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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!"



Born in Indianapolis, IN, grad of Indiana University in Bloomington in 1977. Came out West to attend law school in Eugene, OR. After practicing law for 17 yrs in the Portland area, John made a major career transition in 1997 and moved to the SW, beginning in Santa Fe, NM. He wanted to pursue a career more closely aligned with his passion for the natural world and the night sky, and to share that with others. He owned three very different and successful businesses in educational services and tourism and recreation over the next 13 yrs in NM, AZ and CO and has been working as a "professional volunteer" since 2010. He is currently volunteering for seven non-profits in the Durango area and spends most of his time inspiring kids to get excited about nature and science, and his work with DNS is a big part of that. "I've found my service and volunteer work to be as rewarding as anything I did professionally, and consider myself very blessed to live in a community as rich in those opportunities as Durango and SW CO." John has been presenting night sky astronomy programs at state and national parks and monuments, and numerous other dark sky venues throughout much of the West for almost 30 yrs now, including those he does for DNS. He was named Volunteer for the Year for DNS in 2013.


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.



Ginny is a Maryland native growing up with a father dedicated to the environment. After being an active 4-H'er for 10 years, she earned a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Frostburg University. Ginny worked with the Wild Bird Sanctuary near St. Louis, MO and The Wildlife Center of VA with injured and imprinted wildlife she trained for education programs. Mainly handling raptors, she worked at 7 zoos, Shenandoah NP and numerous Eastern US schools promoting wildlife awareness and managing volunteers for several organizations. Ginny served on the Board of Directors for the James Madison Univ. Arboretum and as a volunteer educator. The mother of 3 boys, she and her husband moved to Durango in August 2014. Ginny loves sea kayaking, SUP, Nordic skiing, wildlife photography & rarely misses seeing a hawk flying above.



Bio to Come


Gail might say she is simply a retired educator with just a bit more than 25 years of experience in the education field, but that would hardly suffice. An active community volunteer, she is the co-founder of the Durango Early Learning Center as well as a member of the Durango Choral Society and Heartwood Co-Housing Community. Gail is a current DNS Volunteer Naturalist and certified Project WILD facilitator.

In January 2006, Gail retired from the DNS Board of Directors after serving more than six years. Her roles and responsibilities spanned the breadth of the organization including Board President. She continues to lend her expertise to DNS as as an educator and volunteer.



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.



Linda has had a great love of the outdoors since childhood spending summers exploring the shore and woodlands near the family home in New Jersey for days on end.  In 1983 she spent 10 days in the wilderness near Marble, Colorado in an all-women’s Outward Bound course. Thinking the Outward Bound experience could never be surpassed, she embarked on a 65-day cross-country bicycle ride in 1984 with her husband starting in Pennsylvania, decided to winter in Durango and have never left.

She became involved with DNS as a docent when the Nature Center opened and then trained as a DNS naturalist.  “I have always wanted to be a teacher, but life took me on a different course.  DNS is a great opportunity for me to “teach” and hopefully implant an enthusiasm for the outdoors that my parents taught me.  I really love leading students on their field trips and think they teach me more than I teach them.”

When she is not volunteering, Linda spends her time biking, hiking, camping and trekking as much as she can outdoors. She was named the DNS Volunteer of the Year for 2015.



Bio to Come

© 2013 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