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 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. 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.

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 most recently completed the LEAD executive education program through the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

Lisa Clark (she/her), Associate Director

Lisa Clark (she/her), Associate Director

lisa@gsenm.org

Raised in the high deserts of Flagstaff, Arizona, Lisa developed a love for southwest desert landscapes from an early age. She was introduced to the Monument in 2018 while leading volunteer trips with Grand Canyon Trust and is continually drawn back to the beauty and gravity of the region.

After getting her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Northern Arizona University, she spent time river guiding in southern Utah with Grand Canyon Youth and continues to get on a river whenever possible. Lisa also has an MS in Restoration Ecology from the University of Denver. Her Master’s thesis researched the connection between the collaborations and science used by land managers and the outcomes of invasive tamarisk removal across southwest rivers.

Prior to working with Partners, Lisa facilitated and supported watershed restoration partnerships and outdoor recreation collaboratives in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, including the Escalante River Watershed Partnership. She has also spent time in the southwest conducting plant and hydrological surveys. Lisa also brings development experience from her work with the City of Flagstaff managing the Neighborhood Sustainability Grant program and from her graduate studies.

 

Sherry Robinson (she/her), Operations Manager

Sherry Robinson (she/her), Operations Manager

admin@gsenm.org

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.

Kaitlin Martin (she/her), Stewardship Programs Manager

Kaitlin Martin (she/her), Stewardship Programs Manager

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.

Kevin Berend, Conservation Programs Manager

Kevin Berend, Conservation Programs Manager

kevin@gsenm.org

Kevin Berend is an environmental scientist from Buffalo, New York. He received his MS in Environmental Science & Ecology from SUNY Brockport, where he studied alpine snowbank communities on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. His work has taken him to the Adirondacks, the Appalachian Trail, northwestern Colorado, and back to Buffalo, where he has experience with grassland birds, aquatic invasive species, and wetlands. In his spare time, Kevin writes about science and nature and enjoys hiking, cycling, and playing guitar.

Kevin joined Partners in 2022 and is relocating to Escalante. Kevin is excited to be working with GSEP.

Marvin Contreras (he/him) Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Marvin Contreras (he/him) Communications and Outreach Coordinator

marvin@gsenm.org

Marvin Contreras (he/him) is a Xicanx poet, editor, and conservationist. He was raised in Southern California, and graduated from the University of California – Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in English. In coming to Escalante, he continues a legacy of migration that followed his grandfather, who picked beets as a Bracero worker; his father, who ran across the Sonoran desert towards a hostile border; and his mother, who flew across a continent to see Los Angeles for the first time in a small plastic window of an airplane. 

He joins GSEP eager to tell stories, contribute to Tribal engagement, and host memorable events. When not working, reading, or writing, he is outside tending to his garden and listening to the sparrows. He had never been to such open space before coming to live in the Monument. Now he doesn’t know how to live without it.

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

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.

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