Our Staff and Board of Directors

Dave Irvine

Executive Director

Dave Irvine became the Executive Director of the Highlands Center for Natural History in January of 2008. Mr. Irvine brings in over 25 years of experience working with non–profit, science education organizations as a naturalist, program director and executive director. Most recently he was the Director at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center in Northeast Ohio, which was operated in partnership with the National Park Service. He was also a past President of Environmental Education Council of Ohio and has worked for other organizations in Colorado, North Dakota and Ohio. Originally from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Mr. Irvine hold BS degree from Penn State University in Parks & Recreation with emphasis in Environmental Interpretation and has done graduate work at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Felipe Guerrero

Education Director

Felipe grew up exploring the wooded creeks and rivers of Northern Virginia, fostering a love of wildlife and the outdoors from his earliest years. He came to Arizona in 2006 to attend Prescott College, where he majored in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Natural History and Ecology. In 2010 he began his professional life as a field biologist, living and working in places as diverse as Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, Maine, Washington, and New Mexico. He returned to Arizona in 2013 where he received his M.A. in Science Teaching at Northern Arizona University. Felipe brings a wealth of experience in formal and informal science-based environmental education.

Jennifer Temkin

Operations Director

Jennifer has a lifetime love of native flora, formerly managing a native plant nursery in Flagstaff, conducting field work on Pinyon trees for NAU, landscaping with native species, and performing database entry of plant specimens for the Deaver Herbarium. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago with an emphasis in computer graphics and a minor in computer science. She has experience in database management, graphic design and web design. In 2005 she moved to the high country of Northern Arizona to pursue classes in botany and environmental science. In her free time you can find her hiking the trails, camera in hand, photographing our local native wildflowers.

Jessica Manley-Ewald

Education Coordinator

Jessica is a native of California, but has lived in Arizona since 1994 when she came here to attend college and received her Bachelor of Science in Soils from Northern Arizona University. Jessie spent some years working for Sharlot Hall Museum, and then at the local government level, but never lost her passion for the natural sciences. She started as a volunteer for the Highland Center helping with the Knee High Naturalist program, working in the store, and special events. Jessie later transitioned to the Americorps program assisting the Education Department, and now she is a permanent member of our staff.

Jo Wurst

Schoolyard Habitat Coordinator

Originally from Nebraska, Jo spent her childhood catching grasshoppers in alleyways, climbing trees, and endlessly exploring miles of country roads by bicycle. These early experiences instilled a deep admiration for the outdoors and ultimately inspired Jo to educate others about natural science. Jo attended the University of Wyoming, receiving degrees in Anthropology and Environment and Natural Resources in 2013. She spent the following years working seasonally with Rocky Mountain National Park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, and other nonprofits as an environmental educator and interpretive guide.
Jo joined the Highlands family in 2016.

Laura Councilor

Education Coordinator

Originally from Michigan, Laura acquired a love of the outdoors by exploring in the woods, attending summer camps, and traveling with her family throughout the United States.  She has been working with kids for over 15 years and started working year-round in outdoor education in Orange County, CA in 2015.  Laura has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Cornell University and a Master’s of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Maryland.

Andrew Sweeney

Database and Volunteer Coordinator

In 2010, Andrew moved to Arizona into a Program Director position for a residential and day camp located in the Prescott National Forest.  Growing up in the beautiful State of Maine, Andrew had access to the Appalachian Mountains where he spent much of his time backpacking, running and skiing.  His affinity for the outdoors still remains, and can still be found hiking and camping in the pines, and riding his bike around town.  Prior to his move to Arizona, Andrew received his Bachelor of the Arts from the University of Maine in History, Sociology, and Anthropology.  He continued his post-graduate work at University of Bridgeport and receive his teaching certificate while working in secondary education in Connecticut.

Tom Agostino

Marketing Coordinator

Tom has an unusual, and colorful, history in the Marketing and Communication field. During his seventeen years living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment industry he co-produced the “The Imperial Bells of China”, the largest group of Chinese artists that ever toured the US, twice. He also worked closely with Tai, the amazing Indian elephant that starred in the movie, “Water for Elephants,” when he founded The LA Circus, an award-winning one-ring community circus sponsored by the City of Los Angeles. Tom also worked on several of the largest Music Festivals of the 90s, including the Amnesty Int’l World Tour w/ Peter Gabriel, Sting and Bruce Springsteen, Fiesta Broadway, and the US Festival. As Tom says, “After running a circus for two years, there’s not much that can surprise me. If you can deal with a dozen clowns on a daily basis, everything else is a piece of cake.” Thirteen years ago, when Tom moved to Prescott, he started the Folk Sessions Radio Show, still broadcasting on the KJAZZ Radio Network. He received a Bucky Award for Media in 2013, performs at church halls and folk fests with his wife, Christa, and is proud to be a “Man Who Cooks”.

Bob Stutey

Facilities Manager

Bob Stutey joined the Highlands Center as a facilities maintenance volunteer in October of 2014 and was hired for the Facilities Manager position in August of 2015. Bob comes to us with nearly 50 years of experience in repair and maintenance of electronic and mechanical equipment for the US Navy on submarines and at the Trident Refit Facility in Bangor, Washington. He has already proven his valuable abilities on many Highlands Center projects.

Bob also volunteered in schools for over 20 years, spending time with disabled children and those whose fathers were overseas while in Washington. He was a Cub Scout Troop Master while stationed in Hawaii. He and his wife Sandy and Blue Heeler Coorah enjoy the outdoors, working on their home and often travel to California, Washington and Nebraska to visit friends and family.

Debra Rondeau


Debra Rondeau joined us in May, 2015. She and her husband, Roger, and Joey the cat recently moved to Prescott from Northern California. Debra has had a long career in accounting working for various small and large organizations, including CPA firms, wineries and biotech companies. She received her BA in Accounting from Sonoma State University in Northern California. In their spare time, Debra and her husband have always enjoyed exploring and hiking in both local and national parks as well as the coasts of Maine and California.

Ken Bigolin

Maintenance Assistant

Originally from Connecticut, Ken obtained a BA in Anthropology/History from the University of Northern Colorado. His previous career was as a manager with the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming for 30 years. Prior to joining our staff, he was a valuable Highlands Center volunteer working in the Discovery Gardens since July, 2016. He currently volunteers with the Verde Valley Archeology Center in Camp Verde.

Our Board of Directors

Lesley Alward
Acting President

Faith Roelofs
Vice President

Peter Genereaux

Maurine Wise

Mary Krzysik
Board Member

Bob Gessner
Board Member

Jodi Padgett
Board Member

Donna Putschoegl
Board Member

Ron Williams
Board Member

Michael Bacci
Board Member

Nancy Maurer
Board Member

Laura Taylor
Board Member

Toby York
Board Member



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