Alaina came to Missoula in 2008 to study wildlife biology at the University of Montana. She graduated with her Bachelors of Science in 2012 and now works as a biological technician at Rhithron Associates Inc. Her hobbies include hiking, birding, knitting, reading, watching movies, floating the river, and being on WEN field trips. She started working with WEN when she came to Missoula as an Americorps member and has continued a relationship with them in various volunteer and staff capacities before joining the board in the fall of 2013. She looks forward to being a part of growing WEN into an even stronger organization.
Brandy grew up in the Missoula area, and experiencing the great outdoors has always been a passion for her. She earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montana and a Master’s of Science Education from Montana State University. Brandy has been an educator for nearly ten years now, and currently teaches 8th grade students at Washington Middle School in Missoula. Brandy worked with WEN for many years through participation with her students in WEN’s Stream Monitoring Programs before joining WEN’s Board of Directors in the spring of 2013. She appreciates WEN’s philosophy of place-based education, and has enjoyed taking hundreds of students out to local streams over the years to help get them involved in water quality monitoring and watershed stewardship.
This is Colleen’s first year teaching with Missoula County Public Schools. She has been teaching since 1986, most recently in Lolo Middle School. Colleen studied Physics for two years at Rutgers in New Jersey where she grew up. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Montana in Elementary Education in 1986. Colleen earned her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1993 from UM. Last year she completed her National Board Certification in Science for Middle School. She is currently a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science. Colleen is married and has two sons. Her husband, Keith, works as an engineer for the US Forest service. Her oldest son, Anders, recently graduated from MSU in computer science and is working for a start-up company writing applications. Her youngest son, Eric, is living, working and going to school in Seattle.
Russell landed in Missoula in 2000. Specializing in Outdoor Education & Recreation, he has an undergraduate degree in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s Degree from Miami University, Ohio. After spending ten years teaching and playing in university based outdoor and therapeutic recreation settings, Russell is currently the owner and outfitter of a local fly shop in Missoula. He has hosted past Liam Wood Fly Fishers and River Guardians Programs and supported WEN’s mission to educate youth through hands on learning about their local watersheds.
A native Missoulian, Ron grew up fishing and playing in the rivers and creeks throughout the area. He’s worked in fly shops and guided in Montana and Alaska for over a decade. After graduating from Sentinel high school and earning his degree from the University of Montana, he began teaching back at his alma mater in 2001. Ron coaches wrestling and football and is currently teaching U. S. Government and History.
Nate McConnell’s love and passion for the outdoors began at an early age. Growing up on a small family farm outside of Cleveland Ohio he gained a true appreciation for nature. Fishing the rivers of Wyoming on family vacations earned Nate an appreciation for western water ecology. Moving to Missoula in 2004, he pursued a degree in business and expanded his passion for the outdoors. After graduation, he went on to work in healthcare finance and returned to the University of Montana earning his MBA in 2014. Currently, Nate manages the surgical business operations for Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and continues to enjoy the outdoors and waters around western Montana.