Melanie Erquiaga
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
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.

Jackie Lucero
Director of Programming
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.
Tim Burns
Education Program Technician, California Trail Interpretive Center
Tim has spent most of his life in northern Nevada, and enjoys hiking and exploring whenever and wherever he can. In his spare time, he is a writer, stage actor, and amateur carpenter, but one of his main interests is history. He has always thought the past makes an excellent map for the future, showing which paths to follow and which to avoid. Now, he is excited to work at the California Trail Interpretive Center, a job which lets him research the rich history of the West and pass those lessons on to future generations.

Kathryn Fithian
AmeriCorps Naturalist
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.
 Brandolyn Thran
AmeriCorps Elko Spring Naturalist                     
Brandolyn grew up in Alaska, first in Bethel which is 300 air-miles from Anchorage, no roads will get you there. Here, she and her family learned about survival, both outside in an extreme environments and in a place where a gussuk (white) was the minority.   In 6th grade her family moved to Palmer, Alaska where her Dad was the Superintendent of the University of Alaska Experimental Farm, which meant she had 1,000 acres to roam and giant cabbages to appreciate. The only rule in the summer was that she and her big brother had to check in once-a-day, at dinner time, because with so much light and land to explore why would a kid be inside? Her senior year they moved to Lemoore, California and she attended Cal Poly for 2-years but fell I love with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) when she accompanied her mom on an investigation of a doctoral program. In 1992 Brandolyn transferred and then had an 11-year stint at UNR earning a BS in Biology, a Masters in Cell and Molecular Biology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Health.  While in grad school she met her hubby of 19-years, Robby. He is a Civil Engineer. They have an 11-year old son who keeps them hopping with baseball, trap shooting, and dirt bike riding.  She joins NOS as an Americorp Naturalist after a 15-year career with the US Army as a Microbiologist and Brandolyn is excited to be out of cube-land and serving in the great outdoors of Nevada!!

Brody Goucher
AmeriCorps Winnemucca Spring Naturalist
Brody Lane Goucher was born and raised in Winnemucca except for 2 brief stints where he lived in Sandpoint, ID for almost a year and later on in the Tri-Cities which is located in Washington for about 6 months. He graduated from Lowry High School and then after 1 semester at the University of Reno decided to come back and attend GBC to continue his education. He is working towards a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and an associates in Psychology. Brody previously worked as a physical therapy aide/receptionist and then became an AmeriCorp member with Nevada Outdoor School because he remembered how much fun he had at the activities NOS provided while he was growing up.  Brody also wanted to take advantage of the education stipend which will help him out immensely in continuing his education. Brody enjoys playing basketball on his off time as well as hiking, running, and going to the gym on occasion. He also enjoys hanging out with his family and friends regularly. Brody is very excited to be serving the community that he grew up in and he hopes he can give as much back to this community as it has given to him.
Irma Mendoza
AmeriCorps Winnemucca Spring Naturalist

Irma Mendoza, was born in Winnemucca Nevada but was raised in several of its beautiful little towns. Her family moved between Reno, Orovada, and Kings River throughout her childhood, and she spent a lot of time watching her dad brand cattle, hiking, camping, and hanging around all of the farm animals. Irma’s parents have always been her biggest influences and inspirations, they taught her to do great things with love, to always be passionate about what she wants to do and that she should never settle for less. Irma is eternally grateful that she had such awesome parents that are willing to stand at her side no matter what path she chooses to take.  Irma had just started the second grade when her family ultimately decided to stay in Winnemucca. She graduated from Lowry High school in 2015, and has been studying education and psychology at Great Basin Community College. She hopes to take her education to a bigger university in the future. Irma wants to make a difference, and promote NOS’s mission. This opportunity at NOS has been a real blessing to Irma and she wants to help kids get outside and provide them with the knowledge to be safe and responsible during outdoor recreation and the summer camps that they look forward to every year. Irma wants to inspire, and be a good role model to the kids that attend NOS activities.