• 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.
• Carolyn Wiley, 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.
• Erin Gleason, Live Collections Manager
Erin’s childhood, spent in Fairfax, Virginia and overseas in Israel and Jordan, offered her many opportunities to discover all she could about nature and wildlife. Knowing she wanted to pursue a life dedicated to animals, she went on to get her Associates in Veterinary Technology at Northern Virginia Community College and spent over 10 years working as a licensed veterinary technician in emergency and critical care medicine. In 2012, Erin decided to further her education and her opportunities to help animals by moving to Missoula to pursue a degree in Wildlife Biology and Ecological Restoration. She began an animal care internship at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium in January 2016, where she fell in love with the many animal ambassadors at the museum. When not in class, Erin enjoys hiking, exploring local waterways, spending time with her cats and pet reptiles, and of course her work with critters big and small.
• Madeleine Hull, Museum Interpreter
Madeleine moved to Missoula, MT from Minnesota in 2009 to study at the University of Montana. She double majored in Environmental Studies and Biology with a focus in Ecology and Organismal Biology in 2014. She was a research intern for the Butterfly House and Insectarium during her senior year of college, where she researched the study of Biomimicry and how it applies to the forms and functions of arthropods. After college, she volunteered her time in elementary schools around Missoula teaching kids everything from arthropod anatomy to the symbiosis the Ojibwe people have with the environment and their spiritual world. Madeleine finds as much time as possible to do her favorite things outdoors, which include backcountry skiing, camping, vegetable gardening and hiking with her two dogs, Rubi and Ziggy.
• 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:
• Bryce Christiaens, President
Bryce is a Montana native from the Rocky Mountain Front and is the founder/owner/farmer of Native Ideals Seed Farm; focusing on growing local, native wildflower seed for ecological restoration projects throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains. Bryce’s interests include native plant and insect community conservation, native plant propagation, gardening, hiking, fishing, hunting and generally being outside enjoying Montana.
• Marcy Allen, Vice-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.
• John Wells, Treasurer
John is one of the founding partners of MacArthur, Means and Wells Architects. A Missoulian from the age of two, John is pleased and proud to have had the opportunity a built a career in his hometown. He and his lovely wife Leslie live in the university area and occasionally get to see their son Jay who is a student at the University of Montana. When not working they enjoy the wonderful outdoor opportunities in Montana – hiking, rafting, kayaking, snowshoeing, and huckleberry picking.
• 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.
• Glenn Marangelo, Board Member
Glenn has lived in Missoula, MT for the past 15 years. He has worked for Five Valleys Land Trust as their Development Director among other positions. Glenn’s resume includes a 7 year stint as Development Coordinator for Wilderness Watch, working for the Clark Fork River Technical Assistance Committee, as well as volunteer work with several local organizations. He received a Master of Science degree in Resource Management and Administration from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Business and Economics from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. In his spare time, Glenn enjoys backpacking, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, birding …and of course, observing insects.
• Jen Boyer, Board Member
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.
• 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.