NOS Staff

 
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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.

 
Dr. Brandolyn Thran
Associate Director & Science Advisor

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.

 
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.

 
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 with NOS 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 as Director of Programming, Associate Director and now, part time as Outreach Director.  Jessie currently lives back on the east coast with her husband, Zoey Cat and beautiful baby daughter, Scarlett.

 
 
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.

 
Taylor Billows
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Winnemucca

Taylor was born in Reno, Nevada. She spent most of her childhood in Winnemucca. She transferred schools to Reno her Sophomore year. She graduated from Edward C. Reed High School in 2016. Taylor has spent most of her life outdoors. She grew up hunting and fishing. Her family owed a fishing and hunting shop on the Rogue River up by the dam in Trail, Oregon. She would spend her summers up there with her grandparents working at the store.  She is currently enrolled in Great Basin getting her Associates of Science. In her free time, she likes to fish, paddleboard, canoe, and her favorite-white water rafting.

 
Emilie Stone
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Winnemucca

Emilie was born and raised in the heart of Cajun country, Houma, Louisiana. She has always loved being outdoors and learning. In her childhood, she spent most days on the bayou cast netting and fishing with her family. For a couple of years she lived in North Carolina, then moved back home to Louisiana. She enjoys camping, learning about native plants, hiking, kayaking, traveling, and playing music. She loves animals and has two cats. Emilie has a passion for adventure and our Earth.

 
Macy Rohr
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Elko

Macy was raised in Greensburg, Indiana. In her free time, she enjoyed soaking up the sunshine, hiking through the woods, and admiring flora. This fascination led her to study Energy, Geology, and Natural Resources at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. After graduating college, Macy began her journey to become a Naturalist. She found it important to get youth interested and knowledgeable of the outdoors, as she felt Indiana needed more programs that do this. Macy and her cat moved to Elko, Nevada after being offered a Naturalist position at Nevada Outdoor School. She loves to learn, laugh, and explore Earth! 

 
Julia Janson
AmeriCorps Naturalist - Elko

Julia Janson was born and raised on the east coast but has spent the last five years living out west. She has an M.S. in Education as well as a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in English. Between college and graduate school, she traveled the world, teaching environmental education programs to diverse audiences, researching wildlife for conservation management, and ski instructing youth. When not out saving the world, she enjoys all forms of outdoor recreation; especially hiking, skiing, and wildlife viewing. 

 

ABOUT US


Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.

CONTACT US


Winnemucca Office:
655 Anderson Street
Winnemucca, NV 89445
(775) 623-5656

Elko Office:
2363 N. 5th Street, Unit 102
Elko, NV 89801
(775)  777-0814

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