Wednesday-Friday: 11:00 am-5:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am-5:30 pm
Holly Truitt is the founding director of the University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area and the Broader Impacts Group. Passionate about building community-based, cross-sector collaborations to help build local capacity and transform the lives of our next generation, she uses a participatory approach that drives BIG and spectrUM's award-winning collective impact work in Missoula and rural and tribal Montana communities. Previously named one of Missoula's “20 under 40” western Montanans making a difference, she serves as co-director for Outreach, Education, and Diversity for Montana NSF EPSCoR and has served as principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Museum and Library Services , and an array of private foundations.
Associate Director of spectrUM Discovery Area
Jessie Herbert-Meny has been with the spectrUM Discovery Area since 2008 and runs spectrUM's educational programming including field trips, camps, museum visits, teacher professional development and outreach in addition to training and supporting the education team. Jessie holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is currently pursuing a master of education degree from the University of Montana. As a passionate learner, Jessie enjoys teaching and learning about all types of science. Jessie serves as the liaison with spectrUM’s advisory committee SciNation on the Flathead Reservation and serves on the Salish Kootenai College’s BRAIDS advisory council. She co-directs the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative and is a certified SciGirls trainer. Jessie is passionate about increased access to hands-on science opportunities for kids and families across Montana. Jessie serves on the Bonner School PTA and loves to spend time outdoors with her husband, two daughters and dog.
Associate Director of Finance and Operations
Hedi Casquilho-Gray manages the financial and operational fuel that keeps spectrUM up-and-running. Hedi has spent many years working in bioscience laboratories in the fields of plant pathology, wildlife biology, and virology, and she enjoys contributing her experience to spectrUM’s scientific aspirations. When not counting beans for spectrUM, Hedi loves hanging out at home with her family and dogs.
Amanda Duley is a transplant from the east coast where she attended the University of Delaware for her undergraduate studies in animal sciences and the University of Virginia for her doctoral studies in microbiology. She moved to the Bitterroot Valley in 2009 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Rocky Mountain Laboratories. She now lives in Missoula serving as staff scientist with spectrUM since 2013. Her projects include curation of brain exhibits and high school explainer program for the NIH R25 Award for neuroscience education and liaison for a co-creation project with the Missoula Food Bank and the Missoula Public Library. She also leads role model training workshops at UM and in the Bitterroot Valley. She additionally serves her community as a board member for MTB Missoula, the area's local mountain bike club.
Head of Science Education Research and Evaluation
Beth Covitt, Head of Science Education Research and Evaluation, has been working in the fields of environmental and science education for 20 years. She has a keen interest in environmental science literacy and developing a citizenry that is well prepared to use science to inform decision-making. Beth has worked on numerous projects spanning many topics, but has particular interests in water and climate education. Her efforts encompass science education research and evaluation, program and curriculum development, and teacher professional development. Beth has an MS in environmental resource policy and behavior and a PhD in environmental education and conservation psychology, both from the University of Michigan.
Making and Tinkering Education Specialist
Nicholos Wethington, Making and Tinkering Education Specialist, is passionate about sharing his knowledge of science with everyone, and loves making and tinkering. At spectrUM, Nick works in the museum and with our partners in the Bitterroot valley and on the Flathead Reservation creating hands-on educational experiences that engage everyone’s innate ability to make and create. Through these efforts, he is embedded in a number of schools co-teaching activities and helping to build the capacity of teachers and staff to incorporate the maker movement ethos into their curriculum. Nick also maintains and develops spectrUM’s exhibits and IT infrastructure.
Outside of spectrUM, Nick is the president of the Western Montana Astronomical Association, Missoula’s local astronomy club. A native of South Dakota with a BS in English Literature from Iowa State University, Nick can be found biking, camping, hiking, and making ridiculous contraptions and telescopes out of reclaimed materials in his garage.
Museum Program Coordinator
Caitlin Ervin started at spectrUM Discovery Area as an Americorps Team Leader in 2017 where she volunteered full-time before joining the staff team as the Museum Program Coordinator in September 2018. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Maine College of Art in 2016 with a major in Sculpture. In addition to keeping spectrUM's daily operations running smoothly, she also coordinates role model visits to spectrUM and our partner locations. Caitlin is an enthusiastic learner, and enjoys biking, coffee, reading and traveling.
Associate Director for the Broader Impacts Group
Nathalie Wolfram, associate director of the Broader Impacts Group, focuses on grant proposal development and communications, as well as Broader Impacts Group and spectrUM’s collective-impact work in the Bitterroot. She holds a PhD in English from Yale and a BA in English from Middlebury College.
Sara Bunton began working for spectrUM in 2012 as an office assistant. She handles travel, hiring, purchasing, calendars and other related business paperwork for spectrUM and the Broader Impacts Group. She is the glue that keeps our organization together. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her son.
Logan Castor Parson
Logan Castor Parson, BIG’s events coordinator, manages events such as innovateUM and spectrUM’s Big Night and supports spectrUM’s development efforts, including its annual Big Night fundraising campaign. She is also the owner and photographer for Logan Photography, a commercial and portrait photography business in Missoula. Logan received her BA in photojournalism in 1997 from UM’s School of Journalism and is currently enrolled in UM's MBA program.
Robert "Jordan" Fernandez
Americorps Team Leader MT Campus Compact
Jordan Fernandez is the Broader Impacts Group and spectrUM Discovery Area Americorps Team Leader for 2018-2019. Before moving to Missoula, Jordan lived in New Jersey, California and more recently Oregon where he worked at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). He serves at EmPower Place in the mornings and at spectrUM Discovery Area in the afternoons.
Pauline "Nicole" Lemaster
Americorps Team Leader MT Campus Compact
Nicole Lemaster is the Americorps Team Leader for spectrUM Discovery Area for 2018-2019. Originally from Kentucky, Nicole graduated with a degree in microbiology and worked at a child respiratory disease lab in Florida studying viruses. She is in our museum every day to answer your burning science questions.