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


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


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.

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.

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.

Nancy Lundgren

Board Member

Nancy’s biography is 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.


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.  


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.


Matthew Sanders

Big Creek Assistant Program Director

Matt is our resident weatherman and has a Master’s in Applied Meteorology. He’s an avid hiker, loves dogs, wants to get more into mountaineering, and tries to keep up with soccer and tennis news.

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.