Staff 2016

ASC Team

Gregg Treinish

Gregg Treinish – Founder/Executive Director

Mike Kautz

Mike Quist Kautz, Program Director​

Barbara Friedsam

Barbara Friedsam, Director of Corporate Development

Erica Cunningham

Erica Cunningham, NGO Partnerships Consultant

Jenna Walenga

Jenna Walenga, Microplastics Program Manager

Colleen Ferris

Colleen Ferris, Landmark Program Manager

Emily Stifler Wolfe

Emily Stifler Wolfe, Media & Outreach Manager

Merrill Warren

Merrill Warren, Assistant to the Executive Director

Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton, Partnerships Coordinator

Abby Barrows

Abby Barrows, Microplastics Principal Investigator


Deniz Bertuna, Landmark Field Crew Leader

Ryan Rock

Ryan Rock, Interim Media Coordinator

Gregg Treinish, Founder/Executive Director

Gregg Treinish founded Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation in 2011, with a strong passion for both scientific discovery and exploration.  

National Geographic named Gregg Adventurer of the Year in 2008, when he and a friend completed a 7,800-mile trek along the spine of the Andes Mountain Range. He was included on the Christian Science Monitor’s 30 under 30 list in 2012, and the following year became a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work with ASC. In 2013, he was named a Backpacker Magazine “hero,” and in 2015, a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur and one of Men’s Journal’s “50 Most Adventurous Men.”  

Gregg holds a biology degree from Montana State University and a sociology degree from CU-Boulder. He thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2004.  

Contact Gregg at or 406.624.3320 ext. 700.

Mike Quist Kautz, Program Director​

​Mike Quist Kautz grew up in Maine among the foothills of the White Mountains. After earning a degree in Environmental Science from Middlebury College, he managed the Appalachian Mountain Club’s backcountry hut system in New Hampshire, and then went on to get a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.

Believing time spent outside is essential to stewardship, Mike’s focus is the intersection of recreation and conservation. Prior to ASC, he worked as the Operations Manager for the Yellowstone Association in Yellowstone National Park.  

Mike also has a background in education. He spent a year teaching English in Turkey on a Fulbright grant, and now leads international photography workshops for National Geographic Student Expeditions. Mike loves to ski, climb mountains, ride motorcycles and learn new languages. 

Contact Mike at or 406.624.3320 ext. 701.

Barbara Friedsam, Director of Corporate Development

​Barbara Friedsam was born in California, raised on the east coast, and has moved from big cities like Milan and New York to big mountains like the Tetons and the Sierra. 
She has an M.S. in Geography from University of Nevada, Reno and a B.A. in Sociology from University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

As Director of Brand and Marketing at 1% for the Planet, Barbara was a key member of the leadership team working to engage businesses and individuals to be a part of the environmental solution and helped create and nurture key brand-aligned, strategic relationships. Prior to that, she spent her career working with many businesses on branding, marketing, partnerships and interactive experiences ranging from Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to Nike to Seventh Generation.  

Barbara currently resides in the great state of Vermont. When she’s not working, she can be found outside doing something fun, most likely with her dog, Blue.

Contact Barbara at or 802.324.4311.

Erica Cunningham, NGO Partnerships Consultant

Erica Cunningham grew up between the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Bilingual, binational and bicultural, she has strong ties to her roots in both the mountains and the ocean.

Erica has a B.A. from Middlebury College in International Studies and a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University in Environmental Policy and International Development. After college she competed on the Freeskiing World Tour and after graduate school she worked in fishing villages and coastal surf towns in Mexico on sustainable development. Erica’s consulting career has taken her around the world to protect, conserve and manage resources from Indonesian fisheries to forests in the Amazon. She believes people are an integral part to solving the toughest environmental problems.
Erica is a passionate about everything outdoors, and loves skiing, biking, hiking, climbing and fly fishing with her husband and two Mexican mutts. 

Contact Erica at

Jenna Walenga, Microplastics Program Manager

​Jenna Walenga’s personal connection to the outdoors, knowledge of wildflowers, and excellent fort-building skills were gained exploring the woods of Ohio as a child. 

Jenna has a history of nonprofit work, from advocating for victims of domestic violence in rural Kansas to leading youth hiking and gardening clubs in Cape Town, South Africa. Her dedication to social service led her to earn a degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. Jenna came to ASC from Seattle, where she designed and led wilderness adventures for the TRACKS Outdoor Initiative, and volunteered for projects protecting wildlife in the Pacific Northwest including ASC’s Pacific Coastal Marten Survey.

A backpacker, skier and sailor, Jenna never turns down an opportunity for adventure. When she’s not out exploring, she is a painter and yoga instructor. Jenna believes connecting people to the natural world is key to the future of conservation.

Contact Jenna at or 406-624-3320 ext. 708.

Colleen Ferris, Landmark Program Manager

​Colleen Ferris grew up on the Chesapeake Bay outside of Annapolis, Maryland. After earning a degree in Ecology from the University of Montana, she served in the US Peace Corps as a Natural Resource Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Utilizing her skills in field ecology and scientific diving, Colleen’s service focused on conservation of Dominican cultural and biological patrimony, and youth environmental education. 

Colleen’s work and adventures have taken her from the turquoise Caribbean Sea to the base of Redoubt Volcano in Lake Clark National Park. Stops in between have included northwest Montana, Western Europe, American Prairie Reserve and South America.

Colleen is an alumna of the UM Flathead Lake Biological Station and is a certified PADI Dive Master and Wilderness EMT. She likes to explore outside, learn new recipes and is learning to tie flies. 

Contact Colleen at or 406.624.3320 ext. 706.

Emily Stifler Wolfe, Media & Outreach Manager

Emily Stifler Wolfe loves wild places. Born and raised in Vermont, she graduated from Colorado College in 2002, with a degree in English and Creative Writing. 

Emily has worked as a professional ski patroller at Moonlight Basin, on the Yosemite Search and Rescue team, and as Managing Editor of Mountain Outlaw magazine, Explore Big Sky newspaper and Her writing has been published in Powder, Skiing, Rock and Ice, Climbing and Men’s Journal, and received awards from the Montana Newspaper Association and the Western Publishing Association.  

Based in Bozeman since 2005, she has climbed and skied in Alaska, Argentine Patagonia, and Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables. She currently serves on the American Alpine Club Northwest Region Live Your Dream Grant Committee, as well as the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center Board. 

Contact Emily at or 406.624.3320 ext. 702.

Merrill Warren, Assistant to the Executive Director

​Merrill Warren grew up near Auburn, California, playing in the Sierra Nevada and the American River Canyon. Her adventures have since taken her around the world.

Merrill graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012, with a B.A. in Anthropology. She has since worked as a horse packer in the Sierra, a dog handler on the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, and as an intern for the US Forest Service Range Department, in Gunnison, Colorado. 

In her spare time, Merrill works with clean water initiatives in Zambia through International Peace Projects, and serves as a board member for two environmental nonprofits, The Kensington Conservancy and RRAFT. A two-time NOLS graduate and a Wilderness EMT, Merrill loves to ski, ride horses, do yoga and play outside. 

Contact Merrill at or 406.624.3320 ext. 704.

Alex Hamilton, Partnerships Coordinator

​​Alex Hamilton was raised in the mountains near Lake Tahoe, California, where he learned to ski and walk simultaneously. He holds a degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, with a major in Environmental Studies and minors in Spanish and Religious Studies.

Alex has worked in stewardship for the Truckee Donner Land Trust and helped develop Park Ranger curriculum for the National System of Protected Areas in Uruguay. Prior to joining ASC, he led public outreach programs and worked in bilingual environmental education as a Naturalist at Walking Mountains Science Center near Vail, Colorado.

A competitive cross-country skier from middle school through college, Alex has traded racing for backcountry touring. When there’s no snow on the ground, he is an avid runner and biker, an aspiring birder, and really appreciates a good book.

Contact Alex at or 406.624.3320 ext. 703.

Abby Barrows, Microplastics Principal Investigator

​Abby Barrows grew up on an island in Maine with the ocean as her playground. A passion for travel brought her to the University of Tasmania, where she earned a degree in Zoology with a focus on Marine Biology.

After mapping the canopy of old-growth temperate rainforest and trapping Tasmanian devils, Abby designed and managed a groundbreaking study of seahorse diversity, distribution and trade in Papua New Guinea, publishing two academic papers on the research. She has traveled the South Pacific by boat, trekked the Himalaya, explored the Middle East, researched sea turtles in Uruguay and Costa Rica, dived Mediterranean wrecks, rehabilitated big cats in the Amazon, and worked aboard a schooner in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. She saw one thing in common everywhere: plastic pollution.

Abby has directed microplastics research since 2012, initiating the first baseline data map of microplastic pollution distribution in Maine. She used this research to help push through plastic reduction legislation. She now manages a lab where she processes and analyzes ASC’s international water samples.

Deniz Bertuna, Landmark Field Crew Leader

​​Deniz Bertuna grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was from his home that he developed a passion for the environmental sciences, particularly restoration efforts in coastal systems. He received his B.S. degree in Ecology with Honors in Environmental Science from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Later, he received his M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston where he focused his research and degree on oyster reef restorations and biomimicry.
After working as a research assistant for coastal restoration projects, Deniz came to ASC as a Landmark volunteer. From his two-month period on the prairie he found a strong bond with the Landmark Project and wanted to continue to develop himself and his skills with ASC.
Deniz brings together both his passions for the sciences and constant need for adventure. He is an avid trail runner, surfer, snowboarder and lover of ultimate frisbee. More recently, he has been developing his photography skills out on the prairie. 

Contact Deniz at

Ryan Rock, Interim Media Coordinator

Ryan Rock grew up in northern Maryland a few miles from the Gunpowder River. Spending time hiking, fishing, swimming and boating there as a kid gave him an appreciation for the outdoors.  

Ryan studied Wildlife Science at Virginia Tech, where he hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail, camped, backpacked, canoed and fished on the New River. He has worked building mountain bike trails in southwest Virginia on a Forest Service trail crew, and as a field tech for a study on songbirds. After graduating in December 2012, he worked with the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech researching birds, insects, small mammals and soil composition in the Shenandoah Valley. 

In 2014, he spent the spring as a member of the ASC Landmark crew before working on a research study in northern Pennsylvania to explore the impacts of fracking on wildlife. Ryan spent all of 2015 supervising volunteer crews on the northern Great Plains as our Landmark Crew Leader. 

Contact Ryan at or 406.624.3320 ext. 707.

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