Wesley Gush was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but moved to his family farm near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape when he was 6 years old, where he has lived most of his life. He studied Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University and wrote his thesis on the impact ecology of lions on small private game reserves. Thereafter, he spent six months working as a field guide on Amakhala Game Reserve, and as a consultant in the Rhodes University Journalism Department.
Wesley enjoys reading, writing and wildlife photography. The wilderness has always fascinated him, and he has been fortunate to experience the beauty of Africa first hand. He has also had the pleasure of hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in 2011 and this year he spent three weeks camping in Botswana with his father.
For Wesley, the opportunity to experience the big skies of Montana and the fauna and flora that call it home is a dream come true.
Nika Slade was most recently an Outward Bound instructor in Mazama, Washington, working with in the North Cascades Wilderness and along the Salish Sea. A graduate of Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University, Nika studied Physical Geography.
She has worked as a field assistant for The Martha’s Vineyard Nature Conservancy, BiodiversityWorks, and Methow Conservancy, conducting ecological property assessments to reduce habitat fragmentation, helping restore native sagebrush lands, and monitoring and tracking beach-dwelling wildlife.
Nika is an avid explorer with enthusiasm for the outdoors and wildlife, and a love for land that she translates through her fieldwork and expeditions. Thrilled to be a part of the Landmark project, she is ready to tune into the prairie’s mysteries, experience its beauty and understand the evolving environment.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Peter Detwiler graduated from Sterling College in Vermont with a dual major in Conservation Ecology and Natural History. During his studies, Peter’s field courses took him to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the boreal forests of James Bay, the rocky coastlines of Maine and New Brunswick, the clear waters of the Bahamas and the rainforests of Belize.
Since then, Peter has explored the forest and steppe that surround Lake Baikal in Siberia, where he worked Sherman trapping and mist-netting small mammals and birds. Most recently he spent time in Ecuador, where he co-managed a small nature reserve and conducted lek observations.
A birder and naturalist, he looks forward to experiencing the diversity of flora and fauna on the prairie.
Dove Henry grew up in the fields and forests of the northern Catskills, where her love for all things outside began. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her degree in Environmental Studies-History in May 2014.
For the past five summers, Dove has worked for the Adirondack Mountain Club, starting as a naturalist intern for the club’s education department. She found her true passion for environmental work in the trails program, and spent the following summers working on the ADK’s Professional Trail Crew. She just finished up her fourth season on the crew.
Dove is excited to bridge her love for physical work in wild places with her academic interests in wilderness history and history of science through fieldwork in such a rich and enigmatic landscape.