The 12th round of the Conservation Leadership Institute has begun with a new class of participants, ready to tackle our community’s biggest challenges. Get to know our future leaders, their backgrounds, and passions.
The Conservation Leadership Institute (CLI) is a rigorous, 12-week leadership development program offered to members of the Jackson Hole community by the Alliance at no charge. Over 150 participants have successfully graduated from (CLI) in the 11-round history of the program, learning the necessary skills to organize, advocate, and become effective grassroots activists in our valley.
Graduates have gone on to lead successful local campaigns, join volunteer boards in local government and organizations, and even start their own nonprofits. More importantly, CLI participants learn how to get involved in local decisions and use their voice and collective power to make a difference. Mike Yin, a Wyoming State Legislator and graduate of CLI, explains the importance of the program:
“By supporting new leaders, we get to hear voices that don’t always get heard. Some people want to have their voices heard but they do not know how. CLI trainings help people figure out how.”
Today we highlight our newest class of CLI participants who, like Mike, will be using their voice to protect the wildlife, wild places, and community character of Jackson Hole into the future. We will continue to spotlight their work as they tackle some of Jackson’s biggest challenges in future weeks.
Kahlynn is originally from Wisconsin but spent her first 6 years after undergrad in San Francisco. After surviving an avalanche at Squaw, Kahlynn quit her job and immediately changed course to come live in the mountains. Jackson has been her home for 4 years where she lives with her husband, golden retriever, and her 8-month-old daughter.
When he is not working, Brandon enjoys staying active by weightlifting, playing basketball, skiing or hiking in the place he feels lucky to call home. He was raised in Jackson and is very passionate about our valley and preserving our community character.
Natalie/Nat is originally from north central Illinois and moved to Jackson in January 2020. Today, she spends most of her free time running, biking, and swimming around with her puppy, Radish, and operating her small root vegetable inspired bakery, Uprooted Oven.
Matt describes himself as “a professional musk thistle remover.” He’s stoked to dive into the CLI program and get to work with all the other participants.
Carlyann, a Charleston, S.C. native who moved to Jackson in August 2020, takes pride in following a path that aligns with her personal values: spending time in the environment she is working to protect and collaborating with colleagues and friends. She is an avid hiker/backpacker, cook, member of Jackson Hole’s Community Choir and farmhand at Sweet Hollow Organic Farm.
Tevin moved to the United States from Jamaica when he was 8 years old, settling in Connecticut for the bulk of his life. He majored in Political Science and International Studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Tevin first came to the area 3 years ago to work in Yellowstone and immediately fell in love with the vastly different landscape that he experienced in his prior 22 years.
Amy knows several names of constellations and a few ways to use sourdough starter. From a cattle ranch outside of a tiny town in New Mexico, Amy’s soul country remains the wild west. In her relentless pursuit of knowledge, she has lived in Costa Rica, California, Chile, Australia, the Netherlands and Tanzania! She now calls the Tetons home not only for the lifestyle as an outdoor enthusiast and nature nerd but mostly for the warm and engaging community.
Brian has been in Jackson for 3 years, enjoying the vast opportunities this community and landscape have to offer. Much of his time is spent playing or fighting gravity for fun, sleeping under the stars, and looking for cool trees and rocks. Brian is excited for the opportunity CLI is providing to connect with other like-minded individuals and to work toward solving community problems.
Caroline grew up in New England and considers herself lucky to have spent her childhood in tidal pools, streams, and general outdoor muck. Her passion for ecology and landscape conservation led her from coastal Massachusetts to Green Mountain woods, to Zanzibari coral reefs, to the kelp forests of Puget Sound, and a year ago, here. She is so excited to join the Conservation Leadership Institute this year!
Victoria (Tori) Parker
Tori is a Kentucky native who left home 9 years ago to live and work in South Africa, Colorado, Oregon, and has now made Jackson home. She is passionate about sustainable energy development with a mission for increasing energy efficiency and renewables in the built environment. She’s attracted to mountains and rivers and feels that the most beautiful places in the world can only be seen from our precious rivers. She spends her free time volunteering, backpacking, white water kayaking, and snowboarding.
Ashley grew up in Golden, Colorado and was lucky enough to have easy access to thousands of acres of public lands within reach throughout her childhood. This is where her passion for preserving special places in the west began. She moved to Jackson three years ago for many of the same reasons others have – wildlife, recreation, public lands, amazing people, and so much more. She is currently finishing an online degree at Colorado State University in Natural Resource Tourism and working for the Conservation Alliance as the Community Engagement Associate.
Tristan is a wildlife photographer based in Salt Lake City, UT. His work focuses primarily on conservation issues in the intermountain west region. He can’t wait to get started with CLI this year!
Monica grew up on the east coast, hiking, biking, skiing, camping, and scraping her knees anywhere in the outdoors. After pursuing a degree in journalism at Syracuse University, she took a job at the Jackson Hole Daily where she worked for five years. Her passions include free press, responsible recreation, sewing, and craft beer. This time of year, you’re likely to find Monica on her bike or on the water…with a local brew not far away.