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John Sanderson

Executive Director

John has focused on conservation of Western water, land, and forests for nearly three decades, including at the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy. As director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation, John now strives to equip people and communities with the skills and resources they need to work across differences to address large, complex conservation challenges. John earned a B.S. in engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. in botany from the University of Vermont, and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Colorado State University. 

“I am intrigued by science, delighted by nature, and passionate about people and the many ways we think, learn, celebrate, and solve problems. I believe in the importance of listening to the many voices who care about and depend on our precious land and water and look forward to working together to create a future where people and nature can thrive.” – John Sanderson

Allison Brody

Associate Director of Learning

Allison came to the CCC from Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum of Albuquerque, where she led a staff committed to developing and delivering innovative science education programs, as well as a workforce development center. She has been a passionate informal science educator for more than 24 years, and has worked at the Public Lands Institute, Clark County Wetlands Park, Oklahoma City Zoo, and the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society. She holds a B.S. in Biology, an M.S. in Ecology, and a D.A. in Biological Education. Allison believes that empowered and engaged communities are the key to conserving nature and protecting the places we live and love.

Aireona Raschke

Associate Director of Practice

Aireona Bonnie Raschke, Ph.D. comes to the Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) from Desert Botanical Garden, where she led the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance (CAZCA) as the program director. Through her work with CAZCA, Aireona specialized in collaborative conservation, and led shared work on invasive plant management, ecosystem restoration, and public outreach across central Arizona. Previous to that, she was immersed in studying community-based conservation globally through systematic review and expert consultation, and evaluating the impact of nature-based tourism on the environment and community well-being of Dominica and the Dominican Republic. She’s also an avid hiker, travel blogger, and artist.

Katie McGrath Novak

Colorado Forest Collaboratives Network Coordinator

While pursuing an undergraduate degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois University, Katie held leadership roles in the Tree Campus USA committee, the Forestry Club, and worked summer internships with the Missouri Department of Conservation and Indiana Department of Natural Resources. She enjoyed studying forest management, and was especially drawn to learning about the human components that affect decisions and outcomes on the ground. She went on to pursue an M.S. in Forest Sciences from Colorado State University, where she joined the Public Lands Policy Group (PLPG) and studied public perceptions of a prescribed fire outreach program on the Colorado Front Range. Shortly after receiving her Master’s, Katie returned to CSU, continuing her research with the PLPG while taking on the new role of Forest Collaboratives Network Coordinator. She looks forward to connecting with new people and supporting collaborative groups across Colorado. 

Nicole Reese

Communications Manager & Conservation Engagement Specialist

Nicole Reese has supported the Center for Collaborative Conservation’s communication efforts and the Western Collaborative Conservation Network initiative since 2020. Nicole is a CSU Conservation Leadership Through Learning graduate program alum, and has served as a facilitator for collaborative conservation efforts on projects ranging from watersheds to wildfires, from wildlife management to public lands protections. Nicole’s passion for nature and desire to share that passion with others fuels her work in communicating and facilitating collaboration. She is also on the Board of Directors for Sustain Music and Nature, as well as lead facilitator of Crowd Conservation.

Audrey Clavijo

Communications Intern

Audrey Clavijo is a current graduate student at Colorado State University in the Conservation Leadership Through Learning Program (CLTL). Before starting her Master’s degree, Audrey spent the past three years working as a private consultant coordinating and leading environmental education and Native stewardship programming for the Kake Alaskan Youth Stewards (AYS) and assisting with research in southeast Alaska. Audrey is especially passionate about biocultural conservation, Native and Indigenous rights, and learning about the ways culture and language affect perceptions of nature. She is thrilled to work with the CCC and WCCN to gain a deeper understanding of collaborative conservation methods, outcomes, and facilitation while working to enhance communications and impact. In her free time, you can find Audrey outside (sun, snow, or rain!) hiking, running, reading, snowboarding, or harvesting native foods.

Holly Gordon

Colorado Forest Collaboratives Network Intern

Holly first moved to Colorado from Connecticut to attend the University of Denver, studying International Studies. After graduation, she spent two years teaching outdoor place-based environmental education at Teton Science Schools. Following TSS, she coordinated holistic support programs for students at the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County. Her desire to return to natural resources led her to work for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, leading the volunteer programs. Most recently she was Community Science and Hiking Coordinator at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, CO. Excited to dive into collaborative conservation, Holly will be earning her M.S. in Conservation Leadership alongside her position as the Colorado Forest Collaboratives Network Intern.

Arielle Quintana

Special Projects Coordinator

Arielle is a proud tribal member of Cochiti Pueblo, a federally recognized tribe rooted in lands currently known as New Mexico. She is a PhD student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. Her interests are reclamation and rematriation of Indigenous and Pueblo land stewardship and food sovereignty, particularly around gender roles and practices. As a Pueblo woman from a long line of matriarchs and land stewards, she is dedicated to supporting tribes in the stewardship of ancestral lands to strengthen Indigenous sovereignty. With over 10 years of experience in tribal land stewardship, Arielle centers Indigenous and Pueblo epistemologies, pedagogies, and worldviews to guide the development and implementation of natural resources projects.

Gemara Gifford

Special Projects Coordinator

Gemara is a Chicana environmentalist, effective nonprofit leader, scholar and consultant with 10+ years working in community-centered conservation, environmental justice, and environmental education across the Americas. She is dedicated to reducing the institutional, interpersonal, and cultural barriers to land management by Indigenous and other historically marginalized communities within the U.S. and Latin America. Gemara is a PhD student in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and outgoing Program Director at Trees, Water & People where she leveraged over $1.5MM to primarily BIPOC-led environmental coalitions & Indigenous land stewardship efforts across Central America.