Contact Us - Backcountry Wilderness Area Staff

Backcountry Team

Mark Giebel, Director

If you’re curious about the nooks and crannies of the Backcountry Wilderness Area, ask Mark. He started as a lifeguard with the HRCA 24 years ago, began conducting research in the Backcountry in 2001, and became the director of the Backcountry Wilderness Area in 2006. 
  • Born & Raised: Lone Tree, Colorado
  • Educated: Trinity University San Antonio, Texas: Biology
  • Where He Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Outdoors with his wife
  • He Did What?!?: Studied ecology in Ecuador for a semester in college  |  303-471-8885 

AnnaKate Hein, Program Supervisor

Most often spotted leading a troop of kid explorers from Camp Backcountry’s Base Camp, AnnaKate oversees all of Backcountry’s programs including Camp Backcountry, youth programs, and school groups
  • Born & Raised: Athens, Georgia
  • Educated: University of Georgia: Political Science, minor in Music and Environmental Ethics; Vermont Law School: Masters in Environmental Law and Policy
  • Where She Can be Found Outside the Backcountry: Adventuring down rivers via a paddle board, mountain biking, and camping
  • She Did What?!?: Studied marine ecology and human environmental impacts in Antarctica  |  303-471-8876 

Gus Brunger, Property Maintenance Coordinator

If it needs built or fixed in the Backcountry Wilderness Area, Gus is on it.
  • Born & Raised: Castle Rock, Colorado
  • Educated: Colorado State University: Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism
  • Where He Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Fly Fishing & Hunting
  • He Did What?!?: Played lacrosse for 14 years  |  303-471-7042  

Lindsey McKissick, Communications & Outreach Coordinator

You’ll find Lindsey trying to capture the best of the Backcountry Wilderness Area with words and photos along with bringing awareness to it through the Backcountry Conservation & Education Fund nonprofit.
  • Born & Raised: Colorado & Illinois
  • Educated: University of Wyoming: Journalism; Masters in Communication
  • Where She Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Hiking, paddleboarding, mountain biking, & camping with her husband and two daughters
  • She Did What?!?: Interviewed pro athletes like Yao Ming, Nolan Arenado, & Von Miller in her former life as a sports reporter.  |  303-471-7076 

Tara Clark, Environmental Education Coordinator

  • Born & Raised: Raleigh, North Carolina and Denver, Colorado
  • Educated: NC State University: Elementary Education & Zoology; Masters in Science Education
  • Where She Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Hiking, paddle boarding, fishing, and camping
  • She Did What?!? Rehabilitated baby squirrels and rabbits  |  303-471-7053

Jess Fangman, Environmental Education Coordinator

  • Born & Raised: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Educated: Ohio University: Communication, Minor in Psychology
  • Where She Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Backpacking, climbing, and exploring all that Colorado has to offer
  • She Did What?!? Lived in San Bernardino National Forest for three years teaching outdoor science elementary school kiddos  |  303-471-7054

Carly Boyd, Equine Coordinator

  • Born & Raised: Burbank, California
  • Educated: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: Agricultural Communication, minor in Sustainable Agriculture; Colorado State University: Masters in Integrated Resource Management
  • Where She Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Horseback riding, hiking, and snowboarding
  • She Did What?!? Has worked as a trail guide/wrangler at a dude ranch  |  303-471-7078

Program Leaders

Horse Program Instructor 

Once reunited a lost baby bison with its herd.

Horse Program Instructor

Horse Program Instructor 

Plays hide and seek with her dog

Horse Program Instructor 

Infatuated with prehistoric creatures

Program Instructor
Professional Christmas light tour guide

Program Instructor

Liked to catch butterflies as a kid... to feed them to chickens

Program Instructor


Program Instructor
Shockingly good at laser tag

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