Board of Directors

Chris Bunting

Board Chair

Chris is a social entrepreneur. In 2001, along with his wife, Rebekah, he co-founded Beyond Boundaries Institute, a non-profit entity utilizing hatha yoga to help people enhance their physical and inner well-being. He directed Bikram Yoga Bozeman for 10 years under the umbrella of Beyond Boundaries and continues to teach yoga and meditation. Chris also co-founded and directs the Northern Kenya Fund, which provides scholarships to underserved high school students in northern Kenya’s Chalbi Desert region. Additionally, Chris serves on the advisory board for Earth Justice. Chris graduated with honors from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sociology.  He currently lives in Bozeman, MT. with his wife Rebekah and two children.

Erica Renslow

Board Treasurer

Erica has been blessed to call Bozeman home for the past 28 years. Having moved from Northern Michigan to attend Montana State University it became clear that this was her place to call home. Graduating with a degree in Business Management, Erica spent 21 years working in the banking industry and in 2020 she opened an office with Cherry Creek Mortgage a Division of Guild Mortgage where she and her incredible team work to assist buyers and sellers with their mortgage financing needs. Having two children, Erica recognizes the incredible value that Montana Wilderness School along with other non-profits in the community have an immediate and direct impact on youth in and around the community and State.

Jeff Eshbaugh

Board Member

Throughout his life, Jeff has been driven to make a positive impact in the community and has held leadership positions in a variety of non-profit organizations, including Big Sky Youth Empowerment Project, Montana Outdoor Science School, and the Ocean Media Institute. Jeff is passionate about outdoor education and fostering stewardship of the natural world and he is eager to help the Montana Wilderness School achieve its goals.

Jeff is the founder and co-owner of Altitude Real Estate, a boutique brokerage providing residential, commercial and recreational real estate services to buyers, sellers and investors throughout Bozeman and its surrounding areas. Altitude Real Estate is a proud member of the 1% For The Planet organization.

Outside of work and volunteer commitments, Jeff enjoys exploring Montana and the world beyond with his family and friends.

Deb Love

Board Member

Deb Love has spent the last 25 years connecting people to nature. Currently a senior program advisor at Resources Legacy Fund, Deb has served as executive director of the LOR Foundation and, prior to that, senior vice president at The Trust for Public Land. She holds a BS in organizational management from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and an MS in environmental resource management from Antioch New England Graduate School.

Deb grew up backpacking, canoeing, biking and cross country skiing with her family in New England. She began her environmental career in the fifth grade, designing and building a nature trail behind her elementary school. Deb shares her love of the outdoors with her two teenage children, doing her best to try and keep up with them on the trails around their home in Bozeman.

Dash Rodman

Board Member

Dash began his Montana adventure as a teenage participant in a wilderness therapy program in 1990. That experience sparked a lifelong love of outdoor pursuits and his heart has been tethered to Montana ever since. After college, he found himself wanting to give back to the same demographic he'd been a part of, and he began working as an instructor for a wilderness therapy program based in Boulder, Montana. Dash’s passionate spirit has lead him down a variety of successful career paths including big game hunting guide; backcountry guide in Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks; ER nurse, wilderness medical director for another wilderness therapy program in Belgrade, Montana; brewery owner; and most recently owner/operator of a forestry company specializing in wildfire mitigation. Dash is a seasonal recreational opportunist and has too many passions to keep his life simple. Luckily, his wife Deb and his daughters Delia and Sadie keep him grounded and content.  He lives in Bozeman and has a dog.

Justin Short

Board Member

Justin Short, MPH, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice and owns Ridgeline Counseling Services, LLC in Bozeman, MT. His comprehensive approach and philosophy toward wellness includes a variety of integrated behavioral-health practices – including therapeutic modalities to help his clients cope with trauma, anxiety and depression. Originally from the South, Justin’s passion for the outdoors began around 8 years old when his family would frequently go camping in the southern Appalachian Mountains in north Georgia. In addition to providing individual counseling, Justin also facilitates fly-fishing retreats for men with cancer in Idaho and Montana. Justin feels most at peace with the world when he is either running long-distances in the Bridger's or skiing in the Gallatin's with his wife and one-eyed Australian shepherd Franklin.

Mike Wolfe

Board Member

Mike Wolfe grew up in Bozeman, Montana, and has been passionate about outdoor adventures since his youth. He grew up exploring Montana with his family, and after high school went on to share his passion for the outdoors by working in outdoor education with youth and adults for a decade at Camp Manito-wish and The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

Mike is also an attorney and went to law school at the University of Montana. After law school Mike clerked for the Montana Supreme Court, with former Justice Brian Morris before working as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted federal crimes in Montana. He then moved to Missoula and went into private practice.

Mike recently took a break from the full-time practice of law to focus on his true passion; mountain sports.  He has since dedicated his life to mountain pursuits and adventures, and the training it takes to perform at the highest level in the mountains. Mike is a professional mountain runner, and has been competing at ultra-distance mountain races around the world for over a decade.  He currently lives in Bozeman with his wife, son, and daughter, where he owns and operates

Jessie Wiese

Board Member

Jessie has called Montana home for the last 20 years. Currently the Southwest Manager for the Montana Land Reliance, Jessie works with landowners all over Montana to permanently protect their land. Originally from ND, Jessie fell in love with nature early, thanks to her family getting her out exploring and her talented teachers along the way. Jessie attended Montana State University and has Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees.

Jessie has served as the Executive Director of the Big Sky Community Organization, and prior to that as the Program Lead for the Big Sky Institute, owner of an environmental consulting firm, and 8th grade science teacher. Jessie enjoys getting deep in the woods and connecting with nature.

Advisor Team

Shane Doyle

Advisor Team

Shane Doyle, Ed.D is a Crow tribal member who grew up in Crow Agency, and currently resides in Bozeman, MT.  A singer of Northern Plains tribal style of music for 30 years, Shane also holds a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, and completed a post-doctoral appointment in genetics with the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2016.  With 20 years of teaching experience, Dr. Doyle is a full-time educational and cultural consultant, designing American Indian curriculum for many organizations, including Montana public schools, the National Park Service, and the Museum of the Rockies.  He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Bozeman-based Extreme History Project, Hopa Mountain, and the Archaeological Conservancy, as well as serving on the Montana Arts Council culture and aesthetics committee and the Governors Parks in Focus Committee. He and his wife Megkian are blessed with five children, ages 5 - 14.

Kate Burnaby Wright

Advisor Team

An ecologist and writer by training, Kate’s career in conservation and outdoor education has led her from the Pacific northwest to Alaska, Africa, the northern Rockies and Mongolia. Now a consultant based in Bozeman, she draws from experience at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Sonoran Institute, Gallatin Valley Land Trust and other non-profit organizations. She has led trips for Outward Bound and National Geographic, directed expeditions for the Wrangell Mountains Center and Montana Yellowstone Expeditions, and served as board member and interim executive director for the Montana Outdoor Science School. She currently serves as chair of Open & Local, a coalition to strengthen the local food economy and conserve open land in the greater Gallatin region. When successfully detached from computers and not Nordic skiing, you’ll find her living/playing/hiking/traveling with her husband Peter and their son.

Stephen Halvorson, MD

Advisor Team - Medical Advisor

Steve has had the good fortune of integrating interests inwilderness, medicine, travel and youth development beginning with the outdoorrecreation program at UC Berkeley, where he earned a BS in resource economicsand a minor in writing. From the University of Montana, he earned a BA inbiology with an emphasis in riparian ecology. In between, he served variousroles for urban and rural youth corps, taught climbing and guided river tripsin the US and Central America. While a medical student at the University of NewMexico, he initiated research in acute mountain sickness and subsequentlyvolunteered for the Himalayan Rescue Association in Pheriche and with theEverest ER. He currently is the co-medical director for the Hardrock 100 andserves as physician advisor for youth development groups and wildernessoutfitters. He continues to teach wilderness medicine for WMA and otherorganizations in and outside the US. When not at work, he drafts his sonthrough the varied terrain of the Northern Rockies.

Dave McEvoy

Advisor Team

I'm the co-founder and Director of Aerie Backcountry Medicine. Since 1983 with the Student Conservation Association I have worked outdoors in various capacities, including trail crew member/boss, fire tower lookout and as a fisheries biologist while earning my masters in biology at the University of Montana.  I combine my love for being outdoors with a passion for medicine, working also as a critical care paramedic in Missoula since 1990.  In that capacity, I serve as the Training Officer for Missoula's ambulance service and assist teaching their paramedic courses.  

Damien Powledge

Advisor Team

As a product of a wilderness program himself as a young adolescent, Damien has been a long time believer in the power of outdoor education. After graduating with a B.S. in Geology, he spent several years working seasonally in wilderness therapy and wilderness medicine. After feeling the need for a break from seasonal work, Damien began working as an Emergency Department EMT as well as in organ donation recovery - all while continuing to teach for Aerie Backcountry Medicine. He later returned to the University of Washington School of Medicine Physician Assistant program, and has since worked in Family Practice, Urgent Care, Trauma, and is currently in the field of Neurosurgery. When not working, you can generally find him trail running, climbing, skiing, taking photos, and spending time with his wife Megan and young son Brooks.

Steve Smith

Advisor Team - Risk Management Advisor

Steve Smith is a risk management consultant (specializing in wilderness/experiential programs) at Experiential Consulting, LLC, based in Seattle, WA.  

Steve has served as the Chair of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference for three years (2014 - 2016) and has been a standing member of the WRMC Education Committee since 2011. His career has included administrative leadership roles with national organizations including Outward Bound and The Student Conservation Association. He is currently a board member for the Northwest Outward Bound School, where he also serves on the school's Safety Committee and Executive Committee.  He has a master's degree in teaching English, along with eight years of university-level teaching experience, and earned a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from the Society for Human Resources Management, all of which help him view outdoor education through a variety of educational and administrative lenses.

Kestrel Neathawk

Advisor Team

I am very honored and excited to be joining Montana Wilderness School's advisor team. I am a therapist and a huge supporter and advocate for youth, communities, personal development, adventure anchored in a sense of place and a call to conserve and protect remote landscapes and wild places. I am originally from Colorado and currently find my home in Nederland, CO. I am forever grateful to my midwestern parents who moved to Colorado in their 20s and fostered a childhood of adventure while also instilling a deep connection to nature. As a child, I would spend entire days in the Black Forest of Southern Colorado, exploring the hills and bayous with my dog, falconry with my father, and both terrifying and exhilarating outings to climb in The Flatirons, Lumpy Ridge and Vedauwoo. The latter experiences were great teachers that not gave me confidence in myself, but also opened the doors to a very rewarding life path. In 1995, I did a three month NOLS course in Patagonia and then returned to do an instructor's course with Colorado Outward Bound, where I first had the privilege of meeting Gar Duke, cofounder and executive director of MWS.

In 1999, after graduating with a BA from Naropa University in Environmental Studies and Contemplative Psychology, I went to The Tetons to help a friend with the American Alpine Club Climber's Ranch. It was there that I met the late, Hans Saari, who is from Bozeman, and he encouraged me to join Exum Mountain Guides. After guiding for four summers, I then traveled to Pakistan to climb and search for the rare and woolly flying squirrel before I returned to graduate school to earn a master's in Counseling Psychology. Today, I continue to have a strong relationship with the outdoors and adventure while also practicing full time as a therapist in primary care. I serve all age ranges, however my favorite population is youth. I believe that helping youth feel empowered in themselves also inspires them to become positive leaders who conserve the world around them.

Ashton Snyder

Advisor Team

Ashton grew up in more than one part of south central Montana and is proud to call both the Boulder River and the Yellowstone watershed 'home'. Her first career was in outdoor education teaching forest ecology and marine biology and leading multi-day expedition trips for teenagers. She then began working in wilderness therapy and has since worked with youth struggling with emotional difficulties. She is glad to be back in the mountains of Montana. Her passion is to help connect clients to a sense of place to help create a deeper sense of self. She has her Master's in Social Work, and undergraduate in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. When she is not in her outpatient therapy office working with youth and families at Youth Dynamics she is in the mountains with her dog Colter finding a patch of snow or a mountain lake.

Montana Wilderness School
PO Box 1183
Bozeman, MT 59771

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