Nicole Croft, Executive Director
Nicole is a sixth generation Utahn living in Escalante, Utah since 2007. She has been involved in community organizing projects from launching a charity thrift store to founding the Escalante Farmers Market in 2008. After completing a master’s degree in Community Leadership from Westminster College in Salt Lake City with a focus on rural sustainability and understanding the perspectives of various stakeholders living in the gateway communities of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, she has served as the Executive Director for Grand Staircase Escalante Partners since 2016.
Sherry Robinson, Operations Manager
Sherry has been with Partners for 3 years. She joined us with more than 20 years of experience in administration, bookkeeping, and managing office operations, primarily in public schools. Sherry has lived most of her life in the small town of Monticello, Utah, known for its mountainous skyline and mining history. Her family has lived in the Four Corners area for nearly 100 years. During her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, off-roading, and any kind of adventure with her family.
Emily Schrepf, Outreach Coordinator
Emily joined Partners in 2014 after ten years with other nonprofit organizations, including the National Parks Conservation Association. She has a B.A. in Political Science and lots of experience with communication, education and advocacy. Emily is originally from the Midwest and never ceases to be amazed by the beauty of southern Utah and especially the Grand Staircase-Escalante. If you see her out on the trails will you very likely meet her dogs as well!
Katja Knoll, Paleo Lab Manager
Since her 2014 GeoCorps internship as Paleontology Technician for GSENM, Katja has not only been struck by the stark beauty of southern Utah, but has also developed a serious fascination with ancient, back-boned critters. She holds a Masters degree in Geology with an emphasis on Invertebrate Paleontology from the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College. As research assistant at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, she has worked on shell microstructure and isotope signatures of mollusks that inhabited the Western Interior Seaway just prior to the massive end-Cretaceous extinction event. Now, as paleontology lab manager, Katja is helping to raise the Monument’s dinosaurs from the dead. Aside from supervising volunteers, excavating and preparing vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, she loves murder mysteries, needle felting and long hiking adventures.
Brian Storm, Site Steward Coordinator
Brian is trained as an archaeologist with a BA in Anthropology and a lot of graduate coursework in prehistoric and historic archaeology. He has worked as an archaeological technician for various federal agencies since 2003, starting at Ashley National Forest in NE Utah, then worked for Grand Staircase-Escalante from 2007 through 2011 and in 2016 and 2017. He has also worked for BLM Utah in Moab and Fillmore and for the NPS at Amistad National Recreation Area in TX and the Midwest Archaeological Center in Lincoln, NE.
Sue Fearon, Private Lands Project Coordinator, Escalante River Watershed Partnership
Since 2012 Sue has been working with ERWP to develop partnerships for restoration between private landowners in the watershed and state and federal agencies such as the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and farm bill programs offered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. She is involved in ERWP’s Woody Invasive Control and Restoration Committee, Coordinating Committee and the Funding and Outreach subcommittee. Since 1997 Sue has worked for the Canyonlands Conservation District, which employs a voluntary approach to assist private property owners in the conservation of soil, water and other natural resources, and has volunteered her time on the Statewide BLM Resource Advisory Council and the Garfield County Travel Council. Sue has lived in Garfield County since 1985.
Stephanie Minnaert, Public Lands Coordinator, Escalante River Watershed Partnership
Stephanie moved from a rural farming community in northwestern Illinois for the west to attend school and start her career in 2008. In 2014, Stephanie received her Master’s Degree from the University of Denver in Environmental Policy & Management. Throughout her career, which has varied from corporate business and environmental consultancy to startup nonprofit, she has gained experiences that have moved her into this chosen career path. Although she is a relatively new permanent resident to southern Utah, she has visited many times for canyoneering, backpacking, and hiking, returning year after year. Stephanie believes being surrounded by public lands is one of the most freeing experiences of her entire life, which is why she moved her partner and two dogs here in 2016.
Alex Engel, Field Staff, Escalante River Watershed Partnership
Alex received a civil engineering degree from UW-Milwaukee in 2011, but couldn’t handle the thought of being stuck behind a desk for the rest of his life. Instead, he joined a conservation corps so that he could work outdoors. Alex first came to Escalante in 2013 with Arizona Conservation Corps to treat Russian olive with ERWP. He is very happy to be working in such beautiful country.
Brad Jorgensen, Field Coordinator, Escalante River Watershed Partnership
Raised on a small family farm/ranch in Nebraska, Brad fell in love with the Colorado Plateau in 2011. He has developed a passion for learning and working with Native Plants and Wildlife at various positions he’s held within the National Park Service. Brad has been both a Biological Science Technician for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and a Field Coordinator with the Escalante River Watershed Partnership since 2014. Together with hankerin’ to get out and explore the backcountry and his enthusiasm in sharing his ecological knowledge with others, Brad remains dedicated to protect wilderness for the benefit of future generations.