Wild Bear Nature Center is now open!

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Our Staff

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Jill Dreves
aka Green Darner
Executive Director

Jill Dreves holds a Master of Science degree in Museum and Field Studies in Museum Administration, a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, and received her elementary teaching certificate in 1989. Jill taught elementary school for nine years and was a naturalist with the Vail Nature Center before founding Wild Bear Nature Center in 1995.

She enjoys hiking, gardening, creative endeavors, cooking, and hanging out with her two sons, Sam and Charlie, in the outdoors.

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Director of Operations

Mike grew up in Cincinnati, OH and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University and a masters’ in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Ohio Dominican University. He taught ESL in public education in Dublin, Ohio before moving to California for four years, and now lives permanently in Nederland. Previously, Mike taught English in Korea, Mexico, and Costa Rica. He also spent 11 years working for Apple before getting hired full-time with Wild Bear in October 2018. Mike loves the outdoors and fondly remembers going to summer camp as a kid.

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Michelle Witte
aka Roots

Michelle grew up in Colorado Springs, exploring all of colorful Colorado as a young girl. She moved to northern California shortly after high school and lived there for almost a decade before enthusiastically moving back to Colorado to join the Wild Bear team. During her time out west she received her BS in Environmental Management and Protection, with a focus on Environmental Education, from Humboldt State University. She has worked as an educator and naturalist in Yosemite National Park, and Lake Tahoe region.

She is a firm believer in the important role that a creative education and a connection to nature play in building communities that protect the environment and encourage people to thrive. Michelle loves to practice yoga, travel, backpack, snowboard, rock climb, dance, and learn new things!

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Sarah Travers aka Cirrus Sunshine
Nature Education Coordinator

Sarah grew up in Fort Collins, exploring Colorful Colorado with her family. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and has since worked in research and education internationally.

She is excited to be back in Colorado exploring the ecosystems she missed so much. She is passionate about fostering environmental stewardship through experiencing our interconnectedness with nature. The more time we spend exploring nature, the more we understand, the more we care, and the better we can protect our world.

Sarah loves sharing her love of the outdoors with others, whether it is skiing with her family, diving with friends, or hiking with wild bears – every moment is a learning moment to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world around us.

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Adwoa Lemieux
aka Calypso Orchid
Year-Round Environmental Educator

Adwoa Lemieux lives in Gold Hill and leads Wild Bear’s 10+ programs in the summer, bringing children to high peaks and to the CU Mountain Research Station. She also leads youth nature workshops during our After-School Program. This winter, Adwoa will be leading our SnowSchool Program with local climate scientists.

Adwoa has worked in the outdoor sports field for many years. She is a ski instructor at Eldora where she specializes in all levels of ski lessons. She was the director of the waterfront at Farm and Wilderness where she taught boating and swim lessons. She loves being on the mountain, hiking, and always looks for where the most flowers are blooming.

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Debora Martin
aka Sleeper Bear

Debora leads our NCAR Fridays workshops for 5-8 year olds during the summer months. She loves the outdoors and enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with children. She has been with the Boulder Valley School District as an Early Childhood Educator since 1995, a Volunteer Naturalist with the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks since 2007, and has been a Volunteer with the Division of Wildlife since 2006.

As a long time educator and interpreter, Debora believes an early appreciation of nature grows into a life of affection and respect. She embraces children using their senses and imaginations while learning about the world, allowing them to build their individual desire to explore and find joy in the outdoors.

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Gabbie Stark aka Maple
Nature Educator

Gabbie moved from New York to Colorado to pursue an adventure lifestyle and to study environmental sustainability at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Since graduating in 2018, Gabbie has worked with a water quality consulting company, Eldora Mountain, and some local organic farms. She is an avid hiker and snowboarder, and believes connections with the environment through education and recreation can help prepare to address pressing environmental challenges. As a Nederland resident, Gabbie is excited to share her passion for the outdoors with Wild Bear.

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Sam Goering aka Raspberry Hopscotch
Nature Educator

Sam grew up in the Maryland suburbs, and developed a natural connection to the woods and tributary behind his house, letting his imagination run wild conjuring up fantasy stories and playing games with his friends.  He received a B.A. in English with a minor in Philosophy and a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland-College Park.  Realizing Maryland had a lack of snow, high peaks, and clear skies for stargazing, Sam moved to Colorado where he quickly fell in love with the myriad of outdoor beauty and access to nature (although he still misses access to the beach!).  

Sam worked at Eco-Cycle, WoW Children’s Museum, and Boulder Shelter for the Homeless before getting his secondary teaching license from CU-Boulder.  He taught Language Arts to 8th graders, and is proud to dedicate his life to serving others and giving back to community.  He loves working with kids and is excited to see them learn about their natural environment while having fun in the outdoors!  The beauty of nature is an aesthetic and protecting it is an ethic.  When not at Wild Bear, Sam can be found traversing local mountains, playing saxophone in the ska-reggae band The Alcapones, or reading a good book and snuggling his cat Mushy Peas.

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Art Abramson aka Guppy 
Fly Fishing Educator

Originally from northern Michigan, Art worked for nearly 50 years as a Forester in the woods of the northern Lake States, New England, and Colorado. He has been a Ski Instructor at both Copper Mountain and Eldora Resorts in Colorado for the past 19 years.  Art has been fishing, primarily for trout,  since early childhood,  and a fly fisherman and fly tier for nearly 50 years.

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Lindsey Broadhead
aka Goldfinch
Visitor Services/Marketing Manager

Hailing from the tallgrass prairies of Iowa, Lindsey has always been interested in learning about and exploring the natural world. She graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Animal Ecology and has since held various positions across the country including working with tigers in Ohio, lemurs in Florida, and cranes in Wisconsin. She has also worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in their effort to survey visitors, and was paid to go on a 4 month road trip across the country visiting our National Wildlife Refuges!

She is excited to be working in the beautiful state of Colorado and learning more about its diverse ecosystems. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys nature photography, birding, kayaking, and geocaching.