Meet Wildlife in the West '16


Carolyn Sulzen

Carolyn is a senior in Animal Ecology at Iowa State University with a minor in Design. She grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois and came to Wildlife in the West because she felt she could really benefit from the hands-on learning experience that is offered in this program, as well as doing it in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Carolyn was a gymnast for 10 years and currently coaches at a private gymnastics club. Ultimately Carolyn would love to pursue the fields of Marine Ecology and Conservation and hopes to attend graduate school for these subjects.

Dakota Gooder

Dakota is a recent graduate from Iowa State University in Animal Ecology. Dakota grew up on a small acreage near Cresco, Iowa. She chose this field because she loves being outdoors and studying nature. Her interest for Wildlife Management began after spending a summer in the Black Hills working at a wild horse sanctuary. The issues surrounding the management of these wild populations really inspired her to expand her knowledge about the policy and laws that go into wildlife management. She feels that the Wildlife in the West program will help her learn more about these subjects, and how to apply her knowledge to the field. She loves horses, and is interested in pursuing the medical field as well.

Daniel Franceschina

Daniel just graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Communication and Policy. Dan has come to Wildlife in the West to satisfy his degree needs for an external learning experience, as well as be better-rounded in the policy field by having more hands-on experiences. After the program he will be commissioning as an ensign into the U.S. Navy and reporting to his first ship in Mayport, Florida. After the military, he plans to go to law school and get a certificate in Environmental Law.

Erynn McNeill

Erynn just finished her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. She is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geographic Informations Systems and mapping. Erynn wanted to participate in the Wildlife in the West program because she has a strong interest in wolf ecology and preservation. She also felt this would be a great field experience for future jobs, and most importantly, wanted the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. Erynn is also an artist, and has said she has always seen the environmental field as something she wanted to pursue in life.

Kaleb Juntunen

Kaleb is a senior in Ecology and Environmental Science (with an emphasis in Aquatic Systems) at South Dakota State University. Kaleb came here to interact with peers with similar interests and values. He sees the Wildlife in the West program as an incredible opportunity to learn from professionals in the Montana area in a hands-on environment. Kaleb has always wanted to come to Montana, and ultimately hopes to work with trout and stream ecology after college.

Lauren Kearns

Lauren is a senior at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. She is majoring in Conservation and Environmental Science. She came to Wildlife in the West, because her university focuses on land restoration and she wanted to get hands-on experience in the field since this has been difficult for her to accomplish in college. She has many ideas of what she’d like to pursue after college, but ultimately hopes to become a wildlife biologist after getting a master’s degree. At some point in time she would also like to work as an instructor at a wilderness program or possible start her own. She enjoys learning and practicing survival skills and also has an interest in medicinal and edible plants.

Rusty Limback

Rusty is a senior at the University of Central Missouri. He is a Wildlife Biology major and chose to participate in the Wildlife in the West program to get hands-on experience in the field, as well as work with Bull Trout and to see large predators. Rusty is from Warrensburg, Missouri and is a major outdoor enthusiast. Post-graduation he would like to move out west to work with state or federal governments to conserve and manage salmon populations.

Sarah Hood

Sarah is from Irvine California, and is currently a third-year Biology major at the University of Texas at Austin. She came to Wildlife in the West to learn more about field ecology for her polymathic certificate (Birds of the World) and to get a feel for hands-on fieldwork. She is hoping to do something that is a mix of fieldwork and public outreach. Her current ideas for post-graduation include possibly raptor rehabilitation or working at a state/national park.

Sarah Keller

Sarah is a senior in Biology at Boise State University and grew up in Boise, Idaho. Sarah came to the Swan Valley for the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. She enjoys cooking in her spare time and has even attended culinary school in the past! She also loves walking trails in the foothills where she grew up in Boise. Sara has the ultimate goal of becoming a wolf researcher.

Sarah Szabo

Sarah is a “super senior” at University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. She is currently majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in Ecology and Biology. She grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin and has come to the Wildlife in the West program to work hard and gain field based knowledge. She started off in engineering, and is interested in applying her environmental knowledge to that field as well. She is eager to learn and apply her new found knowledge of the outdoors to her future pursuits! She loves coconut ice cream, and playing with her dogs.

Sofia Fall

Sofia is a junior at the University of Michigan, double majoring in English and the Program in the Environment. Sofia grew up in Ann Arbor and has come to Wildlife in the West to help expand her knowledge of field ecology and environmental policy. Sofia is especially excited about Swan Valley Connections' community based curriculum. After graduating she is interested in pursuing environmental communication and landscape architecture.

Tess Pangle

Tess is a senior at Virginia Tech University. She is a dual major in Wildlife Conservation and Animal & Poultry Science. She has come to the Wildlife in the West program to get hands on experience in the field and to learn more about the megafauna that call Montana their home. Tess grew up in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, which is an area that first awoke her to conservation issues. Through Future Farmers of America, she was able to find her passion in both agriculture and natural resources. Tess also has an interest in education, which has prompted her to start her own chapter of a program called Partners in Active Learning at a local elementary school.

Tim Lenzmeier

Tim Lenzmeier is a senior at North Dakota State University and majoring in Zoology (concentrating in wildlife, fisheries, and ecology). Tim grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. He chose to embark on the Wildife in the West program in hopes of getting more hands-on experience in the field and to become more familiar with an ecosystem that is much different than his home area. Prior to this program he was a full-time paramedic for over seven years before realizing his passion for nature; so he essentially went from taking care of people, to taking care of nature.