January 16, 2022
Ms. Kezang Yangden is the Conservation Director in WWF Bhutan office. She holds a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and master’s degree in forestry from Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun, India. Prior to joining WWF, she worked with the Department of Forests and Park Services of Royal Government of Bhutan leading the national forest inventory of Bhutan and contributing to the development and implementation of the REDD+(Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation) program in Bhutan. She has 15 years of experience working in the field of environment and conservation particularly in sustainable forest management, forest carbon, conservation planning and climate action.
She is a recipient of the 2017 National Order of Merit Award, Bronze from His Majesty The King of Bhutan for her dedicated service to the nation.
Dr. Kinley Tenzin completed his Undergraduate BSc in forestry from the University of the Philippines and his Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Edinburgh, UK. In 2003, he was appointed as Forest Research Program Officer and a National Counterpart to the International Project funded by Boku University, Austria and Columbia University, USA. In May 2008, he has successfully completed his PhD from the Boku University, Vienna, Austria. In 2010, he was appointed as Program Director by the Royal Government of Bhutan.
As Program Director he is the head of the Renewable Natural Resource Research and Development Center, based at Thimphu. The research institution has a national mandate to coordinate forestry research in the country. There is also a regional mandate to cater the research and extension needs in agriculture, forestry and livestock in five districts in western and southern Bhutan.
In 2015, he was appointed as Executive Director for Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) to look after conservation. He is also currently the member to the National Environmental Commission (NEC), a Board Member to Climate Action Network of South Asia (CANSA), and a Steering Committee member on the Trans Bhutan Trail initiative. Below is our interview with Dr. Tenzin.
Karma Tshering, Ph.D. is the Managing Director of the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation. He joined BTF from 07 October 2022 for a period of three years. Dr. Karma has Ph.D. in Conservation and Development from University of Sydney, Australia. A passionate conservationist, Dr. Karma has served for more than 27 years in various agencies in the field of environmental conservation and ecotourism. He has been actively involved in the promotion of incentive-based conservation through transformation of the conventional system of forest and park management by establishing and institutionalizing nature recreation and ecotourism in the country. He continues to dedicate his time and services for environmental conservation with no institutional boundaries.
Dr. Karma Tshering is from Lamgong, Tsendona, Paro.
Tshewang Wangchuk is the Executive Director of the Bhutan Foundation. He started out as an intern working with Bhutan’s first conservation NGO, the Royal Society for Protection of Nature in 1988, working with Dasho Paljor ‘Benji’ Dorji. While pursuing his undergraduate studies in the United States, he worked in Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks during the summers. After graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, he returned to Bhutan and worked for the Bhutan Government’s Nature Conservation Division. He was actively involved in its extensive protected area management system as one of the first Park Managers in the country. Later, he coordinated WWF International’s Global Tiger Program covering many tiger-range states in Asia from 2003-2005. For his doctoral research in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana, he traversed the mountains of Bhutan collecting snow leopard scat for genetic analyses. He continues to stay connected with the many mountain communities he has visited over the years. He is also the first National Geographic Explorer from Bhutan, a member of the Explorers Club, and serves on the board of the Snow Leopard Conservancy.
Nawang is the Founder and Executive Director at the Bhutan Ecological Society. He is also Center Director of the Center for Climate and Sustainable Futures, a collaborative research and education initiative between the School for Field Studies in the US, the Royal University of Bhutan and the BES. Recently, he helped craft Bhutan’s RNR Strategy 2030, and also drafted, in collaboration with the Royal Government and the FAO, the national pathways to transform Bhutan’s food systems. Nawang is committed to building a just and verdant world and continues to explore the drivers and consequences of development and change.
Hometown: Springfield, IL
Favorite Animal: Great Gray Owl
Alex was born and raised in Springfield, IL and grew up reading field guides whenever he wasn’t out looking for turtles and frogs. He can still vividly remember
the first Great Blue Heron he saw and it was this modern day dinosaur that sparked his interest in birds. He moved to Olympia, Washington to study ecology at The Evergreen State College where his love of natural history continued to grow. While studying abroad in Chile Alex discovered a passion for sharing his love of natural history as well as getting into birding as a hobby. Straight out of undergrad Alex attended Western Washington University to obtain a Masters in Environmental Education, which included a yearlong residency teaching and writing curriculum at the North Cascades Institute. In the ten years since finishing grad school he has worked naturalist and outdoor education jobs in Oregon, California, Maine, and back to Washington. For two years he managed education and outreach programs for the New Mexico Wildlife Center. There he delivered live raptor programs, cared for non-releasable birds, mammals, and reptiles as well as assisting in the rehabilitation of injured wildlife.
Alex came to Jackson Hole in 2022 to join Wildlife Expeditions as a Guide and loves sharing the magnificent wildlife and scenery of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with visitors. When he’s not guiding, Alex can be found birding, cross-country skiing, or hiking with his adopted husky, Mia.
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: The Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)
Whitney (she/her/hers) has a passion for helping people connect with the outdoor world through a scientific lens and for promoting stewardship to protect the places we all love. She has both a Master’s degree in Ecology and a teaching certificate, which she has used as a wildlife guide, the curriculum designer and instructor of the University of Wyoming’s Guide Certification program. Whitney has an extensive teaching background both in and out of the classroom. As the Director of Wildlife Expeditions, Whitney provides our guides with mentorship, continuing education experiences and professional development to ensure that we offer the best guides in the industry. In her free time, you can find Whitney somewhere on the river, hiking with her husband and toddler, or examining scat with more interest than many would find normal.
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Moose
Born and raised in the Texas hill country, David grew up hearing stories from his parents of the majesty of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. While earning his degree in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University, David assisted in the care of captive elk, lynx, and white-tailed deer, some of the animals found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. After realizing that he couldn’t safely own a pet moose, he decided to move to Jackson so he could see them daily. Since arriving, he has thoroughly enjoyed sharing his passion for the parks by creating memorable experiences for his guests while also inspiring love for our beautiful planet and its creatures. The fact that Jackson Hole has 3 more seasons than Texas is an added bonus. When not guiding, David enjoys hiking with his dog, skiing and snowboarding, reading, and gazing up at the Teton range.
Hometown: Southern New Hampshire
Favorite animal: Bison
Samantha grew up in southern New Hampshire, skiing and hiking in the White Mountains. After graduating from Hamilton College with a degree in Philosophy, she returned to New Hampshire to work for the Appalachian Mountain Club in their backcountry hut system. Samantha then turned her enthusiasm for outdoor education into a position at a local Waldorf school in the White Mountains. She moved to Jackson in July and can be found exploring on her bike, hiking in the mountains, or getting mildly lost in the side streets of town square.
Hometown: La Fayette, Georgia
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Great Grey Owl
Logan (he/him/his) grew up in southern Appalachia which connected him to the outdoors and natural world from an early age. While obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Leadership from Young Harris College in Northeast Georgia, Logan immersed himself in as many outdoor experiences as possible to better connect himself with outdoor places and communities. After working many seasons as a guide and field instructor, Logan began working with private and public colleges in the State of Georgia coordinating outdoor programming with an emphasis on introducing inner-city and underprivileged students to outdoor initiatives and sustainable practices while recreating outdoors. Logan‘s model for facilitating outdoor programs is to introduce, educate, inspire, and create an everlasting and expanding relationship with the natural world and diverse communities around us.
Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Bison
Dylan grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Summer road trips introduced him to the National Parks and the mountains of the American West. After graduating college with a degree in Environmental Education, he has gotten an opportunity to live and work in some of the most amazing places in the world, including Mt St Helens National Monument, Redwoods National and State Parks, Death Valley, North Cascades, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks. Outside of work, Dylan enjoys photography, travel, biking, hiking, and watching movies.
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Osprey
Helen grew up exploring northern Wisconsin’s forests, lakes, rivers and bogs. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned dual degrees in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies. There she had the opportunity to study marine and terrestrial tropical ecology in Ecuador, and she focused her studies on alpine plants in high Andean grasslands called páramos. Throughout her time in school and after graduating, Helen led 9 to 45-day canoeing, sea kayaking, and backpacking expeditions focused on leadership development amongst groups of young women. These trips led her from the Great Lakes Region to the tundras of the Canadian subarctic in Nunavut and Northwest Territories, where she developed a love of hardy plants and animals thriving in cold, dry places. In 2019, Helen moved to Jackson and began working for Teton Science Schools as a Field Instructor, marrying her passions for science and the natural world with her experiences leading in outdoor education. With this unique landscape and its wild inhabitants in the foreground, she has since had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of visitors in this spectacular ecosystem. When not out inspecting nooks and crannies of high alpine environments for hidden wildflowers, Helen enjoys trail running, cooking colorful meals, backcountry skiing, and learning about the ever-evolving intersections between people and the environment in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
AnnaLisa first began to develop a love and enthusiasm for the practice of Natural History from a childhood spent immersed in the Northwoods of Vermont. With studies completed in Ecology and Environmental Humanities at Sterling College, AnnaLisa has since served with nonprofit environmental education organizations in diverse ecosystems across the country, worked as a college field instructor, and most recently as an NPS Wilderness Education Ranger. Passionate about experiential learning and the confluence of art, culture, and ecology, AnnaLisa enjoys getting to know the things that are sometimes overlooked and sharing them with others. In addition to flipping through field guides, she can be found playing music, riding her bike, and embarking on extended backcountry expeditions.
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Great Grey Owl
Keith grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he spent most of his time exploring the ecosystems in and around the Everglades. At a young age, Keith was exposed to many national parks and public lands around the southwest and Rocky Mountain regions. Keith went on to earn a degree in environmental studies with minors in geology and interdisciplinary studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. After graduating, Keith worked as a Geoscientist-in-the-Parks intern at Bryce Canyon National Park. This led to a seasonal position as an interpretative park ranger with the National Park Service. Keith has worked several seasons at Bryce Canyon and two seasons at Grand Teton National Park. When he’s not guiding, Keith can be found photographing wildlife, backpacking, bird watching, fly fishing, or playing guitar.
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Favorite animal: River otter
Born and raised in Michigan, Sam spent her childhood dreaming of the mountains and vast deserts of the American West. As an adult, she moved to California to study at the University of San Diego. During that time, Sam began teaching wilderness skills and leading outdoor adventure trips throughout the Southwest.
Sam went on to work as a naturalist in Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest ecosystem, guiding river trips and leading backcountry expeditions throughout the The Last Frontier State and Canada.
The next stop on Sam’s journey was Wyoming, where Sam moved in 2018 for a dream job with Teton Science Schools. She has since become an active volunteer Firefighter & EMT with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS.
Sam is passionate about experiential education, backcountry medicine, and science communication. She loves to share those passions with others, including sharing her love for the GYE!
In her free time, you can find Sam writing, trying to finish a crossword, or exploring a national park.
Hometown: Franklin, MA
Favorite animal in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE): Grizzly bear
Jeff grew up exploring the forests, mountains, and coastlines of New England and graduated with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts. He began his outdoor career track working with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Park Service. Jeff moved to Jackson in 2015 to work with the Teton Science Schools and has worked as a field instructor and wildlife guide. During the summer season, Jeff works for the National Park Service, having worked at parks in Boston and Colorado, as well as both Grand Teton and Yellowstone. In his free time, Jeff enjoys fly-fishing, hiking, skiing, and wildlife photography.