NOS Staff

Melanie Erquiaga
Executive 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.

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 Programming - 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.

Allana Havernick
Outdoor Ethics Program Director

Allana grew up in a rural community outside of Buffalo, NY. She graduated from Binghamton University where she majored in Environmental Studies. 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 completed two years of AmeriCorps service here at Nevada Outdoor School! She is excited to continue her career with NOS and is ready for any challenges in this new positon. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and traveling with her dog and boyfriend.

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!

Brandolyn Thran
Administrative and Outreach Coordinator - Elko

Brandolyn grew up in Alaska, and moved to Nevada to attend University of Nevada, Reno. She loves to laugh, take the back roads, and discover fun things along any route she happens upon. Brandolyn first served as an AmeriCorps Naturalist at Nevada Outdoor School in 2017, and later joined as staff in 2019.  She holds advanced degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology and Environmental Science. Her passion is melding science, brain research and spirituality to encourage and empower others to discover their awesome potential. Brandolyn loves wildflowers, hiking, backpacking, and kayaking in the summer, and simply survives the winter by snowshoeing her way through it. She is almost always cold so she is sometimes mistaken for the abominable snowman.   She plays the piano and ukulele.   Brandolyn has been married to Robby for 20+ years and they have a teenaged son who loves cars and baseball.

Crystal Rodriguez
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Winnemucca

Crystal was born and raised in Winnemucca, NV. Crystal is a recent high school graduate and is serving another year to be a naturalist at Nevada Outdoor School until she can join the AirForce next fall and pursue Air Force Dentistry. She is excited to continue this journey to teach the youth in her community about the outdoors just as she was taught when she was little. Crystal enjoys traveling, painting, fishing and hiking with her dog Layla.

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.

Elizabeth Lovell
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Winnemucca

Elizabeth was born in Winnemucca, NV. At the age of 2, her family moved to a town in Washington called Yelm. At the age of 9, Elizabeth and her family moved back to Winnemucca. Elizabeth is a recent High School graduate and is taking the year to be a naturalist at Nevada Outdoor School. Elizabeth enjoys fishing and sitting out on the lake with family. In her spare time she likes baking and decorating cakes and cupcakes. She also enjoys going on walks with her dog, Patches. Elizabeth is excited to have this experience of teaching children like she has always dreamed of doing. 

BayLee Kirkendoll
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Elko

BayLee was born in Arizona, but was brought up all over the country as an Army Brat. After she graduated from high school, she and her family moved to Nevada to lay down some roots. After deciding to major in Natural Resource, BayLee found Nevada Outdoor School and fell in love with the message of outdoor stewardship and education. She loves to hike, camp, fish and be horseback.

Michelle Rookstool
AmeriCorps Outdoor Ethics Specialist - Winnemucca

Michelle was born and raised in Winnemucca, NV. Michelle is a recent high school graduate. She spent most of her time when she was younger outdoors. She enjoys hiking, camping, hunting, and going on ATV rides with her family. In her spare time she likes to take pictures and capture the moments. Michelle also enjoys spending time with her two dogs and traveling with her family.

Nevada Outdoor School

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