Meet our Board

Board of Directors

President & Conference Co-chair, Jess Haas – Bozeman, MT

Jess is the Executive Director for the Montana Outdoor Science School. She realized she was meant for environmental education when she was the only one in her undergrad geology department that enjoyed giving tours of the geology museum to school kids. Jess worked on a wolverine research study and thinks they’re the best animal. She spends her time doing musical theatre, volunteering at the raptor center, and eating delicious Thai food whenever she can.

Vice President, Emily Chilcoat – Billings, MT

As a child, Emily always dreamt of living near the mountains west of the Mississippi. In 2014 her dream come true as she moved from Dayton, Ohio to Billings. Since then she has been enjoying the low humidity, sunny skies, and traveling as often as possible. Emily currently is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Montana Audubon Center, engaging community members, not just in the donation of their time but in their interest to be environmental stewards.

Secretary & Conference Co-chair, Rose Vallor, Ed.D – Bozeman, MT

Rose teaches inquiry science and environmental education in Southwest Montana, with the goal of getting kids outdoors whenever possible. She created and runs the outdoor skills camp program Bridger Nature Center, and recently worked with the Flathead CORE writing the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide, a companion volume for the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook. She’s been able to contribute her passion, leadership, and teaching skills in a range of outdoor and informal science programs: Ennis Good Thyme camps, Montana Outdoor Science School, Museum of the Rockies, and the Children’s Museum of Bozeman. Rose traveled the state as a MT Project WET State Coordinator and Project Learning Tree facilitator and served with Greater Gallatin Watershed Council as Education Outreach director. Never one to say no to more education, she teaches science education as part of her doctoral program at Montana State University, sharing her experiences with future teachers in teaching inquiry science in the outdoors. Rose has a M. Ed. and B. S. in science education from MSU, and a B.A. in geology from U of M. She firmly believes that learning and caring about the natural world begins with stepping outside your door. Rose lives in Bozeman, where she really does try to get outdoors every day!

Acting Treasurer, Naomi Alhadeff – Missoula, MT

Naomi joined the National Wildlife Federation in Missoula in 2017 and now functions as the Senior Coordinator, Montana Education Programs, as well as the Montana Project WET Coordinator. Her passion lies in communicating with the public about our state’s wildlife and the habitat we all share. She graduated from University of Montana’s Wildlife Biology program and has been involved in environmental education, both in and out of the classroom, with state agencies, conservation districts, and non-profit organizations in Nebraska and Washington before returning to Montana. The National Wildlife Federation’s goal to protect our wildlife and build upon our conservation heritage blends well with her work with the Garden for Wildlife program as well as Eco-Schools USA. Having worked both in and out of the classroom she enjoys sharing her love for wildlife with kids and adults throughout Montana. She is an avid gardener, an ever-improving hunter, and an amateur thespian.

Board Members

chrisChris Doyle – Butte, MT

Hi, my name is Chris Doyle. I was born and raised in beautiful Butte Montana and I graduated from Butte High School in 2009. I am 23 years old and I married my beautiful high school sweetheart last June. After High School, I went to school at Montana Tech of the University of Montana and received a Bachelor’s degree in organismal biology in 2013. My thesis research was on Bighorn Sheep in the Highland Mountains where I studied their movement and distribution patterns, as well as survival rates in conjunction with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. I am currently working to get it published into the Intermountain Journal of Sciences. I am also now enrolled in the Education Program at Montana Western to get my teaching certificate. I am the Program Coordinator at Cfwep.Org (The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program) and I have been in this position for eight months, however, I have worked for Cfwep.Org for five years and a student and summer intern. In this position, I travel around the state and teach middle school and high school students. I assist in teaching our Restoration Education Program (Superfund Cleanup), Bringing Research into the Classroom (Working with Viruses), and Trout Dissections. I also have experience in running a kid’s fly fishing camp every summer as well as working and developing a program to work with at-risk youth through the juvenile probation office in Butte Silver Bow. I absolutely love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. One of my other hobbies is I bowl in leagues and tournaments around Montana. I am a very energetic and passionate person about science and the environment as well as education.

Carolyn Pardini – Polson, MT

Many years ago I told a famous person that I was lucky. He responded by telling me that I was lucky because I can take a chance. “Most people say Ready, Set, Go! But you say Ready, Go!” I think he was correct. I have been lucky to live in the Mission Valley on the Flathead Indian Reservation for most of my life. I have taught in public school for the past 25 years and with the support of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Montana Arts Council, the Montana Natural History Center, School District 30, and lots of good people I have advocated for further inclusion of integrated learning in all classrooms. I am happiest when I am outdoors, with my family, my friends of many ages, or alone with the dogs. I am still ready to go and I still feel lucky.

Carolyn Taber – Missoula, MT

Originally from the East Coast, Carolyn graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications in 2008 and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. In Colorado for 6 years, Carolyn co-founded Earth Explorers, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) nonprofit that connects students with working scientists in their community: students create short documentary films that highlight their scientists’ research efforts. This opportunity allowed Carolyn to harness both her video production and education skills. As a co-founder of Earth Explorers Carolyn wore many hats: board member, program developer, grant writer, program operations manager and for the past two years Executive Director.

Seeking a new challenge, and looking to reconnect with family in Missoula, Carolyn has switched gears and joined the team at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium to focus on education program development. Carolyn is passionate about informal science and environmental education and is excited every day about potential new programs for the MBHI! Out of the classroom Carolyn enjoys working on a variety of video projects and all of the outdoor opportunities Missoula has to offer.

Janene Lichtenberg – Polson, MT

Janene is currently the Department Chair of the Wildlife and Fisheries Department at Salish Kootenai College. She will bring incredible experience and depth of knowledge in wildlife biology, ecology, and science teaching to the MEEA board. When asked what are the characteristics of a great board member, Janene says, “Enthusiasm, commitment, [and] creativity.” In addition to serving on the Mission Mountain Audubon Society, and the Wildlife Society Native Peoples Working Group boards, she was on the steering committee for the Northwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Anne Grant – Missoula, MT

Anne is currently the Willow-AGEP Alliance program coordinator at University of Montana, where she received a M.S. in Environmental Studies in 2015 and was the first Elouise Cobell Fellow for the College of Humanities and Sciences. She is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and advocate for culturally relevant curriculum. In addition to serving MEEA, Anne also serves on the Blackfeet Indian Land Conservation Trust Corporation Board, cofounded by Elouise Cobell. She will bring her experiences as an educator, professional artist, consultant, and academic to the MEEA board. When asked what the characteristics of a great board member are, Anne says that, “great board members are humanists. They are honest, caring people who believe in and support the mission of the board they serve.”

Amanda Hagerty, Gardiner, MT

Amanda is Director of Programs for Yellowstone Forever. She is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe and Montana born-and-raised. She has been working in the field of environmental interpretation and education for 15 years through a variety of federal, state, and non-profit organizations, including Montana State Parks, National Park Service, Carroll College, and Montana Wilderness Association. She spends her free time playing music, cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and son.

Stephanie Laporte Potts, Bozeman, MT

Stephanie currently works as the Youth Programs Manager at the Montana Natural History Center. After growing up in Michigan, she spent a decade working in environmental education and outreach on the East Coast and across the country before moving to Missoula in 2010 to get her MS at the University of Montana. She’s been happily learning about and connecting Montana’s ecosystems and people ever since.  She’s passionate about social justice, learning about how people learn, and finding new things to be curious about.

Stephanie currently works as the Youth Programs Manager at the Montana Natural History Center. After growing up in Michigan, she spent a decade working in environmental education and outreach on the East Coast and across the country before moving to Missoula in 2010 to get her MS at the University of Montana. She’s been happily learning about and connecting Montana’s ecosystems and people ever since.  She’s passionate about social justice, learning about how people learn, and finding new things to be curious about.

Rebecca Skeldon, Helena, MT

After a decade of environmental education in Montana, one thing Rebecca doesn’t fear is her inner child. She currently serves as the Education Coordinator for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest’s nonprofit partner, the Montana Discovery Foundation. She can be found in her free time hiking and traveling with her 7-year-old daughter or glaring at her sewing machine.

Regions 4, 6, & 7: Vacant until filled.
Want to help MEEA by joining our board? Let us know by emailing meeapresident@gmail.com!