• Jen Marangelo, Executive Director
Jen moved to Missoula, MT to return to school and earn a degree in Wildlife Biology. Turns out, she ended up studying wildlife that was smaller than she anticipated — insects. Her work in a research lab studying dung beetles led to involvement in school presentations and other educational programs. Stemming from a desire to combine her passions for natural history, science education and entomology, the idea for the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium was born. Jen returned to school to get a Master’s degree in Museum Exhibit Design and Curriculum Development. Since graduating, she launched the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium and serves as the President of the Board of Directors. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Glenn, black lab Mono, cat Hemi…and a growing array of invertebrate pets.
• Glenn Marangelo, Development and Community Relations Director
Originally from NJ, Glenn has called Missoula, MT home since 1995. He has worked as a non-profit fundraiser ever since moving to Missoula, having worked with Five Valleys Land Trust and Wilderness Watch, among other positions. In 2009 he helped found the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium and in mid 2016 became the organization’s first Development Director. In addition to fundraising, Glenn makes monthly visits to Montana Public Radio’s Pea Green Boat, compiles our What’s Buzzin reports, writes our Bug Bytes podcast, and simply loves to talk to visitors about our animals. In his spare time, he enjoys backpacking, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, birding …and of course, observing and learning about insects.
• Carolyn Taber, Museum Educator
Originally from the East Coast, Carolyn graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications in 2008 and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. In Colorado for 6 years, Carolyn co-founded Earth Explorers, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) nonprofit that connects students with working scientists in their community: students create short documentary films that highlight their scientists’ research efforts. This opportunity allowed Carolyn to harness both her video production and education skills. As a co-founder of Earth Explorers Carolyn wore many hats: board member, program developer, grant writer, program operations manager and for the past two years Executive Director. Seeking a new challenge, and looking to reconnect with family in Missoula, Carolyn has switched gears and joined the team at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium to focus on education program development. Carolyn is passionate about informal education and is excited everyday about potential new programs for the MBHI! Out of the office Carolyn enjoys working on a variety of video projects and all of the outdoor opportunities Missoula has to offer.
• Allison Dehnel, Museum Interpreter
Allison hails from the Midwestern United States, where she developed her love of nature during many outdoor adventures with her family. When she was little, Allison was fearful of many insects, but that changed in college. She took an entomology course and discovered she had a very strong curiosity about the arthropod world. Allison received her degree in Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2010. She decided to pursue her interest in insects and completed her Master of Science in Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Allison worked as a research lab technician in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington before moving to Missoula in 2015. Allison worked in the pest control industry in Missoula before joining the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium as Museum Interpreter in November of 2018. Allison enjoys sharing her passion for bugs with others, as well as hiking, crafting, and attending local music and theater performances.
• Brenna Shea, Lead Animal Keeper
• Karen Weaver, Admissions Associate
A Montana native, Karen moved to Missoula, MT to attend the University of Montana in 2004 where she received a BA in Sociology and Anthropology. After graduation, she worked in the customer service field for a non-profit and several family-owned businesses. In the spring of 2014 Karen received her Montana Naturalist Certification through the Montana Natural History Center, and recertification in the summer of 2015 at the Glacier Institute. Although always a lover of the outdoors, these classes ignited her passion for interpreting the natural world. While out of the museum, Karen enjoys gardening, reading, nature journaling, traveling, and spending time with her husband Gage, their cats Toonces and Wednesday, and a tenacious pug named Napoleon.
Board of Directors:
• Marcy Allen, President
Marcy Allen grew up in Vermont and moved to Missoula in 1991. Marcy owns a consulting business, providing businesses and non profits with strategic assistance with growth and expansion. She previously worked for many years at the Executive Director of an economic development organization focused on helping businesses obtain funding and market research for growth and expansion. Her love for insects started in her youth collecting monarch caterpillars and watching them transform into beautiful butterflies. She spends her free time skiing, biking, and recreating with her partner and their two sons.
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•Megan Robson, Vice – President
Megan Robson is originally from Billings, Montana but found her way to
Missoula when she enrolled at the University of Montana. Growing up,
her grandparents instilled a love for the outdoors through their
passion for bird watching and as a parent, she hoped to find a similar
shared interest with her son, Luca. Despite her persistent (and
admittedly unjustified) fear of spiders, Luca fell in love with Polly,
a bird-eating tarantula, and consequently Megan fell in love with the
Insectarium. In her free time, Megan camps and skiis, and now takes
photos of weird bugs to send to Glenn and Jen.
• Jen Boyer, Treasurer
Jennifer grew up in Polson, Montana. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Montana State University and a Master of Nurse Anesthesia from St Mary’s University. She practices anesthesia in Butte and Missoula. She has an equal love of the outdoors and learning. Her free time is spent passing on these loves to her son, August and enjoying everything Montana has to offer with her husband, Jeff.
• Lisa Verlanic Fowler, Secretary
Anaconda native Lisa Verlanic has been teaching T-1 and 1st grade at Florence Carlton School since 1994. Lisa was inspired by friend and colleague Byron Weber to protect the environment and to share our natural world with her students. As a participant in the ECOS program at the University of Montana, Lisa was instrumental in the Florence Carlton Outdoor Classroom’s certification as a Schoolyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The children in Ms. Verlanic’s room can watch the intricate movements of Rosie the tarantula and love to feed crickets to Lizzy, the bearded dragon. In addition to serving on various committees at school, Lisa enjoys spending time with family and friends, practicing yoga and traveling.
• Larry Brehm, Board Member
Larry came to Missoula in 2003, having retired his architectural business in Berkeley, CA. As a family man, his personal interests and pro bono work involved children’s entertainment, education, and amusement projects. He’s been watching the annual migration of monarch butterflies for 3 decades! Grandchildren and a local grandniece help fuel Larry’s enthusiasm for, and appreciation of, all sorts of beautiful bugs and creepy insects.
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• Morgan McNeill, Board Member
A 6th generation Montanan from Plains, Morgan attended the University of Montana and received a B.A. in Elementary Education. She currently works in Marketing as the Digital Media Coordinator for Missoula Federal Credit Union. Growing up outdoors, Morgan’s love for the ‘Little Things That Run the World’ began early in the vegetable garden playing with wolf spiders. Her mother fostered a passion for learning about insects, encouraging her to observe, identify, and research first before passing judgment on the smallest of creatures. Fascinated by arachnids, she enjoys studying local populations around her home in Lolo and always looks forward to visits with Polly, Rosie, and the other tarantulas at the Insectarium.
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• Kathryn Herman, Board Member
Having grown up surrounded by the beautiful lakes and seasons of Wisconsin, Kathryn developed a deep appreciation for the outdoors. In the summers, she cultivated a love for insects while gardening with her neighbor, a professor emeritus of entomology, who also shared his antique collection of butterflies. Kathryn graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Science in biology. She has worked in data and analytics for a risk, retirement and health consulting firm since 2012. After moving to Missoula in 2017, she became involved with the MBHI as a volunteer. She is dedicated to sharing the essential role that insects play in our natural world. If she’s not out hiking with her giant pup Jenkins, she’s probably taking a new art class, learning how to fly fish, or spending time with family and friends.
• In Honor of Deceased Board Member – Byron Weber
It is with great sadness that we inform you that our dear friend, Byron Weber, passed away on August 27, 2010.