ODP Student Staff

Kevin Benevides


Kevin is from El Dorado Hills, California; right smack dab in-between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. He grew up shredding the singletrack in the foothills and snowmobiling in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada’s. As a Parks and Outdoor Recreation Management major, Kevin can always find something to talk your ear off about. Kevin spends his summers chopping logs and sawing trees on a Forest Service trail crew in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Needless to say, he has a huge love for the outdoors.

Kendall Butler

Kendall ButlerKendall is from just south of San Francisco. Tired of the crowds, the technology and the overuse of deodorant, she quickly jumped at the chance to move to Montana, hoping to find more dirt and fewer self-driving cars. She is an avid rock climber and will geek out about anything involving tall, hard surfaces that can be ascended. She also loves to backpack, slackline, ski (backcountry, downhill, cross country, you name it), trail run and honestly just do any thing outside. She is majoring in public health and minoring in Spanish. Between that and her love of the outdoors, she is constantly busy. When not studying or adventuring, you can find her taking down the patriarchy, cooking or playing music.

Phil Buttschardt


Phil was born and raised in Ogden, Utah along the Wasatch front. Being lucky enough to have his parents’ house right next to a trailhead and a few hours’ drive from the beautiful Utah desert, Phil fell in love with mountains and everything outdoors. He loves climbing, skiing, hiking and just plain goofing and gaffing in the outdoors by himself or with friends. He’s not all outdoors though, he also loves Dungeons and Dragons, chess, video games, sports, being a plant dad (That one is new!) etc. So, it’s safe to say that he loves talking to anybody about anything.

Ruth Johnson


Ruth hails from Billings, MT. She spent the summers of her childhood backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her family and quickly fell in love with being outside. She now enjoys mountain biking, alpine skiing, rock climbing and backpacking. Her love for the outdoors drew her to Missoula where she studies Resource Conservation, Communication Studies and Climate Change. If not outside or in class, you can find Ruth working on some project in her garage.

Gus Kauffman

Gus KauffmanGus is from Laramie, Wyoming, which he’ll tell you is actually a crunchier place than Missoula. He goes crazy for sliding on snow, jammin his bike through rock gardens, and plugging gear in splitter cracks. At school, he is a geography major and loves learning anything about the the mountains or the atmosphere. In the summers, Gus is on a wildland fire crew, where he manages to get almost as stoked about cutting down trees as he is about anything else. Otherwise, you can find him putting way too much chili paste on ramen, hanging out on his porch, or marveling at live music. Not so much of that back in ol’ Wyo!

Alex Kempf


I grew up in Boise, Idaho. I spend a majority of my time mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing. New to back country, but I've been downhill and nordic skiing my whole life. I am an Athletic Training major. I am trying to combine my love for sports medicine and outdoor recreation into a job. In Missoula you'll run it me if you frequent the Rattlesnake, UM climbing wall ( I'll talk all day about the routes), or Pattee Canyon. My greatest skills are smiling, dad jokes, card games, and quoting Avatar the Last Airbender. 

Livi Lacklandhenry

livi.jpgOriginally from Bellingham, Washington, Livi came to Missoula stoked on the mountains and outdoor opportunities. Aside from climbing, telemark skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountaineering, Livi is interested in soil science and climate action. She loves nerding out over biomimicry, trad gear, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. Livi is majoring in environmental science and sustainability and minoring in Spanish. She also enjoys running long distances and is on the cross country and track team here at UM.


Eliza Maleski


Eliza is another Montana baby, hailing from big ole' Boz-angelos she is always excited about something and will not hesitate to tell you about it. At UM she is majoring in Human Geography and Parks Tourism and Rec Management. She might spend some time studying, but mostly you'll find her skiing, mountain biking, running, climbing and smiling out in the unwieldly wilderness. Other than that, she loves to get her groove on with friends around Missoula.

Noah Mock

Noah Mock

Noah grew up in the Texas Hill Country at the headwaters of the Guadalupe river. He decided for some reason that he wanted to, for once in his life, experience temperatures below 40 degrees. This desire led him to the University of Montana. When Noah isn't working at the ODP rental desk, he is either trying to make his way down steep slopes on nordic skis, or sitting in the UC looking at plants all day.

Sam Severson


Sam comes from the big city of Manhattan… Montana, just outside of Bozeman. He now studies anthropology and Spanish at UM after switching majors three times.  He grew up hiking the many trails surrounding the Gallatin Valley and horse packing in the summers with his family. He now enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, rafting, car camping, exploring the outdoors, and driving in his car for hours on end for little to no reason at all. He is also a master duct-tape repair artist and he can take whatever kind of food he has available to him, mix it together, and whip up the most sub-par meal you’ve ever had. Despite growing up near the ski-town of Bozeman he does not care what season it is currently; he is ready for winter to be over. 

Marina Smith


Marina is a transfer student from California where her love of the outdoors began, traversing redwoods and point breaks. She has been rock climbing since she was 13 and takes any chance she can get to touch some “organic stone.” Other hobbies include: Juggling oranges, impromptu jam sessions, and cooking with peanut butter and hot sauce while camping. She’s studying Psychology in school and wants to pursue a career in Outdoor Education. If not climbing or studying, she can be found rambling around the woods alone (shoeless in the summer).

Sam Walter

Sam WalterAfter searching far and wide for a place that had a little bit of charm similar to the southeast, a lot of grit like the Midwest and the radness of the Pacific Northwest, Sam found the perfect hybrid town of unrelenting stoke:  Missoula, Montana. Just outside of town in the Bitterroot Mountains, a.k.a “GORGEOUS COUNTRY!”, you can find Sam climbing high up to fill his neverending stoke meter. Sam is always up for a good adventure, whether it’s paddling, backpacking, skiing or trying to pass a midterm. If he’s not enduring in some sort of type-2 fun, he’s nerding out about music after listening to music, watching music, reading about music, smelling music... you get the idea. What Sam has learned after one year in Montucky is that nothing is better than the music of the mountains.