Meet a few of our local champions working to protect, study and educate others about Jackson’s unique wildlife heritage.
Director of Wildlife Expeditions at Teton Science Schools
Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy & Guides of Jackson Hole
Naturalist – EcoTour Adventures Owner & Guide
Wyoming Game & Fish Ecologist
Project Manager for Trout Unlimited
Senior Wildlife Biologist at the National Elk Refuge
Conservation Director at Teton Raptor Center
Wildlife Program Coordinator for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Project Manager with the Wyoming Migration Initiative
As the Director of Wildlife Expeditions at Teton Science Schools, Tanya seeks to connect people to the landscapes and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She trains her team of guides to do more than just share facts and figures; guests on Wildlife Expeditions tours leave with a deeper understanding of wildlife issues and the human perspectives surrounding them, knowledge of how to behave responsibly around wildlife, and inspiration to become better stewards. Tanya has been a naturalist and guide in a variety of ecosystems, conducted wildlife research in the Galapagos Islands and the Atlantic, taught semester programs in Latin American, Asia, and aboard a ship that sailed around the world (twice!), and coordinated a graduate program in environmental education. She landed in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 2008.
Raised in the shadow of the Tetons, Trevor lives the dream, working as a biologist for The Nature Conservancy, a research associate for Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, and owns a local wildlife guide company Guides of Jackson Hole – all striving towards the conservation of this amazing community made of much more than just people. His research looks at the impact of climate change on the seasonal timing of ecological events (including snow, wildflowers, and leaves changing color), as well as the interaction between human recreation and wildlife behavior on some of Jackson’s most popular trail systems. Recently, Trevor has taken a dive into film-making including the short documentary Climb-It Change and is currently working on a new series with a stellar Jackson based video crew. Despite his busy schedule, he still finds plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors through snowboarding, climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking. Keep an eye out for Trevor in the backcountry and find out how you can become a citizen scientist! Email Trevor at firstname.lastname@example.org
I spent my early years on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia where occasionally I managed to escape the protective grip of Mom and Dad in search of a taller tree to climb, a more active creek to explore or a more mysterious trail to follow. My passion for the wonders of nature was born.
I enrolled in Mercersburg Academy, a boarding school in Pa. where I promptly became actively involved in the outdoor program, then in its infancy stages. My junior year, in addition to being a student participant, I found myself in a position where I was instrumental in planning and organizing activities and outdoor adventure trips.
At the end of my college career, I felt the desire and need to submerge myself totally in the world of the outdoors, which led to my move to Jackson Hole in 2002. Here I knew I could surround myself with likeminded individuals and I could use all of the scientific resources that this area has to offer.
The abundance of educational opportunities and limitless resources available in the Jackson Hole area has been invaluable to me.
When not guiding professionally I am skiing in the Tetons or climbing their majestic peaks. I have also explored the backcountry and studied the natural history of Florida, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Maine, Alaska, British Columbia and the rain forests of Venezuela.
Ben Wise is a Wildlife Disease Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, based in Jackson. His job is wide ranging and varies from wildlife research to public outreach. Much of the research that Ben participates in pertains to protecting wildlife populations while working to create a balance between wildlife needs and public desire. Wildlife disease is a very complex topic to study, and it is only getting more complicated. Finding a way to balance robust, healthy wildlife populations with an ever expanding human presence in the area is challenging, but through collaborative work within the community, major advancements have been made over the last several decades.
Trout Unlimited is a national organization with more than 155,000 volunteers organized into 400 chapters nationwide. These dedicated volunteers are paired with a respected staff of organizers, lawyers, policy experts and scientists, who work out of more than 30 offices.
Trout Unlimited’s Snake River Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative is an ambitious initiative to restore and protect the headwaters of the upper Snake River and its incredible native cutthroat fishery, together with a diverse group of community, landowner, and agency partners. Visit jacksonhole.tu.org for more information.
Leslie Steen joined Trout Unlimited in April of 2016, where as NW Wyoming Program Director she works collaboratively with a broad suite of partners on on-the-ground stream restoration and reconnection projects for native trout Leslie has lived in Jackson Hole since 2007. She was most recently the Communications Manager at the Jackson Hole Land Trust for 4 years, where she led and expanded communications and outreach efforts for the organization. Leslie’s previous work experience also includes fisheries monitoring with the Lolo National Forest, environmental consulting, producing an adventure film festival, and outdoor education with Outward Bound.
Leslie enjoys spending time in the Tetons and on the Snake River with her husband Scott, fishing, skiing, climbing, and playing music in her band, the Minor Keys. She is an alumni of the Womentum and Leadership Jackson Hole programs.
Eric Cole serves as the Senior Wildlife Biologist at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Wyoming, where he has worked since 1998 His main job is to study the Jackson elk herd, 7,500 of which occupy the refuge during the winter. His studies are focused on elk migration, elk habitat use, and the role of animal density on disease risk. He also oversees the Refuge’s supplemental feeding program, one of the largest wildlife feeding operations in the world. During the summer months he monitors the various other species that use the Refuge and studies the plant communities that provide habitat for these animals.
As Conservation Director at Teton Raptor Center, Bryan leads a team of world-class scientists and graduate students studying and conserving birds of prey in the Greater Yellowstone region and beyond. Over the past 20 years, Bryan has been working to both learn and manage apex predators and their prey with many collaborators and partners. He can often be found chasing secretive raptors both day and night around the woods, high up in a tree collecting data from eagles, or in his shop innovating and building new tools for biologists. His work focuses on both documenting emerging wildlife issues and creative, collaborative solutions on how to solve them.
Chris is the Wildlife Program Coordinator for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He works to reduce conflicts between people and wildlife, with a focus on large carnivores, migrating ungulates and on highways throughout the ecosystem. Chris works to find collaborative solutions by working with affected stakeholders and has worked for GYC since 2008. Previously he worked for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on elk feedgrounds and brucellosis issues. Chris lives in Jackson with his wife Susan and their two children and enjoys all of the outdoor recreation opportunities that the area offers.
Bill is a Project Manager with the Wyoming Migration Initiative (WMI) studying mule deer migrations and wildlife and road conflicts. He has a long history with wildlife management in Wyoming, where he spent 33 years with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) as a biologist, Wildlife Management Coordinator, and Deputy Chief of the Wildlife Division.
After retiring from WGFD in 2012 he cofounded the WMI with Matt Kauffman. Bill currently serves on the boards of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation and the Wyoming Wetlands Society. He enjoys learning about wildlife, fishing, photography, traveling, and just being in Wyoming’s great outdoors. He and his wife Lorrain live in the Hoback area.
Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation
Being Wild Jackson Hole is an effort lead by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation to help ensure survival of the wild spirit of this special place by embracing and promoting environmental stewardship, along with the values and actions that support it. We encourage visitors to learn about and participate fully in our conservation efforts.