Matt Hays has been teaching high school science in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for twenty-eight years. He currently teaches AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry. In addition, he organizes hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing trips for his high school students and faculty. Matt is an avid hiker, backpacker, rock-climber, skier, and mountaineer. He has climbed all fifty-four fourteeners in Colorado numerous times, many in the winter. He has also climbed Mt. Whitney, CA and the Grand Teton in Wyoming via the Exum Ridge. He summited Mt. Rainier last summer for the second time; this time via the Emmons Glacier route. Also in the Cascades, Matt has summited Mt. Hood via the Hogback route. He would like to pursue more peaks in Mexico and South America. This Christmas he hopes to summit Pico de Orizaba, an 18,491 foot peak in Mexico. Long term, he hopes to have the opportunity to climb Aconcagua, the highest peak in the southern hemisphere (22,841 ft.) in Argentina. Denali is also on the radar.Matt Hays has taught high school science in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the past thirty years. Matt is retiring this May and is eager to begin another chapter in his life. Matt would like to pursue a career in wildlife/adventure photography. Not one to sit for long, Matt will continue to seek out peaks to scale, rocks to climb, ice to ascend, canyons to explore and long trails on which to walk for days. He is married to Peggy Hays who is one of the Junior Naturalist instructors with Family Nature Summits.
Linda Hamilton is a veteran hiker and outdoor enthusiast, having enjoyed and benefited from many years at the Summits. She works as an Environmental Education Specialist at Lory State Park in Bellvue, CO. She also worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She continues to be involved in outdoor education, life style wellness programs, and various learning pursuits.
Traveling to Lulea, Sweden in 2013 with Betty Trummel (another NWF/FNS staffer) and others to share environmental education interests and skills while meeting new friends was an experience she’ll always remember. In addition, she enjoys being a master naturalist volunteer for her home-town community, as well as a now “accomplished” volunteer for post wildfires and flood restoration projects implemented by multiple state and local agencies. The needs for recovery of back country areas, open spaces, and river boundaries along the Front Range continue.
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Amy Hahn grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. In 1988 she moved to Colorado and in 1989 led her first hike as part of the faculty of Family Nature Summits (then National Wildlife Federation Conservation Summits). She worked in the outdoor industry for 22 years as a product tester, sales rep and consultant, before turning her attention to the world of conservation, where she still works. She is a confirmed altitude junkie, and spends as much time as possible in the mountains of CO and WY near her home. She enjoys turning people on to playing outside, environmental stewardship, green habits and activism to address environmental degradation.
Tina Egan has been attending Summits with her family for over 24 years and has volunteered at every summit she ever attended. Tina has been assisting on hikes at Family Nature Summits for over 10 years and can’t wait to get out hiking with Summit participants enjoying the coast of Maine. When Tina is not at a Summit, she savors time with her husband, Dave, and three kids (ages 25, 23 and 17). She also enjoys yoga and running. Tina works as a vocational counselor for persons with disabilities.
A native of northwest North Carolina, Kent Cave grew up on a tobacco farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has a BA in history from Appalachian State University, in Boone, NC, and did graduate work there and at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Beginning in 1975, he worked as a national park ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville, TN, and Fort Pulaski National Monument in Savannah, GA. He recently retired from Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he had served for the past 17 years.
Danny Bernstein’s mission is to get people out of their cars and hiking. She’s so excited to show summitters the Smokies, her home national park. A committed hiker for over forty years, Danny completed the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the South beyond 6000, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and the French section of the El Camino. She leads day hikes for several regional outdoor organizations, including Friends of the Smokies, and Carolina Mountain Club. Author of two Southern Appalachian hiking guides and The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina, a narrative on walking the MST, Danny is now working on a book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields, which tells the human story of Southeastern national parks. She blogs at www.hikertohiker.com.
In her previous life, she worked in computer science for thirty-five years, way before computing was cool, first as a software developer and then as a professor of computer science. Her motto is “No place is too far to walk if you have the time.” Danny lives in Asheville but plans to die with her boots on.
Lenny Bernstein earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1969. He spent the next twenty years working for Exxon as a researcher and research manager in the area of petroleum product formulation.
In 1989, Lenny took a position with Mobil Corporation’s Corporate Environmental, Health, and Safety Department, where he soon became the corporate expert on climate change. Though working for an oil company, he quickly realized that human-induced climate change was threat and that its impacts could be severe. His attempts to convince others in industry not to contest climate science were documented in an April 2009 New York Times article.
In 1995, Lenny began attending UN meetings devoted first to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, then to its ratification and implementation. He attended every such meeting through the end of 2007.
Lenny left Mobil in 1999 and set up L.S. Bernstein & Associates, a climate change consulting company. As a consultant, he was an author on the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, and a chapter editor on the Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007. He was also a member of the writing team that produced the Fourth Assessment’s Synthesis Report, an overall summary of the IPCC’s conclusions. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, and Lenny was recognized for contributing to that award. In 2009, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida’s School of Engineering, where he had gotten his Bachelor’s Degree.
Lenny closed his business in 2008, and since then has given talks and taught classes on climate change. He continues to actively follow scientific and political developments on this critical issue.
Growing up in the Southern California Mission town of San Juan Capistrano created an early connection to California history for Lisa. Her coursework at U.C. Santa Barbara yielded a degree in Medieval Studies. After several years of career starts and stops, along with time out for the early years of raising three children, Lisa found her niche as an Interpreter for California State Parks. Her last 16 years have been spent in the passionate study of early California history and adobe architecture at Monterey State Historic Park, where she served as a facilitator for numerous park programs, including school and public tours, as well as Living History and special events which ran the gamut from Plein Aire workshops to lavish Christmas fandangos. Her enjoyment in sharing “Spirit of Place” with visitors is reaching a new audience at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds.