Sheena Pate of Columbia Falls, MT, project coordinator for the Crown of the Continent Geotourim Council, works in and around the international transboundary region (Alberta, British Columbia & Montana) introducing the geotourism concept and how it can be a tool to build a sustainable tourism industry without sacrificing community values or identity, in partnership with National Geographic. It is her belief that geotourism can effectively sustain regional businesses, preserve community character and promote conservation.
This Texas born gal grew up and worked in the outdoor recreation industry before making a run for the captivating mountains of Colorado and Montana. Pate’s passion for bringing people together to work toward sustaining and enhancing the character of geographical places led her to earn a degree in watershed science from Colorado State University and a degree in environmental studies from University of Montana. She was drawn to the Crown of the Continent over 16 years ago because of its distinct communities and access to unspoiled landscapes. The last 18 years she has had the pleasure of working as a Program Coordinator, Outreach Consultant, Watershed Scientist, Environmental Technician and Conservation Educator for Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council, Flathead National Forest, Whitefish Legacy Partners, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP/Curecanti NRA, City of Fort Collins- Utilities, Watershed Education Network and watershed restoration consultants.
When she’s not volunteering for local and state non-profits you can often find her with a camera in hand exploring the vast region and capturing family adventures with her fly fishing guide/hunting guide/ski patrol husband, outdoor obsessed toddler and trusty dog Bridger Merle. You can often catch her and crew on @crowngeotourism and @findyourwildcollective Instagram feeds enjoying the region’s “hidden gems”.
Montana Outdoor Science School
Hailing from the great flat state of South Dakota, Jess left her glaciated prairies behind to move to Montana but still finds herself enamored with geology. Through a lucky stint as an AmeriCorps member, Jess discovered the career field of environmental education and has never looked back. She believes that experiences in nature are crucial to the well-being of individuals and communities. With over ten years of non-profit outdoor education experience in urban and rural areas, Jess has been integral to the development and sustainability of outdoor education programs for youth and adults across the west. Jess is an active volunteer and committee member with several state and national organizations including the Montana Environmental Education Association (where she serves as president), the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. Jess also serves as a Certified Interpretive Trainer and teaches interpretive guide workshops across Montana and Wyoming. She spends her time skiing and running with her rescue dog, Hazel, reading with her plus-sized cat, Suki, and eating elaborate meals with her Michigan-born partner, Eric.
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
Jeannette Stawski serves as executive director for the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) where she works with an international complement of outdoor professionals to develop and refine industry best practices and provide professional educational support. Jeannette has a master’s in non-profit administration, and a bachelor’s degree in resource policy and behavior from the University of Michigan. Jeannette is also a Certified Association Executive [CAE]. Jeannette completed 11 years as the director of Outdoor Adventures at the University of Michigan. Prior to working for U of M, Jeannette worked for five summers as a professional outdoor guide. She has worked as an LNT Master Educator, NOLS instructor, wilderness medicine instructor for the Wilderness Medicine Training Center, and EMT. Jeannette served on the WRMC Steering Committee as well as serves as the chair of the Coalition for Outdoor Access Steering Committee.
Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation
University of Montana- Wildlife Program
Rocky Mountain Adaptive
Kim Cosman became involved in adaptive sports via adaptive alpine skiing in 2011 after completing her first adaptive ski certifications in New Zealand. After 15 back to back winter seasons between Canada and New Zealand she has completed her Adaptive Trainers’/Examiners’ certifications in both countries as well as additional courses in coaching, empowering students with disabilities and adult education. In Queenstown, New Zealand, she has also acted as the Program Coordinator for the Remarkables Adaptive Snowsports Program as well as the lead instructor for the Mini Kea program in its introductory year.
In the winter of 2014, she joined Rocky Mountain Adaptive as their Winter Program Coordinator. In this role, she has been able to provide instruction to both adaptive athletes and up and coming adaptive instructors as well as provide training to an incredible pool of volunteers. In the summer of 2018, Kim took on the role of year-round Program Manager with RMA, and is “warming up” to summers in Canada! In her summer role, she oversees a variety of activities which include hiking, cycling and a range of paddlesports.
Education Bureau Chief
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Laurie is the Education Bureau Chief for MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks and has a Masters in Education. Laurie is responsible for supervising an amazing team of educators who are dedicated to connecting people to the outdoors and inspiring them to practice conservation and stewardship. Her team oversees education programs on aquatic education, archery, wildlife stewardship, conservation, living with wildlife, outdoor safety, and reducing human/wildlife conflict. She is also responsible for overseeing FWP’s MT WILD Education Center and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Laurie’s passion is finding and providing diverse opportunities that are inclusive and engage people who may not be connecting to the outdoors.