Melissa (More often known as “Mel”) did not discover her connection with this beautiful planet until college, during a 6 month stint in New Zealand where she fell deeply in love with backpacking, trail running and sleeping under the stars. Upon graduation from Denison University with a degree in psychology, Mel left her roots in the midwest and headed out to rural Northern California, where she was introduced to more “alternative” lifestyles that involved travel, seasonal jobs and working in the outdoors. Right away, she was drawn to this way of living, and spent the next 8 years moving around the US and the world, living outside and working with conservation corps, doing trail work and guiding. By the time she hit her 30’s, Mel was ready to settle down for a bit, and joined TEENS, Inc in Colorado directing a conservation corps, assisting with outdoor leadership programming and working at their alternative high school. In 2022 Mel got that travel bug again, and has moved back into fieldwork — primarily through instructing backpacking trips for teens and working on historic preservation.
Mel has always known that her calling is to help protect our amazing Earth by facilitating experiences that allow people to foster a connection with, and love for the land. She is lucky to consider quite a few places “home”, but right now you can most likely find her mountain biking, trail running, backpacking, or laying in the sunshine in Nederland, Colorado and in the desert and mountains around Tucson!