David M. Armstrong (Colorado). Dave is Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he taught Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Studies for 39 years. Dave has spent nearly five decades investigating ecological patterns, paying close attention to the influence of the evolutionary processes—geological, biological, and cultural—that exert change on natural systems. Dave served on the board of directors of The Nature Conservancy of Colorado for nearly two decades, and was also a board member for the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Science and the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. He has led hundreds of field courses, workshops, and hikes for the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, CSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Cloud Ridge Naturalists, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Keystone Science Center, and many others. Dave’s publications include four go-to references about western wildlife: Mammals of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Mammals, Mammals of the Northern Great Plains, and Mammals of the Canyon Country. Dave holds a BS in zoology from Colorado State University, an MS in science education from Harvard University, and a PhD in ecology from the University of Kansas. Dave is Resident Naturalist at Sylvan Dale Ranch, engaging visitors of all ages with stories that intertwine the natural history, geology, and human history of this remarkable place. In addition to his commitment to scientific discovery and education, Dave drives Belgian draft horses and is known far and wide for his campfire cooking.
Laura Armstrong, Executive Director, J Heart Center (Colorado). Laura was immersed in hands-on learning from toddlerhood, tagging along on her biologist parents’ field expeditions in the mountains, forests, rivers, and deserts of Colorado and Utah. Laura spent summers during college leading teams of teenage Junior Rangers building trails in the City of Boulder Mountain Parks, with an emphasis on teaching the personal rewards of hard work, teamwork, safety, commitment to quality, and having fun outdoors. Later, as a park ranger, she led hikes and gave presentations about the natural history of the Boulder area, in addition to search and rescue and wildland firefighting. Laura served as administrative director for the Center for Resourceful Building Technology in Montana and as the first executive director of the Legacy Land Trust in Fort Collins, working with landowners to protect thousands of acres of ranchland and open space. She was a land conservation and nonprofit management consultant for eight years with clients including The Nature Conservancy, Larimer County, High Plains Environmental Center, and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. Most recently, Laura spent six years designing conservation programs and leading fundraising efforts for LightHawk, an organization that provides flight for conservation projects across North and Central America.
Laura’s work at the Heart-J Center brings together her experience with nonprofit management, collaborative conservation, outdoor education, and meeting facilitation, her personal interests in natural history, creative arts, sustainable agriculture, and outdoor adventure, and her desire to help others find the activities and topics that ignite their passions. Laura holds a BA in Biology and Environmental Science from Colby College in Maine and an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. When she’s not dreaming up interdisciplinary experiential programs, Laura enjoys music, writing fiction, turning lawns into native plant gardens, home remodeling through trial and error, and exploring the West with her daughters, Emma (13) and Riley (10). You can reach her at email@example.com.
Dr. Richard Jurin, Associate Professor and Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. He teaches courses in Bioeducation, Environmental & Sustainability Studies, Sustainable Living, and Sustainable Development, He has authored two major textbooks - Environmental Communications, and Principles of Sustainable Living: A New Vision for Health, Happiness, and Prosperity. Dr. Jurin has a British educational background in Engineering & Science, with degrees in Chemistry and Biology, and a master’s degree in Biochemistry. He worked as a biochemist researcher for over 20 years before going back to graduate school in 1990 in the School of Natural Resources at The Ohio State University (OSU) gaining another masters in Environmental Communications and then a Ph.D. (1995) in Environmental Communication, Education & Interpretation with an Adult-Community Focus.
Dr. Keiko Krahnke, Chair and Associate Professor of the Management Department in the Monfort College of Business, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. She teaches Management of Organizations and Business Ethics. She speaks and writes about empathy, compassion, and mindfulness. Through her teaching and writing, she strives to help her students to open their minds, know the truth, make the connection, and expand their compassion. Keiko is a long-time rescuer of dogs, cats, and farmed animals (pictured here with her rescued goat, Shiro), and supporter of sanctuaries. She has volunteered for organizations helping animals in the U.S. and abroad. Her dog from Thailand is a survivor of the dog meat trade, and her beloved horse was saved from an auction. Keiko is passionate about being the voice for nonhuman animals, helping to end the suffering of all beings, and being a part of building a kinder society. She has recently been featured in the Unbound Project, which celebrates “the inspiring women around the globe who are changing the world for animals” (
Rosann Ross, Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences, Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. She teaches courses in Principles of Psychology, Theories of Counseling, Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Personality, Group Processes and Roles, Death and Dying and Field Experience. Rosann has been a National Certified Counselor since 1994 and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Colorado since 1996. She has taught undergraduate psychology majors in the School of Psychological Sciences since 1995, teaching mostly the counseling track classes including Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Death and Dying and Theories of Counseling. She has also been the coordinator for the Field Experience course where Psychology majors participate in a service learning course in community settings such as psychiatric units, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, and research with professors in their area of interest. Rosann has also been a contract therapist with Transitions Psychology Group in Greeley since 2003. Her main focus in counseling is working with individuals and families, and specializes in working with chronic illness, death and dying, and grief and bereavement. She has owned her own private practice (1994-96) and has worked on a psychiatric unit from 1996-2000. Rosann has had a lifelong interest in the human-animal bond that was crystallized in 2005. After almost 10 years of practicing traditional therapy, she was initiated into the world of horses, and personally witnessed the power of the horse to heal. What could take up to six months in traditional “talk” therapy sessions could be accomplished in one or two EFT sessions. She was EAGALA-certified in equine facilitated therapy (EFT) and learning (EFL), and opened her own EFT practice for two years. She now is involved in promoting the power of the non-human animal to heal the human animal in therapeutic settings.