The Wilderness Stewardship Mentors are selected by the Board of the Society for Wilderness Stewardship. They participate in a month-long mentor development training program that familiarizes them with the WSCP and best practices in distance mentoring. The required mentor training takes place via three interactive webinars, wilderness stewardship e-courses, an at-home assignment, and an assessment. Once the mentors have successfully completed the training, they are matched with registered students.
Current WSCP Mentoring Team:
Dr. Robert Dvorak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration at Central Michigan University. Bob’s professional teaching and research interests include wilderness and protected area management, examining visitor use issues in parks and wilderness, and understanding the relationships and attachments people form with wilderness and protected areas. He is managing editor of the International Journal of Wilderness and a Society for Wilderness Stewardship Board member. He also maintains credentials as a Wilderness First Responder, American Canoe Association Canoe instructor, and Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Derrick Taff is an Assistant Research Professor in the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Department at Penn State University, and a board member with the Society for Wilderness Stewardship. He has a background working in outdoor adventure program management, and experience working with the National Park Service. Most of his research and teaching topics are related to visitor use management in parks and protected areas, with an emphasis on Leave No Trace-related behaviors, soundscape management, and communication strategies that aid in protecting resource and social conditions.
Steve Kimball is the Natural Resources Staff Officer for the Payette National Forest. Steve served as the Wilderness-Rivers-Guides Program Manager for the Forest Service’s Northern Region from 2012 to 2015. He was the Wilderness-Rivers Program Manager for the Alaska Region and Tongass National Forest from 2010 to 2012. Steve’s previous positions include Idaho National Fire Plan Coordinator, District Ranger in Idaho, Alaska, and Vermont, and Silviculturist at Mount St. Helens, Washington and other locations in the Pacific Northwest. He has a degree in Forest Management from the University of Minnesota and has completed graduate courses at Oregon State University and University of Washington.
Jimmy Gaudry is the Wilderness, Wild & Scenic Rivers and Guides Program Manager for the Northern Region of the U. S. Forest Service. He has worked for the Forest Service for over 20 years. He started his career as a volunteer Wilderness Ranger in Wyoming on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and later served as a Wilderness/Trails Technician and a Wilderness Specialist on several Forests in Colorado. Most recently, we worked as the Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Reivers Program Manager for the Southern Region of the Forest Service. He holds an M.S. in Park and Protected Area Management from Colorado State University. His day to day life includes raising a four-year-old son, Bridger, and a six-year-old daughter, Magnolia, with his wife, Malinda in Missoula, Montana.
The Mentor Role…
Mentors use a variety of communication platforms to support WSCP students and remain involved in their student’s experience though regularly scheduled meetings. Mentors assist students in selecting a focus for their applied assignments, and then grade those assignments and review them with the students. Mentors are also involved in the online forum where questions are posted and monthly topical discussions take place.
To find out more about how to join the WSCP mentor team, download the Mentor Application to learn more: Mentor Application