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Meet our Student Staff
Tom is originally from Wichita, KS, but has now lived in Missoula for three years. He's a film student in The School of Media Arts and is hoping to combine his passion for outdoor recreation with filmmaking, photography, and graphic arts. Originally hired on as a rafting guide, Tom now works in multiple fields with the Outdoor Program.
Julia was born in Montana, raised in Great Falls and Raynesford and she plans to call this beautiful state home for the rest of her life. She is a junior in English Literature and Wilderness Studies and during the academic year she is a kayak instructor here at the UM Outdoor Program. During her summers, Julia works as a wrangler and back country cook at the Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake. Her passions include reading stories of Montana, riding Dandy the horse and of course, kayaking.
Alan is from Kalispell, and is the Outdoor Program's bike mechanic and rental shop student manager. He has over 4 years of bike mechanic training, along with a lifetime of taking care of his own bike. Alan is very big into sports (of all kinds) and the outdoors. He has also done TaeKwonDo for 14 years and won the AAU Nationals in 2009. Alan is currently going to school for a masters in Athletic Training and would like to work for a sports team of some sort after graduating (Seattle Mariners). He is an avid traveler and would like to go to the six major continents in his lifetime.
Kim is a graduate student seeking her MFA in Creative Writing with a focus in Nonfiction. She teaches whitewater kayaking, cross-country skiing, ski camping, and leads backpacking trips for the university. Originally from New Hampshire, she has lived and worked on rivers and mountains of the west for the past eight years.
Zoe is from the backwoods of Tennessee and moved to Missoula in 2014 to become the next Resource Conservation, wilderness, and climate change expert. She enjoys backpacking, snowboarding, and climbing as main sources of entertainment. She also enjoys yodeling and training her fleet of llamas for a private llama-packing enterprise. Wilderness is Zoe’s deepest passion, and she hopes to spread the love and respect for the outdoors to all.
There is a fathomless perfection in the endless quiet hikes through forests, across streams and over ridgelines. Something divine in the way time slows down and the body strains beyond infinity at the crux of a beautiful rock-climb. It is impossible to express.
This has become, in many ways, what Nico lives for. Throughout his life, nature has kept him away from bad influences and taught responsibility. Nico now studies the ways in which humanity can better coexist with the natural world. Being able to provide the opportunity to find fulfillment, a sense of identity, or peace of mind is truly an honor to him, for he could never give back how much Nature has given to him.
Mack is my name and climbing is my game.
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was exposed to close to zero, wild outdoor experiences. I had always enjoyed walking down the street from my house and exploring a small patch of woods, where a creek ran through. I remember building trails for biking, making zip-lines, and finding obscure ways to climb trees (driven in rail road spikes; my first groundup experience!). After high school I was fortunate enough to take a NOLS course in the pacific northwest. NOLS introduced me to the outdoors and climbing! The first time I climbed I was totally hooked. After my NOLS course I wanted to be in a wild place, so Montana it was!
Here I am now, finishing up my degree in Resource Conservation, working for the Outdoor Program and having a blast exploring the mountains in Montana.
Neil is a Californian that enjoys anything adventurous outside. While rock climbing is his main passion, it’s not uncommon to see him backpacking, kayaking, surfing or taking nature photos. With his passion for the outdoors comes a love of wildlife, which is why Neil is a Wildlife Biology major, also looking at a minor in Climate Change. Neil is currently the Climbing Wall student manager.
Molly is seeking her Health & Wellness degree through Integrative Nutrition with a focus on implementing outdoor activity and spirituality into more lives. She is a whitewater rafting guide and leads backing trips for the university. Originally from Vermont, she has been living in the Pacific Northwest for the past five years.
Danielle was born and raised in beautiful Napa Valley, California. As soon as she could walk she was on skis and trails, and ever since she’s had an undying passion for the outdoors. Her love of nature intensified as she continued her journey to Missoula, and you can find her riding her bike around town, at the climbing wall with a contagious smile, or at home jamming on her guitar. Any outdoor recreational activity you can think of, she’s tried, but her most devout are climbing, slack-lining, yoga, hiking, and backpacking. She revels in her major of Environmental Studies with a minor in Climate Change, and would love to strike up a conversation about anything, especially local food and gardening.
Nicole was raised in Bozeman, MT, twenty minutes away from some of the best skiing around, an hour away from Yellowstone, and a five minute walk into the Rocky Mountains. She was fortunate enough to have a family as crazy about the outdoors as she was, and grew up with many adventures into the woods, mountains, and deserts. Her mountain man father started her up rad multi-pitches as soon as she could fit into a harness, and she's been hooked to cliffs ever since. She has a habit of dragging uncultured friends up mountains, or at least to the gym. As far as she's concerned, the more people who take advantage of the wonderful wilderness around them, the better.
When I was 16 I used to take these really long day hikes through the prairie lands of Billings, Montana. I'd take copious amounts of water and a couple of oranges and just hoof it any direction that peeked my curiosity. I think I was always looking for a different interaction with my environment, one that would be unique from day to day life. After a long mentoring session with several seasoned folks in the vertical community I began to take small groups out to the local crags myself, showing them the world that captivated me so thoroughly. There's a kind of full circle feeling I get when I here someone say to me as they near the top of a serene line in nature, "This is like nothing else", I couldn't agree more.
Keatan grew up in Indiana hiking, fishing and camping. He is a first year law student studying natural resource law. After graduating college in Indiana, he moved to Yosemite National Park and then Telluride, CO. Keatan teaches ski camping, intro to climbing, and works the climbing wall. He enjoys skiing, climbing rock and ice, and taking pictures of his pet cat, Kanye.