We couldn’t accomplish our mission at Water Education Colorado without the tireless work of our staff, board of trustees, and dedicated committee members from around the state. Meet our crew.
Jayla Poppleton is the Executive Director of Water Education Colorado. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Jayla oversaw Water Education Colorado’s full suite of print and digital content programming. In that capacity she also served as the editor for Headwaters magazine, Water Education Colorado’s flagship publication, since 2009. Through the duration of her career, she has been intent on communicating important science and policy issues with a human-interest lens. She has written extensively on all things Colorado water, and it continues to be the subject she is most passionate about. Hailing from the outskirts of Chicago, her enthusiasm for outdoor adventure and the natural world led her to the field of natural resources—and to Colorado, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism with a specialization in natural resources management from Colorado State University. She fell in love with Colorado’s rivers while guiding commercial rafts down the Cache la Poudre River. In addition to reading and traveling, she enjoys running, hiking, rafting, snowboarding, mountain biking and any other opportunity to be outside in the Colorado sunshine. She lives in Denver with her husband and three sons.
Director of Operations
Jennie Geurts’ work at Water Education Colorado combines her passion for organization and love of the natural world. Jennie manages WEco’s database, finances, membership program, evaluation, office, and human resources. Before joining WEco, Jennie was an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service. Jennie earned her bachelor’s degree in history and art history from Kent State University and a master’s in museum studies from the University of Colorado. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, geeking out over art, and traveling.
Leadership and Education Programs Manager
Stephanie Scott is an emerging water leader in Colorado, however her passion for the resource and empowering people was not her original career path. She first worked with wildlife in many capacities: rehabilitating wildlife, zookeeping, and traveling the world to study wildlife management and zoology. While exploring how to get people more connected to their natural resources, Stephanie found her passion in water. She started working on the non-profit side of water management in 2013 at Trout Unlimited and is a graduate of the highly esteemed Water Leaders program run by Water Education Colorado. Stephanie was also deeply engaged in Colorado’s Water Plan, and has worked with municipalities, agriculture and other stakeholders on state water projects. She has extensive experience in outreach, education and leadership building, inspiring more informed individuals and communities across Colorado. Stephanie manages Water Education Colorado’s leadership and education programs. She lives in Thornton with her husband, son and 95-pound lap dog, Roscoe.
Headwaters Magazine Editor and Communications Specialist
Caitlin Coleman edits Water Education Colorado’s Headwaters magazine and Citizen’s Guide series. She also manages WEco’s vast suite of content programs like the blog, webinars, and radio series. Before joining the WEco team, Caitlin worked in a variety of outreach and reporting jobs. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and French from the University of Vermont, a master’s in journalism from the University of Colorado. Outside of work Caitlin enjoys teaching yoga, gardening, camping and traveling.
Digital Content Editor
Jerd Smith is the digital content editor at Water Education Colorado. Prior to joining WEco, she worked as a news editor and reporter for an array of Colorado news outlets including the Rocky Mountain News and the Daily Camera and Times-Call newspapers. A former fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, she has a bachelor’s of science degree in political science from the University of Evansville, in Indiana, and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. When she isn’t reporting and editing, she enjoys hiking, cross country skiing and mountain biking with her husband and two sons.
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Sophie Kirschenman grew up in the Sierra Nevadas, exploring trails, snowboarding and swimming in the endlessly blue waters of Lake Tahoe. At an early age, two crucial things happened: She fell in love with the natural world and caught the travel bug. This ultimately led her to earning her bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Nevada-Reno and master’s in international environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. Her international and local work has ranged from managing fisheries in El Salvador and watersheds for Conservation International to designing educational resources and outreach activities in California and interning as a recreation ranger for Denver Water. Inspired by a love of the American West, passion for all things water and desire for a deeper sense of place, Sophie now helps coordinate Water Education Colorado’s education and outreach activities, with a particular focus on the Water Educator Network. In her free time, you can find her traveling, painting, reading, writing and adventuring in the Colorado mountains with her boyfriend and her trusty dog, Liza.
Rachel Champion is the Communications Intern at Water Education Colorado, and her love of water began from growing up in the humid, rainy environment of Southern Alabama. During her time in the US Navy, she served in Naples, Italy and ultimately ended up in sunny San Diego. Living in San Diego was the first time she had experienced life in an area where water is scarce, and thus, began to develop a love and appreciation for water. She is currently a student at CU Denver majoring in Business Administration with emphasis in Marketing. In her spare time, she can be found lying in the grass, or running through the plains with her boyfriend and Bengal, Archer.
Board of Trustees
Our 22-member non-partisan Board of Trustees is comprised of water and non-water professionals from various disciplines and regions across Colorado. Their tremendous commitment to water education is apparent and appreciated.
Lisa Darling, South Metro Water Supply Authority, Greenwood Village
Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., University of Denver College of Law, Denver
Gregg Ten Eyck, Leonard Rice Engineers, Denver
Alan Matlosz, George K. Baum & Company, Denver
Eric Hecox, Shea Properties, Greenwood Village
Representative Jeni Arndt, Colorado House of Representatives, Fort Collins
Nick Colglazier, Colorado Competitive Council, Denver
Jorge Figueroa, Americas for Conservation + Arts, Boulder
Greg Johnson, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Denver
Scott Lorenz, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs
Dan Luecke, Consultant, Boulder
Kevin McBride, Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District, Steamboat Springs
Kate McIntire, Jefferson County, Golden
Reed Morris, Mallon Lonnquist Morris & Watrous, Denver
Lauren Ris, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Denver
Travis Robinson, Divsion of Water Resources, Manassa
Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, Colorado Senate, Sterling
Laura Spann, Southwestern Water Conservation District, Durango
Chris Treese, Colorado River District, Glenwood Springs
Reagan Waskom, Colorado Water Institute, Fort Collins
Water Education Colorado relies on both Board members and generous volunteers to accomplish our work. The following individuals volunteer on Water Education Colorado’s Program Development and/or Communications committees alongside the Board.
Perry Cabot, Colorado Water Institute and CSU Extension – Western Region
Blake Osborn, Colorado State University Extension
Jim Pokrandt, Colorado River District
Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd, One World One Water Center, Metropolitan State University of Denver