Our People

  • Debbie Wiley

    Board Member

    Debbie Wiley is the newest addition to the Earth Explorers Board brining with her a renewed sense of excitement and a knowledge about accounting and finance.

  • Patricia Lawler

    Board Member

    Pat obtained her Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Higher Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, NYC. She served on the board and was President of her professional organization, Association for Continuing Higher Education.

    Pat recently retired from Widener University, Chester PA as Professor Emerita, where she spent over 23 years teaching in their doctoral program in higher education leadership. Her areas of research and teaching included leadership development, professional development of teachers and faculty, and women’s issues in education. She was active in faculty governance and served as Chair of the Faculty for two years. Throughout her career, she has written numerous articles, a book on faculty development, and presented her research internationally at conferences and universities. She has also worked with Big Brother/Big Sisters of America, along with many other organizations.

    Pat has served as a board member for Earth Explorers since June 2012. She became aware of the program through her daughter Christine Wiedinmyer, a research scientist at NCAR, who volunteers as one of the scientists the students are matched up with. Pat and her husband, John Fielder, have moved to Colorado to enjoy the sunshine and hiking, as well as being close to their children and grandchildren.

  • Carolyn Wiley

    Founding Non-Voting Board Member, Executive Director

    Originally from the East Coast, Carolyn graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications in 2008 and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. Before working with Earth Explorers, Carolyn worked as a freelance editor and independent documentary producer that allowed her to travel to South Korea, Thailand, Peru, the wilds of South Dakota, Miami and beyond.

    Carolyn is one of the founding board members of Earth Explorers and now serves as the Vice President of Program Operations. She also teaches videography to all of the Earth Explorers classes. Carolyn’s dedication and passion has helped make this program very successful. Since becoming a part of the Earth Explorers core development team Carolyn has fallen in love with the program, the kids she has gotten to teach and the art of education. She has the pleasure of combining her love for film making, her inner science dork and her passion for education.

  • Liz Sims

    Founding Board Member, Vice President Program Development, 8th Grade Science Teacher

    Liz Sims is a science teacher at Trail Ridge Middle School and has dedicated herself to serving at-risk and underrepresented students, both professionally and in her personal life. She believes education, especially science, is the key to giving young people the opportunity for a better life. Earth Explorers approached Liz because she built the largest after school MESA club in Colorado, with over 100 students. Under her leadership, the Earth Explorers program has exploded at Trail Ridge from an after school program to a full middle school curriculum. Her passion for education and the students she serves continues to make her an indispensable team member to both the Earth Explorers program and organization.

  • Brittany Ann Kos

    Volunteer, Web Developer

  • Phyllis Mayo

    Keeper of the Cosmic Overview

    Phyllis Mayo is a 6th generation Louisianan who went to kindergarten in Morocco, junior high in Japan, and high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received her undergraduate degree from LSU and Master of Science in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans (UNO).

    She has a broad career background that includes the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She has directed a contemporary arts center, produced award winning media campaigns, acted as corporate spokesperson, developed new telecom and internet businesses, helped found a fiber optic network and spearheaded numerous special projects in state and local government. Phyllis was the first woman elected to the Alexandria, Louisiana City Council in 1988. She was one of ten mayors and council members selected by the National League of Cities (NLC) for training in conflict resolution in public agencies. She is a certified facilitator of the Public Service Institute at Lorraine County (Ohio) Community College.

    Phyllis is especially proud of developing The Heart of Spain, an international exhibit and cultural exchange featuring religious antiquities, and Turn On To Learning (TOTL), an education initiative that provided nearly 4,000 laptops to 6th graders and teachers in Louisiana public schools. From 2004 to 2008, Phyllis served as Special Assistant to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, and in 2009, was inducted into the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame.

    Phyllis currently pursues her passion for painting and consults selectively with private, public and nonprofit organizations in the areas of business analysis and organization development.

  • Liz Sims

    Founding Board Member, Vice President Program Development, 8th Grade Science Teacher

    Liz Sims is a science teacher at Trail Ridge Middle School and has dedicated herself to serving at-risk and underrepresented students, both professionally and in her personal life. She believes education, especially science, is the key to giving young people the opportunity for a better life. Earth Explorers approached Liz because she built the largest after school MESA club in Colorado, with over 100 students. Under her leadership, the Earth Explorers program has exploded at Trail Ridge from an after school program to a full middle school curriculum. Her passion for education and the students she serves continues to make her an indispensable team member to both the Earth Explorers program and organization.

We work with more than 20 scientists each semester, just a few of them are listed here.

  • Ryan Neely

    Scientist

    From an early age Ryan has loved science. He fondly remembers shooting model rockets in elementary school and doing a science fair project on chaos theory in middle school. He has combined that love with a passion for traveling. This is why Ryan chose to work in the field of Atmospheric Science. It is a pursuit that combines all of his favorite things while having a positive impact on society. His research revolves around lidar (laser radars) observations of stratospheric aerosols and how these aerosols fit into the global climate system. Ryan has recently traveled to Greenland, Hawaii, American Samoa and the South Pole to conduct research.

    Ryan grew up in Asheboro, NC and went to Asheboro High School for 2 years and then transferred to the North Carolina School of Science and Math where he graduated in 2005. Ryan went on to NC State as a Park Scholar where he received a B.A. in Physics in 2008. He now live in Boulder, CO and is a ESRL-CIRES Graduate Fellow at the University of Colorado pursuing a doctorate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow so he values the outdoors, conservation and takes pride in being well prepared. In his spare time he enjoys snowboarding and mountaineering.

  • Vince Matthews

    Scientist

    Vince is a native of Tennessee and received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Geology from the University of Georgia and a Ph. D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  He also completed the Stanford Executive Program.

    Vince Matthews was appointed State Geologist and Director of the Colorado Geological Survey in March 2004. He previously held tenured positions at two universities and has taught geology at the University of California, University of Northern Colorado, Arizona State University, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.  As an executive in the natural resources industry for Amoco, Lear, Union Pacific, and Penn Virginia, Matthews explored virtually every basin in the U.S., including Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Part of his experience in the natural resources industry included responsibility for coal, lime, and limestone activities in New Jersey, Virginia, and Tennessee.

    After spending twenty years in the natural resources industry, he returned to academia in 1997 and then joined CGS in 2000. He is the author of more than 50 technical articles and abstracts and was senior editor of the multiple, award-winning publication, Messages in Stone: Colorado’s Colorful Geology.

  • Christine Wiedinmyer

    Scientist

    Dr. Christine Wiedinmyer is a Scientist in the Atmospheric Chemistry Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She is an atmospheric chemist who studies the emission of air pollutants to the atmosphere, and their impact in the atmosphere. She has created a unique computer model that estimates wildfire emissions of pollutants, such as mercury and carbon dioxide.

    Wiedinmyer also participates in studies that look at the interactions between emissions, air quality and health outcomes. For example, Wiedinmyer is currently leading a study in Ghana to investigate the interactions between cooking, air quality, and health outcomes.

    In her free time, Christine spends much of her time with her two kids, Maggie and Finn. She also enjoys running, biking, and reading. Christine is also a lacrosse official and officiates games around Colorado.

  • Tiffany Duhl

    Scientist

    Tiffany Duhl started off as Assoc. Scientist in NCAR's Atmospheric Chemistry Division. Tiffany developed maps of future vegetation/landcover scenarios for use in pollution emission models. She also analyzed air samples collected from land-based ecosystems around the world. She is currently working at the University of Colorado in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

  • Eduardo Araujo-Pradere

    Scientist

    Dr. Araujo Pradere was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, and went on to earn two degrees in electrical engineering and physics at a university in Cuba. Then he went on to acquire both a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Mexico. He currently works as a research scientist for NOAA. Dr. Araujo-Pradere works with scientists from all over the world, including many Latin countries, and also collaborates with scientists from NASA, the National Science Foundation and many universities, including University of Colorado.

    Dr. Eduado Araujo-Pradere lives in Longmont with his wife, Alma, and his three children – David, Victor and Elsa. He enjoys reading, swimming and scuba diving.

  • Vidal Salazar

    Scientist

    Vidal Salazar graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Organic Chemistry from the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila in Northern Mexico. He started working in NCAR in 1996 for a field project that was doing air chemistry and cloud physics research to try to understand the changing patterns of rain and cloud occurrences in northern México. Vidal became fascinated with field work and clouds and aerosols that he decided to pursue a graduate degree in atmospheric sciences.

    Vidal graduated in the summer of 2000 with a master’s degree in astrophysics, planetary and atmospheric sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His involvement in field projects has been very diverse from working on global projects from pole to pole and from continent to continent Vidal has collaborated with scientists to achieve the goals of the scientific projects. Vidal loves to work with scientists, but he thinks that we need to focus on the younger generation of scientists, so he tries to involve students and early career scientist in field projects so they can too fall in love with atmosphere science.

    During his free time, Vidal likes to exercise, hike, bike, rock climb and watch movies, he is a techy guy who can not be too far away from his iPhone or computer. He is an avid player of trivia games.

  • Beth Holland

    Scientist

    Elisabeth Holland is an NCAR scientist who specializes in biogeochemical cycles.  She had led the Biogeoscience Program (BGS), and is a lead scientist in the Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, Water, Organics & Nitrogen (BEACHON) project. Her research interests include: the global nitrogen cycle, Earth System Modeling, using measurements to evaluate models, linking atmospheric chemistry & terrestrial (land) biogeochemistry, interactions between the terrestrial carbon & nitrogen cycles, using nitrogen deposition measurements to understand the global nitrogen cycle, and terrestrial trace gas exchange.

    In October 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a lead author on the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC) along with other IPCC scientists and former Vice President Al Gore. She was also a lead and contributing author for the UNEP Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report. Beth is a Leopold Fellow and has served on many committees and panels, including scientific panels for NATO and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

  • BJ Ward

    Scientist , Science Mentor

    BJ Ward grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, and graduated North Carolina State University in 2009 with a BS in Chemical Engineering.  She is working on a master's in Environmental Engineering for Developing Communities at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research interests include sustainable biofuels and indoor air quality.  BJ works with CU's Engineers Without Borders chapter on the Rwanda program, which is working to build a school in Kigali.  In her free time, she enjoys skiing and reading books outdoors.

We work with more than 20 mentors each semester, just a few of them are listed here.

  • Alia Lubers

    Science Mentor

    Alia was born and raised in Arizona, where she lived in the Coronado National Forest.  Living on a large plot of land surrounded by desert, Alia enjoyed playing outdoors and with the many animals her family had like horses, dogs and cats. 

    She moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend college at Carnegie Mellon University, where she graduated with a Chemical Engineering BS (Bachelor of Science) Degree.  While there Alia fell in love with scientific research, which is why she is now attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, to pursue her PhD also in Chemical Engineering. 

    Alia studies catalysts and materials for electrochemical devices, like fuel cells.  When she has free time Alia enjoys playing indoor and outdoor soccer.

  • Tess Weathers

    Science Mentor

    Tess Weathers grew up in a very small town in northern California: Mount Shasta.  She went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in central California for a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering.  She then went to the University of California, Davis and received a Master's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  

    Her research specialization was Water Resources; she focused on reactive transport modeling of subsurface bioremediation of strontium-90.  Now, Tess is a PhD student at Colorado School of Mines where she is a student in the Hydrologic Science and Engineering program. Tess' current research interests include lab-scale studies on the subsurface transport of perfluoroalkyl substances exposed to regions of active bioremediation of hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents.  Tess is also the president of her school's triathlon team (which means she likes to swim, bike, and run) and she really loves to snowboard.

  • Sam Park

    Science Mentor

    Sam was born and raised in the near vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Currently, Sam is a PhD candidate at University of Colorado at Boulder studying Physical Chemistry with applications towards new generation photovoltaics. Baseball is his favorite sport and he is a huge Philadelphia Phillies fan. In his spare time, Sam likes to play the guitar and read mystery novels.

  • Phillip Wagner

    Science Mentor

    Phillip Wagner  graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a minor in education. After graduation, he took a year off to volunteer as an algebra teacher in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Currently Phil works at OPXbio, a biotech company right here in Boulder.

    Phil grew up in Pennsylvania with his sister Juli and two brothers Eric and Keith. He has always had a passion for science, and took all of the physics and biology classes available during high school. When he is not working, Phil likes to play outside-hiking, camping, and especially skiing. He also coaches a middle school robotics team in Longmont, which builds and competes with Lego robots.

  • BJ Ward

    Scientist , Science Mentor

    BJ Ward grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, and graduated North Carolina State University in 2009 with a BS in Chemical Engineering.  She is working on a master's in Environmental Engineering for Developing Communities at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research interests include sustainable biofuels and indoor air quality.  BJ works with CU's Engineers Without Borders chapter on the Rwanda program, which is working to build a school in Kigali.  In her free time, she enjoys skiing and reading books outdoors.

  • Carolyn Wiley

    Founding Non-Voting Board Member, Executive Director

    Originally from the East Coast, Carolyn graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications in 2008 and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. Before working with Earth Explorers, Carolyn worked as a freelance editor and independent documentary producer that allowed her to travel to South Korea, Thailand, Peru, the wilds of South Dakota, Miami and beyond.

    Carolyn is one of the founding board members of Earth Explorers and now serves as the Vice President of Program Operations. She also teaches videography to all of the Earth Explorers classes. Carolyn’s dedication and passion has helped make this program very successful. Since becoming a part of the Earth Explorers core development team Carolyn has fallen in love with the program, the kids she has gotten to teach and the art of education. She has the pleasure of combining her love for film making, her inner science dork and her passion for education.