Lisi was born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin by a dedicated conservationist dad and an art major mother. Her dad was in the last graduating class of Aldo Leopold and she was raised to be someone who cannot live without the “wild things”. Her childhood was spent exploring the United States, its lands and the communities to which we all belong. She graduated from St. Lawrence University in upstate NY spending 4 years exploring the Adirondacks while earning her degree in Behavioral Ecology by majoring in animal biology, animal psychology, and environmental science. She and her husband moved to E. Wenatchee in 1984 where her interest in regional planning almost got her employed by the city of E. Wenatchee until an unfortunate encounter with a van while riding her bike sent her life in a different direction. They bought land up the Chumstick Hwy. and moved to Leavenworth in 1996. Lisi acquired llamas to help her access the backcountry and alpacas to feed her growing interest in fiber art. Shortly after moving into her new community Lisi helped start the Chumstick Community Watershed Association and replaced 7 culverts for improved fish passage. During the late 1990’s she was appointed as a Chelan County Planning Commissioner and served for 4 years. In 2004 she was a founding board member of Leavenworth Recycles. During this time she began volunteering for Barn Beach Reserve’s youth education program shortly after its inception. This lead to a full circle where Lisi is able to pay forward her father’s teachings of conserving only what we love, loving only what we understand and understanding only what we are taught.
Dave Bartholomew lives with his wife in the wilderness near Leavenworth, Washington.
Dave spent most of his career in the outdoor industry including roles at REI and Mountain Safety Research (MSR). He current is a self-employed business advisor; is co-founder of Simply Living Farm, a sustainable living store; and author of several books and ongoing columns on sustainability and business.
He has served on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards. He holds a business degree from Pacific Lutheran University.
Gro loves living in gorgeous Leavenworth and spends as much time as possible outside. She is a former science teacher with degrees in natural resources and science education as well as English as a second language. She regulary brought her students from Icicle River Middle School and Cascade High School to the Barn Beach Reserve to enjoy the outdoors and help younger students in the program. In her career, she has taught at University of Washington and with the Peace Corps, and currently for Wenatchee Valley College. Gro was the education chair for Seattle Audubon and is currently serving as a board member for MEND. Her love for the outdoors and education led her to join the WRI board.
Originally from Connecticut, Ellen Beardsley and her family were drawn to the Upper Valley's many treasures several years ago and are delighted to now call Leavenworth home! The Beardsley family enjoys hiking, skiing, biking, and floating the river, as well as engaging in community and enjoying the many events at the Wenatchee River Institute, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, and Leavenworth Ski Hill. Ellen is a corporate attorney and has been advising large and small businesses for over 17 years, serving on the boards of many non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross, Farmington Rails-to-Trails, and the Northwest Girlchoir. She received her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University and her law degree from Quinnipiac School of Law.
Scot Brower, M.D., grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended college at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and did his Opthalmology residency and fellowship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Scot practiced Ophthalmology with a special interest in retinal disease and surgery for 33 years in Seattle. During this time he spent weekends at his log cabin on Icicle Creek. Upon retiring in 2012, he became a full-time resident of Leavenworth. He has been an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist since attending summer camp in Northern Wisconsin as a child. His hobbies include hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, birding, kayaking, canoeing, and cross country skiing, and he has traveled widely while participating in these activities. Dr.Brower is interested in passing his knowledge, experience, and love of the outdoors to the children of the valley.
A Washington State native, Lisa Therrell harbors a life-long love of the natural world. Growing up in Western Washington, her mother taught her daughters the names of the native plants, birds, and other animals. Lisa grew up with happy memories of car camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening with natives, and playing in the woods surrounding home. “I was a country girl trapped inside suburbia,” she says, always longing for a more rural lifestyle. Lisa started her 34 year career with the Forest Service as a volunteer wilderness ranger as soon as she graduated from high school. She attended Seattle Pacific University, where she double majored in biology and environmental studies, then later earned a teaching certificate. Lisa cobbled together many jobs after graduation, in between working seasonally for the Forest Service, including working as an environmental educator and teaching biology. In 1991 Lisa finally received a permanent appointment with the Forest Service while working in Idaho as a wilderness planner. In 1992 she moved to Leavenworth to be the Wilderness Manager for the Leavenworth Ranger District, a dream job in a dream place. Lisa had grown up going to church camp in Sunitsch Canyon, her favorite place on earth, where she learned to hike the dry ridges of Chelan County. So finding a home on six acres in Merry Canyon was the best possible home-coming.
Lisa is now retired, and enjoys playing in the outdoors and learning more about nature with her husband Rich. Her hobbies include hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, paddling, botanizing, birding, gardening, and quilting. Lisa is also certified as a yoga teacher, and enjoys working with people with physical challenges. Lisa has always strongly valued volunteerism and community involvement. She was on the original steering group that founded Upper Wenatchee Valley Habitat for Humanity. She volunteered for seven years with Leavenworth Empty Bowls, including leading the group for four years. And she is active with the Earth Stewardship Group at Faith Lutheran Church, that brought 96 solar panels to the Icicle River Middle School and recycling bins to downtown Leavenworth. Knowing the value of her own nature-based childhood, Lisa is proud to serve Wenatchee River Institute to help fulfill its mission of providing outdoor-based educational experiences to the youth of our communities.
Robes grew up exploring the forests and mountains of New England and studied Ecology at the University of Vermont. After graduation, with the deep Western snowpack beckoning, he first moved to Utah and then to Washington for an internship with the North Cascades Institute. Smitten by the vast wilderness and huge mountains, he spent the following summer working for North Cascades National Park as a backcountry ranger. This cemented a love of place and power of teaching which he parlayed into the graduate program in Environmental Education at the Teton Science School in Wyoming. He completed an MS in Watershed Science at Utah State University, after which he began conducting hydrology and habitat monitoring for the US Forest Service in Colorado. A permanent job in central Oregon finally allowed him to move out of the back of his truck and into the "real world." Robes has been working as a hydrologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service since 2005 and is passionate about doing salmon habitat restoration work throughout the Columbia Basin. A Leavenworth resident since 2008, he is genuinely excited to do good things for our environment every day and considers it a privilege to bring a scientific perspective and his educational experience to the Board at WRI.
Vânia Winters was born in the southeast of Brazil, where she taught English for many years. Her background is in languages, literature, and teaching. She holds an MA in Linguistics and has conducted doctoral research in Applied Linguistics. Vânia moved to the United States in 1997 and shortly started teaching English as a Second Language, English for International Students, and Developmental English at Wenatchee Valley College. Vânia’s two children, Joseph and Olivia - now in college and high school, grew up witnessing their mother tirelessly volunteering for the school district and the community. As a mother, Vânia followed her children through their empirical experiences at Barn Beach Reserve, long before it became Wenatchee River Institute. As a passionate educator and board member, Vânia wishes to contribute to programs and activities that WRI offers to children and adults alike. Vânia’s hobbies include gardening, beekeeping, and finding alternative ways to make our planet sustainable.
Rebecca Ryan received her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Environmental Education and Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and Administration from Western Washington University and North Cascades Institute. After earning her Masters, she worked at NatureBridge in Yosemite where she taught front country residential environmental education programs, led backcountry field research courses, and helped connect youth to the natural world. Eventually Rebecca began taking on new challenges, working for NatureBridge in the administrative side of program, focusing on operations and education. After spending the past six years living, working, and playing in the Yosemite area, Rebecca is excited to be returning home to the Pacific Northwest. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys hiking and backpacking, cooking, river time, and being with family and friends.
Will has been involved in youth education for the last ten years. He has spent over three years working and volunteering in public schools around Washington, been involved with multiple summer camp programs, led seabird population surveys and classes, and produced science education music to be utilized by educators around the world. Outside of work he enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, playing music, and spending time with family and friends.
Tricia is excited to use her decades of business management, non-profit administration and outreach experience to help create opportunities for people –of all ages– to spend more time outdoors exploring, learning, adventuring, and falling head over heels for the natural world. While Tricia hales from the Cascade foothills, she has also lived overseas, in the wilds of Northwest Montana and in the skinny oxygen of Colorado’s high country. Tricia is a freelance essayist and journalist, writing about mountain living, and environmental and wildlife conservation. You will often find her recreating in the back-country on belay, on skis, or by foot in the company of her big dogs and maybe a friend or two.
Trinity received her degree in Biology (Natural Sciences) from Concordia University in Irvine, California. Her degree included focus research on protecting southern California sagebrush ecosystems from invasive species. In previous work experience, Trinity has focused in educating the public to preserve wetlands throughout California. In 2014 Trinity moved to Washington to serve with the nonprofit; AmeriCorps. This gave her the opportunity to teach natural science activities in classrooms and during the Wenatchee School District’s after school program. One of her many goals is to inspire students to take the health of the environment into their own hands by practicing environmental stewardship. Outside of work she enjoys backpacking with friends and family, advocating for animal rights, mentoring, and long walks with her dog.
Rachel received her Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. Since graduating she has been working at a multitude of environmental education organizations across Washington state. Living on the eastside of the Cascades is new to Rachel and she is very excited to connect youth to this beautiful ecosystem. Outside of work you will find Rachel climbing, skiing, mountain biking, basking in the sunshine and/or relaxing with a book.
Elisa was born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Washington State University where she was involved with the Raptor Club and the Tasmanian Devil Research lab. Her passion for the natural world started at a young age and she hopes to create amazing experiences for youth at WRI. She is also very excited to collaborate with the many environmental organizations in the area for the Earth Day and Bird Fest events! Outside of work she enjoys cooking, biking the loop trail, and bird watching.