NOS Staff:

Melanie Erquiaga
Execitve Director

Melanie was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico and moved with her family to Idaho where she spent most of her childhood growing up on the family farm; she is the youngest of five children. She moved to Winnemucca in 1983 and spent all four high school years at Lowry High School. She moved to Boise, Idaho after graduation where she attended ITT Technical Institute. She worked for a while in the Boise area and moved back to Winnemucca to marry and raise a family. She has been married for 25 years to Mike Erquiaga, who is a Winnemucca native; they have two children together - both grown men now. She enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family, whether is in rural Nevada or beyond. Her favorite vacations are spent camping and white water rafting. She has spent time rafting the Salmon, Snake, Green and Rouge rivers here in the Northwest. She also enjoys reading and cooking. Melanie is excited to take over the reins as Executive Director and use her years of non-profit management experience to lead Nevada Outdoor School into the next decade of expanding our programs across the state and continuing to work and live in this great rural Nevada community.

Jessica Snaman Myers
Outreach Director

Jessica was born in Kansas, but grew up on the east coast outside of Washington, DC. Her love for the mountains took her to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where she majored in Elementary Education. Jessie first came to the amazing state of Nevada as an AmeriCorps Naturalist in 2009. After her year of service, she moved back east and taught fifth grade. However, the beauty, adventurous spirit and vastness of the west soon brought her back. She has been on staff with NOS since February 2012 and thinks this is the best job ever!

Zulma Mayorga
AmeriCorps Program Director

Zulma was born in Colima, Mexico but has lived in Winnemucca most of her life. She is married and has two wonderful girls. She enjoys hiking, and cooking with her family. She loves to travel and explore, Lake Tahoe being one of her favorite places. Her love for community service and adventure brought her to Nevada Outdoor School. She is passionate about strengthening non-profit organizations through the AmeriCorps program and helping their committed AmeriCorps members in Northern Nevada and Las Vegas.

Sarah Welsh
Director of Finance 

Sarah was born in California, but was raised in Winnemucca, NV.  After graduation she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.  After a short move to Boston and back, she began a career in the Corporate World of Finance in San Francisco.  After nearly 20 years away from home she and her husband relocated back to Nevada to be closer to family.  She enjoys eating good food, traveling, camping, hunting and fishing.

Jackie Lucero
Director of Progamming - Elko

Jackie grew up in the wild state of Montana. She studied botany in college and then set out to be of service. She got her foot in the door serving as an AmeriCorps member with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and then continued to work for the SCA in many capacities over the next 15 years, mentoring volunteers teaching environmental education, providing conservation stewardship, and engaging in community service. During that time, she also took a brief sojourn away from SCA spending two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and earning a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from the Audubon Expedition Institute. She enjoys cross-country skiing, backpacking, gardening, and just about any activity that will allow her to play in the outdoors. Recently, Jackie relocated to Elko, Nevada where she is excited to start a new adventure serving with the Nevada Outdoor School.

Brandon Allen
Director of Programming - Winnemucca

Brandon grew up in the Shawnee National Forest of Southern Illinois, where he was raised in the outdoors and grew up hunting, fishing, camping, and kayaking. This led him to pursue a degree in Game Preserve Management, after which he worked for a short time as a hunting guide and shooting instructor. He then went on to receive his degree in history along with his teaching certification. After working for a few years in the traditional education field, Brandon began to focus more on environmental/outdoor education after working a few seasons teaching outdoor education in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and with Southern Illinois University in the Shawnee Forest. These experiences led him to begin a new and exciting career with Nevada Outdoor School.

Katie Fithian
Outdoor Ethics Director

Katie grew up in a small town in the foothills of Colorado. She spent most of her childhood hiking and exploring the outdoors with her friends and family. Katie studied at Colorado State University, but ultimately pursued a career as a hairstylist. After spending several years working in the beauty industry in Denver, Katie and her husband relocated to Winnemucca, NV. After a year in Nevada, Katie felt she could provide the community with a more meaningful service. In August of 2016, Katie sought out the AmeriCorps Naturalist position at the Nevada Outdoor School and has so far, enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the community and share her love and appreciation of the outdoors. In her free time, Katie enjoys exploring the vast wilderness of Nevada with her husband Matt and their two dogs.



Our Amazing AmeriCorps Service Members:

Allana Havernick
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Winnemucca

Allana grew up in a rural community outside of Buffalo, NY. She is a recent graduate from Binghamton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies. She also has an Associate’s Degree in Environmental Technology. Both degrees have allowed her to get more interaction with nature as well as how we humans affect the environment. She got her love for nature from not only growing up in a rural community but also having a camper in Northern Pennsylvania. This is where she spent her childhood going on hikes, catching insects and salamanders, watching the black bears walk through the woods, and riding four-wheelers on trails with her friends every weekend during the summer. Most recently, she had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica as a study abroad program where she experienced different regions, climates, and species. From these experiences, she knew she wanted to be able to show others why the environment is so cool and important to preserve. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, stand-up paddle boarding, and   reading. Allana wants to provide an outdoor experience to kids similar to what she got growing up as a child and believes NOS is the place where that will happen.

Crystal Rodriguez
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Winnemucca
Crystal was born and raised in Winnemucca, NV. Crystal is a recent high school graduate and is taking the year to be a naturalist at Nevada Outdoor School until she can join the Air Force next fall. She hopes to be a dentist after the Air Force. She is excited to start this journey to teach little kids about the outdoors, just as she was taught when she was little. Crystal enjoys traveling and painting in her free time, almost as much as hiking with her dog Layla.Crystal was born and raised in Winnemucca, NV. Crystal is a recent high school graduate and is taking the year to be a naturalist at Nevada Outdoor School until she can join the Air Force next fall. She hopes to be a dentist after the Air Force. She is excited to start this journey to teach little kids about the outdoors, just as she was taught when she was little. Crystal enjoys traveling and painting in her free time, almost as much as hiking with her dog Layla.
Mateo Flores
AmeriCorps Summer Naturalist - Winnemucca

Mateo was born and raised in Winnemucca NV, where he grew up playing sports, fishing, and hunting upland birds such as Chukar. After graduating from Lowry High, Mateo was looking for a way to earn money, but also give back to the amazing community of Winnemucca, which had shown him so much support while also passing on the love of the outdoors and all that comes with it to the younger generation. This led him to become a summer naturalist for NOS. Later this year, Mateo plans on going to school for a degree in applied science in Criminal Justice in order to help him pursue a career in law enforcement.

Matt Jones
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Elko

Matt was born in Elko, Nevada. At the age of 3, his family moved to a small town in Utah called Pleasant Grove. Matt has moved all over the west coast of the U.S from California all the way up Michigan. Matt graduated in 2013 from Rock Springs, Wyoming. He then developed a love for traveling and the great outdoors. In Matt’s spare time you will find him in the kitchen cooking up some delicious food. You can also find him out in the hills and up in the mountains hiking. Matt plans on working on going back to school to become a Park ranger.

Daniela Figueroa
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Elko

Daniela grew up in Battle Mountain. She is the third oldest of six siblings, and was mostly raised on a farm. When she was 18 years old she moved to Elko, NV where she lived for almost 2 years and before moving to Oklahoma City to try out something new. The city lifestyle and the hot, humid climate were a new change. After almost a year, Daniela decided that the city wasn’t meant for her and she moved back to Elko. It was then that she discovered this opportunity serving with Nevada Outdoor School because one of her favorite things to do is teaching and setting examples for kids. She spends most of her free time with her 2 little ones. Some of her hobbies tend to be outdoors with her two little ones fishing and going out to the river. Daniela plans to eventually go back to school to become a cosmetologist.

Stefanie Lopez
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Elko 
Stefanie was born in Utah. She was raised in Mexico and didn’t learn English until she returned to the US when she was four. She learned English through the help of ESL classes in school. After graduating from high school, Stefanie enrolled in college to become a preschool teacher. She is now working at the Nevada Outdoor School and will reenroll in college in August to finish her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Kids are her passion and she loves being around them. She also loves traveling, meeting new people, and loves dogs!!