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: Megan Carter

Posted by Walking Mountains Science Center on Oct 18, 2019 10:00:00 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!

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Staff Spotlight: Megan Carter
 
- What is your position at Walking Mountains? What is your primary responsibility?
I am the Girls in Science Coordinator! When I tell my friends and family what I do for work, I usually tell them that I work at an awesome non-profit in Avon, CO where I run an after school science program for 3-5th grade girls, getting them jazzed on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics in hopes they will one day pursue STEM hobbies or maybe even a STEM career! I tell my friends and family about how I supervise an awesome team of instructors and we all meet with our respective students once a week at 9 different elementary schools throughout Eagle County, nerding out on STEM and all kinds of other cool stuff together! When I'm not in the classroom, I get to test out new experiments/activities, all while being a part of the day to day fun at a thriving non-profit!
 
- How long have you been at Walking Mountains?
I started at Walking Mountains in May of 2017 as a summer educator, I loved working here so much I stayed on that winter as a STEM Curiosity Lab instructor, taught another summer of science camps in 2018, and then was brought on as the Girls in Science Coordinator in September of 2018. So, I've been at Walking Mountains for a couple of years but it feels like MUCH longer than that!
 
- How long have you lived in Eagle County? Where did you live before?
I lived in Eagle County for a summer in 2015, as much as I wanted to stay for the winter, my professor/college adviser at the time was less than stoked on the idea of me not finishing my bachelor's degree in outdoor education. Almost immediately after graduating from Western Washington University (thanks Keith!), I was hired by the National Park Service (NPS) for an internship at Olympic National Park as an outreach and education intern, so I moved to Port Angeles, WA to geek out with kids on the ecology of the Olympic Peninsula! After my internship wrapped up, I continued to work for the NPS during the centennial summer at Olympic as an interpretive park ranger. Towards the end of that summer, I randomly ran into Walking Mountains' past Youth Programs Director, Beth Markham, at a restaurant in Port Angeles while she was on vacation. She encouraged me to move back to Eagle County once I was done being a park ranger and suggested I should apply to be a summer educator with Walking Mountains! I applied, was hired that winter (while I was living out of my pickup truck at a ski resort called The Summit at Snoqualmie), and I moved to Avon spring of 2017!
 
- What inspires you, in regards to your job?
What inspires me in regards to my job is seeing young girls explore their interests especially pertaining to STEM, it gives me the energy I need to dig deep into being a passionate lifelong learner and an example of that for my students. I love that I can be an example of a woman in science who is unconditionally enthusiastic about being a nerd, and in doing so inspire my students to be embrace their nerdy side(s) too! Getting to teach girls throughout our valley about how the world around us works is why I show up to work everyday and feel as passionate as I do about Girls in Science. I love my students' quirky personalities, hilarious jokes, and enthusiasm for learning! I like to think about how perhaps the next Mae Jemison or Margaret Hamilton is in one of my Girls in Science groups right now! How cool is that?!
 
- Do you have a favorite program or event that Walking Mountain hosts?
As much as I love my Girls in Science program, I cannot get enough of the Sustainable Film Series put on by our Sustainability Programs team! Every winter I make it a personal goal to attend every single film Walking Mountains shares with the community. The films span a variety of interesting topics and I always learn something new!
 
- Where else in the community do you work or volunteer?
I have had a LOT of different jobs throughout the valley in the last couple of years. Currently in the winter time I work at Patagonia in Vail Village! Patagonia is an awesome and inspiring company to work for and the team I work with feels like a quirky outdoorsy family. In the summer time, I work for the Vail Recreation District helping coordinate and staff their trail running, mountain biking, and whitewater competitive recreation series.
When I'm not teaching or working somewhere other than Walking Mountains, I'm a Girl Scout Troop Leader! I volunteer my time teaching young girls about all kinds of things like hiking, knot tying, skateboarding, and how to make the world a better place!
 
- Whats your favorite way to spend time in the outdoors?
Like most people in Colorado (and from Washington state), I love the usual types of outdoor recreation: hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, etc. However, my absolute favorite way to spend time outdoors is anywhere and in any way on/in/around water, especially saltwater. I grew up spending summers swimming and sailing in the Hood Canal/Puget Sound, rafting rivers all over Western Washington with my family, and exploring the creek by my family's house. I get unadulteratedly excited whenever I am in a boat of any sort and feel light and relaxed whenever I'm near water. Water is my happy place, and I'm finding that all this frozen water in Colorado is pretty great too, especially for skiing and rafting!
 
- What is your favorite food?
With out a doubt, macaroni and cheese. Really any combination of pasta and cheese. I love carbs. But closely tied with macaroni and cheese would be seafood! I love oysters, crab, clams, salmon... yum!
 
- What is your favorite animal?
Bears! More specifically grizzly bears. If I had to be a wild animal for the rest of my life, I would be a grizzly bear because they get to live in super pretty places, eat tons of salmon, and then take a lot of long naps. That would be the best.
 
- What is your favorite science or nature fact? 
Whichever one pops into my brain that I can share with family or friends! But if I had to choose one right now... did you know that the mucus secreted by banana slugs contains chemicals that can numb the tongue of predators?! This mucus can absorb up to 100 times its volume in water. Technically, this slime is not a liquid or a solid, but rather a liquid crystal substance!
 
- What is a fun or interesting fact about yourself?
I collect NPS Junior Ranger badges and I'm a Junior Ranger at over 20 different NPS sites (which includes national parks, lakeshores, monuments, historical sites, etc)! Earning my Junior Ranger badge at every NPS site I visit is my favorite way to learn about what makes that place special and why it's worth protecting for generations to come.
 
View Megan's Staff Page: HERE
View Megan's Program: Girls in Science 
 

Topics: Staff Spotlight