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

Nature Program Instructor
University of Colorado: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Once reunited a lost baby bison with its herd

Equine Program Instructor
Brigham Young University: English
Able to jump a 6-foot fence with her horse VanGo

Nature Program Instructor
Colorado State University: Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Won a national corn hole championship

Nature Program Instructor
Certified Huntmaster & Archery Instructor
Wildlife—including birds and chipmunks—have used him as a perch

Nature Program Instructor
Central College: Psychology
Grand Canyon University: Masters in Counseling
Professional Christmas light tour guide

Equine Program Instructor
Kent State University: Recreation Management
Colorado Christian University: Nursing
Lives in a barn with chickens, cats, dogs, and cows as roommates

Equine Program Instructor
Colorado College: Biology
Loves salsa dancing

Nature & Equine Program Instructor
Oakland University: Art and Photography
Enjoys Goat Yoga  

Equine Program Instructor
Thunder Ridge High School
Won a state championship in archery

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