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

Favorite place in CO: Echo Park

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

President

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Katie Durrwachter-Erno

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Steamboat Ski Resort

Katie Durrwachter-Erno grew up in central Pennsylvania, hiking and swimming in creeks. Her passion for the outdoors led her to the University of Oregon where she graduated with a BS in Environmental Studies.

After graduation, Katie taught biology in Tanzania, which sparked her interest in global health and led her into medicine. She obtained her M.D. at Temple University School of Medicine and pursued her residency in Pediatrics at University of Minnesota. At present, Katie is a neonatologist working in the insurance industry, which is a remote position that allowed her and her family to move to Steamboat.

Katie’s passion is the intersection of environmental issues and health, and advancing public awareness and action addressing climate change as a public health emergency. She is a Climate Advocate for the American Academy of Pediatrics, working at both the state and national level, and she looks forward to engaging with YVSC’s Climate Action and Adaptation Priority Area along these lines. In her free time, Katie can be found skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, and camping with her husband and three boys.

Margaux Shea

Youth Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Maroon Bells, Aspen

Margaux is one of YVSC’s Youth Board of Directors Member. She is a sophomore at Steamboat Springs High School and a member of the Steamboat Springs High School Eco Club.

She was born in Gig Harbor, Washington, and moved to the Yampa Valley when she was around two years old. She loves all things that can get her outside, mainly hiking, photography and fishing. She is also a hockey player and has been in skates longer than shoes. Her family is a vital factor in her life and she is very close with her younger sister.

Following high school, she aspires to work in the medical field or anything else where she knows she is making positive changes. Margaux is delighted to be one of YVSC’s first Youth Members of its Board of Directors and looks forward to helping the organization connect sustainability issues with the rising youth of our community.

Terry Huffington

Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Strawberry Park

Terry Huffington grew up in Houston, Texas. While driving from Texas to California before her junior year at Stanford University, she discovered the beauty of places such as Carlsbad Caverns and the Grand Canyon and decided to change her major from Asian Studies to geology. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, she moved to Austin to pursue a master’s degree in geology at the University of Texas. Going where the jobs were post-graduation, Terry joined Chevron, U.S.A. as an exploration geologist in Denver, and it was then that she fell in love with Colorado and discovered Steamboat. After four years, she left Chevron to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School, then returned to Houston to work in the international petroleum industry, first for her family’s company, then for her own.
In the late 1990’s, Terry decided to sell her business and turn her focus to supporting educational and other non-profit institutions, serving on a variety of boards across the country. Currently, in addition to YVSC, she serves on the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Chapter, and the Advisory Board of the Jung Center’s Mind Body Spirit Institute (Houston).
In 2009, Terry and her husband wanted to do something special with land they had purchased in Strawberry Park in 1993, so they established Elkstone Farm, using permaculture principles to grow produce for sale to the local market. As this endeavor has evolved and expanded, it has transformed Terry’s casual interests in the environment and community into her passions.
When not at the farm, Terry cherishes time to relax outdoors, whether by road biking, hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, or just stretching out to read a good book in the fresh mountain air.

Emi Cooper

Youth Board Member

Favorite place in CO: Broken Thumb Trail in Winter Park

Emi Cooper is a Steamboat Springs local and a senior at Steamboat Springs High School. She will be graduating Magna Cum Laude in May 2021 with a Degree of Emphasis in Science. Emi is president of the high school’s Eco (Sustainability) Club.

In 2019, Emi founded the Steamboat Springs Chapter of Fridays for Future: an organization started by Greta Thunberg that coordinates collective actions and climate strikes every Friday. In September 2019, Emi—with the help of the Eco Club and community members—organized a climate strike with hundreds of people in attendance as part of a global climate strike. Now, Emi is a member of the Fridays for Future national organizing committee, and is developing a framework for new local groups to join FFF and working to streamline communications between all local groups. Emi was also a speaker at the 2019 Stand for Our Lands Rally. In 2020, Emi received the Shining Star Award from the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.

Emi has been interning for attorney Mark Fischer since 2019, performing clerical and research work. As the 2020 election approached, Emi began to volunteer with the Biden and Hickenlooper campaign. Then, in September 2020, Emi applied and was accepted for a fellowship position with the Colorado Democrats. She recruited and trained volunteers, hosted virtual events, and used social media to reach voters to elect leaders who were committed to climate action.

Emi joins the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council as one of the first Youth Board members, and is excited to advocate for a more sustainable community. In her free time, Emi loves to mountain bike, alpine ski, and connect with the outdoors.

Our Interns

Loren Keen

Intern

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

Intern

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.

Olivia Wright

Intern

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.

Nicole Pepper

Intern

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.

Madeline Craig-Scheckman

Intern

Maddie grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where she developed her interest in environmental activism and conservation. Maddie graduated in May of 2020 from the George Washington University with a double major in International Affairs and Geography as well as coursework in GIS. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Maddie interned for the State Department, Congress, and private consulting companies based in DC. Additionally, she co-founded the first women’s ice hockey team and was involved in several sustainability organizations on campus. Maddie is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin and had the opportunity to study abroad in Taiwan.

This past summer Maddie interned at Solar United Neighbors, a non-profit that facilitates the implementation of roof-top and community solar in communities around the United States, including in Routt County. During her time at SUN, she conducted analysis and investigative research on rural electric co-ops and helped lobby to elect solar-friendly candidates to rural electric association boards across the country. Throughout her time at SUN Maddie gained hands-on experience in solar implementation and facilitating the renewable energy transition. Prior to her time at SUN, Maddie briefly worked on a Corporate Economic Threat Intelligence team at U. Group, a DC-based consulting firm, performing investigative research and analysis in Mandarin, Chinese using proprietary data analysis tools. She also recently served as an intern for the School of Professional and Area Studies (FSI/SPAS) in Washington, D.C. alongside senior Foreign Affairs professionals to advance the top U.S. foreign policy priorities.

Maddie is currently based in Washington DC, where she is working on a Master’s in International Environmental Studies at the George Washington University. Throughout this program, she will focus on environmental disaster mitigation, water management in the changing global climate, and the development of renewable energy, micro grids, and EVs. Maddie is passionate about global environmental security issues at the intersection of geography, international affairs, and environmental justice. She frequently returns home to Steamboat where she enjoys hiking, skiing, and exploring the outdoors.

Abby Merage

Intern

Abby grew up in Southern California and moved to Steamboat in 2016. She is currently a student at Steamboat Springs High School in the class of 2022. Abby loves to travel abroad, and spends her free time in Steamboat hiking, horseback riding, and enjoying the outdoors. After devoting a summer to volunteering for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Abby found her passion for sustainability. She is now a member of the SSHS Eco (Sustainability) Club and hopes to use this connection to create a strong alliance between the youth members of Steamboat and YVSC. Through this partnership, Abby aims to amplify the voices of young adults in the community who share her passion for education and sustainability.

Contributing Photographers, Designers and Artists

Chris Hylen

Photographer

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

Photographer

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

Photographer

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

Artist

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