Our Staff

RMBL’s Staff 2022


Ian Billick, PhD

Executive Director
Ian started his love affair with RMBL as a summer student in 1988. After receiving his PhD from the Univ. of California-San Diego for field work done at RMBL, he worked as a research scientist at the Univ. of Houston and was a visiting faculty member at Truman State University (Missouri). He's been Executive Director of RMBL since 2000 and lives full-time in the Crested Butte area where he is raising two sons, Cormac and Giles, with his wife Jennie.

Kelly Sudderth, CPA

Chief Operating Officer
Kelly is a certified public accountant and started her career at Deloitte, a global public accounting firm. She has 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, especially in finance, strategic planning, board development and fundraising. She has worked with RMBL as a consultant since 2016. Kelly and her husband, David, moved to Crested Butte with their children Lily (14), Joseph (11), Caroline (9) and Wesley (8) in 2015.

Steve Jennison

Facilities Director
Steve has just recently joined RMBL, coming on board as the Facilities Director in May, 2017. Steve grew up in Colorado and has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He spent over 25 years working in heavy civil construction, primarily building municipal water and wastewater treatment plants along Colorado's Front Range. After several years attempting to live part-time in the valley, Steve and his wife Alice moved the family to Crested Butte in 2013. In his free time Steve enjoys skiing, mountain biking and chasing after daughter Siri, son Tor and puppy Kelso.

Jennifer Reithel, PhD

Science Director
Jennie first came to RMBL in 1993 as an undergraduate, working on bee behavior research. Since then, she's been a winter caretaker, graduate student, and instructor at RMBL. She became the Science Director in 2007. She and her husband, Ian, and two boys, Cormac and Giles, enjoy spending summers at Gothic, climbing mountains, looking for bugs, pulling weeds, and socializing in the dining hall!

Brett Biebuyck

Director of Administration
Brett has been drawn to the natural world and remote areas since spending every available moment in the forests and on the lakes of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a child. Once he turned 18, he packed his belongings and headed north to Alaska for college and adventure. For 16 years he supported research and education at Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska, ultimately as the Associate Director of Operations and Finance. In 2020, Brett, his wife Leah, and two boys Sam (6) and Teddy (3) traded arctic for alpine with a move to Crested Butte. You can usually find them at youth hockey, riding bikes, or drinking hot chocolate.

Shelley Popke

Director of Development
Shelley joined RMBL as the Director of Development in 2021. She has over 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector with an emphasis in fundraising, communication and non-profit management. Shelley first moved to Crested Butte in 1999 and most recently served as the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. Passionate about Gunnison County and its rich history, she is currently a member of the Gunnison County Historic Preservation Commission. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in History both from the University of Colorado and is an MBA candidate at the University of Denver. In her free time, Shelley enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, yoga and spending time with family--husband David, daughter Isabel who is now in college at CU, and adventure dog Clio--and friends in the great outdoors we get to call home.

Erik Hulm

Senior Project Manager
Erik joined RMBL as a Senior Project Manager in 2021. He is a geologist and manager with over 20 years’ experience working complex exploration campaigns and data acquisition projects around the world. He earned his bachelor’s degree in earth science at the University of South Dakota and a master’s in geology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After several years living overseas, Erik and his wife Melinda moved to Crested Butte with their two boys, Hugh and Eli, in 2018 to enjoy all the benefits of living in a small mountain town.

billy barr

billy has a BS in Environmental Science from Rutgers. He came to RMBL in 1972 and has worked in the library, food service and plant, starting the accounting in 1980. Also worked for CO avalanche center for 30 years and was on a fire fighting hot shot crew for 5. A founder and board member of the Gothic Cricket Club.

Ian Breckheimer, PhD

Research Scientist in Spatial Ecology and Data Synthesis
Dr. Ian Breckheimer is a landscape ecologist and Research Scientist at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Originally from Saluda, North Carolina, Ian and his wife Lizza moved to the Gunnison Valley from Cambridge, Massachusetts after Ian's 2-year stint as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. Ian’s research focuses on how landscapes (and the plants and people that live there) are adapting to global change. Much of his work links field measurements of ecological processes such as plant growth and flowering to their landscape context via imagery collected from drones, airplanes, and satellites.

Ben Calvin

Finance and Database Coordinator
Ben joined the RMBL team in late 2019. He is a graduate of Western State Colorado University with degrees in Accounting, Business, and Economics. His passion for the Gunnison Valley is only matched by that for his wife, Carrie. Together they enjoy anything and everything to do with the outdoors. When he’s not in the office, you can likely find him floating down river or searching for his next powder turns on the mountain.

Jen Pierson

Jen started at RMBL in the summer of 2013; prior to her role as Bookkeeper, Jen was our Development Coordinator, Gothic Store Manager and Visitor Center Guide. Jen has a degree in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and worked at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research. When Jen is not hiking or xc skiing in our beautiful mountains you can find her with her 'better half' Barry and their many pets!

Shannon Sprott

GIS/GPS Coordinator
Shannon has lived in the Gunnison/Crested Butte valley since 1996 and is a 2002 WSCU graduate with an Environmental Biology and Ecology degree. She has done GIS work with RMBL since 2007 and became the GIS/GPS Coordinator in 2011 after acquiring her Masters Degree in Geographic Information Science. While working for RMBL, Shannon also enjoys teaching GIS classes through WSCU and University of Denver programs. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and her daughter the most. Fun activities for them include gardening, biking, cross country skiing, yoga, cooking, crafting, traveling, and they are lovers of music and dancing. Shannon thoroughly enjoys sharing her passion for GIS and GPS with all, and you are sure to find her positive, enthusiastic spunk contagious.

Katie Harper

Administrative Manager
Katie comes to RMBL with a combined 15 years of domestic and international experience in the hospitality industry and a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University. After spending 5 years in Germany working with the Department of Defense and NATO in various hospitality roles, she and her husband decided to switch gears and move to Crested Butte in 2015. Along with spending time with her husband, Brady, and their cats, Boris & Dolores, she enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, multiple book clubs, and volunteering with the Crested Butte Fire Department as an EMT-IV.

Lisa Lucas

Project Coordinator
Lisa joined RMBL as the Project Coordinator for Development and Communication in 2021. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Business Administration from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA where she grew up and earned a scholarship as a field hockey athlete. She later earned a master’s degree in Applied Communication from the University of Denver where she also served as the Associate Director of the Alumni Association. She has spent her career serving a variety of non-profit organizations and enjoys hiking, skiing, reading and spending time with her husband, Mark and their children, Van and Caroline.

Katie Lawn

Youth Programs Manager
Katie joined RMBL in 2018 as a Youth Programs Instructor and Visitor Center Staff and now serves as the Youth Programs Manager. Katie earned her B.S. in Outdoor Education and Geography from Appalachian State University after completing a semester at National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, WY. She then spent 15 years enjoying the diversity of the southern Appalachians while working as a park ranger in the South Carolina State Park Service and an instructor and camp director for a science education nonprofit. She found her next home here in the Gunnison Valley while working as an Education Ranger at Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. When not connecting youth to nature and science, you might find Katie soaking up wildflower season, floating down rivers, going on full moon ski adventures, and taking weekend camping trips in search of hot springs with her partner, Kyle, and two dogs, Copper and Pretzel.