B.A., Environmental Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2019
Nate began his teaching career at Western in the Fall of 2021. Prior to that, he attended the University of Colorado for an Undergraduate degree in Environmental Students and Biology, and Western for the Master in Environmental Management (MEM). Nate’s career in the outdoor industry began when he joined Boulder County Parks and Open Space’s Youth Corps (BCYC) trail crew when he was 14. Here would continue working with the BCYC for almost a decade, progressing through leadership and management roles. These formative years of exposure to the environmental management and outdoor industry helped Nate build a professional philosophy of “build the lifestyle that I want to live.” By living this mantra, Nate was grateful to work for the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School and receive teaching certification through the American Association of Snowboard Instructors. Some of Nate’s other trades include working as a bike mechanic, working in the non-profit sector to facilitate mine restoration projects, and providing expert research and project management skills working as an environmental consultant. All of Nate’s classes at Western Colorado University and the ROE program empower students to take ownership in the outdoor industry and see how they fit into the big picture and can change it for the better.
How did you discover Western?
My dad is Western Alumni and my mom was born in Gunnison. I spent some time visiting the valley as a kid and immediately fell in love. After coming for a ski trip and a college tour in one weekend, I was hooked and committed to Western for graduate school.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
- Building a working relationship between Monarch Ski Area, Biochar Now LLC, and the Homestake Mining Company to repurpose beetle-killed trees at Monarch ski area into a carbon-based soil amendment that could be used for mining reclamation.
- Learning from my students as they become well-prepared professionals for work in the environmental sector and outdoor recreation industry.
- Completing approximately 400 days of intensive trail and forestry work over the course of nine Summer seasons. Approximately 200 of these work days were completed from leadership positions.
- Organizing and leading an international summer course in Peru, while building a relationship between Western ROE and the SoulStainable Adventure Group.
What most excites you about your field?
Every day I get to learn something new within the context of the outdoor industry or the broad field of sustainability.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
I love the walkability and access to public transportation to Denver and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. I’m very fortunate to walk to work and walk to the bus stop to get to the ski resort. I also feel very grateful to live in such a tight-knit community that genuinely cares for one another.
- ROE 283: Leadership and Facilitation
- ROE 351: Inquiry Into Sustainability
- BIOL 130: Environmental Biology
- BIOL 151: Diversity and Patterns of Life Lab
- ENVS 100: Introduction to Environmental Studies
- ENVS 390: Environmental Monitoring