Staff & Consultants
Please note: to contact us individually via email, use this formula: staff person’s first email@example.com. We do not list email addresses to avoid spam.
Sloan Shoemaker, Executive Director. A WW staffer since 1997, Sloan leads the WW team and directly oversees 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. Prior to joining WW in 1997, 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.
Melanie Finan, Operations and Outreach Coordinator. Melanie wears many different and funky hats for WW. She’s responsible for outreach to WW’s members, all visual communications for the organization, and office manager. 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.
Peter Hart, Conservation Analyst/Staff Attorney. Peter is the point person for WW’s defensive work. That means he’s in charge of WW’s NEPA (National Environment Policy Act) work – reviewing proposed actions (gas leases, rule changes, forest health projects, recreational developments, etc.), filing technical comments on Environmental Impact Statements and the like, 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. Prior to joining WW, Peter 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.
Sarah Johnson, Naturalist Nights Coordinator. Sarah coordinates and leads Wilderness Workshop’s summer hike series and winter Naturalist Nights. Sarah holds a B.S. in Biology from Missouri State University and is currently working toward a MAEd: Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. Sarah’s background includes event planning, outreach, environmental education, interpretation, and wilderness trip leading at Roaring Fork Conservancy, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, North Cascades Institute, National Park Service, and Hulbert Outdoor Center. She serves as vice president of the board of directors for the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide, Certified Interpretive Trainer, Colorado Certified Master Environmental Educator, Land Ethic Leader, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and NAU Grand Canyon Semester Alumni.
Rebecca Mirsky, Development Director, Artist in Wilderness Program Director. Rebecca Mirsky, Development Director, joined Wilderness Workshop in the fall of 2015. Rebecca has 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’s 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.
Justin Patrick joined Wilderness Workshop as the Communications Associate 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, Water Systems Operator, and The Telluride Daily Planet, among others. His work can be found on his website, www.jp-writes.com. 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.
Will Roush, Conservation Director. Will joined the Workshop in the summer of 2009 to inventory lands for the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. Currently he works as an organizer and advocate for our efforts to designate additional wilderness and protect the Thompson Divide from gas development. Will also conducts outreach and advocacy for WW’s federal lands policy work, organizes our Naturalist Nights winter speaker series, runs our 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 masters in Geography and Environmental Studies examining the impact of climate change on alpine ecosystems.