Advertising, Sponsor & Partner Development
An import from Minnesota, David joined High Country News in March 2009. With 20 years of experience in marketing and sales and an upbeat personality, he helps keep our advertising pages filled. He enjoys a good game of golf, live music, and spending time with his family, including his wife Stevi and son Skylar.
email: davida at hcn.org
Brian, a fourth-generation Wyoming native, grew up in Pinedale and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1994 with a BA in English liberal arts and minors in writing and media studies. 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. After extensive time in Cambodia, China and Afghanistan, Brian has a new appreciation for the West and is thrilled to be back. When he's not working, you can find him outside, trying to regain his mountain hardiness.
email: brianc at hcn.org
Cally got her start in public radio before taking the print plunge as an HCN intern and editorial fellow in 2009. New Mexico-born, Chicago-raised, Cally spent her pre-HCN decades plotting her return to the Southwest. Happy to once again be a tiny dot in a big landscape, she writes and edit news and features for the magazine, mentors (and drinks beer with) interns, produces multimedia, and reads. A lot.
email: callyc at hcn.org
Sierra has lived in traveled in the West since 2011, as an intern, correspondent and now a contributing editor at High Country News. She has also written for The Atlantic. She covers health, culture, politics, and crime in rural and indigenous communities and returns frequently to North Dakota to report on the Bakken oil boom, which she first covered in HCN. She is a 2013 National Health Journalism Fellow through the California Endowment and a former Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism. Her home base shifts regularly, though it is currently Berkeley, California.
email: sierra.murdoch at gmail.com
Paul escaped Austin's corporate life for western Colorado in 2000. Since then, he has been helping small businesses & non-profits with their finances while enjoying the rural lifestyle of Paonia. Paul has consulted with more than a dozen organizations of varying size and at different stages in their evolution. Paul signed on as High Country News' Financial Advisor in 2002. When not crunching #’s, Paul chases around his twin sons and provides free labor to his wife’s organic farming operation.
email: pgibb at hcn.org
Advertising Sales Assistant
Margaret’s passion for wild places led her to the mountains of Colorado years ago, where she worked at Rocky Mountain National Park and learned to split wood and bake bread at 9,500 feet in an antique cook stove. She’s done sacred ceremony with indigenous healers in the Andean Highlands of Ecuador and in Lakota sweat lodges in eastern Colorado, and, as a chef, cooked for Arlo Guthrie, the Temptations and Governor Lamm -- not all at the same table. Now, she’s glad to be living back in Paonia, working part time in ad sales here at HCN alongside maintaining a widespread client practice in energy medicine and breath work. Margaret brings over nine years of advertising/sales experience to HCN, has a background in writing from the University of Iowa, and loves to connect with all types of people.
email: margaretg at hcn.org
Sarah has covered the West's natural resources, politics and people since 2006. Before moving to Portland, Oregon, to write features, shorts and blogs and continue editing cover stories and news, she spent six and a half years flogging writers and managing the intern program as High Country News' in-house associate editor. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado and has spent most of her adult life in small towns in the Rockies, studying white-crowned sparrows, reporting at a daily newspaper and working on a trail crew. Her favorite tool — from her days building steps and retaining walls on the slopes of Mount Massive outside Leadville — is the double jack. These days, she's also especially partial to her 8-lb. maul.
email: sarah at hcn.org
Ben Goldfarb is a native New Yorker who first made his way West back in 2009, when he helped the National Park Service kill invasive trout in Yellowstone. Since then, he's taught English and agricultural science in Thailand, advocated for environmental protection in Alaska, conducted forestry research in the urban jungles of the Bronx, and worked steadily as a freelance writer. Ben interned with HCN in 2014, and is pleased to remain with the magazine as a correspondent.
email: bengoldfarb at hcn.org
Born in the Bahamas, Alexis has a special place in her heart for pink sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters and ever expanding blue sky. She has also lived in Chicago, Ann Arbor, rural Oregon, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and was recently lured to the Rocky Mountains by her husband Matthew. Alexis brings diverse experience in project management for non-profits and private businesses to her role at HCN as associate publisher. She received her B.S. from the University of Michigan in globalization and natural resource management and a certification in project management from San Francisco State University. Alexis also currently serves as a Champion for the Orton Family Foundation’s Heart & Soul Program and on the Member Advisory Committee for her local rural electric cooperative. When she is not working or volunteering, Alexis loves to grow food, cook, eat pastries, visit family, travel and play music.
email: alexishalbert at hcn.org
Classified Advertising Sales Assistant
It hasn't taken long for Jenny Hill, classified sales assistant, to think of HCN subscribers as family. Since joining the magazine in May, Jenny has worked diligently to find ads that intrigue our readers.
A Colorado Front Range native, Jenny has lived on the Western Slope for 11 years, working in veterinary clinics, medical service positions, and at a publishing agency. Jenny's overarching passion involves bringing people together, whether helping underserved communities access health care, or encouraging dialogue about divisive issues. In her free time, she's an avid gardener and Elks Club volunteer.
email: jennyh at hcn.org
Since November 2011, our new circulation assistant, Kati Johnson, has been helping to fill the caverns of HCN’s databases with information. She’s also one of the friendly voices you may hear when you call our headquarters. The comforts of family and fast food from her hometown of Omaha, Neb., tug at her heartstrings from time to time, but as a Paonia resident since 2004, she loves the small-town convenience of living close to everything she needs. On a typical weekend, she’s playing cards and dice with her two teenage boys, Jonas and Noah, humiliating her husband, Ryan, at cribbage or reading a book.
email: katij at hcn.org
After many years at HCN working various positions including graphic designer and advertising sales manager, JoAnn now plans and executes subscription acquisition and retention campaigns. She is responsible for growing the number of paid print and digital subscribers to the magazine using various strategies, promotions and events. JoAnn has been in the publishing business since she was a skinny gal of 15 helping her dad with the family newspaper, Military Times. She recently earned her Professional Marketer Certificate and continues to grow and update her knowledge of publication marketing. JoAnn is a long-term board member for a local animal rescue organization and is the Volunteer Director of the organization's animal shelter. She moved to Paonia with her husband in 2002 and has enjoyed the uniqueness of life in a small community ever since.
email: joann at hcn.org
Community Engagement Coordinator
Gretchen is excited to hear from HCN readers and help them forge a stronger connection to the stories of the West. Her work here focuses on social media, syndication and website engagement. With a B.S. in journalism and Master's 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. In 2007, she moved to Paonia to open Revolution Brewing (www.revolution-brewing.com) with her husband, Mike. She loves any mountain experience, a good beer, yoga and spending time with her family, including her eight-year-old son, Riley.
email: gretchenk at hcn.org
Before coming to western Colorado, Krista lived most of her life in wet places: Southeast Alaska, Hawaii, the Marshall Islands and New Zealand, to name a few. She's worked as a daily news journalist and copywriter; canoe, kayak and raft guide; trail-builder, teacher and part-time farmer. Krista started out as an intern in 2013 and has stuck around western Colorado as a correspondent for HCN, and while she likes no longer having to carry rain gear "just in case," she's still happiest when the rivers are running.
email: kristal at hcn.org
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
New development assistant Christine List , who joined our staff in December, says the decision to move to Paonia, Colo., HCN's hometown, was a family affair. A Chicago native and longtime Northern California resident, Christine wanted to live in the same town as her daughter, Keaton, and her grandchildren. She brings years of experience as an education and litigation secretary, along with an unusual hobby: making glass beads. "I love playing with fire," admits Christine, who once belonged to a group of bead-makers called the Flame Dames. She's excited about helping HCN grow by encouraging reader contributions, especially via our monthly giving program, and she's looking forward to teaching her grandkids bead-making – as soon as she can get her hands on a torch.
email: christinel at hcn.org
Writers on the Range Editor
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 edits Writers on the Range and 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 and Bruno.
email: betsym at hcn.org
Circulation Systems Administrator
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 Manager. Kathy now concentrates on the various ways to crunch numbers needed to support HCNs' many endeavors. 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
When Kindra was a child, her outer world was often in flux — her family moved nearly every year — but she always made a space of her own for reading and writing, from Farr West, Utah, to tiny Ruch, Oregon. Her extensive reading led her to suspect that most so-called “villains” were nothing more than the products of stories, that maybe, in real life, there were no bad guys.
This thought followed Kindra even after she left for college, at the University of Montana in Missoula, where she studied Spanish and anthropology. It lingered as she became a substitute teacher, worked in public health education and travelled for a year through Spain. She started writing again, and in 2012, an acquaintance suggested that she might find a place in journalism.
So she returned to the University of Montana, to the journalism school this time, where she reported on science and politics and investigated mercury contamination. She graduated in December, just in time to start an internship atHCN, where she says she’d like to tell the stories that only the West provides. But her thinking on one point has changed: “As a journalist,” she says, “I’ve learned there are villains.”
Judith Lewis Mernit
Judith Lewis Mernit is a contributing editor at High Country News who writes about energy and the environment from Venice, Calif. Her work has appeared in the American Prospect, the Atlantic Monthly, Mother Jones and Sierra Magazine.
email: judith.lewis.mernit at gmail.com
Jeremy Miller’s feature stories on education, politics, science and the environment have appeared in numerous publications including Harper's, Salon, Orion, Men's Journal and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. In 2009-2010, he was a Middlebury College Fellow in Environmental Journalism. In 2011, he was a media fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. For several years he worked as a high school science teacher in New York City. He holds a master's in science and medical journalism from Boston University.
email: jjmiller1 at mac.com
Michelle began her journalism career in 1998, as a High Country News intern, and has written for High Country News ever since. Michelle has also written for Smithsonian, National Geographic and Audubon, and won several national honors including an AAAS Science Journalism Award and inclusion in the anthology Best American Science Writing. A lapsed biologist, Michelle was once paid to chase tortoises through the Sonoran Desert; the tortoises usually won. www.michellenijhuis.com
email: michelle at hcn.org
In 2004, after 16 years as a technical writer, Jodi leapt out of the corporate world to intern with High Country News. A year later, she joined HCN as News Editor; she's now the Managing Editor, which means she oversees Web and magazine content, keeps an eye on budgets and schedules, and generally steers the editorial ship. When she's not in the office, she refuses to get within 50 feet of a computer. Instead, Jodi spends her free time backpacking, biking, gardening, reading, or rambling with her dog.
email: jodi at hcn.org
Alyssa has worked for High Country News in the development department for more than six years. She enjoys building relationships with the remarkable readership, staff and board of directors. When not in the office, she is painting, dancing, romping outdoors, soaking in hot springs, or supporting her two rapidly-growing towheads.
email: alyssap at hcn.org
One fall night in 2010, 20-year-old Kate Schimel left her grandmother’s New York City apartment for what she thought would be a casual gathering of young writers. But the posh Central Park suite was filled with suit-clad documentarians engaged in a moderated discussion on the state of journalism, and Kate, in her baggy jeans and fraying sleeves, shrank into a couch and retreated behind her drink.
This was nothing like Boulder, Colorado, where she was raised. There, she spent winters skiing and summers on Rocky Mountain whitewater. When not outdoors, she wrote and painted, and at one point studied art at Portland’s Reed College. Reading C.L. Rawlins’ Sky’s Witness: A Year in the Wind River Range sparked an epiphany, the idea that she could marry creativity with wildness, as a writer.
That night in New York, the founder of Chalkbeat, a start-up education blog, struck up a conversation with her and eventually offered her a reporting internship. This started Kate’s journalism career, eventually leading her back to the West to finish a degree in biology at Reed before continuing with Chalkbeat as a reporter on rural schools in Colorado.
Just as she was wrapping up that job, Kate was accepted as an intern at High Country News. She’s glad to be back out West, she says, where snow falls on mountains, not penthouses.
Based in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Shogren covers how major Western issues play out on the national stage. Her stories explore and explain the many ways that politicians, federal agencies, government policies and nonprofit groups affect Westerners' daily lives.
As a Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Elizabeth was pressed into the tank that Russian President Boris Yeltsin famously climbed on top of during a 1991 coup. Later, when she was a White House correspondent, President Clinton told her how it felt to be impeached:"Not bad." Elizabeth was lured to the environment beat for the LA Times Washington bureau because of her infatuation with the landscapes she encountered hiking and skiing in Utah and Wyoming. For the past decade, she was NPR's environment correspondent. She covered the 2010 BP oil spill, climate change and endangered species. She examined toxic air pollution --impact on communities and the impacts of air pollution from the US drilling boom.
When she's not reporting, Elizabeth enjoys cross country and telemark skiing, especially in the backcountry in places like like Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Teton Range and the Canadian Rockies. Her weekend wilderness getaway is in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, where she hikes up riverbeds with her son and entertains family and friends in their 250-year-old log cabin.
email: shogren at hcn.org
Website Developer/IT Manager
Eric Strebel has been working with computers since 1978, when he got his first personal computer, and soon thereafter learned to create custom programs as a hobby. Eric eventually developed his programming hobby into a livelihood. Prior to joining us, he freelanced and managed a local websites for about a decade. Eric enjoys fishing, hiking in the mountains and perfecting his different salsa recipes. He lives in nearby Hotchkiss, Colo., with Barbara, his wife.
email: erics at hcn.org
Diane splits her time between painting – she’s an accomplished artist who sells her art all over Western Colorado – and making our prose sparkle. She sometimes draws illustrations for the magazine, too. She’s worked at High Country News since 1990. Her dad and brother have followed her to Paonia, where she lives in a century-old house with her exceptionally large cat, Gumbo.
email: diane at hcn.org
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 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. After that he lived in Berlin, Germany, and then was a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Now he lives in Durango, Colorado, with his wife and two daughters.
email: jonathanthompson70 at gmail.com
Growing up in Toronto, new editorial intern 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 Argentina's 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. Here at HCN, Sarah hopes to grow as a writer by learning what makes the West the place it is.
email: sarahtory at hcn.org
Brooke grew up in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado, learning to love wild places and adventures, which have taken her to Vietnam to research catfish trade, through Chile photographing cafes, and most recently as a guide in Peru. She graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, with a degree in visual journalism and applies her visual finesse to each issue of High Country News. While not in the office, she can be found rock climbing, rafting, running, biking or dancing in beautiful landscapes, and usually with camera in-hand.
email: brookewarren at hcn.org
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
email: taywiles at hcn.org
Tammy grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, but set off for the West shortly after graduating from college. She's never looked back. She spent ten years in nearby Ridgway, CO – where she says the wildlife is just incredible – before moving to Paonia in 2007. Tammy now ensures the safe delivery of the magazine to mailboxes everywhere. She manages our in-house circulation staff who provide friendly support to our subscribers, and works to keep them coming back. In her free time, she enjoys biking, playing the piano, baking sweets, and hanging out with her husband and kids.
email: tammyyork at hcn.org
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 master's 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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