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Staff Spotlight: Field Instructor Jessie Colin

Jessie ColinGet to know Jessie Colin (she/her), who has been working with Cottonwood Institute as a field instructor since Summer 2022! Jessie is a multitalented outdoorsperson and athlete and is known for bringing the most fun and creative games to our programs. Learn more about Jessie below, and read our other staff and board profiles here!

What led you to become an environmental educator?

I love being outside and spend much of my free time exploring the Front Range on foot, wheels, skis, or vertically on rock. More than that, I love sharing my passion for the outdoors with others. My hope is to help catalyze change in the outdoor industry by working for an organization with a mission to make outdoor spaces more equitable, inclusive, and accessible for the next generation. The prevalence of technology in our society underscores the importance of getting students outside and connected to the natural world — and the more hands and minds we have in combating and mitigating the effects of climate change, the better. Given the current state of the world and progress we need to make against issues like racial injustice, climate change, and access to education, the world needs educators, like those at Cottonwood and beyond, who understand the importance of teaching toward these problems.

Jessie Colin leading a tripWhat are your favorite memories so far from leading Cottonwood trips?

I loved helping organize a camp craft relay with students at Cal-wood. We had students brushing their teeth with proper backcountry technique, making hot chocolate, setting up a tent blindfolded with teammate help, and dressing in as many layers as possible (as ‘marshmallow people’). It was a blast to put some camping skills into practice in a friendly competition. Another favorite memory was hiking the Anne. U White Trail in Boulder with students and Boulder County Park Ranger Jose Barrientos who shared his incredible nature journals. We all practiced making our own nature journals as a wonderful combination of art and science. 

What do you do outside of working for Cottonwood? 

I also work as an instructor for The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and as a UI/UX designer. 

Jessie ColinWhat’s an unusual skill people might not know you have?

I play the harmonica! I taught myself how to play in high school because I loved how portable the instrument was — I could pull it out of my pocket to play at a campfire or while hiking. I’ve played in bands and at open mics, and love to jam with my friends.

What’s your favorite snack to eat in the woods?

Anything chocolate-y, especially dark chocolate covered almonds. I’m always in the mood for them when in the woods. 

We’re so lucky to have Jessie on our field programs! Follow us for all Cottonwood news this fall: 

  1. Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram
  2. Join our Facebook CI Alumni group
  3. Send us your stories of what you have been up to since CI!

Categories: CI Shoutouts, Staff & Board Spotlights

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