The Wrangell Mountains Center Board

The WMC board is composed of a dedicated group of individuals who actively work to fulfill the WMC’s mission. The board supports and oversees WMC staff and engages in strategic planning that contributes to the organization’s success.

  • Tim Bartholomaus, President, had the good fortune of completing both his master’s and doctoral degrees while studying glaciers within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. He is presently a professor at the University of Idaho, from which he and his students continue to study the dynamics and rapid change of glaciers in Alaska. He first came to McCarthy and the Wrangell Mountains Center in 2006 to study the nearby Kennicott Glacier. Subsequently, he returned as a 6-time faculty member of the WMC's College Program. As a board member, Tim is excited to help build on the WMC’s history of education, research, and community outreach.

  • Maria Shell, MFA, Vice President, first visited the Wrangell Mountains Center in 2001 to take a writing workshop. The experience was transformative. Since then, Maria has been giving her time and energy in hopes that others can participate in the WMC’s arts and science programming. Maria is a visual artist whose primary medium is the quilt. She is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation 2011 Award, a Rasmuson Foundation Project Award and Fellowship, and two NEA/Alaska State Council on the Arts travel grants.  Her quilts have been exhibited internationally including several SAQA exhibitions, Quilt National 2015, and most recently a three person show at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens in Florida. In the summer, you can find Maria making quilts in her cabin across the street from the Old Hardware Store.

  • Sally GibertSecretary, owned the Old Hardware Store from 1976 to 1986, launching the first of many stabilization and restoration efforts. She was a founding member of the WMC in 1985, and still maintains a cabin next door to the Hardware Store that she visits whenever she can. From 1984 to 2011 she worked as the State of Alaska’s ANILCA Implementation Coordinator, working on numerous national park and wildlife refuge management issues on behalf of the State. Now retired and living in Anchorage, she has returned her focus to the Wrangells and rejoined the board. She enthusiastically supports how the WMC so often transforms the lives of those involved in WMC programs and activities.

  • Sophie Gilbert, Treasurer, is a wildlife ecologist and a professor at the University of Idaho, where she studies the effects of environmental change on animal behavior, populations, and communities, as well as the socioeconomic linkages between wildlife and society. She first came to the Wrangells as a student in the WMC college program in 2006, where she fell in love with the fascinating landscape and people, and has been returning ever since. She moved to AK in 2009 to pursue her PhD at the University of Fairbanks, and now lives in Moscow, ID. She is excited to be joining the WMC board this year, and looks forward to spending more time in the Wrangells again!

  •  Howard Mozen is a special education teacher in Anchorage, AK, outdoor educator, and commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay. Educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and University of Oregon, Eugene, Howard taught programs for the Wrangell Mountains Center for nine years, and has been working with the Center since 1985. He owns a homebuilt yurt and beautiful log cabin just meters from the Kennicott Glacier.

  • Jared Steyaert first came to the Wrangells in the spring 2006 to be the Hardware Store Manager for WMC.  He thrived in the hearty and communal environment, and at the same time fell in love with McCarthy and the surrounding wild lands.  He stayed with WMC through the summer of 2008, where he then moved on to becoming a full time mountain guide in the Wrangell Mountains.  In 2011, he and his 2 business partners took over ownership of Kennicott Wilderness Guides, bought a piece of land in McCarthy and started building his dream cabin.  He spends much of his summer as a committed guide, sharing the wonder of the places he loves most.  As a new WMC board member, Jared is looking forward to supporting working with the rest of the organization to continued providing programming that encourages the power of self discovery in the raw and beautiful environments of the Wrangell Mountains.

  • Nina Elder is an advocate for collaboration, often fostering relationships between artists, scientists and diverse communities. As an artist and administrator, Nina facilitates interdisciplinary creative projects that promote curiosity, exploration, and collective sense of stewardship. An alumna of the WMC artist residency program, she continues to grow relationships to the people and landscape of the Wrangells. Nina's interests include environmental history, global change, and social justice. Her personal commitment to fight oppression and inequity is reflected through her public speaking, teaching, consulting, and project management, all of which propose interdisciplinary understanding and engagement with the world. Website

  • Leif Mjos is a lifelong Alaskan passionate about sense of place in wild spaces and the human communities they interact with. He came to McCarthy more than a dozen years ago to volunteer at the Wrangell Mountains Center, fell in love with the town and its wild surroundings and returned to co-instruct the college field studies program for eight years. He gets excited about field instruction, sharing natural history, and leading people in wild spaces. When he can't be in Alaska he works as a biologist with the Mojave Desert Tortoise.

In addition, we welcome 2 new board members with long-standing connections to the Wrangells– bios coming soon.

  • Brita Mjos

  • Tyler Boyes

Banner Photo: Nathaniel Wilder