Staff


Tristan Ahtone

Associate Editor
Location: Washington

Tristan Ahtone serves as associate editor for Indigenous affairs at High Country News. He has reported for PBS NewsHour, Frontline, National Native News, Wyoming Public Radio, Fronteras Desk, NPR and Al Jazeera America. Ahtone’s stories have won multiple honors, including investigative awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Gannett Foundation. A citizen of the Kiowa Tribe, Tristan was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard in 2017. Tristan also serves as a board member for the Native American Journalists Association.

email: tristanahtone at hcn.org

Luna Anna Archey

Associate Photo Editor 
Location: Colorado

Luna is a Michigan native that left the midwest for the first time just six years ago and hasn’t stopped exploring since. Her curiosity led her to degrees in neuroscience and the fine arts at the University of Michigan where she started telling multimedia stories. Luna’s most recent work was with a non-profit in northern India that promotes financial independence through craft making for rural women. In her free time she can be found taking her camera and her dog, Rhubarb, for a walk.

email: lunaarchey at hcn.org

Emily Benson

Associate Editor
Location: Idaho

Emily oversees coverage of the northern part of our region as an associate editor based in Moscow, Idaho. Her lifelong love of the outdoors was sparked by a childhood spent swimming and paddling the lakes and rivers of New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Colgate University in central New York, a master’s degree in biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a graduate certificate from the University of California Santa Cruz’s Science Communication Program. She spends most of her free time cross-country skiing or cooling off in the nearest lake or river, depending on the season.

email: emilyb at hcn.org

Paige Blankenbuehler

Associate Editor
Location: Colorado

Paige oversees coverage of HCN’s South Desk from Durango, Colorado. Her writing focuses on the complexities and wellbeing of rural communities and she often gravitates toward narratives where wild people and wild places collide. As associate editor, Paige also helps shape the magazine’s investigative coverage. She has covered Western issues for nearly a decade and holds a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, shes hiking or skiing in the San Juan Mountains with her hound, Porter.

email: paigeb at hcn.org

Nick Bowlin

Editorial Fellow
Location: Colorado

Nick was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After graduating from St. Olaf College, a small school in southeastern Minnesota, he got his journalism start at a newspaper in the Philadelphia area covering local government. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he covered campaigns, lobbying, and money in politics for E&E News, an environmental and energy publication. When not writing, he is usually exploring the mountains around Gunnison.

email: nickbowlin at hcn.org

Graham Lee Brewer

Contributing Editor
Location: Oklahoma

Graham Lee Brewer is a contributing editor on the High Country News Indigenous affairs desk. He is a native of Oklahoma, where he resides with his son, and a member of the Cherokee Nation. Graham is an alum of The Oklahoman newspaper, where he extensively covered the state criminal justice system. Graham serves as a board member for the Native American Journalists Association.

email: grahamb at hcn.org

Brian Calvert

Editor-in-Chief
Location: Colorado

Brian, a fourth-generation Wyoming native, grew up in Pinedale and holds a M.F.A from Western Colorado University and a B.A. in English liberal arts with a minor in writing and media studies from the University of Northern Colorado. He has worked as a foreign correspondent, writer, audio journalist, and most recently, a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. 

email: brianc at hcn.org

Amanda Campbell

Customer Service Specialist
Location: Colorado

Amanda grew up on the Front Range of Colorado, exploring the outdoors with her family. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Sustainability from Western Colorado University in 2017. Her studies led her to Ecuador where she researched a small agricultural village and their struggle over land ownership with national conservation efforts. After graduating, she dug into the local food movement, working on several organic farms across her home state and learning to bake sourdough in a wood-fired oven. When she's not playing in the dirt, Amanda can be found exploring the backcountry on skis or rock climbing with her partner.

email: amandacampbell at hcn.org

Laura Dixon

Events & Business Partner Coordinator
Location: Colorado

Laura has loved the Southwest since she first moved to Colorado in 1981. After seven years in Seattle, she is excited to return to the mountains of Colorado, which she considers home. Laura has worked in marketing, development, advertising and community relations for numerous non-profits, including Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Spiritual Paths Foundation, and most recently, Pilchuck Glass School. She has spent many years working in public libraries. Laura enjoys time with family and friends, gardening, fiber arts, reading, qigong and visiting hot springs.

email: laurad at hcn.org

Kalen Goodluck

Editorial Fellow
Location: New Mexico

Kalen Goodluck is Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Diné from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He attended Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Rights. After collaborating on a documentary with his brother, Kalen got a master’s degree at the City University of New York Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining High Country News, Kalen interned twice at NBC News’ Investigative Unit, where he reported on the medical device industry. He also contributed to a team through Type Investigations (formerly The Investigative Fund) that dug into right wing extremism. When not reporting, he enjoys eating s’mores by a campfire.

Ruxandra Guidi

Contributing Editor
Location: California

Ruxandra Guidi, a native of Venezuela, has reported throughout the United States and Latin America for both magazines and public radio, and in both English and Spanish. She has worked extensively as an independent journalist, and has also worked for PRI’s The World, NPR’s Latino USA, and as a U.S.-Mexico border reporter for the Fronteras Desk initiative. Her work has been published by Orion Magazine, National Geographic NewsWatch, The Atlantic, and others. She’s a board member for the award-winning nonprofit journalism collaborative, Homelands Productions, and she regularly collaborates with husband, photographer Bear Guerra, under the name Fonografia Collective.

email: ruxandrag at hcn.org

Terra Hegy

Development Assistant
Location: Colorado

Terra left her home town in western Pennsylvania at age 21, moving to Crested Butte, Colorado, for the skiing and the mountain hiking. She attended Colorado State University and the University of Washington, obtaining degrees in botany and geography. In Alaska, working for the National Park Service, Terra played a role in protecting more than 157 million acres of BLM lands under the landmark Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. Most of Terra’s career has involved water quality, water supply and stream management. Most recently she was a biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. After retiring, Terra’s husband’s Colorado roots brought them back to the North Fork Valley. Terra enjoys playing fiddle, river trips and quilting.

email: terrahegy at hcn.org


Erica Howard

Director of Operations
Location: UK

Erica moved to Paonia in late 2015 from Isle of Wight, England, having fallen in love with this part of Colorado after being a regular visitor to the U.S. for many years as a spouse of an American. Recently, she returned to the UK and provides support from afar. Previously, Erica served as the Director of Finance and HR for the UK Sailing Academy, a youth training nonprofit, for 20 years. She has two grown children, one of whom lives in California. Erica loves walking/hiking, having wonderful friends in her life and anything feline.

email: ericah at hcn.org

Karen Howe

Customer Service Specialist
Location: Colorado

Karen Howe grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Art from Western State Colorado University. She interned at Thistle Whistle Farm in Hotchkiss, spent a year as a Fellow with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and worked for two years with the Delta County Libraries. She enjoys spending time with her dairy goats, exploring for petroglyphs and hiking the Black Canyon National Park.

email: karenhowe at hcn.org

Maya L. Kapoor

Associate Editor
Location: California

In her role as associate editor, Maya combines her fascination with biology and her love for environmental humanities. She reports on climate change, endangered species and social justice, while also editing book reviews and essays. Previously, Maya served as associate editor for High Country News’ South Desk. She has more than a decade’s experience as a field biologist and environmental educator in the Western United States and Latin America. In her free time she likes to backpack.

email: mayak at hcn.org

Gretchen King 

Digital Editor
Location: Colorado

Gretchen is excited to hear from HCN readers and help them forge a stronger connection to the stories of the West. She oversees the digital content of High Country News, including its website, social media presence and newsletters. With a B.S. in journalism and masters in professional communications, Gretchen has worked in the web world since 1992 (and knows this dates her to admit). Raised on the Western Slope of Colorado, Gretchen has lived in Boulder, Indiana, Oregon and, most recently, Fairbanks, Alaska. Now living in Gunnison, she loves any mountain experience, chocolate, yoga and spending time with her husband, Mike, and 12-year-old son, Riley.

email: gretchenk at hcn.org

Jessica Kutz

Assistant Editor
Location: Arizona

Jessica Kutz got her start in journalism as a staff reporter at a small-town daily newspaper in Telluride, Colorado. She has a degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado and an international media certificate. After completing an internship and fellowship with High Country News, she is now an assistant editor based out of Tucson, Ariz. Jessica focuses her reporting on the issues and stories that impact under-represented communities that call the West home.

email: jessicak at hcn.org

Paul Larmer

Executive Director/Publisher
Location: Colorado

After completing his internship in 1984, Paul went on to hold almost every possible position at High Country News. He is now responsible for working with the board of directors, drumming up funding and generally making sure the magazine is sailing in the right direction. He holds a master’s degree in natural resource policy and worked for years at the Sierra Club. Every summer he plants a few crops on his small ranch in Western Colorado and pretends to be a farmer.

email: plarmer at hcn.org

Betsy Marston

Editor at Large
Location: Colorado

She may have edited High Country News for 19 years – longer than anyone else in the history of the publication – but Betsy insists the experience did not make her crazy. She currently writes the column “Heard Around the West.” She also delights in collecting quirky photos from readers and sharing them on the back page of the magazine. She describes herself as a “volunteeraholic,” and in no particular order, loves Paonia, biking back roads, reading the Sunday New York Times, and her grandchildren Maude, Bruno and Sorcha.

email: betsym at hcn.org

Kathy Martinez

Customer Service Manager/Circulation Systems Administrator
Location: Colorado

Since 1995 Kathy has worked her way up the ranks of the HCN Circulation Department from part-time office staff (applying labels to the newspaper when it was mailed from our Paonia office) to circulation service manager. Kathy now concentrates on the database needed to support HCN’s subscribers. When not at HCN you can find her fishing and camping in the great outdoors or staying close to home gardening, cooking and being a grandma.

email: kathy at hcn.org

Josh McIntire

Help Desk and Support Technician, and Customer Service Specialist
Location: Colorado

Josh was raised in western Colorado, where he learned to love the outdoors, spending most of his childhood playing in the mountains. In 2010 he was hired by Apple Computers, working in a retail environment, eventually moving into a support role for AppleCare. In 2013, Josh and his family moved back to the Colorado mountains where they continue to enjoy the outdoors. In his free time, Josh is probably chasing down one of his four kids, spending time with his beautiful wife, brewing an IPA or fixing a computer somewhere.  

emailjoshmcintire at hcn.org

Laurie Milford

Director of Development
Location: Colorado

Laurie brings 17 years of experience in senior nonprofit and education management to High Country News. Previously, she was executive director at the Wyoming Outdoor Council, where she played a role in establishing the first state laws to regulate the flaring of methane in natural gas drilling operations and to require oil and gas companies to determine baseline water quality before using hydraulic fracturing. She was involved in the long-term protection of more than 3 million acres of BLM and Forest Service lands, including the landmark Wyoming Range Legacy Act and was instrumental in raising funds to achieve these successes. Laurie served as a production editor for Westview Press in Boulder, Colorado, and holds a bachelors and a master’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and the University of Wyoming respectively. She graduated from the Institute for Conservation Leadership in 2008; in 2010 the institute recognized her as an exemplary leader in the conservation movement. Laurie lives in Hotchkiss with her husband and son.

email: lauriem at hcn.org

Carol Newman

Development Assistant
Location: Colorado

Carol calls Colorado her home state, although, she was born in the midwest, and spent 12 years in Charlotte, North Carolina, prior to moving back to Colorado in 2014. As a Coloradan, she became interested in environmental issues at a young age and supports efforts to protect our natural resources. Her other passion is art, and the thriving arts community in the Paonia prompted Carol’s move to the Western Slope. Carol has wide-ranging experience working with nonprofits both as a staff member and as a board member. In her spare time, Carol loves to create art (of course!), spend time with family and friends, and go on adventures.

email: carolnewman at hcn.org

Michelle Nijhuis

Contributing Editor

Michelle began her journalism career in 1998, as a High Country News intern, and has written and edited for High Country News ever since. Now a project editor for The Atlantic, Michelle has also written about science and conservation for National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications; her reporting has won several national honors and been included in four Best American anthologies. Until 2013, Michelle and her family lived off the electrical grid near HCN's home base in Paonia. They now live on the north side of the Columbia Gorge, in Washington state. 

email: michelle at hcn.org

Mark Nydell

Customer Service Specialist
Location: Colorado

Ever since Mark was a child, the woods were his home and being a steward of the environment became a way of life. His passion for the outdoors eventually grew into a 20 year career with the National Park Service. Through the NPS, Mark was able to live and work in some of the most beautiful places that this country has to offer. Mark can now be found working for HCN as part of the Customer Service team. During his off time, Mark keeps busy tending to his backyard farm and garden, exploring the peaks and forests of the western states with his wife, or playing with his kids.

email: marknydell at hcn.org

Alyssa Pinkerton

Major Gift Adviser
Location: Colorado

Alyssa was born in Florida, but don’t hold that against her. She has worked for High Country News in the development department since October 2008. She enjoys building relationships with the remarkable readership, staff and board of directors. When she’s not working with donors, you can find her romping out in the wild lands, painting pictures, dancing, or soaking in hot springs - with her two darling towheads.

email: alyssap at hcn.org

Helen Santoro

Intern
Location: Colorado

Helen Santoro was born and raised in New England, where she spent weekends in the mountains of Vermont. She earned a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in upstate New York, where she fell in love with winter camping in the Adirondack Mountains. After testing out the world of neuroscience research at Boston Children’s Hospital, she earned a master’s degree from the University of California Santa Cruz’s Science Communication Program. In her free time, she spends her days hiking, rock climbing or skiing with her wife and dog.

Elena Saavedra Buckley

Contributing Editor
Location: New Mexico

Elena is a contributing editor for HCN's back of the book, helping shape the magazine's book reviews and essays. She started as an editorial intern and fellow on the Indigenous Affairs desk, and she wrote a cover story about the alleged crimes of a Colorado funeral home. She spends most of her time freelancing from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

email: elenasb at hcn.org


Carl Segerstrom

Assistant Editor
Location: Washington

Carl comes to HCN from Eugene, Oregon where he studied journalism through the University of Oregon’s professional masters program and wrote for Eugene Weekly. Originally from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Carl has lived and travelled through much of the West. When hes not digging into environmental news stories, he likes to spend time outside skiing and exploring high country rivers and lakes.

email: carls at hcn.org


Anna V. Smith

Assistant Editor
Location: Oregon

Anna V. Smith has spent the majority of her life in the Pacific Northwest, from growing up in rural Oregon to becoming a news reporter on a small cluster of islands in northern Washington. She joined the High Country News team in Paonia as our editorial intern in July 2016 and is now an assistant editor based in Oregon, where she writes and edits for HCN’s Indigenous affairs desk. In 2018 and in 2019 she received Best Coverage of Native America from the Native American Journalism Association.

email: annasmith at hcn.org


Leah Sottile

Correspondent
Location: Oregon

Leah Sottile is a freelance journalist whose features, profiles, investigations and essays have been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, Playboy, California Sunday Magazine and The Atlantic, among others. She is the host of the National Magazine Award-nominated podcast, Bundyville, made in collaboration with Longreads and Oregon Public Broadcasting. She lives in Oregon.

Hannah Stevens

Development Associate
Location: Colorado

Hannah Stevens holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and a MA in conservation biology from Columbia University. She spent more than a decade at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, where she had her nose in herbarium collections (including holding in hand a plant collected by Charles Darwin himself), data management, phytochemistry, international field work and, most recently, headed the Geographic Information Systems conservation research program. Hannah recently landed back in Paonia where once upon a time her family had an organic garlic farm. You can now find her managing HCNs monthly giving program, which includes helping over 800 wonderful donors, and helping with other development campaigns. In her spare time, she tries to keep up with her daughters and partner (who hopes one day she will actually row a boat; paddleboarding is really more her style), chickens, and a big garden.

email: hannahstevens at hcn.org

Diane Sylvain

Copy Editor
Location: Colorado

Diane is a one-time Air Force brat who grew up all over the country but lost her heart to western Colorado. When she’s not copy editing, she writes rambling essays about nothing in particular and occasionally even finds the time to do a bit of artwork. She’s worked for HCN since 1990 and lives in a very old and indescribably ramshackle house in Paonia, surrounded by mountainous piles of books, interesting rocks and seashells, and patrolled at night by the ghosts of all the cats who have gone before. Her hobbies include making bad puns, complaining about sciatica, displaying an obnoxious certainty about grammar, and enjoying long walks, leisurely train trips and periodic retreats to the nearest Trappist monastery, which as everybody knows is a great place to meet interesting guys.

email: diane at hcn.org

Doris Teel

Fulfillment Worker
Location: Colorado

Doris is part of the High Country News mail team and helps to distribute issues of the magazine and other direct mailings to our readers. Doris loves reading HCN, as well as knitting, crocheting and visiting her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live nearby. Before coming to HCN, Doris worked at the Paonia Home Care Center, and she’s been a Delta County, Colorado, resident since 1960.

Jonathan Thompson

Contributing Editor
Location: Bulgaria (yes, Bulgaria)

Jonathan Thompson is a native Westerner with deep roots in southwestern Colorado. He owned and edited the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper in the tiny town of Silverton, Colo., and was the editor-in-chief of High Country News from 2007 to 2010. He was a 2011-12 Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Now he lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, with his wife and two daughters and is writing a book about the Gold King Mine disaster. 

email: jonathan at hcn.org

Sarah Tory

Correspondent
Location: Colorado

Growing up in Toronto, Sarah Tory devoured books on mountaineering, learned to ski on the modest yet icy slopes several hours away and became an avid rock climber and runner. The summers after her high school graduation in New Hampshire and freshman year at Williams College in Massachusetts, she returned to the Canadian Rockies, where she cleaned cabins at a lodge – and encountered grizzly bears.

Sarah, who recently completed her MFA from Columbia University in New York, has covered environmental issues for the English-language Santiago Times in Chile and worked on a documentary about mining in Peru. She and a friend once biked 5,000 kilometers through Argentina and Chile, ending in Argentinas Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. "Ramona," her trusty touring bike, accompanied her to Paonia, but her interest in a mountain bike is growing daily. 

email: sarahtory at hcn.org

Cindy Wehling

Art Director
Location: Colorado

Cindy has been responsible for making High Country News look its best since 1990, including shepherding its transition from newspaper to magazine and from black and white to full color. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she works with photographers and artists and heads up the design and production of the magazine. Cindy and her husband, Don Olsen, also work on the family farm and are continuing to add on to the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Usonian house they built overlooking their hayfields.

email: cindy at hcn.org

Alan Wells

IT Manager
Location: Colorado

Alan is a Colorado native who has always been entranced by the beauty and uniqueness that is the state, whether building trails during his time with the Youth Open Space program or mountain biking through the Rockies. Alans fascination with technology began at a young age when he deconstructed the family computer and eventually learned to put it back together in working order.

Alan graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Colorado. Prior to joining High Country News, Alan refurbished and recycled personal and enterprise IT equipment, helping to complete the end stages of the hardware life-cycle in an ethical and sustainable manner. He continues to pursue a connection with the natural beauty of Colorado and the West, and researches digital logistics and the impact of ubiquitous technology on individuals and societies.

email: alanw at hcn.org

Tay Wiles

Correspondent
Location: California

email: taywiles at hcn.org

Jolene Yazzie

Intern
Location: Colorado

Jolene Yazzie hails from a small town in Arizona called Lupton, or Tsé si ani in the Diné language. After receiving a B.A. in visual communications from Collins College in Phoenix, Arizona, she worked as a graphic designer for several newspapers, including the Santa Fe Reporter and the Navajo Times. Since she was little, Jolene has loved capturing moments through photography. But it wasn’t until associate editor for tribal affairs Tristan Ahtone asked her to take pictures for a story that she decided to pursue photojournalism. She is completing a degree in journalism at Metropolitan State University in Denver.

Tammy York

Customer Service Specialist
Location: Colorado

Tammy grew up in the finger lakes region of New York State but set out for Colorado after receiving her bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology from SUNY Potsdam. She has been helping High Country News readers since 2008. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and four kids, camping, hiking, swimming and playing guitar.

email: tammyyork at hcn.org

Mary Zachman

Bookkeeper
Location: Colorado

Mary grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and lived on the west coast of Florida. The West called her back, and she moved to Colorado in 2009, first landing Montrose and then in Ridgway. In 2015 she found Paonia and has felt at home ever since. Mary shares her home with her husband, John, and their two dogs. She has three grown kids who followed her to Colorado. Mary loves hiking and exploring the beautiful Colorado landscapes. In addition to her work at HCN, Mary does bookkeeping for KVNF and a solar company, and works at a local home bakery. Mary’s passion is real, healthy, organic food, and she loves spending time cooking with the bounty that Paonia offers. 

emailmaryz at hcn.org

Joshua Zaffos

Correspondent
Location: Colorado

Josh has been writing for HCN since his internship in 2002, reporting from nearly every Western state along the way. His work has also appeared in numerous print and online publications, and can be viewed at joshuazaffos.com. Josh holds a masters degree from Yale School Forestry and Environmental Studies. He lives in Fort Collins, Colo., where he also teaches natural resources communications at Colorado State University.

email: joshuazaffos at yahoo.com

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