Trip Leaders and Staff
Director of Outdoor Recreation Programs
Ty grew up in the pacific northwest spending as much of his time as possible outside on the river or exploring local climbing areas. After completing his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University where he worked as a student trip leader and member of the climbing gym staff, he left to pursue a career in fisheries and wildlife biology. Quickly realizing that his time spent mentoring and teaching others about various outdoor recreation activities was his true calling, he turned down further work as a fish biologist and moved into his Subaru Loyale wagon at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. After spending time as a climbing guide, lift operator, wilderness medicine instructor, and exploring Patagonia he returned to Oregon State University where he worked in a variety of roles for the Adventure Leadership Institute. His time in Corvallis was spent refining his outdoor education, student and leadership development skills. He and his wife and their son are excited to join the outdoor recreation community in Bozeman and at MSU and are all looking forward to winters with snow on the ground and ice to climb. If he’s not in the office you’re likely to find Ty exploring the local trails and crags with his family or out on a long run.
Dan grew up in the great state of Maine, before moving to Vermont to pursue cross-country ski racing as a student at Saint Michael’s College. During his first year Dan got involved with the college outdoor program, eventually leaving competitive skiing behind to focus on working as a trip leader. After graduation, Dan decided to pursue outdoor recreation as a career. He has worked as a guide and instructor throughout the Northeast U.S., Colorado and Utah, as well as internationally in Bolivia. Dan began his role at Montana State University in July, 2017 and is thrilled to be in Bozeman and to join the team at the Outdoor Recreation Programs (ORP). Right now his obsessions are backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and whitewater travel of any sort, but climbing has always been a passion, and he is excited to take advantage of all the great local climbing options Bozeman has to offer. After work, you’re most likely to find him exploring the local crags, trails, and rivers, or at a local coffee shop.
(Senior, Civil Engineering)
Nikki grew up spending her winters alpine ski racing throughout the hills of Michigan, and escaping on family ski vacations to the Rocky Mountains. After high school, she moved to Golden, Colorado, where she landed a job as a Trip Leader at School of Mines’ Outdoor Recreation Center. She began shifting her focus from alpine ski racing to backcountry skiing, mountaineering, and climbing to explore the mountains. Nikki can normally be found skiing, ice climbing, mountain biking, cooking curry and trying to finish up her civil engineering degree. During the summer, she works as a mountain guide for RMI Expeditions based out of Ashford, WA. She is one of our more talented Trip leaders and is excited to get outside with you!
Kaleb is from Colorado Springs and is an emotional lover of breakfast burritos in the backcountry. He enjoys seeing live music and is a big fan of whitewater rafting. Kaleb hopes to be able to travel to Southeast Asia, as well as Baja California soon. He believes the ORP offers students a great way to learn about outdoor activities and hone outdoor skills. Feel free to ask Kaleb about his interesting taste in cookbooks.
(Senior, Mechanical Engineering)
Jesse was born in the Desert of New Mexico and raised on sopapillas and green chili. He ventured to MSU in search of Powder and has fallen in love with the people and culture of Bozeman. Like most of his co-workers Jesse yearns for outdoor engagement. In the Summer, you will find him climbing in the canyon or boating on some of the wonderful rivers we have around town. In the winter, he lingers around the amazing ice climbing in hyalite and attends class at Bridger Bowl University. In his free time, Jesse is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering while conducting research into the field of sustainable, Bio-Degradable plastics. If you’re looking for the low-down on local dining, be sure to ask him on your trip!
(Senior, Environmental Science)
Originally from Lake Newman, WA, Ben’s favorite outdoor activity is skiing, but he is a lover of all outdoor sports and hopes to do a kayaking trip down the Selway River soon. He likes to live luxuriously in the backcountry, often cooking up steaks and homemade pizza. Ben enjoys helping people get involved in the incredible outdoor opportunities surrounding the Bozeman area. Ben recently completed a Wild Rockies Field Institute course spending most the semester living in the wild and is extremely well versed in the flora and fauna of Montana making him an awesome trip leader to have on your trip!
(Junior, Geology and History)
Kristin Smith grew up in Bellingham, Washington, where you can ski Mt Baker all morning and spend the evening sailing the San Juan Islands. She hasn't yet met an outdoor sport she doesn't like. When she's not coordinating trips for MSU's outdoor recreation program, she writes, plays guitar, and does an astounding amount of homework for her double majors in geology and history. Kristin has one of the wildest and most spicy tastes in music, favoring flavors from all over the world. If you ever walk into the shop and hear EDM-Punjabi music, it’s likely that Kristin’s finger is on the dial.
(Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering)
Andrew is a small-town guy from Wyoming. He always dreamed of powder turns, whitewater, and big city lights so he came to MSU to chase his dreams. He traded his horse for some skis at the Montana boarder and hasn’t looked back. Since coming to Bozeman he has joined the river rodeo (whitewater rafting), explored Gallatin canyon climbing and learned to mountain bike in the Bridger range. His favorite hike is Blackmore peak, favorite swimming hole is Hyalite lake and favorite river is the Gallatin. His hobbies include skiing, climbing, rafting and spending hours wandering around the ORP building.
(Sophomore, Political Science and Environmental Studies)
Though she was raised four blocks from the Pacific Ocean, Mikaela currently resides in Bozeman, Montana, happily surrounded by miles of mountains and forest. Growing up hiking and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada range, she loves the seemingly endless amount of outdoor opportunities surrounding MSU. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Mikaela is an assistant trip coordinator at the ASMSU Outdoor Recreation Program. Having travelled to over twenty countries, Mikaela's restless tendency to move is strong. However, Bozeman has proven to be an unbeatable home base, and she is more than happy to spend four years of her life in one of the best towns in the West.
Alexander "Sandy" Jett
Sandy grew up, or failed to grow up, in Martinez California, located in the East San Francisco Bay Area. At that time, his outdoor experience consisted of backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and yearly family road trips to National Parks throughout the western United States. Moving to Bozeman for school introduced Sandy to other means of enjoying the outdoors such as snowboarding and whitewater boating. Sandy studies geography at Montana State and works as a trip coordinator at the Outdoor Rec Program in addition to rental shop duties. When not on campus, he can be found on the rivers around the Gallatin Valley and at Bridger Bowl.
(Freshman, Civil Engineering)
Katie has hopped from one adventure town to the next; originally Moab, then Missoula, and now Bozeman. She’s mainly trying to indulge in the mountains, including sport climbing, hiking, Nordic skiing, and occasionally crashing down the slopes on an alpine set. If Katie’s not perched on a slackline, practicing up on her Français, or trekking around on her road bike, then you can find her at Montana State University. There she works as a rental attendant at the ORP rental shop while pursuing a degree in civil engineering.
Rory is a freshman at MSU studying Engineering. She hasn’t decided what kind yet; please feel free to give her suggestions. She grew up in rural, Western Colorado where she ran the rivers with her family all summer long and skied when it was too cold to boat. Rory moved to Fort Collins, Colorado where she got into rock climbing and skiing in the backcountry. Before coming to Outdoor Rec, she worked for the forest service in Grand Teton National Park, helping to conduct research on amphibians. Rory caught more than 1200 frogs in that summer! Other hobbies include ceramics, yoga, playing the saxophone, and burritos. She came to MSU hoping to find a balance between school and her love for the outdoors. Outdoor Rec has been a great place for Rory to do just that. We’re lucky to have her as a part of this team every day!
(Freshman, Studio Art)
Sarah was fortunate enough to grow up in the rad Montana mountains you all heard about in fairytales. As a youngster, she spent her days skiing at the local Bozeman hills and camping with her family. After high school, she decided to stay in Bozeman and keep enjoying what the valley must offer. She currently studies Studio Art at Montana State. Sarah enjoys skiing and biking, as well as other passions like printmaking and African drumming. You can find her working at the ORP as rental staff where she loves sharing her passion for the outdoors with others.
(Freshman, Cell-Biology Neuroscience)
Eric grew up in Middletown Maryland. He taught himself to ski at the age of 10 and has never stopped. In addition to skiing, he spent much of his time mountain biking, fishing, climbing, and hiking. He is now a Cell Biology and Neuroscience Major at Montana State University and an aspiring Rental Attendant at the Outdoor Recreation Program.
(Graduated, Business Management)
Jonathan is from Waterbury, Vermont and hope to work in the music industry, specifically with sound engineering or acoustics. His favorite outdoor sport is skiing and his favorite thing about the ORP is the relaxed and welcoming environment. While in the field, Johnathan likes to eat Mac’n’Cheese with various sauces and spices to make it more interesting. In the coming years, he would love the opportunity to travel to New Zealand. Jonathan will ensure that you get outside to the best locations with the best gear we have!
Shop Bike and Ski Wizard
(Junior, Civil Engineering)
Jacob is majoring in civil engineering here at MSU. He likes to spend his spare time mountain biking in the summers and tele skiing in the winters. He is from Boulder Colorado and tries his best not to be too much of a ColoRADbro. He is currently the head bike technician at the ORP as well as a ski tech and overall awesome rental attendant. If you have any questions about tele mark racing, cross country mountain bike racing or just want to tune up your bikes or skis he’s your go to!
Shop Ski and Bike Magic Man
(Junior, Photography and Writing)
Nik joins us from Toronto, Ontario, and was drawn to Montana State University to ski. Like many other ski-minded individuals, the winter drew him to the west, but it was the realization of the numerous outdoor recreation opportunities that led him to fall in love with Bozeman and its surroundings. When not skiing for 7-8 months of the year, you can find Nik rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, crock-potting, and out shooting photos. Nik is currently a 3rd year student with a double major in Photography and Writing, and has been with the ORP since December of 2014 climbing the ranks to head ski technician. Your skis are in good hands with this guy!
Shop Ski and Bike Tech. Elf
(Junior, Mechanical Engineering Technology/Music and Honors)
Elliot is from Edmonds or Seattle Washington, depending on how he feels when you ask him. Elliot came to MSU for the ADVENTURE, the SNOW, the MOUNTIANS, and to get a degree. Elliot is in the MSU symphony and the quartet if people want to do that sort of thing. He even traveled to Ireland with the MSU symphony which lead him to scamper across Europe in search of cool places, and especially MOUNTIANS. Elliot loves to ski, so much so that he also works at the Yellowstone club as a ski instructor. The only thing he likes more than skiing is mountain biking on his red stallion. Elliot plays the base welder and the chain whip in a manner that would make the likes of Mozart and Beethoven dance.