Brenda Roberts – Acting Executive Director
Brenda holds degrees and certificates from Florida Southern College and Garrett Theological Seminary. She raised a family, worked in the public school system, and served churches in central and north Florida. She and her husband, Steve took a break to traverse America south to north from museum to bookstore in search of a place to call “home”. Eight years later in 2011 they moved to Jackson and volunteered at the history museum. Brenda was asked to fabricate a rodeo exhibit for the inaugural exhibition gallery in the newly acquired headquarters building of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. Skills honed over twenty years as Director of Education in the state of Florida paved the way for an Executive Assistant position with the organization. Following retirement of the Executive Director in 2012 Brenda served as Acting Director for nine months and settled into the Assistant Director position with arrival of new management. Brenda’s experience supervising professional staff, preparing and tracking multiple departmental budgets, creating and directing adult and youth programs of education at the local and state level, and orchestrating conferences that served several thousand participants has positioned her to assist with the organization’s journey of growth. Brenda is currently serving once more in the capacity of Acting Director since the retirement of our previous Director.
Rebecca Sgouros and Matt Stirn – JH Archaeology Initiative
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As co-directors of the Jackson Hole Archaeology Initiative (JHAI), Matt and Rebecca collaborate with regional educational institutions (Frison Institute at the University of Wyoming, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Wyoming Office of the State Archaeologist, and others), and land management agencies (Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests), as well as the local ranchers and land owners. Trained as environmental archaeologists, they mount surveys and excavations in the high country of Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone region, updating the community on an annual basis about their discoveries. In addition, they lead seasonal field schools that involve local students in hands-on learning, and community archaeology projects at trhe Linn Ranch in Victor, Idaho, as well as other locations.
Samantha Ford – Historical Research & Outreach
Samantha Ford grew up in the rolling Green Mountains of Vermont, surrounded by classic New England scenery and history. In 2004 the State of Vermont found itself among the 11 “Most Endangered Historic Places,” an annual report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A childhood passion for history became realized as a career. In December 2013 Sam graduated with a M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont, where she earned a B.A. in History in 2011. Sam is most interested in preserving community heritage through saving and interpreting historic buildings, structures, and sites.
Inspired by Jackson Hole’s unique and rich history, she first worked with JHHSM during the summer of 2013. Sam worked as a volunteer intern digitizing the vertical file collection to provide better access to a searchable database. In May 2014 Sam returned to the Stan Klassen Research Center as a Research Assistant to begin a comprehensive survey of the valley’s homesteading-era historic resources. This includes documenting the history of community life, schools, post offices and the homesteaders’ interactions with the landscape and wildlife. Her work will be made available to the public both in the Research Center and online.
Her primary goal is to educate others about the importance of preserving historic resources. She hopes to inspire others to enjoy these structures and spaces as much as she does.
Steve Roberts – Museum Manager, Retail, Marketing, & Research
Originally from West Virginia where he attended Marshall University, Steve has spent the last ten years working seasonally around the West with his wife, primarily in national parks. His ten years in the Greater Yellowstone area have been with the Yellowstone Association, Grand Teton Association, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, and JHHSM. Prior to moving west, Steve was employed by the United Methodist Publishing House as manager of one of their Cokesbury Bookstores. His interest in history began at an early age, nurtured by his grandparents who took him on frequent trips to Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Civil War sites in the East. He says his most rewarding moment at the Museum came when his research disclosed that one of his ancestors had been a business partner with David Jackson – the same fur trapper that gave Jackson Hole its name. When not managing the store or or assisting with research at the Museum, Steve can be found catching up on his reading on the deck overlooking the Gros Ventre River and the Tetons at their cabin in Kelly.
Nora DeWitt-Hoeger – Research Assistant
Nora grew up in sunny Redondo Beach, California. With both parents as teachers they were flexible enough to take long road trips across the country or travel abroad during the summer months—inspiring her interest for history and travel. For college she decided to head north to get out of the sun and enrolled at the University of Oregon. She volunteered in the exhibits and programs at the Natural History Museum on campus and with a historic archaeologist. She participated in a reconnaissance archaeology field school for a summer in Belize and spent a fall semester studying abroad for her history degree in dynamic London.
After graduating with a BA in History and Anthropology Spring of 2013 she moved to Grand Teton National Park for just a summer job and got hooked. Since spending summers growing up doing trail maintenance in Glacier, hiking Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks and scooping ice cream for a concessioner in Yellowstone she decided that Jackson was right up her alley. While taking advantage of all the outdoor pursuits Jackson has to offer such as hiking, backpacking, running and skiing she decide that she wanted to be more involved in the valley’s unique history which brought her to the Museum last spring. She is excited to continue working as a Research Assistant and in the museum to help preserve the historic record of Jackson and continue to make it available to the public.
Alexei Cree – Research Intern
Before moving to Jackson in late October, Alexei Cree worked with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and the Mystic Aquarium developing cultural and educational exchanges between Native American youth of Point Lay, Alaska and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut. He also created an interactive, web based timeline of the Pequot War Era used for educational and public outreach, and worked on archaeological sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
With a Bachelors degree in History from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, Alexei is planning to eventually continue his studies to earn a Masters in History and Museum Studies. In the meantime, though, he is very excited to be interning with staff from the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum; mountain like now includes cataloguing artifacts from the Slim Lawrence collection and digitizing ephemera for the archives – as well as skiing!