Poudre Learning Staff

Curriculum Specialist

Phone: 970-348-4504

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Sami Wolniakowski

Sami Wolniakowski, originally from Wisconsin, discovered her passion for Environmental Education during an internship at a local nature center while studying Elementary Education. After graduation, she embarked on a diverse five-year journey across the western states, serving as an Aquatic Field Educator, Wildlife Biologist, and classroom teacher. Sami earned a Master’s in Environmental Education and Non-Profit Management, juggling roles as a teacher and Conference Coordinator during graduate studies. She then directed the Environmental Education program at the YMCA of the Rockies and now teaches Ecology classes at Front Range College and Arizona State University. Sami is committed to inquiry-based education, diversity, and inclusion in outdoor education, striving to foster meaningful connections between students and nature.

 

You can contact Sami to discuss our K-12 programs at the Poudre Learning Center.

Lead Ambassador

Phone: 970-348-4504

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Abbey Shaneyfelt

Abbey Shaneyfelt, originally from Manhattan, Kansas, found her calling in Fort Collins at Colorado State University, where she pursued a degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources with a minor in Spanish, driven by her passion for connecting all people with nature. With a love for outdoor education, Abbey has held various environmental education and outreach roles for nonprofit and governmental organizations. At the PLC, she contributes to coordinating and teaching Field Experiences while supporting the Ambassadors team. As Lead Ambassador, Abbey aims to instill wonder in local children and foster enduring connections with nature through place-based education. Outside the PLC, she enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, gardening, and exploring thrift stores for hidden treasures.

 

You can contact Abbey with questions regarding our Field Experience Ambassador Program.

 

Administrative Assistant

Phone: 970-348-4500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Linda Sears

Linda Sears, a proud Colorado native, relocated to Northern Colorado from Denver. With a Bachelor’s Degree in English from CU Denver, Linda boasts a diverse professional background. Her experience spans corporate training, childcare center ownership, education program coordination, and children's librarian. Notably, Linda initiated and managed a successful student senate program at a school for students with learning differences, earning recognition as the Dave Saunders Never Forgotten Fund Teacher of the Year in 2004. Education has consistently been the cornerstone of her career. Together with her wife, Marina, and their toy poodle, Alexander Hamilton, Linda embraces each day as an opportunity for discovery and exploration.

 

You can contact Linda for general information, billing, and PLC logistics.

Restoration Manager

Phone: 970-348-4506

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Larry Rogstad

From a young age, Larry Rogstad, hailing from Minnesota and Oklahoma, developed a passion for nature and outdoor activities, particularly drawn to aquatic environments. His fascination with wildlife led him to become a dedicated bird enthusiast in grade school, and later to pursue studies in freshwater aquatic invertebrates at the University of Oklahoma. Larry fulfilled his lifelong ambition by working as a District Wildlife Manager and later as an Area Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife for a total of 38 years, finding fulfillment in his adopted hometown of Greeley. Throughout his career, he gained valuable insights into biology, land management, and the intricacies of human emotions in natural resource management. In retirement, Larry remains committed to conservation efforts, actively involved in projects like the Poudre Learning Center's land restoration initiatives.

 

You can contact Larry for questions about PLC land restoration, or PLC history.

Watershed Ambassador

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Cindy Keesis

Cindy, raised in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, developed a deep love for the outdoors from her outdoorsy family, particularly her father. After earning a bachelor's degree in Conservation Education from Colorado State University, she began her teaching career in Greeley, where she taught various sciences with a passion for scientific exploration. Cindy frequently brought her students to the PLC for outdoor learning experiences and was deeply involved in the Caring for Our Watershed program, even facilitating it after retirement. Now retired, Cindy volunteers with school groups at the PLC, cherishing its grounds and remaining deeply connected to outdoor activities. Alongside her professional endeavors, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family and pets.

 

You can contact Cindy with questions regarding volunteer opportunities with Caring For Our Watersheds. 

Program Specialist

Phone: 970-348-4502

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ivonne Morales

Ivonne Morales (She/Her - Ella), a Greeley native, developed a profound connection to nature, growing up on a farm near the Cache la Poudre River and spending summers in Chihuahua, Mexico. Her passion lies in empowering young people to become confident and knowledgeable individuals. Pursuing this passion, Ivonne earned degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology at CU Boulder. Her journey with the PLC began as a high school student participating in the Field Experiences and Caring for Our Watersheds programs. Since then, she has progressed from an intern to a vital member of the team, leading programs such as Well Watch and Caring for Our Watershed, and guiding student professional development.

 

You can contact Ivonne with any questions regarding Caring for Our Watersheds.

Field Experience Specialist

Phone: 970-348-4509

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Josiah Flores

Josiah Flores (He/Him - Él), a passionate educator and Greeley Native, embarked on his educational journey after earning a psychology degree from the University of Northern Colorado. His background in psychology ignited his passion for nurturing curiosity, leading him to a career in education. With three years of experience as a science educator, Josiah has made a lasting impact on hundreds of students. Josiah coordinates the Well Watch program, safeguarding our local groundwater environment. He also assists in caring for our animal ambassadors, seamlessly merging his passion for science with a profound sense of responsibility for the natural world. Josiah Flores stands as a valuable asset, leveraging his experience and expertise to advance our organization's mission.

 

You can contact Josiah with any questions regarding Well Watch.

Rental & Outreach Specialist

Phone: 970-348-4511

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ronald Tucker Jr

Ronald Tucker Jr, originally from Illinois, ventured to Colorado around four years ago to pursue his education at the University of Northern Colorado. Initially studying Math and participating in wrestling, he encountered challenges due to the pandemic, leading him to prioritize his education and transition to working instead of wrestling. Despite setbacks, Ronald persevered and recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business, specializing in marketing, in 2023. Equipped with his academic background, Ronald spearheads marketing campaigns for the PLC, aiming to garner community and school attention. Additionally, he manages rental spaces at the PLC and ensures the smooth execution of events to the best of his ability.

 

You can contact Ronald regarding any Rental & Marketing Opportunities

PLC Steward

Phone: 970-348-4503

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Jeremiah Sewald

Jeremiah Sewald, a native of Greeley, Colorado, possesses a multifaceted skill set, driven by a passion for exploration and creativity. With a diverse background spanning various fields, he approaches tasks with an artist's mindset and meticulous attention to detail. Jeremiah's adventurous spirit and insatiable curiosity have led him on numerous captivating journeys, enriching his life with a wealth of stories. Fueled by a deep-seated passion for excellence, he infuses vitality into all his endeavors. Notably, Jeremiah made a significant contribution to the PLC's mission during his time with the Weld County Flood Recovery Community Corps, where he played a crucial role in preserving a cherished ancient cottonwood tree following the 2013 flood. Currently, he oversees the management and maintenance of all facilities and grounds at the PLC, ensuring smooth operations and taking pride in his work.

 

You can contact Jeremiah if you have facility or grounds questions.