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Staff

Bryan Martin Executive Director

Bryan Martin

Executive Director

Bryan brings over 15 years of experience in the recreation and conservation space as both a practitioner and an advocate. Bryan began his career working for The Nature Conservancy in Washington, D.C. and in Colorado.  He then went on to become the Field Operations Manager for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, and later, Director of Conservation for The Colorado Mountain Club. Most recently, he was the Western External Relations Officer for the Land Trust Alliance, the national convener, strategist and representative of more than 1,200 land trusts across America. He is deeply passionate about the outdoors and what outdoor experiences mean for kids. He believes that meaningful experiences in nature have tangible benefits for communities all over the country. Whether it’s a walk in the city park or an extended backcountry experience in Wilderness, the outdoors has the potential to change your life for the better.

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Amanda Jameson

Community Relations Director

Amanda Jameson learned about long-distance backpacking trails in 2013, and has centered her life around the outdoors – and issues of diversity, education, and access – ever since. She has degrees from Vassar (B.A.) and Oxford (M.Sc.), but believes that the experience of walking 3500-odd miles on long trails has been equally formative. While the outdoors is not an apolitical space, it provides a certain distance from the gendered, racialized, and othering expectations of the frontcountry – and that distance leaves space for the blossoming of possibility. It’s in that space that Amanda found a balm for her spirit and her voice as a writer, and she is a firm believer in providing youth with similar outdoor experiences. Amanda’s professional background with organizations like the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have given her a knack for translating deep experiences, passing on knowledge, and sharing the wealth, and she’s delighted to share these talents with Big City Mountaineers.

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Doug Sandok

Doug Sandok

Chief Operations Officer

Born and raised in Minnesota Doug’s first outdoor experiences were canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters. He has a B.A. in Sociology from Colorado College and a minor in Urban Studies. Doug has built his life around being in the outdoors, traveling the world, and creating opportunities for others to learn and grow from challenge and adventure.

Since early, pre Gore-tex, backpacking trips in the Rockies, to guiding and instructing in the Himalayas and South America, Doug has been shaped by the wild places and the people he shares those experiences with.  “There is no substitute for a wilderness experience – the growth that comes from a hard day moving through challenging terrain, and working with a team to reach a goal. Sometimes, it can be as simple as exploring your own ‘backyard’. and sleeping on the ground under the stars. Those are the elements that foster personal growth and deep friendship.”

Doug’s professional background includes work with Outward Bound,  Where There Be Dragons, the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Doctors Without Borders, and Paradox Sports. Doug takes his skills learned in these experiences and puts them to work empowering organizations to have greater impact through improving systems and program delivery, and through meaningful partnerships with supporters.

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Megan Aranow

Megan Aranow

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Megan began her journey with Big City Mountaineers as a volunteer adult mentor on a weeklong backpacking expedition with Denver teens. An avid believer in the power and magic of experiencing challenges in the outdoors, she is fiercely dedicated to supporting people – and teenagers in particular – in getting outside and connecting with nature. Prior to coming to BCM, Megan directed a teen leadership development program for five years through a camp in California. In her role managing strategic partnerships, she is thrilled to work creatively with both individual and brand partners to connect people with the benefits of time spent outdoors.

Hailing from Colorado, Megan grew up immersed in the Rocky Mountains and continues to seek adventure and reflection here. A graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder with degrees in Environmental Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies, she’s chosen to pursue work that is geared toward physical and mental wellness since then. She is an avid hiker, practices yoga, and is an amateur aerialist and ukulele player.

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Fred Sproat

Interim National Program Director, Minnesota Program Manager

Fred is passionate about connecting young people to wild places and has been working to ensure that teens everywhere can explore our public lands for over a decade. Growing up in northern Minnesota he has been exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness his entire life. His early experiences there prepared him to guide and later organize month long canoeing and backpacking trips throughout North America. 

When not supporting other’s wilderness experiences Fred has organized several bike supported backcountry ski trips in the Cascade Range, explored the Boundary Waters on ice skates, and is currently volunteering with the organization Superior Highland Backcountry working to establish a backcountry ski trail and hut system along the north shore of Lake Superior.

Fred’s musings and photos from both personal and professional outdoor experiences have graced a handful of publications and websites. He’s continually interested in exploring the lessons and revelations we can learn from time spent out of doors. 

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Lance Tsosie

Colorado Program Manager

Born and raised on the Navajo Nation, Lance grew up immersed in his ancestral tradition, culture, and with a deep connection to nature. He grew up herding his grandmother’s goats, riding horses, and exploring the canyonlands surrounding his home – it was here where his sense of wonder grew. Lance received a B.A. from the University of Denver in Political Science and a minor in International Studies, he is an active member of the Denver Native American community, and a strong advocate for social justice. He has professional experience with college access and success programs for underserved communities and is excited to bring those skills and apply them to BCM. He believes so passionately in the power of the outdoors and how it can widen the scope of possibilities for youth. On his personal time, Lance enjoys bouldering, trail running, summiting 14ers, backpacking, fitness challenges, camping, and everything Colorado.

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Anne is wearing a backpack and a bluish short sleeved shirt, with a bandanna around her neck, smiling. She is standing on a hiking trail, and one of the Three Sisters is looming in the background.

Anne Hayward

Pacific Northwest Program Manager

Anne was nine years old when she went on her first backpacking trip with her dad, sister, and cousin, and while she hated that first experience—think epic amounts of mosquitos—she never gave it up. Since then she has section-hiked portions of the PCT, walked the Camino de Santiago with her mom, and finds reasons to sleep under the stars as often as possible.

Anne came to Big City Mountaineers first as a trip agency leader and then as an expedition instructor. She had amazing experiences with BCM youth and fell in love with the expedition model and curriculum. Through her 10 years’ working with youth outdoors as a wilderness therapy instructor and conservation leader, she has seen youth persevere through tough mental and physical challenges and then bring those life lessons home. She is excited to get to provide those experiences to BCM youth in the PNW.

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Scott Myers

New England Program Manager

Scott came to Big City Mountaineers after working with the Chill Foundation, teaching core values and life skills to underrepresented youth through snowboarding and other board sports.  He is a native New Englander and grew up on the north shore of Boston. Being centrally located close to the coast and within a short drive to the northern New England states, he was able to explore the region and many of its outdoor activities. 

Growing up, Scott was involved with a Boy Scout program Packs ‘N’ Paddles that gave youth opportunities to progressively grow in the outdoors. He later continued his outdoor enthusiasm as a college student leader in Adventure Bound, and as a professional instructor for Outward Bound, Moxie Outdoor Adventures, ERBA and a YMCA Wilderness School. Scott has a background in student development, working with youth as a therapeutic mentor from ages of 4 to 22, and also worked with City Year/Americorps in various service learning and community service opportunities.

Scott will be expanding Big City Mountaineers programming to the East Coast and New England, starting with overnight camps and day hikes to expose more youth to the vast array of diverse natural resources that New England offers. 

Through Scott’s work at BCM he is committed to make a difference in the lives of others and motivated by the powerful transformative experiences the outdoor experiences provide New England youth.

Scott is also planning to soon have a furry friend to take along on his outdoor adventures.

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Jenna Topper

California Program Manager

Born and raised in California, Jenna grew up fascinated with the outdoors and all the beings that inhabit it. She had dreams of becoming a Zookeeper until having her horizon broadened upon learning about the Environmental field in College. She graduated with distinction from Sonoma State majoring in Environmental Studies. After graduating, she became passionate about ensuring youth had the opportunity to learn about and protect the environment. Through her work, it was brought to light that having the opportunity to connect with and spend time outdoors was a privilege not awarded to all. This realization inspired her to reflect on the inequities around her, leading her on a journey to seek ways she could advocate for others. She started by developing Earth Team’s Outdoor Explorer’s Program which provided high school youth from under-invested communities with repetitive outdoor adventures like rock climbing, snowshoeing, white-water rafting, and mountain biking. Since then, she has supported several outdoor organizations, including BCM, YES Nature to Neighborhoods, YMCA, Bay Area Wilderness Training, and more. 

Her love of the outdoors continues to grow alongside the youth she works with, as she gains a deeper understanding of how healing and restorative outdoor experiences truly are. She aims to hold herself responsible with providing a space where youth’s life experiences are respected, acknowledged, and valued amongst all participants and she is honored to work with Big City Mountaineers in California to facilitate experiences that foster lifelong bonds with nature. In her off time, you can catch Jenna chasing down sunsets, climbing up rocks, petting strangers dogs, or fleeing for nearly any spontaneous adventure.

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Jenny Gaeng

National Program Associate

Jenny discovered backpacking ten years ago and never looked back (except to check for mountain lions). She moved to Colorado immediately upon her graduation from Oberlin College in 2011. Since then, she has hiked through almost every state west of the Rockies, including two long treks from Mexico to Canada. An avid mountain climber, she enjoys off-trail traverses and scrambly summits. These life-changing adventures led to a career in the outdoors, and a mission to broaden access so that anyone else can have those experiences too.

Jenny’s work experience includes five months living outdoors on a trail crew with Southwest Conservation Corps, a stint as Gateway Community Coordinator for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, and an exciting foray into politics as a field organizer for Conservation Colorado. In her spare time, she loves writing, elaborate cooking, and making maps and spreadsheets for potential backpacking trips.

Email Jenny

Four Legged Staff

Loki Dog

Loki

Hailing from a small mountain town in Colorado, Loki fosters an avid interest in snow and weather that is sub-50 degrees. He enjoys fetch, but is honestly more interested in having you chase him while he runs away with unreasonably large sticks in his mouth. A peacekeeper among the office dogs, he is always willing to share his bones. Loki responds most readily to the sound of a squeak toy.

Ember

Ember was bred to be a sled dog in northern Minnesota but an insatiable appetite for belly rubs and an imperfect gait forced her into early retirement. Now day she spends her free time tearing up the Duluth single track and bounding through open forests in pursuit of squirrels and deer.   

Juniper

Juniper has a hard time choosing which she likes better; running through the waves on the beach with a frisbee, catching snowballs and making snow angels, or chasing sticks into mountain lakes and rivers, as each makes her tail wag and puts a smile on her face. She truly loves every adventure the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Most days you can find Juniper lounging. She has no qualms about rearranging pillows on the couch to fit her high maintenance needs.  You will likely hear her try to give her opinion during phone meetings, as she usually has something to say or an announcement to make.

Clyde

Having spent most of his life indoors, Clyde is a newcomer to the outside world – but he loves every moment he spends outside. #LeashLife has instilled in him a love for chasing leaves, meowing at all the things, and showing off his belly in the sunshine.

Bella

Bella, the 4 year old pit/lab mix, is a goofy girl. While Bella loves outdoor adventures, her canine natural instincts are mediocre at best. Known to swim too far out into the ocean, fall off cliff sides, and crash into trees, she brings a whole lotta laughter to any adventure. Her motor skills may not be great, but that’s made up for by being a top notch cuddler. This little goofy hotdog is sure to win your heart.

Kira

Kira, the 10 yr german shepherd mix, is one of the most kind hearted pups you’ll ever meet. She loves her family more than anything, and is known to stay up all night until every single family member goes to bed. She is an adventure lover, and lights up outdoors. A well behaved pup, she will never stray too far away and always has an eye out for her loved ones. She is spoiled rotten with way too many stuffed animal toys that she has managed to take care of for years. She thinks she can talk and enjoys having conversations with obliging human friends. 

Koda Marie Carrie-Fisher Peanut-Butter Gaeng

Koda, a gentle giant, has spent the last seven years spreading warmth and joy to human creatures and instilling fear in rabbits and squirrels. Born and raised on Colorado’s front range, she has traveled to the wilds of Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona for quality time on our public lands. Back at home, Koda pursues her love of pillows, chairs, tennis balls, and cats.

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