Meet Our Team
Jess Haas, Executive Director
Hailing from the great flat state of South Dakota, Jess left her glaciated prairies behind to move to Montana but still finds herself enamored with geology. Through a lucky stint as an AmeriCorps member, Jess discovered the career field of environmental education and has never looked back after all these years. She believes that experiences in nature are crucial to the well-being of individuals and communities. With over ten years of non-profit outdoor education experience in urban and rural areas, Jess has been integral to the development and sustainability of outdoor education programs for youth and adults across the west. Jess is an active volunteer and committee member with several state and national organizations including the Montana Environmental Education Association (where she serves as president), the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. Jess also serves as a Certified Interpretive Trainer and teaches interpretive guide workshops across Montana and Wyoming. She spends her time skiing and running with her rescue dog, Hazel, reading with her plus-sized cat, Suki, and eating elaborate meals with her Michigan-born partner, Eric.
Molly Ward, Education Director
Born and raised in Bozeman, Molly started hiking and backpacking in the surrounding mountains with her family at the age of five. Throughout her childhood, she tagged along on sampling trips with her scientist father in Yellowstone Park. Her love of science and the outdoors grew from there as Molly added additional outdoor pursuits such as telemark and cross-country skiing, running, mountain biking, kayaking and soccer to her list of favorite pastimes.
While working towards her undergraduate degree in Geology at Montana State University, Molly worked as a Summer Camp Instructor for Montana Outdoor Science School (then Bridger Outdoor Science School) for several summers. Her passion for outdoor and science education led her to obtain a Masters of Science in Science Education degree, also from Montana State University. Molly has since worked as an Informal Science Educator for a variety of local and regional organizations, including Yellowstone National Park, the Museum of the Rockies and the Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Foundation. In 2014, Molly created Mountain Goat Instructional Design, LLC, where she has practiced Science Education Consulting over the past several years. Through her company, Molly has written science curriculum and provided professional development for teachers for many organizations including the Montana Office of Public Instruction, the National Science Teaching Association and several nationally known K-12 Science Education resource providers. In 2018, she co-founded Montana's first dedicated Science Education conference for teachers (an event that continues to grow).
Molly is excited to bring her expertise full circle and work for Montana Outdoor Science School once again. She is happy to still call Bozeman home, along with her partner Sten, senior dog Ella and cat Spike, although she does love to travel.
Britney Gitch, Program Director
Britney grew up in Vancouver, Washington and her relationship with the outdoors began when she was extremely young through numerous hunting and hiking excursions. In 2013, she made her way to the spectacular Bozeman area to attend Montana State University and absolutely fell in love.
Britney’s passion for learning intensified ten-fold after taking a two-month backpacking and kayaking trip throughout Montana with the Wild Rockies Field Institute, where she learned the powerful advantages of outdoor education. She graduated from MSU with a degree in History-SETS (Science, the Environment, Technology and Society) and recently graduated with her Master’s in the history of the American West.
When Britney isn't at MOSS, she can be found backpacking in the backcountry, snowboarding, or hunting. As a MOSS instructor since 2016, Britney continues to have a blast hanging out with kiddos and planning programs!
Kasey Schultz, Operations Coordinator
Kasey was born and raised in North Dakota and after graduating from the University of North Dakota, spent three years traveling around the US working seasonal jobs in urban centers like Detroit and rural beauties like Key West. She settled in Bozeman in 2016, to be close to Yellowstone, a favorite childhood place.
Kasey previously worked for Yellowstone Forever in donor/corporate relations and development, running their annual fund and also leading the data and call center when the organization was going through transition. Most recently, she worked with the Montana FFA (Future Farmers of America) Foundation, in donor relations where she successfully built FFA’s first monthly giving program built on a foundation of online engagement.
She has a deep love of the outdoors, instilled by her mom and dad, as well as a passion for live music, photography, fly fishing, cooking and learning about anything she can get her hands on. Kasey’s free time is spent hanging out and traveling with her corgis and boyfriend and speed reading as many books as she can. She is excited to bring her background in nonprofit development and digital engagement to MOSS to continue benefiting science education and families in the community.
Martin Moore, Lead Instructor
Martin grew up in rural, southwestern Minnesota among the remnant tallgrass prairies of the area. Growing up paddling the tributaries of the Minnesota River and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area instilled a love of the outdoors in him.
After completing a degree in Environmental Studies at Macalester College, Martin spent two years as an environmental educator in Minnesota’s bluff country. Swapping bluffs for mountains, Martin moved to Bozeman in 2020 to be closer to family. He is excited to continue teaching with MOSS and to contribute in introducing the next generation to the outdoors and inspiring curiosity about our world. In his free time Martin can be found cooking biscuits and gravy or seeing if his dog is ready to be off-leash (she’s not).
Cedar Mathers-Winn, Master Naturalist Instructor
Since he was a kid crashing around after lizards on California’s central coast, Cedar has tried to spend as much time outside as possible. Cedar is particularly obsessed with the sounds of the natural world, and this has led him on a long and circuitous path through a variety of jobs and ecosystems. Cedar has been a recordist on a traditional music expedition in Bhutan; an audio archivist of both music and natural sound recordings; and a chaser and observer of birds in the mountain West, the lush Northeast, the tropics of Australia, and the pasturelands and jungles of the Dominican Republic. Eventually he found his way to Montana, and decided this state was just about the best of all the places he’d been. He earned his Master’s degree studying communication in flocks of overwintering birds at the University of Montana, then moved with his family to beautiful Bozeman.
Cedar has always been passionate about sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for nature with anyone who would listen, and relishes opportunities to do this through teaching. He has taught undergraduates, professional scientists, and the public in a great variety of topics in biology and natural history – indoors and outdoors. When not teaching or working as a scientist in bioacoustics, Cedar enjoys writing, making music, recording all manner of sounds, and being outside with no other goal or purpose than just being outside.
Kathleen Smith - School Programs Instructor
Born and raised in Northern California, Kathleen was introduced to the outdoors at a young age. Growing up as a ski racer in the Tahoe basin she fell in love with the mountains and all that they had to offer. Family backcountry hut trips were her first memories of experiencing the magic of bringing a group of people together, undistracted, for multiple days, and simply enjoying each other while gaining an appreciation for the natural environment. This led her to plan these types of trips and unique experiences with her own friends throughout highschool and college. Trip planning and leading became a newfound passion. Kathleen went on to attend Bates College and study Sociology. After her sophomore year of college, she started working for an outdoor company called Overland Summers where she fell in love with leading, learning, and working with kids in a backcountry setting. She led trips in the rocky mountains of Colorado, and the Northern Cascades of the Pacific Northwest. These experiences were not only transformative, but they made her believe strongly in the power of impactful outdoor education as a catalyst for team building, vulnerability, and inspiring young people to grow up as environmentally conscious global citizens of this world. After graduating from Bates College, Kathleen made her way to Bozeman, Montana where she is excited to be sharing her love for the outdoors with students at MOSS. When Kathleen is not at MOSS, she can be found cooking, backcountry skiing, or making art.
James Dufficy - School Programs Instructor
James was born in the city of Denver, but his mind and body often wandered to the nearby Colorado Rockies, where there were mountains to scramble, trees to climb, bugs to chase, and gurgling mountain creeks with trout and mayflies to catch. For James, Nature wasn’t just an escape, but a good friend, a teacher, a therapist, and a world to get swept up in, like a very good book. During a stint of backcountry trail work in the Chugach National Forest, James realized his love for the outdoors could actually sustain him, so he dropped his pre-med major and pursued a degree in Ecology at MSU, where he also discovered a love for writing and sharing the natural world with others—especially those with low access to the outdoors.
Since then, James has spent time learning from a wide variety of ecological communities: he’s spent time studying Montana’s forests and fire histories, recorded plant-pollinator interactions in the wildflower meadows of the sagebrush steppe, and worked in organic agriculture. Now, he hopes to learn more about how people can be a positive and healing presence on the landscape and welcomes all into the conversation of how we can co-create a more sustainable future. When James isn’t teaching, you may find him in a ski patrol jacket at Discovery, mountain biking, foraging, playing mandolin in a bluegrass circle, fly fishing, hunting, or making something with his hands.
Mary Sellars - School Programs Instructor
Mary was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan. She spent much of her youth in Northern Wisconsin’s boreal forests, where she attended Conserve School, an environmental stewardship immersive semester for high schoolers. She later went on to study Wildlife Biology at Northland College on the shores of the Lake Superior, near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Throughout college Mary led a raptor biology research project, banding American kestrel nestlings on USFS land throughout the Northwoods, she has also worked as a wildlife field technician in Costa Rica and the Kalahari Desert. Mary has been serving as an Americorps fellow for the Teton Science Schools in Jackson, WY in partnership with the Teton Raptor Center producing wildlife outreach education materials for students and lifelong learners alike. Mary is excited about place based learning, exploring and taking in Montana’s natural beauty and all things birds!
Sydney Lyons - School Programs/Summer Camp Instructor
Syd was raised just outside of Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio. Growing up near the park sparked her passion for the outdoors and protecting the places she loves.
The older she grew, the more fond of the wilderness she became. Syd spent her free time in Ohio biking on the extensive towpath trail, kayaking on Lake Erie, and exploring the deciduous woodlands of the national park.
Syd served as an intern for the National Park Service in her hometown park, which inspired her to pursue her passion for environmental education. She moved out to Colorado to continue her education.
Throughout college, Syd worked seasonally for the U.S Forest Service, the National Park Service, and other local land management agencies. She received her degree from Colorado Mesa University in environmental science and sustainable technology. Since graduating, Syd relocated to Montana and started teaching at MOSS.