Meet Our Staff 2018-05-29T22:23:21+00:00

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OUR STAFF

SLOAN SHOEMAKER | Executive Director

Sloan joined WW in 1997 and now leads the organization’s conservation work. The president of the Colorado Bark Beetle Cooperative, he’s recognized as one of the state’s leading policy experts on beetle-wildfire ecology, and has testified before a special Congressional oversight committee on mitigating the impacts of the pine bark beetle epidemic in Colorado. He has crafted all phases of WW’s comments on the WRNF Travel Management Plan, has testified before the Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee on behalf of the Colorado conservation community, and led the effort to develop a Citizen’s Management Alternative for the WRNF’s revised Land and Resource Management Plan. Previously, Sloan worked for the Environmental Research Group in Aspen, and before that was a professional photographer, ski instructor, backcountry guide, and volunteer with Mountain Rescue Aspen. He has served as the President of the Board of KDNK Community Radio in Carbondale, and is a graduate of Leadership Aspen. Sloan has a B.A. in English from Washington & Lee University and did master’s studies at the University of Denver in Environmental Policy and Management. He’s married with two children and lives in a solar-heated strawbale home he built with his wife outside of Carbondale.

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ALICIA ZERINGUE | Community Organizer

Alicia joins WW from Aspen Community Foundation, where her work was focused on communications and fundraising to support the organization’s grantmaking and strategic initiatives. Prior to moving to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2014, she spent over a decade in Baltimore as a community organizer focusing on community and workforce development as well as housing issues in the city’s most challenged neighborhoods. Alicia has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Towson University and is a 2014 Aspen Institute Marano Fellow. She grew up in Wyoming and Montana, where she spent her childhood hiking, cross-country skiing, camping and fishing on public lands. After moving to Colorado, she added soaking in hot springs to her list of hobbies and continues to be amazed by the overwhelming beauty and recreational opportunities here.

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JUSTIN PATRICK | Communications Manager

Justin joined Wilderness Workshop in the summer of 2015 after completing the Digital Media program at the Isaacson School for New Media in Aspen. Prior to that, he worked for a nonprofit in Boulder addressing water use and irrigation efficiency. Justin has been publishing professionally as a journalist and author since 2007, and his work has appeared in The Denver Post, The Aspen Times, Sopris Sun, and The Telluride Daily Planet, among others. Justin was a 2014 Aspen Ideas Scholar at the Aspen Institute. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University. His hobbies include skiing, backcountry camping, and uninhibited frolicking.

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MELANIE FINAN | Operations and Outreach Coordinator

Melanie wears many different and funky hats for WW. She is responsible for all visual communications and graphic design, outreach to members, and database management. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Miami University in Ohio and supplemented her degree with courses in Graphic Design at Colorado Mountain College. Her passion for the outdoors was her motivation for moving to Colorado in 2005, and she plans on staying for a while and growing roots.

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PETER HART | Conservation Analyst/Staff Attorney

Peter is the point person for WW’s defensive work, primarily heading issues related to the National Environment Policy Act. His docket includes reviewing proposed actions (gas leases, rule changes, forest health projects, recreational developments), filing technical comments on Environmental Impact Statements, and working with outside counsel on legal actions. A native of Vail, Peter earned a law degree and master’s degree in environmental law from the University of Denver. He clerked for the water rights division of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, worked on endangered species claims at the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic, and worked on toxic tort litigation at a Denver law firm. He enjoys riding his bike and spending time with his family, including raising two young boys with an appreciation for the great outdoors.

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REBECCA MIRSKY | Development Director, Artist in Wilderness Program Director

Rebecca joined WW in the fall of 2015 with a strong history of involvement in the nonprofit community. She recently served as the Development Manager at Aspen Film, which she joined in 2013 as the Education Coordinator, and then transitioned to Development Manager. Before moving to Colorado, she directed several New York City Contemporary Art galleries and founded her own, 33 Bond Gallery, in 2007. Rebecca received a master’s at NYU for Arts Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art with a minor in Sociology from NYU. Rebecca spent 14 years in New York City working in what she describes as the ͞strange world of contemporary art.͟ When she turned 30 she saw the light and, seeking a healthier life closer to the land, moved to Aspen to embrace the outdoor lifestyle. She quickly developed a core group of friends to mentor her in backcountry ways. She continues to explore surrounding public lands by mountain bike, skis, hiking boots, and backpacking.

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WILL ROUSH | Conservation Director

Will joined WW in the summer of 2009 to inventory lands for the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. Currently he works as an organizer and advocate for efforts to designate additional wilderness and protect the Thompson Divide. Will also conducts outreach and advocacy for WW’s federal lands policy work, organizes the Naturalist Nights winter speaker series, runs the restoration program, and serves on the steering committee of the Roaring Fork Valley Future Forest Roundtable. Will grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley and has a master’s in Geography and Environmental Studies examining the impact of climate change on alpine ecosystems.

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