Natural Resource Camp Staff
Randy Brooks, Natural Resource Camp Director/Forestry Instructor
Randy is the Extension forestry specialist for the University of Idaho. He received his bachelors degree in forest management from Oklahoma State University in 1986, and masters (1989) and doctorate (1996) degrees in forest science from Michigan Technological University. Randy spent five years as a water quality specialist in southern Idaho, and sixteen years as an area extension forester in north-central Idaho prior to becoming the Extension forestry specialist in January 2011. He grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and manages a few hardwoods on the home place. He is club advisor for the University of Idaho Loggers Sports Club and the Iron Club at the U of I. He enjoys working on old cars, hunting and lifting at the recreation center.
Sue Knoth, Assistant Director
Sue has over 15 years of experience working with children in environmental education in various federal and private agencies. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in natural resources. She is passionate about getting kids outside and manages an outdoor group for homeschool families in the Palouse region. She lives in Genesee with her husband, three kids, dogs, cats, chickens and ducks. She stays busy homeschooling her three kids and digging in her garden. When Sue was the age of NRC campers, she attended several environmental education camps which instilled in her a love of the outdoors. She spent every summer hiking and fishing in the pacific northwest and Alaska. She is thrilled to be a part of NRC.
Joanna Tjaden, Rangeland Instructor
Joanna has worked for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for a long time (don't ask) as a rangeland management specialist. She grew up in Illinois and when she was the age of an NRC camper, she took a family camping trip and toured U.S. Forest Service lands, National Parks, and BLM lands out west and couldn’t believe how much country was managed by federal agencies. That trip made her want to pursue a career in public land management and help conserve and maintain these lands for future generations. She graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor's in forestry, emphasis in range resources and management and a minor in wildlife biology. Joanna lives in Twin Falls, Idaho with her husband and two little girls. She enjoys camping, fishing, reading mysteries and cooking Italian food. Working for the BLM turned out to be one of the best decisions she ever made and her family loves that they always have a wonderful, beautiful, free place to vacation.
Jim Ekins, Water Instructor
Jim is the water educator for University of Idaho Extension; he’s an outdoor enthusiast and long-time educator. He develops educational programs based on the best science to all parts of the community. Jim runs the IDAH2O Master Water Stewards, a volunteer program where citizen scientists learn to collect water quality data from Idaho streams. He leads the Cleaner Water Faster bi-state educational project related to stormwater pollution, and is the statewide coordinator for Project WET (Water Education for Teachers). He has worked with the University of Idaho since the beginning of fall 2007.
He earned a bachelor's in natural resource management from Western Carolina University, and a masters in collaborative natural resource management from University of Oregon. He worked in three national parks, in Colorado and Oregon’s resort industry, on a research base in Antarctica and in wetland restoration for watershed councils in Oregon. Before moving to Coeur d’Alene, he was the director for Service-Learning and Internships for over five years. In his spare time, he is pursuing a doctorate in conservation social sciences in social-ecological systems resilience and decision science; he also canoes, skis, runs and backpacks with his dogs.
Sean Schroff, Wildlife Instructor
Sean is a regional habitat biologist with Idaho Department of Fish and Game and has been instructing at NRC since 2017. He graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor's in biological sciences with an emphasis in wildlife management and a master's in animal and range sciences with an emphasis in wildlife habitat ecology. Sean lives in Twin Falls, Idaho with his wife, Kayte and his daughter Emmylou. Sean enjoys anything outdoors, generally spending most of his free time camping, hunting, fishing and trapping.
Linda Schott, Soils Instructor
Linda joined the University of Idaho in 2019 as an associate professor and Extension specialist in nutrient and waste management. Her programming focuses on soils, water quality and manure management. She has bachelors degrees in agricultural engineering and global resource systems and a master’s in agricultural and biological systems engineering from Iowa State University. Her doctorate in biological systems engineering is from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. When Linda was the age of an NRC camper, she spent most of her time reading and loved math. She is grateful that she had the opportunity in college to get hands on experience in soils and agriculture. She is thrilled to be part of NRC and wishes a camp like this would have been available when she was younger. Linda enjoys spending her free time with her husband hiking, kayaking and camping.
Brian Knoth, Fisheries Instructor
Brian is a regional fisheries biologist with Idaho Department of Fish and Game and this will be his first year instructing at NRC. Brian is the project lead on several wild salmon and steelhead monitoring projects in the Clearwater River basin. He earned a bachelors degree in fisheries management from The Ohio State University and a masters degree in fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Outside of work, Brian enjoys recreating outdoors with his wife, three kids and two dogs.
Logan Nellis, Program Coordinator
Logan was introduced to natural resources at a very young age through his grandpa. He tagged along with him while he worked at camp each summer. Eventually Logan became a camper and continued on to become a staff member. His wish for everyone that attends NRC is to leave with a new view on our natural resources and to get as much joy out of camp as he does.
Jordy Williams, Program Coordinator
Jordy grew up going to Natural Resources Camp and has attended it as a camper, CIT, camp counselor and now as a staff member. Because of NRC, Jordy has become passionate about natural resources and is now attending the University of Idaho for a bachelor's in forestry. She loves coming back to camp as a staff member and making sure that each one of the campers and camp counselors has an amazing time and loves camp as much as she does.
Additional staff and guest speakers come to camp each year to teach subjects ranging from shooting sports, archery, birds of prey and dutch oven cooking. The support from the guest instructors is a vital part of the Natural Resource Camp and something campers look forward to each year.
Cabin leaders are campers selected each year at the NRC by the adult staff to return to the next camp in peer leadership roles. Selected based on their combination of leadership, knowledge and interpersonal communication skills and potentials, they receive pre-camp training from the University of Idaho. Cabin leaders develop and deliver several of the programs and activities for the campers, and provide assistance to the resource instructors during labs and lectures. Cabin leaders play a vital role at NRC.