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: Nina Waysdorf

Posted by Walking Mountains Science Center on Jan 10, 2020 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: Nina Waysdorf

What is your position at Walking Mountains? What is your primary responsibility?
I am the Sustainability Programs Coordinator and I run our zero waste and waste diversion programs. We partner with many of the events in Eagle County to manage the event waste, which means setting up zero waste stations and educating the public about what goes in which bin to make sure that we’re diverting as much as possible away from the landfill. You may have seen our green tents and friendly staff at events in the area! I also oversee our summer Sustainability Interns who focus largely on zero waste. When I’m not at events, I do a lot of community education and outreach related to waste, including leading tours of our County’s recycling center and keeping the Eagle County Waste Wizard app up to date.


How long have you been at Walking Mountains?
I started in June 2019. Feels like just yesterday!


How long have you lived in Eagle County? Where did you live before?
I moved to Eagle County to start my job here at Walking Mountains. Before that I was living in Boulder while I attended grad school at University of Colorado. I’ve also lived in Washington, D.C. and California, but have spent most of my life in Denver.


What inspires you, in regards to your job?
I am inspired by zero waste and waste diversion because it is so tangible and a great gateway into sustainability. We can’t all buy an electric vehicle or put solar panels on our home, and often climate news can feel very big and overwhelming. But we all have trash and we have to put it somewhere. There are a lot of seemingly small choices we make when throwing stuff away, but when we add them all up it makes a big difference. Recycling especially can be pretty confusing, but even helping one person to figure it out can make an impact. “Zero waste” is also a relatively new field within sustainability, so there’s a lot of potential for very creative problem solving, and that’s just fun and exciting. And it’s not as smelly as it sounds!


Do you have a favorite program or event that WMSC hosts? Why do you enjoy that program?
Nature Walks was the first Walking Mountains program that I participated in when I started over the summer and I loved it! We work in such a beautiful place at Walking Mountains with so much life around us, and I appreciated having an opportunity to get to know my new surroundings. It’s also such a nice break to step away from the desk, take a little walk, and learn something new.

Also, I know I can’t really say zero waste because it’s my own program, BUT I do really love the zero waste program, especially because I get to work with so many people inside and out of Walking Mountains. Many Walking Mountains staff members help out at zero waste events, which gives me the opportunity to work with people in other departments who I otherwise don’t really overlap with in our day to day job functions.


Where else in the community do you work or volunteer? 
I’m still learning and finding those opportunities, so feel free to send some my way! I am taking a Spanish class at Colorado Mountain College this semester that I am very excited about.  


What is your favorite way to spend time in the outdoors?
Truly my favorite outdoor activity is sitting in the sun, reading a book, just relaxing and observing. I am a skier, but overall I’m more of summertime person, so I am most into hiking, camping, rafting, etc. I am so excited to be living in Eagle County though because I can explore activities I’ve never done before right in our backyard. In 2020 I plan on trying cross-country skiing and mountain biking.


What is your favorite food?
This is the question I’ve been waiting for! Green chili, hands down. Second place goes to in-season tomatoes and third place goes to French fries.


What is your favorite animal?
Dogs. I know that’s a cliché answer, but can you blame me?!


What is your favorite science or nature fact?  
All fruits are actually vegetables! “Fruit” is the botanical term for the part of the plant that holds the seeds, and “vegetable” is more of a culinary term for the edible part of the plant, which includes roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. So if you’re wondering if a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, it is both!


Fun/interesting fact about yourself?
I am a cheesemonger in addition to a sustainability nerd! I used to work at a cheese shop in Denver. I am therefore full of fun cheese-related facts and I make a fantastic charcuterie board.

View Nina's Staff Page: HERE
Learn more about Zero Waste: 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.