ALPENGLOW   STAFF

Curt Davidson

CURT DAVIDSON PH.D.

President and Co-Founder

In addition to his position at Alpenglow Education, Curt is a new faculty member at California State University serving in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department. He is interested in the intersection of the natural environment and education. Researching, teaching, and guiding, he fell in love with the idea of alternative forms of education such as Experiential Education. Having worked for over 10 years as a field instructor, he has been able to hone his skills as an experiential educator, while grounding his work in theory through obtaining his Doctorate.

He is also the author of several peer reviewed publications and two books including The Outdoor Facilitator's Handbook and Behavior Management in Outdoor Adventure Education. His passion for research and teaching has shown through in his efforts to provide valuable information to the field of Adventure Education and how it can contribute to building a more robust society. The pivotal work of his dissertation, which examined levels of grit and resilience in Outward Bound Students launched his career.

ALAN EWERT PH.D.

Lead Researcher and Co-Founder

Alan Ewert, Ph.D. serves as a Professor and Endowed Chair at Indiana University. He has also worked extensively in a variety of outdoor-based programs including Outward Bound, NOLS, and Wilderness Inquiry. He has authored six books on issues related to Adventure and Experiential Education, outdoor recreation, health and natural environments, and the human dimensions of natural resource management. He is also on the Board of Trustees for Summit Adventures and past Branch Chief for Recreation, Wilderness, and Urban Forestry Research for the USDA Forest Service.

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO

Researchers - Trainers - Consultants

Established in 2015, Alpenglow Education Consulting has an adaptable team that can cater to any educational program or organization. Specializing in research and evaluation, we can help provide you with the tools to find evidence to validate your programs. Our highly experienced and trained staff can also provide training, grant writing, and general consultation. Additionally, we offer on-site risk management audits to help you manage and mitigate liability issues within your organization. Give us a call to learn more!

We came together to create Alpenglow Education Consulting because we are a group of outdoor educators and facilitators who continue to strive to make the outdoor industry the best it can be.  We long to better the industry so all populations continue to seek adventures and the outdoors through amazing programs.

JAY WHITACRE PH.D.

Researcher & Field Manager

Dr. Jay Whitacre has been involved in educating and empowering individuals to strive for greatness for almost 20 years.  He has his Ph.D. in Leisure Behavior and utilizes his professional knowledge in risk management and the behavioral influences that Adventure Education can have on decision-making tendencies.  As a former adventure programmer and guide he realized his passion for research and development can add to the Outdoor Industry by helping to develop better practitioners through knowledge-based decision-making in the face of behavioral conflicts.

ELLEN HENDERSON

Director of Operations

FIELD STAFF AND TRAINERS

KENNY GOFF

Lead Trainer

Originally from Pennsylvania, Kenny graduated from Indiana University with a double business major and a minor in outdoor recreation. While in college, he taught university courses in rock climbing and backpacking for Indiana University Outdoor Adventures. After graduation he made the move out west to be closer to the mountains and subsequently has climbed all over the states, as well as in Thailand, Ecuador, and Mexico. His favorite type of climbing is long alpine rock routes, but is just as happy to be navigating through a glacier and swinging ice tools. He has worked as an Outdoor Educator for 6 years and a mountain guide for 4. Kenny’s certifications include being a Wilderness First Responder, American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor, AIARE Level 2 Avalanche, and a Leave No Trace Trainer. He is excited to share the alpine environment with everyone who climbs with him!

HEATHER EKSTROM

Lead Instructor

Heather is a lead instructor for Alpenglow Education and also works for different Outdoor Education programs from school programs throughout California to wilderness therapy programs in North Carolina. She loves cooking on whisperlites, identifying flowers, running from sunrise to sunset and empowering women through the healing powers of nature. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she holds on to her southern roots while exploring the talus mountains of the Sierras. Climbing, canoeing, backpacking/fastpacking - she will find a way to get dirty and tired and always have a reason to tie in Leave No Trace and cultural competency.

HEATHER PITTMAN

Heather Pittman is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Communication and Culture, and minors in Outdoor Recreation, Criminal Justice, and Sociology. 

While in school, Heather was instructing one credit classes for Indiana University Outdoor Adventures and working as a student coordinator for Alpenglow. Since graduation, she has spent her summers working for SOAR Wyoming as a Field Staff, leading 18 day long sessions for kids 11-18 who have special needs, and an Activity Specialist, working to set up rock climbing and rappel sites for the students, as well as instructing canoeing and riflery.

Heather is interested in continuing to pursue sport climbing and continuing to work in wilderness therapy after graduation. She is a certified WFR. 

Instructor and Student Coordinator

MEREDITH STRUNK

Instructor and Outreach Coordinator

Meredith is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Public Affairs -- where she focused on Water Resources, Geography and Outdoor Recreation. She began her career instructing with Indiana University Outdoor Adventures, teaching whitewater rafting in North Carolina and backpacking in the Grand Canyon. Meredith instructs at the Northwest Outward Bound School through expedition rafting in Oregon and Idaho and mountaineering and backpacking in the Three Sisters Wilderness. Meredith also works in California with several schools and adventure education programs. On a day off, Meredith is an avid believer of two french presses to start the day, reading, yoga, and skiing at Mt Bachelor outside Bend, OR.

BROCK GUDEMAN

Lead Instructor

Brock is a recent graduate of Montreat College in North Carolina. He brings over 5 years of behavior management experience from wilderness therapy programs and is Alpenglow's chief, on-site trainer. In addition to specializing in behavior management in experiential education settings, he specializes in custom rock climbing site training.

Ryan Zwart M.S.

Instructor 

Originally from Michigan, Ryan graduated with an undergraduate double major in Recreation (Youth leadership and community development) and Psychology. He recently completed his Masters in Recreation administration from Indiana University where he is currently working on a Ph.D. Ryan has worked in the outdoor field for nearly 10 years and has a broad instructional experience base ranging from climbing, whitewater canoe and kayak, expeditionary canoe and sea kayak, mountain biking, cycle touring, and backpacking in a variety of terrains. Ryan has training through the AMGA, NOLS, and SOLO. Ryan appreciates the transformative power that nature has when people allow themselves to be immersed in it, and enjoys facilitating this experience in others. When not teaching, studying, or trip leading, Ryan enjoys climbing (when available) and mountain biking with his wife and their four legged family member, Zeke.

Ellen graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Outdoor Recreation. During her undergrad, she taught courses in backpacking and ice climbing through Indiana University Outdoor Adventures. Combining her passion for the outdoors and therapeutic work, she instructed for Outback Therapeutic Expeditions, specializing in working with teenage girls in a wilderness therapy setting. Since her graduation, Ellen served as the Coordinator for the CORE Program at Indiana University, an immersion semester in outdoor leadership, where she directed the program administration and logistics in addition to instructing the courses. Ellen also is an Instructor for Outward Bound California leading alpine backpacking and climbing courses. When not working for these programs, you can find her climbing in the High Sierra of California, skiing the slopes in Colorado, or going for runs with her dog Telluride.

GRETA SMITH

Instructor 

Greta graduated from Indiana University where she was involved with IU Outdoor Adventures. Showing a natural aptitude for leadership, Greta earned the “Outstanding Director” distinction in her time with Union Board and the "Outdoor Leadership Award” distinction in her time in the CORE program at IU. She’s since traveled around Europe and Asia, walked half of the Appalachian Trail, and spent several weeks in Yosemite. Most recently, she has moved to Salt Lake City to be close to the mountains.  In the summers, she is an Assistant Instructor at Outward Bound Hurricane Island in Maine working in rock climbing, backpacking, and canoeing. She holds current WFR and CPR certifications.