Sarah Bauman, Executive Director
Sarah has lived in Utah for over 20 years and first discovered the Monument and the Escalante region during a snowy, winter visit to the Boulder Mountain Lodge in 2000. This first visit led to many more that opened Sarah’s heart to the magic of this place.
Sarah is thrilled to be able to contribute to the essential work Partners does to restore and protect the Monument, deliver experiential learning experiences, promote science, and ensure that we will continue to learn, grow, and be transformed by this truly unique landscape for generations to come.
A lover of animals and the wilderness, Sarah grew up on a beef cattle and sheep farm where she rode horses, participated in 4-H, and enjoyed the tight-knit relationships fostered in a small community. Since moving out west, she has developed a deep appreciation for the Utah desert, its ecology, rich history, and utterly breath-taking landscape.
Sarah’s previous work consists of launching and sustaining dozens of nonprofit organizations aimed at making the world a better place to live, work, and thrive. In 2002, Sarah co-founded WabiSabi, a community nonprofit based in Moab, Utah dedicated to environmental sustainability and raising funds for the community. Since that time, Sarah worked with Grand County School District to create a 21st Century Community Learning Center, was the founder of the Moab Free Health Clinic, and served on the Moab City Council from 2008-2011. In Salt Lake City, Sarah served as the development director for First Step House, a nonprofit behavioral health and housing provider, where she helped to design, fund, and launch numerous programs aimed at delivering evidence-based treatment programs and developing affordable housing. Most recently, she is the founder and board chair for BWild, a nonprofit dedicated to serving as a catalyst for upcycling, sustainability, and a circular economy. Sarah has an MBA in Healthcare Management and is currently enrolled in the LEAD program through the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Sherry Robinson, Operations Manager
Sherry has been with Partners since 2015. 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, at the base of the Abajo Mountains and at the center of the Colorado Plateau. Her family has lived in the Four Corners area for nearly 100 years. During her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, cool mountain air, and any kind of adventure with her family.
Neak Loucks, Education Coordinator
Neak is a cultural anthropologist and educator hailing from Montana, with interludes in Maine and southern California for their undergraduate and graduate education. They enjoy facilitating young people’s growth as learners and as people, whether in the classroom or on the archery range. Their approach to teaching is guided by an eclectic mix of experiences like rock climbing and archery coach, 4-H volunteer leader, K-8 ecology educator, and university teaching assistant. In their spare time, Neak can be found running, biking, swimming, climbing, hiking with their dog, or searching for new activities that involve sweating outside.
Brad Murrell, Director of Marketing and Development
Brad joined Partners in 2020 as our Director of Marketing and Development. Since his first trip to southern Utah in 2014, Brad found himself returning year after year to explore more of the incredible landscapes and trails throughout the region. He first visited the Monument during a year-long hiking trip around the world that inspired him to move to Utah from the Midwest. Brad’s professional experience includes consumer engagement, brand strategy, creative development, and project management in the experiential marketing industry. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and backpacking on public lands, photography, and playing volleyball.
Jonathan Paklaian, Conservation Programs Manager
For over 10 years, Jonathan has conducted fieldwork and managed environmental resource work across the Southwest. This interdisciplinary experience includes working for multiple consulting firms, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the USGS. Jonathan was fortunate to work in southern Utah, with two seasons at Bryce Canyon NP, and one at Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. His graduate research was also on the Colorado Plateau, where he studied long-term environmental change in the Chuska Mountains of the Navajo Nation. His role at Partners offers exciting opportunities for public and private land restoration and watershed-wide conservation.
In his free time, Jonathan can often be found exploring public lands, fishing, hunting, backpacking, cycling, or relaxing with some good fiction. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Northern Arizona University.
Alex Engel, Restoration Field Staff Supervisor
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 a beautiful country.
Taylor Sanchez, Restoration Field Staff Coordinator
Taylor was born and raised in Virginia. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geosciences from Virginia Tech in 2017. Promptly after graduating, she moved to Utah to start a 6-month term with Utah Conservation Corps where she was first introduced to the Escalante River Russian Olive project. After UCC, Taylor worked as a Geomorphology Research Assistant with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, where she studied Catskill Mountain streams in Upstate NY. Taylor moved back to Utah and joined the GSEP team in 2019.