Patrick Harrington – Program Director
“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.” – Wallace Stegner
Evan Townsend – Project Coordinator
Evan Townsend grew up in East Tennessee where his love for the outdoors started by hiking, climbing, paddling, swimming, and biking the Cumberland, Blue Ridge, and Smoky Mountains. After completing his undergraduate degree with a B.F.A. in sculpture, he headed “out West” to work for conservation corps. The conservation corps life launched him on a long six year journey traveling the country teaching, building trails, conserving wild and local places, and getting outside as much as possible while working for various corps, trail building companies, and environmental education centers. Evan landed in Wyoming where he earned his double master’s in Environment and Natural Resources/American Studies and he just can’t leave! Working for the WCC allows Evan to indulge in his obsession with education and leadership pedagogy while working outside to improve landscapes. He could think of no greater job.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for” – John Augustus Shedd 1928
Jim Fried – Field Supervisor
Jim Fried grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where his love for the outdoors was born. The woods and beautiful places instilled a desire for nature and a yearning for more. The beautiful Wind River Range of Wyoming was the stepping stone to his outdoor education. Backpacking trips that exposed him to the wilderness of the west was an integral component that bought him closer and closer to the WCC.
Jim graduated with a Double major in Geography and Environment and Natural Resources. He now resides in Centennial, Wyoming in a cabin with his chainsaw, skis, and mountain bike. He has been with the program since the summer of 2012 where he started out as a crew member. His desire for hard work and living in the outdoors was shaped by that amazing first season with the Wyoming Conservation Corps. Since then he has elevated to the position of Crew Leader, and currently the Field Supervisor. This program allows him to be with like minded people who relish hard work, and appreciate being in amazing places.
“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
2017 Crew Leaders
Tyler Paul is a fishing fanatic of all seasons with a great love for the outdoors. Always trying new things, Tyler has caught salmon with his bare hands and has trapped a three-legged beaver. He grew up in the Black Hills area in both South Dakota and Wyoming. His adventures have led him to explore Canada and venture over seas to many European countries. He is majoring in Civil Engineering after spending the last 5 years working residential construction. Working in rural Wyoming has made his love for the outdoors grow and is eager to maintain and preserve the land so others may love it as well.
Madeline Onstott has lived in Wyoming most of her life after moving from Colorado. Having grown up around mountains her entire life, one her greatest passions is spending time outdoors. She prefers trail running and hiking to reach scenic and quiet places where she can enjoy moments alone, but also with her closest friends and family.
Since attending college in Laramie, she has carried her passion for the environment in to her studies. She studies Geology and Earth Sciences, as well as Environment and Natural Resources. Her hopes after graduating is to receive her Master’s degree in Earth Science Education so that she may teach in South America, and eventually return home to the states. Her interest in education is to do her part in teaching the next generation to develop a love for the environment so that it may be protected for many generations to come.
Maddie is excited to spend a second summer with the WCC, but this time as a crew leader. Her passion for the outdoors also carries in to her work with conservation projects across the state. She hopes to have another great summer with a hardworking crew that shares similar interests in the conservation of public lands!
Larissa Siirila is a vibrant, adventure seeking young woman, Nebraska born and Wyoming bred. She is a recent graduate of the University of Wyoming with a BS in Chemistry. She plans to attend medical school after taking some time off to peruse other interests. It has always been Larissa’s desire to help people in whatever way, shape, or form she can. In her free time she enjoys fencing (the sport) and volunteering at the Downtown Clinic of Laramie. Larissa is also a researcher for the Hoberg Group chemistry lab. She has a cabin on the North Fork of the Shoshone River and tries to get back to it at least once a year so she can re-dig a small pond in the adjacent creek. Larissa is always looking out for new adventures and is excited to join the adventure of a lifetime with the Wyoming Conservation Corps.
Tyler Carroll, originally from Parker CO, came to Laramie in 2013 to attend the University of Wyoming. Working on majors in Geography and Environment and Natural Resources, as well as minors in Sustainability and Outdoor Leadership. Tyler gained a passion for the outdoors through Boy Scouts, where he earned the rank of Eagle and was introduced to conservation with his Eagle Scout project which included fire mitigation and trail building. He worked for the WCC last summer as a crew member which further established his passion for conservation work and this past semester Tyler started working at the Outdoor Program as a trip leader. Both programs allowed him to recognize how much he loves leading others in the outdoors. The majority of his free time is spent outdoors mountain biking, skiing, hiking, rafting, fly-fishing, and really anything else you can do outside.
Dillon Levi is 25 years old and a native of Laramie. He has served with the WCC two times before as a crew member. He loves the outdoors, especially hiking, climbing of all kinds, and snowboarding. When he was young, he would race at Snowy Range but now finds more interest in just going out with my friends and getting home everyday to tell the story! He is finishing his Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Literature in May ’17 and hopes to earn a skydiving license by the end of the summer this year! Dillon is very excited to get to work with the WCC this year and serve the state and AmeriCorps this year!
Claire Heidel: Hey y’all! My name is Claire and I am super excited to be a crew leader for WCC for the spring and summer of 2017! I grew up in Wisconsin on the shores of the Great Lakes, and I have liked being in the outdoors since I can remember – camping, shooting hoops, relaxing on the beach, hiking…. you name it and chances are you can count me in. I am currently pursuing a degree in elementary education at the University of Wyoming. I look forward to being a part of WCC again and working together to do great things for Wyoming and ultimately for our exceptional country. Let ‘er buck!
Emily Thornton is from Hattiesburg, MS and holds Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Environmental Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has lived in Alaska, California, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico. She most recently worked at Lake Thoreau Environmental Center and has done field research comparing salinity levels of marsh waters and the biomass of marsh plants in different ecosystems. She has also done research comparing soil health of burned vs. unburned land and behavioral research with Galagos. Emily has earned her open water scuba certification and a yoga teacher certification. After graduating with her psychology degree, she worked as a program coordinator for Campus Link Americorps, which helped prepare middle school students in Mississippi for high school. She is an advocate of environmental conservation and loves to spend her time playing music, writing, hiking, biking, and canoeing.
Max Benson is a Laramie, Wyoming native that has been an outdoor enthusiast since the age of two. Growing up on 6 acres of prairie, Max always had the freedom to explore, learn and investigate Wyoming’s nature. He has a strong affection for camping, fishing, cooking, hiking, skateboarding, and biking. Max arrived at WCC last summer with experience in construction, electrical work and installing various projects and is excited to assist WCC in 2017.
Kevin Wilson grew up in Central Florida and joined the Navy when he was 17. He spent almost 5 years in the submarine service, completing 6 deterrent ballistic missile patrols, and attaining the rank of Fire Control Technician Second Class. After the Navy, he received a BA in History with a minor in political science from the University of North Georgia and a BA in Environmental Studies from Rollins College in Central Florida. While earning his degrees, he worked as a Veterans Educational Counselor, a Florida State Park Ranger, and an Admissions Officer for NOLS Wilderness Medicine in Lander, WY. While a Park Ranger, he researched the lives of African American turpentine workers in early 20th century Florida and contributed to updating the Florida Master Site File for a historic African American settlement in Markham, Florida.
He is serving as a Crew Leader for the WYVTC this summer before beginning Nursing School at Central Wyoming College this fall. He has a lovely calico/siamese cat named Esther and he likes to read, write, climb and mountaineer in the Tetons and Wind River Range of Wyoming when possible.
Henry Bonds was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and served in the Army’s ceremonial unit from 2013 to 2016. He has always enjoyed doing new things and being outside and he has been active with the Wyoming State Parks mountain biking trails for most of my life. Currently a student at the University of Wyoming for a Bachelor’s degree in History, he intends to rejoin the army after college as a commissioned officer. Henry will be a crew leader for the WyVTC this summer.