The Glacier Institute Board of Directors

Lance Fahrney

Board president

Decent skier, average golfer, and huge hearted. Lance came to the Flathead Valley to run the local paper and has since shifted to real estate. He volunteers much of his time for local nonprofits and gets into the mountains as often as possible.

Sue Thompson

Treasurer

Sue brings over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance to our team, and is owner of The CFO Agency. She believes education is the key to change and loves the Glacier Institute’s commitment to using education to connect people to the outdoors. Sue is a self-proclaimed foodie, enjoys camping, gardening, good friends, good wine, and aspires to spend more time quilting in the future.

Dee Mann Aust

Secretary

A Wyoming native, Dee is a natural leader with over 25 years of leadership experience in a 40 year healthcare career. She is proud to have opened the first Social Work department at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Dee is happily married, loves to laugh, is soothed by nature, driven by music, and has been passionate about photography since receiving a Pentax K1000 in college. She comes to the board with a long list of leadership certifications and a perpetual instinct to always be prepared.

Art Burch

Board Member

My grandparents purchased the tour boats concessions in Glacier National Park in 1938 and our family has been floating on its beautiful lakes ever since. Now semi-retired, my wife and I use our RV and two wheeled conveyances in our continuing and successful search for special campsites. We enjoy quality of time with our two daughters and our family members in the area. We appreciate and make use of the outdoor activities available in our wonderful state. I am proud to assist the Institute in its essential mission and I am continually impressed with the caliber of staff and crew that are the most important part of the equation.

Nancy Lundgren

Board Member

A native of New England, Nancy has called West Glacier, Montana home for over 40 years.  She has a Masters Degree in Education with a career focused on youth. Nancy has been a Board member of the Glacier Institute since 2013 and remembers her two daughters adventures attending camps at Big Creek.  She looks forward to having her three grandchildren participate as soon as they are of age. Always attracted to the wild, Nancy’s current adventures include managing communications at various checkpoints for the annual Iditarod Dog Sled races in the Alaskan Bush and monitoring Common Loons at backcountry lakes in Glacier National Park.

Lives by “EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED”

Jeff Ellingson

Board Member

After his second year at Flathead Valley Community College, Jeff got a summer ranger job in Glacier, which he managed to stretch into three seasons at Rising Sun and three more at Polebridge and Logging Lake. Between summers of hiking, climbing, and helping visitors in Glacier Heaven, he finished college at UM and Stanford Law School, before returning to Kalispell to be near family, and start his 40-year law career. Jeff and Susan and their blended family of five children (and grandchildren and multiple dogs) love Glacier and the Flathead Valley.

Josh Arrants

Board Member

As a kid growing up in South Carolina, Josh Arrants always dreamed of seeing Montana. What he never imagined possible was that he’d one day have the opportunity to teach classes in the most beautiful classroom he’d ever seen, Glacier National Park. A naturalist with over 20 years experience managing natural resources and teaching natural history, Josh has dedicated much of his career to protecting endangered species populations on military installations, state and federal lands, as well as private properties. He lives in Kalispell with his wife, Aimee, and can be found fishing, wandering in the woods and staring at the mountains for hours.

Mike Carpenter

Board Member

Born and raised in South Dakota.  Bachelors degree in Computer Science with a Masters degree in Management.  35 year high tech management career mostly in Minnesota.  Now seasonally migrates between Montana and Florida.  Fly fishing obsession, fly casting instructor, Florida Master Naturalist.

Bruce Hird

Board Member

Bruce fell in love with wild places while spending summers in Yosemite National Park for the first 13 years of his life. He went on to get a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Humboldt University and worked for five years with the Bureau of Land Management in Redding and High Desert, California. He spent 20 years working with the USDA Forest Service in Sitka, Alaska and here in the Flathead National Forest. Bruce is the board historian, and has been serving since 1998.

Beau Servo

Board Member

Bio Coming Soon

The Glacier Institute Staff

Anthony Nelson

Anthony Nelson

Executive Director

Anthony is a husband, father of three, amateur rock skipper, musician, and listener of audio-books. Getting kids out to Big Creek to create memories and learn about the natural world is the highlight of his job. And brunch meetings.

Email: director@glacierinstitute.org

Dawn Glynn

Director of Operations

Dawn runs a tight ship at the main Glacier Institute campus in downtown Columbia Falls. She’s a huge fan of camping with her family, reading a good book, and kayaking at the lake.  

Email: register@glacierinstitute.org

Garrett Tovey

Director of Education

Garrett is passionate about the preservation of our public lands and helping foster the next generation of environmental stewards. He has degrees in biology and wildlife ecology, and enjoys playing music and backpacking with his two pups, Addie and Hank.

Email: garrett@glacierinstitute.org

Emmy Sauer

Field Camp Program Director

Emmy loves mountain summits, wildflower filled meadows, and hawks in flight. She enjoys strolling through the woods and teaching those around her about the beauty of the outdoors. This native Texan has a degree in Environmental Science, and has worked as a trail guide in Wyoming.

Anna Martin

Field Camp assistant Program Director

Anna has always felt a connection to animals and the ocean. With a degree in biology and experience with limnology and oceanography, she’s excited to be concentrating on her passion of outdoor education. As a photographer, she has hopeful anticipation to see her first moose.

Dee Baginski

Outdoor Education Specialist

Dee is an avid birder from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a degree in Natural Resource Management. She loves hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, emerging wildflowers, and soft pretzels. She most recently worked for the Forest Service in Missouri.

Eli Baum

Outdoor Education Specialist

Eli is an avid adventurer with a passion for riding his bike, hiking to grandeur vistas, and swimming in ice cold water. He loves the outdoors and his greatest joy comes from sharing that love with others. 

Zander Short

Outdoor Education Specialist

Zander is a passionate outdoor educator who fell in love with this field while working in National Parks all around the US. She is excited to provide equal opportunities for all to come and experience the wonder of nature and learn to be better stewards of the land.

Jimmy Parsons

Big Creek Assistant Program Director

Jimmy is a Virginia Beach native with a passion for wildlife and exploring. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2018 with a major in Wildlife Conservation and a minor in Communications. Going on field trips and to summer camps is what inspired his passion for nature and he loves giving the next generations those same opportunities.

Karly Chin

Outdoor Education Specialist

Karly is from Northern California and enjoys skiing, baking pies, looking for fungi, and painting, among other things. She has a degree in Human Biology and is passionate about the interface between human and environmental systems. Before coming to the Glacier Institute, Karly has worked as a field technician, ski instructor, and mycology lab assistant.

Laurie Lapan

Youth Day Program Director

Laurie loves wandering the woods year round and helping others to find their wonder-filled connections to our great outdoors. She enjoys learning from old dogs, planting for pollinators, talking to trees, chasing fish, porch sitting, and campfire sing a longs.

Alexis Alderman

Outdoor Education Specialist

Alexis is from a small town in Vermont and obtained her degree at the University of Vermont. She studied Environmental Science with a concentration in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. Alexis hopes to encourage others to create or strengthen their connection to the natural environment and show the importance of its conservation. In her free time, she enjoys live music, reading books, and finding new areas to explore.

Kayla East

Outdoor Education Specialist

Growing up on the East Coast, Kayla always knew she wanted to work with animals and the outdoors. After living abroad in Botswana her passion for wildlife was only amplified and she decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Forensics. Some of her favorite things include her ferret Trixie and sharing the wonders of the outdoors with kiddos. 

Nicole Pugliese

Outdoor Education Specialist

Nicole is a New England native whose passion for the outdoors manifested during the years she spent living in Vermont, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. She loves the beauty of the changing seasons, a cup of coffee around a morning fire, and will always seek out the best place to watch the sun set.

Anna McNabb

Outdoor Education Specialist

Anna is excited to join the team in educating the next generation on the incredible natural world around them. The Ohio native began her outdoor education journey in Alaska working as an interpretation specialist, which is where she found her passion for public education and citizen science. She enjoys hiking with friends, spending quiet time at a lake, or bonding over music with others. She is eager to spot her first grizzly bear this summer.

Clara Andrews

Outdoor Education Specialist

Clara is a passionate and enthusiastic outdoorswoman originally from Seattle, WA. She loves to fly fish, climb, ride horses, and just BE in the wilderness. Clara is dedicated to making the outdoors a place that is welcoming for all identities and backgrounds. She has dreams of being a professional vagabond, exploring places far and wide (hopefully in a van) and allowing Mother Earth to be her lifelong teacher. She hopes that being an outdoor educator will help to connect others to nature and realize its importance in our physical and emotional well-being!

Madelynn Thompson

Outdoor Education Specialist

Madelynn is a Minnesota native and a lover of the outdoors. She received a degree in Biology from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota where she developed a passion for birds and increased her love of learning. Madelynn loves to marvel at the majesty of the mountains and can’t wait to share this love with others in the Montana wilderness.