Faculty and Staff

leev
Lee Vierling, Executive Director
Ph.D. Environmental Biology, University of Colorado; B.A. Geology, The Colorado College.
Throughout his career, Lee has been committed to making science accessible and relevant to K-12 and public audiences, including his creation of a nationwide NASA K-6 Earth System Science Curriculum program and developing programs that partner scientists with K-12 students and teachers. Lee is also an Associate Professor in the UI College of Natural Resources, with a primary research interest to understand connections that link ecosystem structure with ecological function using remote sensing techniques. He and his wife Kerri have two young daughters, and his hobbies include bike touring, music, swimming, alternative energy, and remodeling old things.
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Greg Fizzell
Greg Fizzell, Program Director
M.S. Forest Resources, University of Idaho; B.S. Forestry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
Greg began his career in the environment by working as a field forester and biologist in Illinois, Oregon and Washington. In addition to trees, he has also studied neotropical migrant birds in the forests and on the prairie of Illinois and has tracked Northern Goshawks in the pine forests of central Oregon. In 2001, Greg co-founded the University of Idaho McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) along with Dr. Steve Hollenhorst. He enjoys cycling, skiing, fishing and watching college football.
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Sacha Jackson
Sacha Jackson, Campus Manager and Registrar
Apicius: The Culinary Institute of Florence, Italy; National Outdoor Leadership School Graduate; B.S. Experiential Sports Psychology, Minors in Coaching and Health, Plymouth State College, Plymouth, New Hampshire.
Sacha grew up in Maine and followed the 45th parallel west to McCall in 2002. After a few years working as a behavior therapist, her sense of adventure took her abroad to study Italian cuisine. She initially joined the MOSS team as the dessert chef and then traded frosting for excel spreadsheets in the spring of 2007. Sacha enjoys cooking, dancing, river time, cheering for the New England Patriots and adventures with her friends & family.
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Karla Bradley
Karla Bradley Eitel, Director of Education
Ph.D. Conservation Social Science, University of Idaho; M.Ed. University of Idaho; M.S. Conservation Social Science, University of Idaho; Prof. Residency in Environmental Education, Teton Science School; B.A. Studio Art and American Studies, Williams College
Karla has been working with MOSS since 2002 and currently serves as MOSS Director of Education and Assistant Professor in the College of Natural Resources. She earned her PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, and also holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and an M.S. in Conservation Social Sciences from the UI. She started her academic career with a major in Studio Art and American Studies at Williams College. Karla has guided the development of the K12 curriculum and the graduate residency in environmental education. Her research interests include STEM identity development in a place-based context and the appropriate incorporation of technology into outdoor learning environments. In 2014, Karla won the University of Idaho award for Outstanding Outreach for her 12 years of service at MOSS, which has served nearly 25,000 Idaho K-12 students in residential, place-based outdoor education. She loves playing music, biking and skiing.
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Gary Thompson
Gary Thompson, Leadership Coordinator
M.S. Conservation Social Science, University of Idaho; B.A. Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, Brevard College
Gary teaches CSS 575: Leadership for Environmental Educators. Since 1999, Gary has been working as a wilderness educator, expedition leader and university instructor. He has enjoyed working in both the United States and South America. His professional interests include risk management and leadership education. When not in school, Gary instructs for the National Outdoor Leadership School and tries to spend as much time on the river as possible. He enjoys white-water kayaking, telemark skiing, cooking on the grill and throwing sticks for the dog.
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Jennifer Schon
Jennifer Schon, Program Coordinator
M.A. Education, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa; B.S. Environmental Science, Chemistry and Biology minors, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA.
Jenny recently joined MOSS in 2010 after having taught middle school science for the previous three years in Montana.  Prior to teaching, Jenny worked for the National Park Service in New Mexico as a Fire Effects Crew Lead studying the effects of fire on the landscape and the effectiveness of using it as tool for managing public lands.  Jenny enjoys traveling, telemark skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, running, attempting to speak Spanish or catch a fish and winning an occasional handstand contest.
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Jan U.H. Eitel, Researcher in Residence
Research Assistant Professor
Jan U.H. Eitel is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Idaho’s McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) and the AmericaView State Coordinator for Idaho. Jan has a strong interest and background in ecology, stemming from his pre-graduate degree in Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Freiburg (Germany), his PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, and his real-world experiences and research in a wide variety of ecosystems world-wide. Classes Jan currently teaches at MOSS include CSS 560 (Place-based Ecology for Environmental Educators) and CSS 566 (Advanced Field Ecology Course Design). Jan is very interested in developing and assessing hands-on, field-based curricula that engage learners in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). For these curricula, Jan is particularly interested in making use of low-cost, high-tech tools (e.g., flying cameras, time-lapse cameras) some of which he actively develops and tests in collaboration with MOSS graduate students (e.g., low cost terrestrial LiDAR, flatbed scanner for foliar chlorophyll analysis). A longer term goal of Jan’s work at MOSS is to help promote and create a field research station that provides unique ecological and socio-economic research opportunities to a broad research audience. His primary research interest is in developing and using novel remote sensing tools and techniques to advance our understanding of processes that control the environment we live in. Jan has extensive experience working with both optical remote sensing and LiDAR data and has led the development of an autonomously operating terrestrial laser scanner (ATLS). He has authored 24 peer-reviewed journal articles of which he led 14 as the main author. He has also extensive experience delivering introductory workshops to the statistical computing and graphics program R. In his free-time, Jan enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife. Also, being a former NCAA Division 1 regional champion in the steeple-chase, he still enjoys endurance sports such as trail running, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and Nordic skiing.
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brantmiller
Brant Miller - Faculty, College of Education
Ph.D. Science Education, University of Minnesota; M.S. Curriculum and Instruction, Black Hills State University; B.S. Elementary Education, Black Hills State University
Brant G. Miller is an assistant professor of science and technology education at the University of Idaho. Before pursuing his doctoral work, Brant was a middle school science teacher for six years in western South Dakota. His research interests include the identification of science agency in K-12 students through culturally based STEM curricular experiences; Adventure Learning; and the design and implementation of authentic, sustained professional development for K-12 STEM teachers in domestic and international settings.
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Brian Brooks
Brian Brooks, Kitchen Manager
B.S. Conservation Social Science, University of Idaho. During high school and through college Brian has worked in the food and kitchen industry during the semesters and worked in natural resource fields in the summers. Brian has worked in the salmon canneries of Alaska, inspected produce crops for the State of Idaho, prepared these foods in restaurant kitchens, and served as a waiter. These experiences have given him a broad spectrum of harvest-to-table knowledge and quality food production. Aside from his work within the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho, Brian has also been the Community Forester for the City of Moscow, Idaho, and a Crew Leader with the Student Conservation Association based in the Appalachian Mountains. Brian has grown up in Idaho and has traveled to every corner of the state in pursuit of the wild. He enjoys fly fishing backcountry rivers and alpine lakes, backpacking miles into Idaho's many ranges, hunting big game, rock climbing, cycling, carving the slopes on skis or a board, and any active outdoor activity. The only thing he loves more than the outdoors is enlightening others by sharing these special experiences. Brian is WFA certified, plays guitar, loves movies, y se habla español. He plans on attaining his Master of Natural Resources while at MOSS and grow as an individual, and as a member of the MOSS team.
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Leslie Van Niel
Leslie Van Niel, Program Assistant
M.S. Natural Resources (Environmental Education Certificate), University of Idaho; B.S. Wildlife Conservation with Geology minor, Unity College, Maine.
Leslie is a former MOSS graduate student, field instructor and AmeriCorps member (2011-12). She has worked as a Naturalist at the Redfish Visitor Center as well as the Ranger Station for the Forest Service in Stanley, ID. Most recently, she worked for Idaho Department of Fish and Game as the Citizen Naturalist Coordinator for the Multi-species Baseline Initiative.
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Mark Beaver
Mark Beaver, Maintenance Coordinator
B.S. Secondary Education, Social Science, Minor Art, University of Idaho; M.S. Natural Resources (Environmental Education Certificate), University of Idaho.
Mark is a McCall native and MOSS alumni. Mark gained a wealth of experience working seasonally throughout high school and college in a variety trade positions including framing, roofing, finish carpentry, and house painting. He also has experience in the fields of education and natural resources working as and English teacher in Bilbao, Spain, a Biological Aide for the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery, an interpretive naturalist for the Forest Service and Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association, a Youth Education and Sustainability Coordinator for the Environmental Resource Center in Ketchum, and as a MOSS graduate student. Mark enjoys mtn. biking, backpacking, reading books, listening to music, being creative, and all manner of skiing.
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MOSS faculty Teresa Cohn
Teresa Cohn
Ph.D. Geography, Montana State University; M.Sc, Schumacher College; B.A. English, The Colorado College
Teresa focuses on human-environmental relationships in the American West in both environmental education and geographical research. She is particularly interested in environmental change within ecologically and culturally diverse areas (riparian corridors, for example). After several years teaching in interdisciplinary and intercultural programs—including the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah and the Native Waters education program with Missouri River Basin Tribes—Teresa joined the MOSS community in 2014. Teresa enjoys spending time camping, hiking and skiing with her family, coaxing tomatoes to ripen at high altitudes, and all things fiber, including weaving, spinning and felting.
MOSS faculty Mark Wolfenden
Mark Wolfenden
Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, Montana State University; B.Sc. Chemistry with Marine Sciences, North Carolina State University.
Mark has a research background in organic chemistry, largely related to natural products such as carbohydrates, odorant molecules (e.g. monoterpenes) and antibiotics. He has heldresearch positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and in Montana State University physics and chemistry departments, studying such things as scent based pathogen detection, novel antibiotic discovery, carbohydrate cellular interactions and microbial corrosion of naval fuel systems. His interests lie in finding ways to engage students by bringing chemistry to the outdoors, be it through natural products study, biofuel conversion and production, or testing pheromone structures for attraction and repulsion properties. He and his wife Teresa have an infant daughter and he enjoys rock climbing, backcountry skiing, jumping into lakes, failing to catch fish and chasing ungulates around the timber.