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Luanne has always been an avid outdoors enthusiast. In her past life, she was a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Currently, she's a potter and the coordinator for an environmental research/education program on the Caribbean island of Saba.
According to Luanne, "I have so much enjoyed both the kids and the staff at DNS; they have all helped me grow by helping them grow!"


In her role with DNS, Karen combines two of her favorite ways to spend her time - teaching children and being outdoors.  She started as a DNS volunteer naturalist in 1995 with her youngest in a backpack. She is now also a classroom contract educator with DNS as well.

Karen's love of nature and teaching comes from her time exploring the woods along Lake Michigan as a child. Those experiences have served Karen well and she is passionate that every child has an opportunity to connect with nature. "I feel privileged to share a special part of the Four Corners with our students," said Karen. "The best part about what I do is spending the whole day in wonder."

Karen has a background that includes camp counselor, teacher, ski instructor, river guide, and master gardener. She holds a Colorado teaching certificate and a Masters in Education.



Lori is a recent graduate of Fort Lewis College who has fallen in love with Durango.  She has been working with Durango Nature Studies as a volunteer for close to a year and has enjoyed working with the creativity of kids in nature.  
Her future plans are to receive a masters in education in order to enjoy teaching children.



Bio to Come


Linda has lived in the Durango area for over 30 years. She graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BS in General Biology and a Natural History endorsement. Linda also received an MA in Environmental Studies from Prescott College. She has been a middle school science teacher (Life and Earth Science) for Durango School District for over 20 years and a Project WILD Project/ Learning Tree facilitator for 12 years.

She helped coordinate the River Watch Network Program in the Durango Schools and worked in collaboration with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado Water Conservation Board to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum around the Animas River watershed, entitled Animas River Curriculum Project. She was awarded Project WILD Project Learning Tree Facilitator of the Year in 1995. Linda joined the volunteer team of naturalists at DNS in the fall of 2007.



Carol is an educational consultant to schools on community and student support programs.  In her 35-year career in education, she has worked as a teacher, dorm head, learning specialist, minority student advisor, dean, counselor, and associate head of school. Carol is currently the director of the Durango Institute for Co-Curricular Education in Durango, Colorado. Carol is also the co-director of the nationally recognized Human Development Institute and has been on the teaching faculty of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) for eighteen years. Carol has gone through all three of the DNS naturalist trainings and is a wonderful addition to our program. She is also on our board of directors.


Orien moved to Durango in 2007.  Prior to that she lived in Flagstaff Arizona.  She loves hiking, skiing, biking, and being on the river with her family.  She holds an MBA and works in Institutional Research at Fort Lewis College.  She voulunteers at Durango Nature Studies because she wants to share her love of nature with the area children, and because her children are now thanking her for all the forced marches she took them on.  


Estella grew up with an appreciation of nature thanks to her father and has many fond memories of fishing, hiking and observing the outdoors with her family.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fort Lewis College with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and has worked in aquatic ecology for over 5 years.  

She is passionate about sharing her love of nature with others and cherishes the sense of place that wilderness and roadless areas provide.  In addition to enjoying gardening, backpacking, rafting, telemark skiing, traveling and camping, Estella also plays fiddle in a local folkicanagrass band with her husband, Brad Bartlett, called Wild Mountain.


Allison was an Americorps Vista for Durango Nature Studies and then worked as our Program Assistant and finally as our Program Coordinator. She left Durango Nature Studies in the summer of 2013 to pursue her next adventure, but remains involved as a volunteer. Allison graduated from Fort Lewis College with honors in May 2010 with a degree in Adventure Education. She chose Adventure Education after attending three years of college at Western Michigan University studying elementary education.

Originally from Michigan, Allison moved to Durango in 2005. Since living in Durango Allison has had the opportunity to expand upon her passion of being in the outdoors; hiking the Colorado Trail in the summer of 2008, and spending numerous hours exploring the La Plata’s and the Weminuche Wilderness with her friends and dogs.  In the summer of 2009 she spent time in Peru volunteering in an orphanage and working on her Spanish skills. .


Landing in Durango in January 2013 by way of Asheville, North Carolina, Kelly already calls this area “home”. As the Senior Tax Accountant at Mercury Payment Systems, she uses her free time and love of the outdoors to volunteer for DNS. “Each season brings something new through DNS and watching kids learn and find their exploring curiosity outdoors makes every hike a wonderful experience!” When she is not working or volunteering, Kelly pursues other outdoor loves: snowboarding at Purgatory, stand-up paddle boarding at Vallecito Reservoir, and hiking/mountain biking all parts in between.  

Sandhya is a California native who moved to Colorado six years ago to attend Colorado College. There she received her Bachelors in Environmental Science and began her lifelong love of Colorado. She is passionate about environmental issues and currently works for the Four Corners Office of Resource Efficiency in Durango. She is a senior naturalist with Durango Nature Studies and has volunteered with a rural development nonprofit in India that built wells. Sandhya loves riding her bike, trail running, rock climbing, and exploring the vast wilderness that makes up Durango's backyard.

Edy moved to Durango in 2000.  She was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and also lived in Papua New Guinea for part of her teens.  She has bachelors in Biology and Environmental Studies, and an MA in Urban and Regional Planning.  She worked in the environmental consulting and urban planning fields for 20 years. Her time is currently spent volunteering, and learning the violin and Geographic Information Systems. 
© 2011 Durango Nature Studies
(970) 382-9244

Main Office:
1309 E. Third Ave, #27
Durango, CO 81301
CO Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 3808
Durango, CO 81302