| Andrew Miller

Staff Profile: Field Instructor Hannah Melomo

Hannah Melomo joined the Cottonwood Institute team as a Field Instructor this spring, and has already proven herself to be a multi-talented graphic designer and curriculum developer in the creation of our Explore Outside Handbook and summer programs! If it was designed by CI and it looks amazing, Hannah probably had something to do with it.

Get to know Hannah, and see the rest of our ongoing Staff Profile series here!

Hannah MelomoHow long have you been with Cottonwood Institute? What programs have you led? 

I have been with Cottonwood for about five months – I had just moved to Colorado and started my position as Field instructor, but right as I joined the CI team COVID shut all the programs down. Fortunately, I was able to continue working with this incredible team through some graphic design work and help with the creation of the Explore Outside Handbook. Cottonwood has been one of my favorite things about being in Colorado!

What’s your favorite environmental topic or outdoor skill to teach?

I love showing students how to use a striker to start a fire – when they finally figure it out they feel like they’ve accomplished the biggest feat ever. It’s so much fun!!

How have you been staying connected to the outdoors during the lockdown?

I built a vegetable garden all by myself! Then I got my neighbors interested and they started growing some of their own veggies, too! My hands were in the dirt a lot. I was also lucky enough to spend lots of time exploring the Flatirons and the Indian Peaks Wilderness! But don’t worry, I never forgot a mask, those places got pretty crowded!

What’s an unusual skill people might not know you have?Hannah Melomo

I can roller blade really well!!! Just kidding I just broke my wrist doing it because I thought I was good, when in reality, I was so, so bad.

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

Corn nuts. I always have corn nuts when hiking or camping, or honestly even when I’m home I eat them all the time, too.

Do you have a formative memory of when you learned to love the outdoors?

I did an Outward Bound program when I was a kid and the first time I saw an alpine lake I lost my mind. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen, we jumped in and it was so cold and refreshing and one of the best experiences of my life. From that moment on I knew I wanted to go exploring for more of those.

Thank you to Hannah Melomo for her contributions!

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