Located near Centura Health in Avon right off of I-70. An innovative natural science learning campus for residents and visitors of the Eagle Valley. Free and open to the public.

318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon, CO 81620

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountain out of Lionshead Village, Vail. All visitors must have a pass to ride the gondola. Free and open to the public with valid gondola pass.
Nestled along Gore Creek near the Betty Ford Alpine Garden and Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail Village.
601 Vail Valley Drive, Vail, CO 81657

Walking Mountains Blog

Meet our 2020 Summer Staff!

Posted by Walking Mountains Science Center on Jun 4, 2020 8:51:00 AM
Walking Mountains Science Center

Our summer staff for 2020 has arrived! Every year we welcome seasonal staff to work in diverse roles of the organization. Three positions that we hire for are: 

Naturalists, who work directly with the community on educational programming at the Vail Nature Center, the Vail Discovery Center and Walking Mountains Avon Tang Campus. Join them on bird walks, nature walks, preschool programming and more!

Environmental Stewardship Associate, who work with our summer Natural Resource High School interns working and protecting our land, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and the United States Forest Service.

Educators, who teach our summer science camps for first graders to middle school students. See them all over campus this summer on explorations with our campers!

Sustainability Interns, who connect with our community through Zero Waste programming at events, Actively Green certifications for businesses and Climate Action Collaborative.

Meet our Naturalists!

Bridget Whyte - Lead Naturalist


Bridget is from Upstate New York, just outside of Rochester. She remembers her first important outdoor experiences taking place at the shores of the beach with her family. Bridget attended the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, earning her BS in Environmental Education & Interpretation in 2017. After working a handful of seasonal positions, she found herself at Walking Mountains for her first summer as a Naturalist in 2019. Since then, Bridget has had the opportunity to wear many hats as a Naturalist, from teacher to painter to social media guru. In her free time, she enjoys climbing, the NYT crossword puzzles, and being an amateur birder. Bridget is excited to spend another season in the valley exploring the outdoors and working on her goal of going viral on the internet.
Chase McNair 
Chase Chase grew up just outside of Atlanta, Georgia where she found her love for nature by exploring the woods along the Chattahoochee river. She recently graduated from Georgia Southern University, where she earned her B.S. in Recreation with a minor in Business Management. As a lover of sports and recreation, Chase spent her college career as a youth soccer coach. As a coach she was able to serve her community and learn the joys of working with children. Outside of work her favorite hobbies include hiking, seeing live music, and playing soccer with her friends. Chase is the most excited to use the natural environment to teach children the importance of sustainability and respect for nature. She is also excited to explore her new home in the Rocky Mountains.
Claire Kantor 
Claire Claire is a Colorado native who grew up hiking, skiing, and exploring the outdoors. After high school, she traded the Rocky Mountains for the rocky shorelines of New England to attend Boston College. There, she became a trip leader for the BC Outdoor Adventures program and gained a passion for connecting people with nature—as well as a love for apple cider donuts and Vermont maple syrup. She graduated this May with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Environmental Studies, a degree combo she hopes to use to help cultivate environmental stewardship and outdoor ethics within her community. She is very excited to return to her home state to be a Naturalist Intern with WMSC. She’s looking forward to learning more about Colorado’s natural wonders and sharing discoveries with others!

When there’s free time, you can catch Claire climbing, playing music, hiking, drawing, wobbling on a slackline, and/or eating ice cream.
Dominique Rosario
Dominque I was born and raised in Austin, Texas and will graduate in May from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas with a double major in Environmental Studies and Spanish. Currently, I intern with the Colorado River Alliance, a local environmental non-profit focusing on water conservation and the protection of the Texas Colorado River. Throughout my life I have enjoyed working at summer camps and volunteering for lake cleanup and trail maintenance days and am excited to continue my passion for the environment in Colorado as a Naturalist Intern. In my free time I like practicing yoga, reading, crocheting, hiking, and cuddling with my cat.
Kayla Steinmetz
kAYLA-s Kayla is a recent graduate at the University of Florida, where she studied animal and environmental sciences. While Kayla is a Florida native who loves the water, she also grew up skiing and hiking Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. There, coupled with her education, she developed her passion for nature and protecting the environment. She believes the best way to instill that same passion in others is through hands-on, outdoor learning experiences. Because of this, Kayla became a certified Project Learning Tree educator and aspires to have a future career in environmental education. In her free time, Kayla loves to ski, hike 14ers, do yoga, ride her horse, and take her dog swimming at the lake.


Meet our Sustainability Interns!
Malik Geraci - Climate Action Collaborative Intern


Malik was born and raised in a little hippie community called Takoma Park on the outskirts of Washington DC.  He attended university at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, and received a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science with a focus in ecology. Since then, his love of conservation has taken him to many remote and interesting corners of the globe.  He began his time at Walking Mountains as a Naturalist, and after spending a season working on endemic species conservation projects in the mountains of Peru, has returned to Walking Mountains as the brand new Climate Action Collaborative intern for the summer.  When he is not at the office, Malik likes to spend his time rock climbing, riding his bike, and hiking through the many stunning summits of the Centennial state.  
Brennecke Gale


Brennecke was born and raised in the Vail Valley. She’s worked and volunteered for different Walking Mountains projects since she was in high school locally, and is excited to get more involved, specifically when it comes to learning about community education and accessibility to science. She’s a rising junior at Stanford University where she is studying Human Biology with a concentration in Human-Environmental Systems and a minor in Creative Writing. Outside of work, Brennecke loves traveling, backpacking, storytelling, cooking (and eating), trail running, skiing, and all water sports!
Karlina Feduschak
karlina Karlina Feduschak will be a sophomore this fall at Montana State University in Bozeman. She is studying Environmental Science and hopes to pursue a career in protecting and preserving our natural world. Karlina grew up in the Vail Valley doing anything and everything in the mountains and deserts, with parents who taught her to love the outdoors. Skiing, climbing, and kayaking have become some of her biggest passions in life and are large reasons why she is so invested and interested in environmental science. She is very excited for this internship because it will allow her to further explore her interests and will give a good insight into what direction she would like to go with her future career.
Rose Sandell
rose-s Rose Sandell is currently in the process of completing her BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science at St Olaf College in Minnesota. She grew up in Eagle County which sparked her love of the environment and the want to save it. Her favorite outdoor activities are skiing (both nordic and downhill), mountain biking, and trail running. An interesting fact, because of Walking Mountains zero waste events she has a crazy passion for organizing waste in proper bins in almost all public areas.
Mike Gonzales


Mike grew up in Lakeville, MN playing various outdoor sports. He was drawn to the beautiful mountains of Colorado after going on ski trips all over the Western US as a high schooler with his dad and younger brother. Once here, he developed a deep passion for sustainability. Over the winter while working for Vail Resorts, Mike helped expand the recycling and composting operations at their on-mountain dining facilities. He recently earned his bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies from Colorado Mountain College and was fortunate enough to attend the school’s inaugural study abroad program in Bhutan. Mike is continuing his education over the summer by learning permaculture design and Spanish. He enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, and climbing.

Mike is thrilled to begin his internship with Walking Mountains. He first began working with Walking Mountains last year volunteering at zero waste events. The relationship only strengthened after Walking Mountain’s founder Kim Langmaid took over as professor of sustainability studies at CMC and guided Mike through his capstone project this spring. He is most excited about the outreach and educational aspects of zero waste events. Talking to locals, tourists, and other volunteers about the need for proper waste diversion is a great way to spread knowledge and strengthen our ties to the Earth and our community.
William Schmick


William (Billy) grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is currently completing a second undergraduate degree in Sustainable Business at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. His academic interests include the food system and food waste, impact investing and theories about ways to build social capital.

In 2017, Billy moved to Vail and began working and volunteering with the zero-waste team at Walking Mountains Science Center. Through this work, he developed an appreciation for the processes involved with waste diversion and learned first-hand just how large our waste problem really is. This led him to begin volunteering with the Community Market in Gypsum so as to better understand the distributional inefficiency that allows for both hunger and waste to exist simultaneously.

Prior to moving to Vail, Billy taught English in Ecuador, interned with a corporate law firm in Los Angeles, and volunteered as a grant writer in North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Davidson College in 2014. His favorite hobbies include snowboarding, fishing and travelling, and this summer he is studying Permaculture in an effort to better understand how nature works!


Meet our Environmental Stewardship Associates!
Aspen Dobbins


Aspen was born and raised on a small farm in Georgia where she developed a love for playing in the dirt and riding horses. Her love for Colorado started young, when every summer her mom piled the family up in the car to road trip out there to visit family, hike, and camp. A 2019 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a B.S. in Recreation, Aspen accredits much of her passion for the outdoors with her time spent working for Southern Adventures, her campus’s outdoor recreation program.

While working for Southern Adventures she has held the positions of Challenge Course Facilitator, Rock Wall Attendant, and Trip Leader. She has also worked as a summer camp counselor, a museum docent, and most recently a horseback riding trail guide at a ranch in Wyoming. Aspen believes in using the outdoors as the ultimate teaching tool and hopes to inspire others to connect with the natural world around them. In her free time she enjoys backpacking, horseback riding, reading, playing trivia, and searching for the best iced caramel latte on earth.

Kelly Luebbering


Kelly grew up in Ohio, but has always loved exploring Colorado. She graduated in spring 2020 from the Ohio State University with her degree in environmental science and ecosystem restoration. Her goal is to combine her passion for science, the environment, and teaching into her future career. Kelly has found herself working as a teaching assistant for an environmental science course, a research assistant, and as a summer naturalist at Walking Mountains Science Center in 2019.

Kelly is excited to return to Colorado this summer and hopes to teach high school students about the natural resources field. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, climbing, camping, and painting. Kelly is ready for another season where she can spend more time outside exploring Colorado.


Stop back to the blog to meet our Educators!


Topics: Earth Keepers, Nature Discovery Center, Vail Nature Center, Walking Mountains Science Center, Employment, Internship, Staff Spotlight

Walking Mountains Science Center

Written by Walking Mountains Science Center

Our mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education.