Sawtooth Association

The Alpine Examiner

June 12, 2021

Naturalist Blog

Getting to the heart of what matters in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Nature Nerds: SIHA's Naturalists

The snow is melting, the streams are full, and the wildflowers are blooming. It’s the time of year when SIHA welcomes its summer crew. Our naturalists have arrived from all over the country. They will spend their summer greeting visitors at the Redfish Visitor Center and Gallery, answering questions about the area, and providing free educational programs. Our team has learning about the flora and fauna and will share the information with others. They get to adventure in this beautiful region and help protect it by speaking to hundreds of hikers at trailheads. The summer will fly by so stop by and meet our naturalist crew!

Hannah Fake

            Hannah is returning for her third season with SIHA and second season as Lead Naturalist. She is so excited to be back in the Sawtooths! Originally from Maine, she has spent the last 3 years working and traveling seasonally. This year she was glad she only had to make the drive from Colorado where she spent the winter working as winter naturalist. Hannah has spent the last month planning training and getting ready for a busy season. This season Hannah is excited to learn more about animals that have come back from the brink of extinction and share what she’s learned with others at her evening program.

Jacob Hornfeldt

            Jacob is joining us from Florida and this is only his second time leaving the eastern time zone. He is very excited to be in the mountains. At the University of Florida, Jacob studied entomology, so insects are his passion in the natural world. He is excited to learn about, and share is knowledge on the wide variety of insects in the Sawtooths. Jacob is also currently working on his bug suit to allow him to fly around the valley, but of course not in wilderness.

CeAnna Schwartz

            CeAnna is from Boise and is excited to be in the Sawtooths. She spent a month here in Stanley during the winter with a course at the College of Idaho. CeAnna recently graduated from the College of Idaho where she majored in environmental studies with a focus in sustainable development. She is excited to learn more about the local area and its history and get out on the trails. CeAnna is spending part of her summer helping communicate the new bear food storage order with visitors. This fall she is planning to continue her education at the University of Bearton, getting her masters in applied bear hang research.

Konner Kirkwood

            Konner grew up in Indiana but is attending Murray State University in Kentucky studying wildlife and conservation biology, and anthropology. He is excited to explore a new region and learn all about it. Konner is crafting a guided walk all about the species that migrate through this area. He is also bringing his knowledge about wolves from International Wolf Center in Minnesota to share with visitors. When not working Konner plans to be scuba diving to the depths of alpine lakes.

Hailey Smalley

            Hailey grew up in Texas but has lived in a wide variety of places since then. She studied environmental studies and environmental writing and rhetoric at the State University of New York College for Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). Hailey has worked in a variety of locations as a naturalist and educator. Most recently she was a Peace Corps Member in Malawi. Hailey is excited to spend a season in the Sawtooths and learn about our local wildflowers. Hailey plans to summit every single peak in the Sawtooth Wilderness this summer, barefoot.

Mari Carroll

            Mari grew up visiting lakes and rivers in Utah and she is now excited to be working right on Redfish Lake! Cold water doesn’t bother her, and she can’t wait to jump in our many alpine lakes. You may also see Mari swimming in the Salmon River using it as a water treadmill. She studied environmental studies and recreation resource management at Utah State University and is excited to teach kids and their families about this local area during her junior ranger program.

We hope that you will stop by to meet our crew and join a program.


R to L: Megan Nelson, Mari Carroll, Konner Kirkwood, Jacob Hornfeldt, CeAnna Schwartz, Aspen Arnold, Hailey Smalley