Richard Ingebretsen, MD, PhD

– President. Rich founded Glen Canyon Institute in 1996, with the help of legendary conservationist David Brower. Rich first visited Glen Canyon as a young boy scout and developed a great love for the canyons that would later be destroyed by the floodwaters of Lake Powell reservoir. For the past 15 years, he has dedicated his life to restoring the natural health and beauty of Glen Canyon and the Colorado River. He is a physician and faculty member at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Department of Physics, and the founder and President of Utah Wilderness Medicine. He also serves as vice chairman of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and is the President of Riverbound Adventures, an educational river-running company. His love for medicine and the environment has taken him around the world to places such as Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Paraguay. He enjoys hiking, running, spending time with friends and family, and especially, running the white-waters of the Colorado River. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Scott Christensen

Scott grew up in Idaho and Utah, where he had the opportunity to run rivers, chase fish and climb mountains from an early age. Scott graduated from the University of Utah in 2003. After working on several political and environmental campaigns in Salt Lake City, Scott went to work for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition where he now serves as the Director of Conservation. He has helped to bring down a 90-year old dam on the Bear River, negotiate an agreement to construct a fish ladder over a dam on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, and has been named a Conservation Hero by Field and Stream Magazine for protecting Yellowstone cutthroat trout from open pit phosphate mining in southeast Idaho. He lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife and four children.

Wade Graham, PhD

Wade is a landscape designer, historian, and writer. He has designed gardens all over California, Hawaii, and New York. He is the author of a social history of gardens in America, American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to our Back Yards, What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are (HarperCollins, 2011), and has written on the environment, landscape, urbanism, and the arts for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, Outside and other publications. He has a Ph.D. in American History, and teaches urbanism and environmental policy at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

M. Lea Rudee, PhD

Lea is Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California, San Diego. He has served as the founding Provost of Warren College, Founding Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, and coordinator of the Graduate Program in Materials Science. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is past president of the board of trustees, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, and a former board member of Burnham Cancer Research Institute. He is currently a board member of the San Diego River Park Foundation and the Athenaeum Music and Art Library. He lives in La Jolla, California.

Ed Dobson, JD

Ed is one of the founding trustees of Glen Canyon Institute. Now retired from legal practice, Ed currently serves as a commissioner on Town of Bluff Planning and Zoning Commission. He has served as a commissioner on the San Juan County UT planning commission. He has served as a commissioner on the Navajo Nation Labor Commission. He has served as director of the Navajo Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and as principal U.S. Tax Court litigator for the Navajo Nation’s Legal Services.  Earlier he served nine years as a Montana Water Master, judging water rights disputes, and twelve years with David Brower as a field representative for Friends of the Earth. Ed wrote Montana’s Initiative 84, passed in 1980, forbidding uranium mill tailings and other large-quantity radioactive waste. He also served for four years as a member of the Sierra Club national board of directors. He lives in Bluff, Utah.

David Wegner

Dave is one of the founding trustees for the Glen Canyon Institute. The issues at Glen Canyon Dam and a love of history were the stimulus for a career spent looking at the management of the Colorado River Basin as a system. From 1996 through mid- 2009, he served as Science Director for Glen Canyon Institute while establishing his own business, Ecosystem Management International, which specialized in studying the effects of climate change on large landscapes, river basins, and species both nationally and internationally. Previously, he spent over 20 years with the Department of the Interior, including time as lead scientist for the Bureau of Reclamation’s environmental impact studies of Glen Canyon Dam. He has also been a private consultant and expert on western water, endangered species, river restoration, the application and use of science, and adaptive management. He serves as a board member of the River Policy Network of Japan, Good Dirt Radio, Animas River Task Force, La Plata County Water Commission, the Durango Parks and Open Space Strategic Planning Task Force, and Animas Riverkeeper. He currently works and lives in Washington, DC, and Durango, Colorado, near the “River of Lost Souls”, the  Animas River on the edge of the Colorado Plateau.

Carla Scheidlinger

Carla earned a BA in Biology from Swarthmore College and Harvard University, and completed an MS in Ecology at San Diego State University. After a short stint of conducting research in plant ecology centered on vernal pools, chaparral ecosystems, and closed-cone conifers in San Diego, she moved to Bishop, California. There, she continued her work in ecology with a 10-year period of teaching part-time at Deep Springs College, and consulting for local Native American Paiute tribes in the Owens Valley regarding their water rights. She served as the president of the Owens Valley Committee, a non-profit group dedicated to environmental conservation and water management. That organization was successful in levering influence requiring the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to implement the Lower Owens River Project, which has been of huge benefit to the environment and economy of the region. Carla also began a consulting career in land and habitat restoration, working with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District on dust control measures on the Owens Lake playa to comply with the State Implementation Plan for management of PM-10 emissions. Her vegetation and shallow flooding measures were adopted by LADWP for large-scale implementation. When she relocated to San Diego, she joined Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. to create a practice in habitat restoration. After 13 years with Wood, she retired, leaving a highly successful practice in place working throughout the region.

Carla has been involved with GCI since 2013.

Michael Kellett

Michael co-founded the New England conservation organization RESTORE: The North Woods in 1992. He developed the proposal for a new Maine Woods National Park, directed campaigns to list the Atlantic salmon and Canada lynx as endangered species, and oversaw programs to protect the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, White Mountain National Forest, and other public lands. Previously, as the Northeast regional director and Michigan representative of The Wilderness Society, he helped to pass the Michigan Wilderness Act of 1987 as well as legislation establishing Grand Island National Recreation Area and authorizing the four-state Northern Forest Lands Study. He has visited more than 230 National Park System units in 46 states and territories.

Michael has been involved with GCI since 2006.

Tyler Coles, Treasurer

Tyler is GCI’s treasurer and operational contact, overseeing all fundraising projects and financial activities. Tyler studied Economics and Organizational Communication at the University of Utah. In addition to protecting the ecosystems and wildlife of Glen Canyon and the Colorado River, Tyler enjoys hiking in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City, and spending time with family and friends. He has been actively involved with GCI since 2009.

Mike Sargetakis

Mike grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and has spent much of his life exploring the Wasatch mountains and the Colorado Plateau in Utah. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of Utah in 2011 and a JD with a certificate in Natural Resource Law from Lewis & Clark in 2017. He worked as the project and office manager for GCI from 2012-2014. Mike is now a natural resource and environmental attorney practicing in Portland, Oregon. In addition to his education and work history, Mike enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and spending as much time as he can in and around rivers and mountains.

Jana Quilter

Jana has always craved spending time in the outdoors, and fosters a deep respect for the beauty of the natural world, and is passionate about preserving it. For most of her life she has wrestled with the great injustice of wild things and wild places not having a voice. One of the greatest injustices she struggles with is the “damn” dam, imposed upon the Glen Canyon area. She is a graduate from the University of Utah and earned her Masters degree in mental health counseling. She currently runs a private counseling practice in Park City, Utah and encourages her clients to experience the healing effects of nature. She is also a board member for Park City Leadership alumni and enjoys spending many hours outside with her family and her dog, Steve.

Paris Latham

Paris grew up backpacking in the National Parks and Forests of the California Sierra Nevada, instilling in her a love of the outdoors. After receiving her BA in Environmental Studies from Brown University in 2007, Paris joined Glen Canyon Institute in Salt Lake City as the project and office manager until 2010, when she attended the University of Utah for an MS in Geography. While living in Salt Lake, Paris fell in love with the wilderness of Southern Utah. Paris is now in the San Francisco Bay Area and works in transportation planning with a focus on sustainability, equitable transit solutions, and bicycle and pedestrian planning. Paris spends her spare time trail running, mountain biking, and backpacking.

Tom Strickler

Tom grew up hiking in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York where he became a 46er at the age of 13.  Tom is the co-founder of Endeavor, the world’s largest talent and literary agency which went public on the NY Stock Exchange in 2021.  In 1996, Tom joined with Kris and Doug Tompkins (founder of North Face and Esprit) to purchase a large ranch (190,00 acres) in the Chacabuco Valley in the Aysen region of Chile. In 2019 the lands – now 752,090 acres – were donated to the people of Chile to become the Patagonia National Park.  Tom lives in Venice, California and graduated from Harvard University near the bottom of his class.

Barbara Brower

Barbara was a Professor of Geography at Portland State University in Oregon. Her interests lie in biogeography, and cultural ecology in the regions of High Asia, Nepal and the Western United States. She also has a strong interest in mountains, wildland resource conservation and policy, and the environmental movement. She is also the author of multiple books including Sherpa of Khumbu: People, Livestock, and Landscape. She lives in Portland, Oregon and is the daughter of David Brower.

Advisory Board

  • Frank Colver
  • Tom Myers, Ph.D.
  • Bill Wolverton
  • Roy Dale Webb, C.A. (Certified Archivist), BA, MS.
  • Bruce Mouro
  • Rick Ridder


Eric Balken
– Executive Director. 
Eric grew up in Salt Lake City, building a connection to Utah’s mountains, rivers, and deserts at a young age. In his youth, Eric volunteered with local non-profits gaining experience in public land surveys, membership outreach, and grassroots organizing. Eric has been deeply involved with Colorado River policy for the past decade, helping spearhead multiple research and advocacy initiatives at GCI. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Utah and serves as an advisory on the Future of the Colorado Group. (EMAIL)
Jack Stauss
– Outreach Director
Jack grew up in rural Vermont. He moved to Utah in 2008 and fell in love with its open space and community. His passion for the red rock and Glen Canyon comes from years of higher education and experiential learning. In 2016, he finished his graduate work at the University of Utah in Environmental Humanities where he focused on public lands and environmental communication. Jack has previously interned with Save Our Canyons and the Salzburg Global Seminar. He has worked for GCI since 2016. (EMAIL)
Sydney Sappenfield
– Office Manager
Sydney was born and raised in Vail, Colorado. Growing up, she spent much of her time exploring the deserts of western Colorado and Utah with her family and formed a deep connection to the landscape. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with degrees in Cognitive Science and English, Sydney decided to return to what she loved most­—the desert. After a year and a half split between working as a Wilderness Therapy Guide and traveling the world, she found her way to GCI where she is excited to give back to the land that raised her. (EMAIL)