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

Staff Spotlight: Aidan Goldie

Posted by Walking Mountains Science Center on Nov 29, 2019 11:00:00 AM
Walking Mountains Science Center

Meet our staff! Walking Mountains staff is full of brilliant, interesting and funny individuals. We want the community that might not have a chance to work with them or participate in their program to get to know our staff. Trust us-- our staff makes all the difference! Join us Fridays for a new blog post. Click the tag at the bottom for more spotlights!


Staff Spotlight: Aidan Goldie
- What is your position at Walking Mountains? What is your primary responsibility?
I work as a Foley Graduate Fellow and Educator at the Walking Mountains Science Center. Through this position, I have the privilege of taking groups of students through a variety of natural science experiences all the while working on a Master's degree in Natural Science Education. This position lets me work with a variety of ages and a great diversity of unique students. I would say that my main responsibility is to provide equitable educational experiences for my students. My students have such a wonderful array of lived experiences that they can draw from. I see my job as helping students make connections from those diverse experiences to our outdoor classroom in order to make learning more relevant.   
- How long have you been at Walking Mountains?
I have worked at Walking Mountains for about a year and a half. That means that my two-year graduate fellowship is drawing to an end! During my last few months at Walking Mountains, I will be diligently working on my action research project that tackles the idea that students may not find the field of science relevant to their lives. Research has shown that many students hold a stereotypical image of what a scientist should look like and often that image does not look like the student. I am looking closely at our learner-centered field programs and seeing if they help students better understand that they have a place in our scientific world. 

- How long have you lived in Eagle County? Where did you live before?
I moved to Eagle County to work at Walking Mountains as a Foley Graduate Fellow. Prior to moving here, I have had the privilege of calling many different places home with the mountains as a connecting theme. I was born in Chile and spent a significant part of my childhood in the mountains of Peru. During my life, I have also had a chance to call Canada home before settling in Colorado where I still am today. I have loved calling Colorado home for the past 13 years and feel very lucky to live in a valley with such great access to the high mountains. 

- What inspires you, in regards to your job?
As a teacher, this is going to sound cliche but it's my students. We don't give young students enough credit as a society. They are capable of so much and move through life with so much perseverance and determination. We need to make sure that they retain a feeling of empowerment to live up to their endless potential. I am constantly inspired by their unique perspective of the natural world and their infectious sense of wonder. 
- Do you have a favorite program or event that Walking Mountain hosts?
I am a big fan of our summer camps at Walking Mountains. Because we only spend a single day with students during the school year, week-long summer camps are an opportunity to build longer relationships with students. During these summer programs, you can focus more on community building and taking the time to explore the Eagle Valley. During our summer camps, we also have the opportunity to take students to the wonderful network on 10th Mountain Division huts for overnight trips. This is a really unique experience that every young student in the Eagle Valley should experience. 

- Where else in the community do you work or volunteer?

Between my work as an educator and working towards my Master's program, it is like having two full-time jobs. Unfortunately, I am finding it hard to work elsewhere in the community and volunteer my time. On the side, I am able to follow some of my other passions. I do some freelance writing and photography mainly revolving around the outdoor endurance community. You can see some of my nature photography work hanging on the walls of the new Borgen-Precourt Center for Sustainability and on my website! www.aidangoldie.com

- Whats your favorite way to spend time in the outdoors?
My passions in the outdoors lie in moving quickly and efficiently through the high mountains. Between trail-running and ski mountaineering, I like to stand atop Colorado's highest peaks during any time of the year. 


- What is your favorite food?
My favorite type of food is really any type of wholesome and flavourful food. A great example of this type of cuisine is Nepalese food. You really can't go wrong with a carefully crafted mix of veggies and spices all atop some delicious rice, YUM!

- What is your favorite animal?
My favourite animal is the American Pika! This distant cousin of the rabbit is so well adapted to the harsh alpine ecosystem. I love watching these small mammals scamper around talus collecting alpine vegetation. The American Pika is also an indicator species, telling us a story about the health of our globe. Warming temperatures are threatening the American Pikas alpine habitat and unfortunately, the Pika would not be able to live anywhere else. 

- What is your favorite science or nature fact?
With my background as an evolutionary biologist, I find any case study on parasite-mediated selection to be fascinating. Our local Brown-Headed Cowbirds are "brood parasites" that lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. They displace the burden of caring for their young chicks onto other birds. Brown-Headed Cowbirds use that extra energy to lay even more eggs than their passerine counterparts. A Brown-headed Cowbird can lay around 40 eggs per year compared to a songbird that will lay at most 8 eggs per year!

- What is a fun or interesting fact about yourself?
This winter I will be getting a Professional Level Certification through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Snow science is a big passion of mine and I am looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of the dynamic nature of our snowpack.

View Aidan's Staff Page: HERE
Learn more about Summer Science Camps: HERE

Topics: 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.