We will awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship through natural science education.
Meet the staff of Walking Mountains Science Center, the heart of our organization.
Highly educated. Experienced. Passionate.
Markian Feduschak, Executive Director - ext 111
As the executive director of Walking Mountains, Markian is responsible for the overall operations of the school. He joined Walking Mountains after fifteen years with Outward Bound West where he served asfield instructor, course director and Colorado program director. Throughout his career in outdoor education, Markian has focused on leadership development, effective team building, staff training, and risk management. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Colorado and resides in Eagle with his wife and two daughters.
Lara Carlson, Community Programs Director - ext 129
Lara oversees Community Programs happening on site at Walking Mountains and with our partner organizations. She earned her B.S. in Outdoor Education from Northland College, M.A. from Prescott College, and holds a Colorado Elementary Education teaching license. Lara previously worked as a summer naturalist, natural science educator, and Avon In-School Teacher at Walking Mountains and held various outdoor and environmental education positions at Ferry Beach Ecology School, Audubon Center of the North Woods, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, and the Cable Natural History Museum. During her free time, Lara enjoys hiking with her dog and skiing.
Doug joined Walking Mountains in the summer of 2006 to manage and administer all aspects of the school’s Capital Campaign, from facilitating donor solicitations to managing the campaign’s budget, volunteers and communications. He now oversees our major and planned gift department. Doug has served as a volunteer coordinator, program director, and executive director during his career in nonprofit management. A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Doug earned his B.A. in biology from the University of North Carolina and an M.S. in public administration at North Carolina State University. He lives with his wife Laurie and their three children in Eagle.
Gina Garrett, Education Grants Officer and Special Events Coordinator - ext 130
Gina joined Walking Mountains in 2007 as Youth Programs Director. She now is a part of the Development Team, seeking out and writing education grants to support both Youth and Community Programs. In addition, she coordinates all special events hosted by Walking Mountains. Gina earned her B.S. in agricultural science from Truman State University with an emphasis in environmental science. Gina worked for Yellowstone National Park for four seasons and then as an instructor at the Orange County Outdoor Science School in California. Gina also holds a dual teaching licensure in elementary education and special education from the University of Colorado at Denver, as well as a M.A. in science education. Gina's passions include hiking, biking, skiing and teaching kids about the natural world.
Beth oversees all school programs and summer camps and supervises Walking Mountains' graduate fellow educators. A native of Dayton, Beth received a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Ohio Northern University and completed her M.A. in Environmental Education at Prescott College. She taught environmental education at the Wild Bear Center for Nature Discovery, Rocky Mountain National Park and John Bryan State Park. Beth also taught about recycling, composting, landfills and waste to energy processes in Virginia. Beth loves playing outside with her dog Tucker, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, traveling, enjoying live music and trying to play the banjo.
Natalia Hanks, Grants
Natalia has been with Walking Mountains since 2005 and currently manages special events and grant writing. She brings more than 37 years of government and non-profit experience, including expertise in fundraising, program management and science education. A native of Washington DC, Natalia graduated from Averett University with a B.A. in English and history. She has worked for the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Smithsonian, National Endowment for the Arts, Aid to Artisans, CranbrookInstitute of Science and the Vail Valley Foundation. Natalia is an avid hiker, mushroomer and snowshoer and enjoys spending time with husband Clyde and their daughters cooking and flyfishing.
Nancy Shane, Annual Gifts Officer - ext 118
For the past eight years, Nancy has pursued a rewarding career in fundraising for the arts and education. She was the first full time Director of Development for the UNCG School of Music in Greensboro, NC, where she raised $5 million for the School of Music as part of the University’s Students First Campaign. That was followed by 3 1/2 years with the Vail Valley Foundation where she raised annual gifts of all sizes and wrote grants in support of the Vail International Dance Festival and VVF Education. Nancy earned her bachelors and masters degrees in vocal performance from Indiana University and UNCG and has many performances in musical comedy, opera, and recital to her credit. She loves the outdoors and is an intermediate skier and hiker. Nancy and her husband Steve recently celebrated 40 years of marriage, and they have two adult sons who love to ski and snowboard.
Kristen Belschner, Marketing Manager - ext 113
Kristen joined Walking Mountains in February 2011 as the new Marketing Manager. From web and social media to graphic design and PR, Kristen is responsible for the face of the new Science Center. With a background in online marketing and content creation, she hopes to further our paperless initiative while increasing exposure and reach to our online audiences. Kristen earned a B.A. in Physics from Colgate University and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver. She lives in Eagle-Vail and enjoys amateur nature photography and spending time within our beautiful mountain surroundings.
Tiffani joined Walking Mountains in October 2008 as the office manager and is responsible for bookkeeping, registrations, and administrative support. Tiffani is also an integral part of the development team. Her roles combine her interest in natural science education with her experience and expertise in finance and accounting. Prior to joining Walking Mountains, she worked at The Ritz-Carlton. Tiffani is a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver with a B.A. in biology and psychology. She enjoys hiking with her dog, snowboarding, traveling, sipping wine and reading.
This is Dina’s second year teaching Walking Mountains’ Avon in School Program and fourth year living in beautiful Minturn, Colorado. Dina enjoys working with Kindergarten through Fifth Grade at National Blue Ribbon Award winning School, Avon Elementary. Teacher and Coordinator of the WMSC after school program, Girls in Science, Dina works with other Walking Mountains teachers to plan and implement fun Science Units for 3rd-5th Grade girls. Dina earned her B.A. from Ohio Northern University and her M. Ed from Antioch University Midwest. If you visit Dina’s Science Classroom at Avon Elementary, you will be delighted to find excited children actively moving about the classroom and engaging in scientific discovery!
A native of upstate New York, Jaymee earned a B.A. in environmental science from Binghamton University and a M.S. in education from the University of Phoenix. She also attended Teton Science School’s residency program in environmental education. Jamie has worked as a naturalist for the Vail Nature Center, as director of environmental education for an east coast summer camp, as one of the first educators at Gore Range Natural Science School and taught middle school science at the Eagle County Charter Academy. She rejoined Walking Mountains in 2009 as director of graduate programs. Jaymee lives in Eagle with her husband and two children where she enjoys reading, hiking, camping, canoeing and being outside.
Rose assists with writing curriculum, teaching in the field, and supporting the Youth Programs team. Originally from Colorado, Rose spent almost eight years elsewhere in the West before moving back to join the Walking Mountains staff in the 2010-11 winter season. Since graduating from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in in natural science biology and environmental studies, she has been teaching environmental education and exploring her own hobbies hiking, biking, and tele-skiing.
Hailing from Australia, Dale began his career as a research ecologist at Washington State University. After three years, he moved into environmental education and worked in both Minnesota and California before joining the Walking Mountains team as an instructor. He lovessharing his passion for nature with the community and visitors of the Eagle Valley, leading group expeditions and making a weekly appearance on TVChannel 8. In his spare time Dale enjoys any activity associated with water and has taken a keen interest in rafting the local rivers. He’s learning to ski and explore the winter wonder of Colorado.
Kim is an environmental educator and natural historian who has lived in the Vail Valley since 1969. She is the founder of Walking Mountains Science Center (formerly Gore Range Natural Science School) and the school’s former executive director. She has taught environmental studies for Teton Science Schools' graduate program and for Prescott College's Master of Arts and PhD programs in sustainability education.