who we are

Team at Partners

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 2004 to protect and preserve Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Meet our team members below, and feel free to reach out to any of us for questions about our programs, or other ways you can get involved.

You can also visit us at our headquarters in Escalante for more information about the Monument and how to visit with respect.

Team for Grand Staircase Escalante Partners

Sarah Bauman (she/her), Executive Director

sarah@gsenm.org | (435) 260-9440

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. Sarah has an MBA in Healthcare Management and is currently enrolled in the LEAD program through the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Sherry Robinson (she/her), Operations Manager

admin@gsenm.org | (435) 644-2724

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 (they/them), Education Programs Manager

neak@gsenm.org

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 as rock climbing and archery coach, 4-H volunteer leader, K-8 ecology educator, and university teaching assistant. Neak holds a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology and is working toward a PhD in the same field. 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.

Kaitlin Martin (she/her), Stewardship and Education Coordinator

kaitlin@gsenm.org 

Kaitlin was born and raised in the big sky country of Montana, where she also attended college studying Natural Resource Conservation. She grew up spending vacations with her parents exploring the canyon country of the desert southwest.

Upon receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana, Kaitlin quickly moved south. She spent the last six years working throughout Utah conducting extensive aquatic sampling and monitoring, while also developing ways to better present and use data for public land management. She is excited to find ways to help educate and involve everyone in protecting the Grand Staircase.

Whether exploring the Rocky Mountains or navigating the deep canyons of Southern Utah, Kaitlin’s passion lies in protecting and appreciating our public lands.

Alex Engel (he/him), Restoration Field Staff Supervisor

alex@gsenm.org 

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.

Ryan Nielsen (he/him), Communications Coordinator

ryan@gsenm.org 

Ryan joined Partners in 2020 and lives within the Monument boundaries in Boulder, UT.

His communications knowledge began by studying moral philosophy at Utah Valley University, along with completing conflict resolution training at the United Nations University in Northern Ireland. In tandem with this study, Ryan worked in with marketing firms focusing on copywriting and SEO, opened an English school for international students, and continued to improve design and develop websites for organizations in many different fields.

Ryan first visited the Monument in 2001, a few years after it was designated, and has come back many time since, finally moving to the area last year.