayen last year, Matthew and Co-Dayen Jessica Knuckolls produced 5 year Wilderness Character Updates for all of the BLM Wilderness areas in Colorado. Currently, Matthew is working as a BLM Dayen with a focus on producing GIS maps for a large ranch acquisition adjacent to the Dominguez Escalante National Conservation Area. Matther’s other focus for this contract is producing a commercial needs assement for the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. In Matthew’s free time he enjoys snowboarding, hiking, video gaming, and grilling.

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Cody Moran

BLM Coordinator

Cody lives on the south shore of Massachusetts and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His journey into
wilderness stewardship began in 2022 when he joined the Society for Wilderness Stewardship (SWS) as a Wilderness Fellow in the Tongass National Forest. During this time, Cody immersed himself in Southeast Alaska, completing baseline reports for the Sitka and Wrangell Ranger Districts. His favorite area was the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness, where his passion for wilderness blossomed. Building upon his fellowship, Cody transitioned to a role with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a Wilderness Dayen, focusing on WCM at the headquarters level. This included a comprehensive update of the BLM's WCM Implementation Guide. Alongside these responsibilities, Cody took on the role of SWS BLM Coordinator, overseeing the completion of BLM baseline/5-year reports in Colorado, California, and Oregon/Washington.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Cody finds fulfillment in coaching high school track and cross country. He also enjoys running, golfing, live music, and exploring whichever coastline he stumbles upon.

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Jessy Nuckolls

Wilderness Dayen

Jessy grew up in Woodstock, Georgia but now calls Fruita, Colorado home. She earned a BS in Zoology, Conservation and Biodiversity from Auburn University and an M.P.P. in Environmental Policy from Georgia State University. Jessy has several years of experience in the non-profit realm, particularly with program development, habitat monitoring, and outreach initiatives for underserved communities. She is driven by her passion to conserve habitats and ecosystems through policy work while promoting outdoor accessibility and equity for all. Jessy can be found outside hiking or running with her dog and inside reading or cooking Southern comfort food.

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Adrian Ortiz

Wilderness Dayen

Adrian is from a bordertown city located in west Texas called El Paso. He is a double major who graduated with a degree in Public Relations and Psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2016. Adrian's passion and love for nature is deeply rooted from his childhood. As a child till today, he has always spent a lot of time camping, fishing, and hiking. He has added a few more hobbies now which include climbing/bouldering, backpacking, and whitewater rafting. His dog Bambi is more than happy to tag along on the adventures. Adrian likes to dedicate some of his free time volunteering to lead small group day hikes and backpacking trips in the wilderness. He is also a volunteer member of the search and rescue group in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Currently, Adrian will be doing wilderness character monitoring in the Gila National Forest located just right outside of Silver City, New Mexico.

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Ben Pope

Wilderness Dayen

Originally from New York, Ben has cut his teeth in Colorado and the West for the last several years. A BA in Philosophy & English, followed by years of passionate recreation in the mountains, eventually lead to graduate work at Colorado State University in land and wildlife management. He spent the last 3 years doing wilderness and trail work with the US Forest Service along with private ranch work after time in the hospitality industry. He is currently diving into Wilderness Character Monitoring within the White River National Forest and hopes to jive on the ground knowledge of the area with research on wilderness conditions. Ben enjoys time outside with his daughter shredding pow, hoofing up trails, roasting marshmallows at camp and seeking the perfect King Bolete.

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Lia Rabellino

Wilderness Dayen

Lia grew up on the central coast of California and currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is excited to work with SWS on Wilderness Baseline Monitoring in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Lia completed her B.S. in Integrated Studies with minors in Biology and Environmental Studies at Utah Valley University. In addition, she is a Wilderness First Responder and a certified CA Naturalist. Her studies focused on conservation, ecology, philosophy, and integrating these topics with a senior thesis project. Lia was able to develop a relationship between UVU and the local Audubon Society to research and implement protocol for long term light pollution monitoring at the Gillmor Sanctuary, and she continues to volunteer with the Audubon to collect data. Her professional experience includes leading backpacking trips for at-risk teens, guiding trips in the national parks, vocational training for neurodiverse adults, and restaurant management. In her spare time, she enjoys eco-conscious gardening, biking, canyoneering, and putting fruit in salads.

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Megan Schuck

Wilderness Fellow

Megan graduated from Oregon State University in 2022 with a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy. She is very excited to work as a Wilderness Fellow in the Mt. Hood National Forest and have the opportunity to help out with Wilderness Stewardship Performance. In her free time, she loves exploring new trails, looking for wildflowers, and climbing rocks.

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Corrinne Scieszka

Wilderness Dayen

Corrinne grew up in southwest Michigan, initially developing her love and appreciation for the outdoors along the shorelines of Lake Michigan while roaming the nearby sand dunes. She graduated in 2020 from the University of Michigan with a dual BS in ecology and environmental law and policy, with a research focus on climate adaptation planning in Michigan communities. Upon graduating, she moved out to Northern California to work as a project specialist focused on rural community development and collaborative forest management in the Sierra Nevada. Here, she fell in love with hiking and exploring the nearby national forests and wilderness areas. Eventually, she relocated to Wyoming to pursue an MS in Environment, Natural Resources, and Society from the University of Wyoming. She is excited to bring her love of wild places and experience to the work of wilderness monitoring. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, running, and reading.

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Michelle Tanz

Program Coordinator

USFS R6 Wilderness Lead

Michelle lives in Bellingham, Washington and has worked for SWS since 2020, writing baseline reports for wilderness areas across the Pacific Northwest. Previously, she worked for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as a Forestry Technician seasonally. She graduated from Western Washington University with a self-designed major in “Environmental Science in Society,” along with minors in Biology and Spanish. In alignment with her passion for wilderness, Michelle is an avid backcountry skier and North Cascades enthusiast. She enjoys long walks in the mountains and nerding out on plants, scat, tracks and mushrooms! 

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Logan Whiles

Wilderness Dayen

Logan grew up hiking, climbing, and nurturing his love for wild things in eastern Tennessee. He earned a BS in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University in 2016 and an MS in Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University in 2021. Logan’s recent work primarily revolved around the ecology of taxa such as Canada lynx, hoary marmots, and anadromous salmonids in the North Cascades Ecosystem. Logan’s background also includes a diverse set of roles such as zookeeping intern at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, trail crewmember in the Smokies, interpretive ranger with the Tennessee State Parks, facilities supervisor at a Wild Ungulate Facility, and data analyst for various research projects. Though Logan is still an avid fan of science and research, he’s found there’s at least one simple conclusion for wildlife conservation: protect pristine landscapes. Logan is excited to play a part in responsibly managing our most protected lands as he takes on his new role as a Wilderness Dayen in Washington and Oregon with SWS.

 

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Alec Youngblood

Wilderness Dayen

Alec, an Oregon native, is establishing Wilderness Character Baselines for the Willamette/Deschutes National Forests. A 2020 graduate of Oregon State University (OSU) with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife, his capstone research assessed the efficacy of the Oregon Marine Reserves. He then held seasonal positions with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), operating the Siletz Falls fish trap and conducting a Chinook radio telemetry study. Interested in the intersection of humanity and nature, he also spent a season as a Sustainable Tourism Intern through OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative. Recently, he worked in aquatic habitat restoration, designing projects and conducting field surveys on the southern Oregon coast. Alec, a life-long student of the natural world, loves getting outdoors and exploring. He is especially interested in land-use change and its often-overlooked contribution to our changing climate. He is overjoyed to be able to contribute to wilderness stewardship with the SWS.

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