Our Team

Our Staff

Michelle Stewart, Ph. D.

Executive Director

Michelle Stewart is a Colorado native who grew up in the foothills north of Fort Collins. Michelle has been involved in sustainability-related teaching, research, mentoring, program development and leadership for over 15 years.

Prior to joining YVSC, Michelle was the Academic Director for the School for International Training’s Iceland Program on Renewable Energy, Technology and Resource Economics, where she designed and led an experiential learning study-abroad program for university students. She and her Iceland colleagues co-developed one of the first carbon-neutral study abroad programs in the world in 2019 by offsetting transportation-generated emissions through reforestation in one of Iceland’s flight forests. Michelle has served as distance faculty in University of Denver’s M.A. Program on Environmental Policy and Management and the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Geography Department since 2017. From 2016-2017, she was a rangeland social scientist with Colorado State University in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, where she worked with CSU researchers, USDA, local ranchers and conservation organizations to identify how best to implement collaborative adaptive rangeland management in the Pawnee grasslands. She was the Pick Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Amherst College from 2013-2016, and a doctoral fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government from 2011-2012.

Michelle holds her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame; an M.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz; and a Ph.D. in Human-Environment Geography from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She lives in North Routt with her husband, Nathan (faculty of Sustainability Studies at CMC), and their two sons, Michael and Leif. Michelle is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys all varieties of skiing, hiking, camping, biking, running, and horse-back riding. Having known this area since she was a child, Michelle could not be happier to live and work in the Yampa Valley.

Tim Sullivan, M.Sc.

Natural Climate Solutions Director

Tim Sullivan has more than 30 years of leadership experience in international, national, and local conservation efforts. Prior to joining YVSC, Tim was the Climate Director for the North American Region of The Nature Conservancy where he oversaw work in all 50 states to develop a climate change program including work on state-level policy; land based emissions mitigation and adaptation; and communication and outreach projects.

Prior to this, he was the State Director for The Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter. As State Director he was responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the chapter, overseeing a diverse staff of professionals across the state, and reaching across borders to support the Conservancy’s work in other states and countries. Tim was earlier Conservation Initiatives Director for the Colorado program, managing programs in Science, Fire, Water, and Land Protection. He led the development of The Conservancy’s whole-system Colorado River Program.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Tim served as Regional Director for the Environmental Defense Fund, guiding their programs in seven states in the Rocky Mountain west. Tim was Deputy Director for Conservation Programs for the Chicago Zoological Society and worked for the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission. He also served as an aide to Senator Tim Wirth with responsibility for environmental and public lands issues.

Tim holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and History from Cornell University, and a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Tim has lived in Steamboat Springs since 2014 and looks forward to leading YVSC’s Natural Climate Solutions Program to enact land-based climate solutions that align emissions reductions, adaptive capacity and the unique cultural and natural assets of the Yampa Valley. In his spare time, Tim can be found outdoors–on skis, bikes, running shoes, roller blades, boats, etc.

Madison Muxworthy

Soil Moisture, Water & Snow Program Manager

Favorite place in CO: Any high alpine lake!

Madison moved from New York to Steamboat Springs in 2015. She graduated in 2019 from Colorado Mountain College with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies. While attending CMC, she competed as a Division 1 alpine ski racing athlete. During her studies at CMC, Madison worked with YVSC in a multitude of ways, as a volunteer, intern, and sustainability studies program assistant. She also worked with the Routt County Department of Environmental Health, co-curated an exhibition focused on the science of managing the Yampa River, and worked for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies as a summer naturalist.

Upon graduation, Madison joined YVSC as the Waste Diversion Director. In this role, she led the implementation of the Routt County-adopted Waste Diversion Strategic Plan; facilitated sector-focused task force groups spanning organics recycling to construction and deconstruction; organized and ran two Community Recycle Drop-off events; delivered community recycling education and regularly participated in local government planning and waste diversion-related decision-making.

In 2020, Madison participated in the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes’ (CW3E) Summer Research Internship program as a Research Intern and conducted independent research on streamflow variability in the Upper Yampa River Basin. This research experience fueled Madison’s interests in understanding water variability and change in the west, leading her to transition her role at YVSC to become its new and first-ever Soil Moisture, Water and Snow Program Manager in 2021. Madison serves as a member of the Yampa Basin Rendezvous Steering Committee and looks forward to working with partners and community members to build linkages between science, decision-making and community action to promote water conservation and resilience.

When not working, she can be found skiing, hiking, paddle boarding, wake surfing, and enjoying the amazing natural resources and landscapes of the west.

Kate Brocato

Communications & Program Manager

Favorite place in CO: Mica Lake

Kate grew up in Montana and moved to Colorado in 2016, making her home in Steamboat in 2017. She graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies from Colorado Mountain College. Throughout her college career Kate has worked with various organizations such as the University of Montana’s 1,000 New Gardens and the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, Colorado. While at CMC, Kate worked as the Assistant Site Manager of Bear Park Permaculture Center and completed an internship with Elkstone Farm. With her sustainability and food systems background, Kate aims to foster a sustainable future that is accessible to all by creating strong foundations for education, action and sustainable lifestyles.

Our Board

Lacy R. Morrill


Favorite place in CO: Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Lacy grew up in Eagle, Colorado, and spent portions of her summers in Steamboat with her grandparents, who instilled a deep appreciation for the natural beauty in Routt County. It was in these formative years that Lacy developed her passion for the environment. Lacy graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Interior Design. She participated in a Sustainable Design Course at Maho Bay in the US Virgin Islands, which inspired her interest in green building philosophies and motivated her to obtain a LEED AP certification with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction. After several years of professional experience in various Denver design firms, Lacy decided to take a leap and join her partner in Huaraz, Peru while he built a microbrewery. Lacy worked with Seeds of Hope NGO as the International Coordinator, managing volunteers and their communication and fundraising efforts. When it was time to return to the US in 2014, Steamboat felt like the perfect fit to call home. Lacy is a Design Associate at Mountain Architecture Design Group. She is thankful for every opportunity to spend time outdoors with family, friends and her dogs.

Winn Cowman

Board Member

Favorite place in CO:

Winn grew up on a small family farm in the Mississippi Delta. She spent much of her youth on the river, enjoying the outdoors. During her junior year of high school, she spent a week at Keystone Science School in Colorado. It was then that she decided she wanted to make Colorado her home, not to get away from the heat, but to be in the mountains – she actually likes heat and humidity. While attending college, Winn picked up a friend’s Environmental Science textbook and couldn’t put it down. She eventually changed her major and earned a BS in Environmental Science. As planned, she made her way to Colorado and earned a Master of Environmental Policy and Management degree from the University of Denver. She has worked for over 20 years as an environmental professional, primarily with energy and waste companies. She feels like she brings a broad perspective to sustainability, having worked with industry as an environmental advocate. Winn and her family enjoy Steamboat’s mountains, but they also like to get away for music, art, culture and the ocean as often as possible.

Scott Conner

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Indian Peaks Wilderness

Scott Conner is a Colorado native and grew up in the small farming community of Olathe. After attending Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University he graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer currently consulting on a range of building projects including retro commissioning, energy performance, thermal modeling and building automation commissioning. After 22 years of Federal Government service, Scott retired from the General Services Administration (GSA), Public Buildings Service in 2013. While at GSA, Scott held several leadership positions including, Acting Rocky Mountain Regional Commissioner, Deputy Regional Commissioner, National Chief Greening Officer, Director Denver Federal Center, Director Organizational Resources, and Chief Engineer. He was responsible for the overall operations of the Rocky Mountain Region including 325 people and a portfolio of buildings totaling 16 million square feet of office, laboratory, courthouse and warehouse space across six states. In his role as National Chief Greening Officer, Scott put in place a network of regional Sustainability Professionals to instill best practices within federal buildings across the county. Prior to GSA, Scott worked as a design engineer and construction supervisor for the National Park Service for 8 years with projects located from the White House in Washington DC to Wrangle St. Elias National Park in Alaska. Scott’s passion for sustainability has spanned his entire career and is a foundational personal value.

Sarah Jones

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Yampa Valley

Sarah B. Jones, Director of Sustainability and Community Engagement, has more than 25 years of experience investigating, evaluating and presenting information about environmental issues. At Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation (SSRC), she oversees operational sustainability, works with local municipalities to advance climate action, and partners with local government agencies and nonprofits on the preservation of local natural resources. Before joining the team at SSRC, Jones was Executive Director of Yampa Valley Sustainability Council for 7 years. She has also worked as an environmental consultant, managing both the technical and administrative aspects of multi-site environmental clean-up programs. She received her B.A. in Biology, Environmental Studies from Colby College, and her M.S. in Geology, Environmental Geochemistry from University of Colorado, Boulder.

Paul Hebert

Board Member

Favorite place in CO:

For more than 35 years, Dr. Paul Hebert has worked to promote and support sustainable development and humanitarian action in less developed countries. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1968 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, earned an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from UNC/Chapel Hill in 1970 and returned there to earn a Ph.D. in 1985. Paul has been a resident of Steamboat Springs since 1985 with various international work abroad including with the Near East Foundation in Iran, helping the government to improve water supplies and sanitation, for the World Bank training water engineers in developing countries in Asia and Africa, and for the UN coordinating humanitarian relief work in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and East Africa. Most recently Paul taught and developed curricula for an environmental studies program at VMI. Paul is an avid skier and loves sailing and biking. He is married to Dr. Mayling Simpson and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

Barclay Idsal

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: the Yampa River

A relative newcomer to the Yampa Valley, Barclay Idsal works as the community manager for Steamboat’s only co-working space, The Ski Locker. Barclay graduated from Sewanee – The University of The South with a BA in English and has worked in outdoor media for nearly half a decade. Although he and his wife Adrienne both hail from Austin, Texas, they couldn’t be happier to call Northwest Colorado home.

Jay Lambert

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Flat Tops Wilderness Area

Jay grew up in Aurora, Colorado. He moved to Portland, Oregon for college, where he received a degree in Business & Economic Studies. Jay spent four years as an investment banker in Portland before moving to Whitefish, Montana where he worked in Glacier National Park as a general park ranger and on the Glacier Green Team, focused on trail maintenance and clean-up, visitor education, recycling, and global warming initiatives. Jay moved to Steamboat Springs 11 years ago where he has worked for Steamboat Ski Resort on the seasonal finance staff and most recently for Smartwool in supply chain management, as well as co-leading the Smartwool Sustainability Team. Jay enjoys spending time outdoors with family biking, skiing, camping, dog walking, and all things Yampa Valley.

Lily Lewis

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Hahns Peak Lake

Originally from the small town of Louisville, Georgia, Lily moved to Colorado in 2012 to be closer to her sister in Denver. In April 2014, Lily began working at the Breckenridge branch of Alpine Bank and moved to the Steamboat Springs branch in 2015 to join the lending team for commercial and consumer loans. Lily holds an MBA from Georgia State University and a degree in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Lily’s resumé includes work at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and many years as a successful real estate agent with Keller Williams. She loves photography, hiking with her two dogs, and sampling new recipes created by her husband, Chef Chad Whitaker.

Gail Garey

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Moose Meadow

Having grown up in a rural farming community in Kansas, Gail has always felt at home in the natural environment. She and her husband moved to the Yampa Valley to raise their children in a grounded Community where they would have ample opportunity to be closer to nature.

Before calling Steamboat home, Gail began her career working in policy and the political arena venturing to the Nation’s Capital after earning her BA in Journalism from Kansas State University. She also worked for Verizon holding various roles in public policy, advocacy, marketing operations and compliance.

Gail created and hosted a video series interviewing experts on climate change and actions that we as individuals can take to live a sustainable life. She is the Founder and Creator of Impact 360 Strategies, whose mission is to guide and empower businesses to accelerate environmentally friendly and socially responsible, sustainable business practices that benefit the bottom line and create positive social change by becoming Certified B Corporations.

She serves as Chair of the Organics Recycling Task Force which has been working to bring community wide composting to the Yampa Valley.

When she isn’t at her desk, Gail can be found hiking, trail running, backpacking or nordic skiing with her two Brittany Spaniels.

Our Interns

Loren Keen


Favorite place in CO: The Lower Blue River in Silverthorne, CO

Loren grew up in Dillon, Colorado and moved to Steamboat to study Sustainability at Colorado Mountain College. In Steamboat, Loren enjoys skiing, rafting, hiking, and enjoying the abundance of music the town has to offer! While at CMC, Loren started volunteering for YVSC through work study. She has worked with the ReTree program during the summers and through work study during the academic year. She hopes to continue working with local efforts along the Yampa River, as the Yampa has been central to her education in Steamboat Springs.

Ryan Messinger


Favorite place in CO: Flash of Gold trail in late September when all the aspens have turned yellow

Ryan has been coming to Steamboat for his whole life to ski, and has recently settled down here to call it home. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in International Affairs, he spent the next few years traveling through Europe, Asia, and Oceania. While abroad, he developed his passion for reforestation and conservation. He interned with Conserve Natural Forests in Thailand where he helped expand the reforestation program and lead tours around the project site. Ryan also sought out various conservation opportunities during his time in Australia, which included planting Eucalyptus trees for koala habitat and protesting against logging with The Bob Brown Foundation in the Tarkine rainforest. In addition to his employment with RMYC and the BLM, Ryan is currently working with YVSC on the Yampa River Forest Restoration Project, where he hopes to broaden natural climate solution efforts through tree planting and ecosystem restoration.

Nicole Pepper


Nicole grew up in southern California and moved to Colorado in 2018 after graduating from the University of California Los Angeles. She holds her B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geography and minored in Geographic Information Systems & Technology. During her time at UCLA she was greatly involved with campuswide sustainability initiatives through the Sustainability Action Research program, where she helped permanently protect the last remaining native California habitat on the campus. During her final year she also interned with the Santa Monica Resource Recovery and Recycling Division.

In 2018, she moved to Fort Collins for a position with NASA DEVELOP, a research program under the applied science branch of NASA. During her time with the program she lead 3 research projects, the first worked with the USDA to detect wild cranberries using satellites in Wisconsin, the second partnered with the USGS to create habitat suitability models for an invasive grass, medusahead, in northern Utah, and the final collaborated with the Nature Conservancy to better understand a rusting pathogen that is infecting the dominant forest cover in Moloka’i, Hawai’i. Following the program, she moved to the Yampa Valley and, has since, been working as a teaching assistant for the GIS program at Colorado Mountain College.

Like many, she was drawn to the Yampa Valley for its many recreation opportunities. Nicole enjoys just about anything in the outdoors including hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, fly fishing, mountain biking, and snowboarding. She feels really grateful to live in such a wonderful area and looks forward to getting involved with sustainability and conservation initiatives throughout the community.

Olivia Wright


Olivia grew up in Steamboat and moved back to the Yampa Valley in 2019 after graduating from Colby College. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Policy and has experience working in Environmental Education.  She is excited to join YVSC as an intern and have the opportunity to learn more about sustainability and conservation in Routt County.  Olivia enjoys hiking, swimming, scuba diving, and trying new activities outdoors.

Contributing Photographers, Designers and Artists

Chris Hylen


Chris Hylen is a Sustainability Studies graduate of Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Steamboat Campus. Living and working out around Steamboat Lake encouraged him to get outside each and every day, exploring endless terrain without another soul in sight. For Chris, moments like those open his eyes, allow for decompression, and keep him longing for more. Chris has had a camera in his hands for as long as he can remember and he strives to use the visual art form of photography as a basis to promote conservation and sustainable behaviors. He hopes his images serve as a reminder to help preserve the beauty of this area and others, as well as encourage people to get involved with organizations like YVSC that create a path for productive action.

Tatum Heath


Tatum grew up on a small ranch along the Lower Elk and graduated from SSHS in 1993. After graduating from Carleton College with a major in English and a minor in Archaeology, he moved to Nicaragua where he joined an archaeological excavation funded by a joint venture between UCLA and the Nicaraguan National Government. Since then, he has worked on an organic farm on the border of Canada, taught Spanish, and coached basketball. In an effort to reestablish roots in his hometown of Steamboat, he accepted the position of Rout County Case Manager with Horizons in 2002. He became the Executive Director at Horizons in January 2020 and can be found pedaling the backcountry on his bike and snapping photos.

Tai Juneau


Tai Juneau was born on skis in the Eastern Sierras in Mammoth Lakes CA. He grew up splitting his time between New Zealand and the Western United States representing New Zealand in Alpine Ski Racing. Tai was a member of Colorado Moutain Colleges NCAA Ski team where he got a Bachelors of Business Administration emphasizing in Marketing. Growing up with his mother as a professional photographer Tai was exposed to the world of photos at a young age and found his own passion in sports photography. Throughout his growing career, Tai has spent a lot of time shooting events, products, real estate, and lifestyle images mostly in the Western slopes of the Rockies.

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Jill Bergman


Jill Bergman’s linocut relief prints use linework, movement, and contrast to create dynamic and playful images. Her love of wildlife, the western landscape, and decorative illustration combine to create her unique style. Jill is originally from Wyoming, and now lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She enjoys working with environmental organizations to help protect the land, water, and wildlife of Northwest Colorado. Her fine artwork is represented by Pine Moon Fine Art in Steamboat Springs – www.pinemoonfineart.com. You can see more of her work at www.jillbergman.com