The chief asset of the Eppley Institute is its knowledgeable and dedicated staff. The Eppley Institute prides itself on the professional diversity of its staff, each with unique skills and experiences that contribute to our partners’ needs. The Eppley staff is made up of people from all disciplines as well as the park, recreation and public lands management profession.
Stephen A. Wolter, CPRP
Steve Wolter has extensive experience as a leader, manager, teacher, and executive in the park, recreation, public lands fields. He has worked at the highest levels of parks agencies nationally, as well as with state and local agencies. Originating numerous agency strategy best practices, competency frameworks, and agency capability models for the park, recreation, and public lands field, including international certification programs, Wolter offers Eppley Institute clients a passionate advocate for parks, public lands, facilities, services, and programs that serve all people. His 40 years of experience in facilities management, regional planning, sports, and tourism make him uniquely qualified to assist organizations in developing and meeting their strategic aspirations.
A critical asset for Eppley is Mr. Wolter’s expertise as an executive leading park, recreation, and public land organizations. This unique experience allows him, and by extension the Eppley Institute, to consult with organizations undergoing significant challenges or startup activities to align with long-range strategic goals. Wolter leads the Eppley’s award-winning training, research, consulting, and planning services with a singular focus on the advancement of the park, recreation, and public land profession and improving the services provided to the public and communities.
An active traveler, Wolter enjoys finding new places in the world to experience nature and the outdoors with his long-time mate, Lynn Jamieson, and friends. As a strong supporter of living a life full of experiences, he dabbles in photography, art, cooking, as well as the outdoors where Wolter enjoys many activities around canoeing, kayaking, camping, and fishing.
Dr. Kristy Anderson joined the Eppley Institute as a Project Manager summer 2021.
Kristy is an experienced data analyst and strategist, with 10 years of experience in research and evaluation within both public and nonprofit sectors. She also has several years of experience in outdoor education programming and interpretation. Her academic research centers social-ecological inquiries that examine how anthropocentric environmental changes shape public health and outdoor recreation outcomes.
Kristy holds undergraduate degrees in Economics & Business (Indiana University-Bloomington), a master’s degree in Natural Resources (University of Idaho), and a PhD in Leisure Behavior (also from Indiana University-Bloomington). She earned a master’s certificate in Environmental Education in 2017 and has earned additional credentials as a Master Naturalist and Wilderness First Responder.
At the Eppley Institute, Kristy is passionate about applying her skills, experiences, and education to meaningful, translatable, and actionable project work on behalf of and with our partners. Her project work spans these areas of research, evaluation, planning, training, and interpretation.
In her spare time, you are likely to find her going for walks with her pup, Brooks; taking in fresh mountain air during her travels; exploring bookstores and acquiring books at a rate faster than she can read them; and spending time with her fun-loving family, especially her beloved niece and nephews.
Matt Borden is the Technology Manager for the Eppley Institute. He leads the technology team in the development, implementation, operations, security, and maintenance of IT systems, specific to Eppley including learning systems, and software applications.
Borden has a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Indiana University Southeast, and a graduate certificate in Information Security from Purdue University.
Bernadette De Leon
Park Systems Planning Generalist
Bernadette retired from Indiana University in early 2022 and joined Eppley in June. As our Park Systems Planning Generalist, she will use two of her passions: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and natural areas. Her doctoral research at the School of Public Health-Bloomington focused on accessibility at national parks, and her master’s degrees in environmental science and biology provided her opportunities to develop and teach GIS courses as adjunct faculty in both the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the School of Public Health. In addition to teaching and learning, she loves dancing, landscaping, and making all types of art—from woodcarving to watercolors.
Colleen Durkin-Blackburn, MS, OTR/L
Senior Program Manager for Accessibility & Park Planning
Colleen’s extensive background centers around individuals with disabilities, including community living, employment, vocational education, medical rehabilitation, older adults, accessibility within the private and public sectors, as well as higher education. A common thread throughout her work is equity and inclusion of people with disabilities within the various facets of life, including the planning of parks and recreational opportunities.
Prior to joining Eppley, Colleen was instrumental in her role as an Accessibility Specialist for the State of New Hampshire. She worked with various State agencies and numerous places of public accommodation to increase access throughout New Hampshire. In addition, Colleen has extensive experience developing programs for older adults to live independently and with dignity. Colleen holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University.
Colleen feels that the Eppley Institute’s mission and vision towards inclusion and parks-related planning and training, along with its global presence, are ideal for serving both the disability community and the public at large. When not at work, Colleen enjoys time with family, creating stained glass pieces, and being walked by her large dogs.
Ross Edelstein is a Graduate Assistant at the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, and a PhD student in Special Education at Indiana University. He currently leads the Park Autism Research Knowledge Synthesis (PARKS) Project, and is heavily invested in making the park experience more welcoming for all people. He is also an Autistic man.
Ross has a BA in history from Truman State University and a Master’s in Museum Studies from Indiana University – Purdue University – Indianapolis. He has worked in museums and archives across the United States. He also works as a consultant with museums and other cultural and societal institutions, such as the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Eiteljorg Museum. He also, through his work at both the Eppley Institute and Indiana University’s Special Education program, works to conduct groundbreaking, participatory research on Autistic experiences.
Ross also is a prolific public speaker. He has spoken in venues ranging from online webinars with organizations like the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium, to national and international conferences such as the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability. He is active in making information available to a wide variety of audiences, through training, speaking, and publishing scholarly and non-scholarly works.
Ross is also heavily involved in the community, serving as a board member or advisory board member to numerous organizations, such as the Indiana Arts Commission. In his free time, what little there is, Ross enjoys playing video games, going to cultural spaces like parks and museums, and cooking.
Layne Elliott works to advance parks, trails, open space, and recreation to improve the quality of life, health, economic opportunities, and conservation values for every community. He joined the Eppley Institute in 2016 after receiving a Masters Degree in Park and Public Lands Management from Indiana University, having graduated from IU with a Bachelor’s in Sports Marketing and Management in 1991. has professional experience with park master and strategic planning, trails research, and educational design on a wide variety of topics including park and tourism planning, a training program for USA Softball, park safety recreational sports programming, and interpretation. He is also the Assistant Director of the Great Lakes Park Training Institute.
Eppley’s mission to support, expand, and build capacity in park agencies and local communities aligns with his personal and professional goals. Park professionals from front-line staff to agency directors receive training and services from Eppley unmatched in breadth and quality in the parks world.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons and is an avid sports fan, enjoying watching football, basketball, Indy Car racing, golf, and many other sporting events. He also enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities with his family.
Social Media Coordinator
Sarah works as the social media coordinator for the Eppley Institute. She is a PhD student and associate instructor in English, with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, at Indiana University. Her research explores how to use digital and social media tools to teach writing at the college level, particularly in order to advocate for racial and gender equity in higher education. She has experience building online platforms both personally and professionally, and she enjoys creating all types of content, including anything from educational writing advice to beauty and fashion tips. Filming videos and vlogs—including travel vlogs—is one of her favorite hobbies.
At the Eppley Institute, Sarah manages our multiple social media platforms, where she creates content, interacts with partners, and shares information about the Eppley Institute and parks and public lands more generally. Sarah looks forward to growing our social media presence, ultimately positioning the Eppley Institute as the go-to research hub for all things parks and public lands. Highlighting the staff’s projects (and beautiful nature pictures!) is one of her favorite parts of her job. Sarah is also particularly appreciative of the work the Eppley Institute does regarding parks, public lands, and accessibility. From conducting accessibility assessments to drafting master plans focused on accessibility, the Eppley Institute is clearly dedicated to their mission of enhancing “access, choice, and quality of natural, cultural, and recreational experiences for all people.”
Stephanie Freeman-Day is a PhD student in Environmental Science at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In addition to being a Research Assistant at the Eppley Institute, Stephanie is also a researcher with the Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group, and with the Urban Green Infrastructure group of the Environmental Resilience Institute. Her work focuses on urban ecology and urban forests. Currently, Stephanie is analyzing urban forest patch sustainability and perseverance over time and equity in access to the urban forest in terms of biophysical quality. Additionally, she is working on a collaboration with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and the Environmental Protection Agency working with residents in neighborhoods with comparatively lower tree canopy. Stephanie serves on the Bloomington Tree Commission. Before beginning her PhD, Stephanie completed a BA in Sociology and master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability, both from Indiana University.
Stephanie was excited when an opening came up for a Research Assistant at Eppley. The Institute’s work and mission align well with her research interests and personal goals, to better understand and sustain the ties between the social and natural worlds. For fun, Stephanie loves to run, hike, cycle, travel, eat good food, spend time with her three children, read good books, and just find new, exciting, and enjoyable experiences.
Josh Gordon is the Multimedia Coordinator at Eppley. He produces, writes, films, and edits content for Eppley, the NPS, and anyone in-between.
Josh has been editing, writing, and directing for the past ten years in various jobs throughout the country. As an Assistant Editor at Wholly Cow Productions & Pacific Daylight Films, he collaborated with editors to shoot, edit, and produce a variety of video productions. He put together rough cuts, organized files, and researched topics to develop scripts. Working with the lead Video Editors would include finding interesting stories and creating intriguing paths through them. Josh also worked as an Audio Coordinator with Repost Network before they were bought by SoundCloud, where he managed over 30 independent artists and assisted them with monetization across the platform. Here at Eppley, his responsibilities include editing Accessibility and FMLP webinars, producing, interviewing, and putting together videos for the National Park Service, and editing content for new pitches. Every day is something different!
Josh is excited to create, edit, film, and share information on what Eppley does, who we work with, and our place within the Parks and Rec and Accessibility communities. He hopes to provide his technical and creative skills to share knowledge of accessibility and inclusivity, and to help diversify the people who are able to enjoy parks and public lands.
When not on walks with his dog, Gambino, and fiancé, Emma, he enjoys writing, listening to podcasts, playing video games, reading, and DMing various Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.
Kelli A. Market
Asst. Director for Fiscal & Administration
Kelli Market is the Assistant Director for Fiscal and Administrative Operations. She began working with the Eppley Institute in 1998 and has experience in annual budgeting and the financial aspect of partner collaboration. Kelli’s responsibilities at Eppley include handling of all budget matters including oversight of all project and internal accounts, including communication and coordination between the Institute Director, campus administrators and Institute partners. She also serves as part of Eppley’s proposal submissions and agreements team and coordinates all functions of the Institute’s administrative team.
Outside of work, Kelli enjoys working outdoors in her garden. She also likes to spend time reading, cooking, and watching her favorite sports teams.
Web Services Specialist
Ben has been working at the Eppley Institute since 2018. He develops and maintains software necessary to maintain Eppley’s web infrastructure and provides data reporting support for staff and partners; multimedia editing; and technical support to staff, associates, and students.
Ben received his M.S in computer science from Indiana University, and his B.A. in computer science and mathematics from Valparaiso University.
Antoinette Moyer, PhD, CPRP
Project Manager (Research Associate), Project Coordinator for the Playground Maintenance Technician Certification Program
Dr. Antoinette S. Moyer is a native North Carolinian. Both her undergraduate and master’s degrees are in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from NC State University. She also earned her Master of Philosophy, as well as a PhD, both in Public Policy and Administration with emphasis in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University. Dr. Moyer has had over 20 years of professional experience in the leisure services field in various public, nonprofit and commercial organizations. Prior to her position with Eppley Center, she focused on project management and grants administration as a Regional Consultant for Recreation Resources Services at NC State University.
Professional development and networking have been two hallmarks of Dr. Moyer’s career, maintaining active participation and certifications within her state and national professional associations. She has been a Certified Visitor for NRPA’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) for 15 years. She is excited to bring her varied expertise and passion for facilitating excellence in public sector to Eppley. She thinks that her position with the Eppley Institute will give her the opportunity to continue her contribution to parks and recreation profession and continue to establish/enhance relationships across the US and nationwide.
As the mother of two young school-aged children, Dr. Moyer spends a lot of time expanding their horizons. They travel a lot throughout the country, exploring mountains and beaches, rural and urban areas, and different cultures.
Linda Robertson is an Account Representative at the Eppley Institute and assists the Assistant Director for Fiscal and Administrative Operations on items related to accounts expenditures.
Linda has been employed at IU since 2003. She was first hired at the National Center on Accessibility and remained there through the merger with the Eppley Institute and later the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC). She is responsible for reconciling accounts and invoicing. She also assists Kelli Market in various financial matters.
Outside of work Linda enjoys working outside and going to outdoor events. She also enjoys time with her family and friends. Linda’s interest in the accessibility field has continued to expand due to various health events both personally and with family and friends. She considers it an honor to be able to assist with projects in this field.
Deirdre Sheets joined Eppley in 2021 as a copy editor. An experienced writer, editor, and educator with a commitment to the preservation of public lands, she finds great interest and satisfaction in the work of Eppley. Deirdre holds undergraduate degrees in English (Eastern Michigan University) and Secondary Education and History (Northeastern Illinois University). She completed her Montessori Elementary (6-12) Training and M. Ed. At the Institute for Guided Studies. She completed her Naturalist Certification through the Morton Arboretum in Illinois.
Deirdre takes great joy in helping people refine their writing and communication skills as well as exploring language construction for both precision and nuance. In addition to editing for Eppley, she works as a copywriter and writes educational materials.
As a disabled person that loves the outdoors, Deirdre is an advocate for accessibility and is always exploring the relationship between our bodies and the body of our planet. Accessibility for all and sustainability in the face of a climate crisis are constant considerations in her work and daily life.
In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, reading and writing, and traveling. She is always happy to load up the car with assorted family members and her dog, Mavis, and take to the road in search of quiet places and connection with the natural world, our history, and our culture.
Instructional Technology Consultant
As Instructional Technology Consultant, Karen Sweeny works with Eppley’s diverse group of knowledge experts to develop the best training materials we can for all learners. She has an MIS in Information Systems from Indiana University and a Certificate in Distance Education for adults from IUPUI. She is also a lecturer in the IU Kelley School of Business and teaches Technical Writing and Human Relations to adults for the United Association.
Scott A. Taylor
Web Services Specialist
Scott Taylor started with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands in January 2012. Since 2002, his previous web development experience includes the National Center on Accessibility, the Indiana University Alumni Association, and seven years with the Hoosier Times Newspaper Group. Scott graduated with a B.G.S. from Indiana University in 2003.
Scott specializes in the creation of web-accessible e-courses, implementation of effective layouts, with a focus on usability and ease of maintenance. In conjunction with Eppley Institute project managers, he constructs e-learning courses with federal agencies such as the National Park Service and the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.
Administrative Generalist Coordinator
Natasha Viener is the Administrative Generalist Coordinator, with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. She has just recently begun working with the Eppley Institute and is excited to work in an administrative role. Her responsibilities include all office management duties and purchasing, coordination of internal office communication, working with all non-employees for travel and payment coordination.
In her free time, Natasha enjoys singing opera, cross-stitching, and reading her favorite books.
Senior Program Manager
Dr. Carolyn Waters is the Senior Program Manager with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. She has more than fifteen years of experience specific to environmental education, spanning nonprofit, government, and higher education sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Studio Art from Macalester College, a Master of Education in Environmental Education from Western Washington University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Social Change from Bellarmine University.
Carolyn’s research focuses on critical pedagogies that empower learners and educators to transform their social and ecological communities. She collaborates with community members using participatory methods to envision and create a better future. Topics of her publications and presentations include diversity, equity, and inclusion training for environmental educators, student voice in public high school ecology classes, and curricular design that engages young people in environmental decision making.
Carolyn’s teaching experience spans a range of audiences and settings, from leading two-week backpacking courses in the North Cascades to managing after-school edible garden programs to teaching undergraduate environmental science courses. Witnessing moments of awe and wonder that deepen learner connections to the land is one of her greatest inspirations.
When she isn’t developing educational programs, she and her partner enjoy hiking with their dog, restoring their urban homestead, and all things food-related: growing vegetables, tending a laying flock of hens, cooking, and trying out new restaurants.
Kate Wiltz has been with the Eppley Institute since 2013 and is a Project Manager working on education, training, and accessibility projects. She has vast experience in conservation education and adult learning across multiple platforms and settings. She also has experience in natural and cultural resource interpretation and management. Her interests lie at the intersection of human behavior and resource stewardship, and she is driven by a passion for the outdoors and drive for creating equitable experiences for people of all abilities and backgrounds.
Kate’s background includes an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Indiana University, as well as a master’s degree in Natural Resources from the Ohio State University. She has worked with youth, private landowners and conservation groups, public lands professionals, government agencies, and educators to foster proactive stewardship of our natural world.
When Kate isn’t working on Eppley projects, you can find her working on our local county council or hanging out with her family. She enjoys hiking and camping, traveling, and protecting the plants in her backyard from urban deer. She lives with her husband, daughters, dog, and cats in Bloomington, Indiana.
Michelle Ying is a project assistant with the Eppley Institute as well as working in a similar role with the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has a BS in Recreation from Indiana University and MA in Teaching from Goucher College. She has a diverse work history including being a third grade teacher, a corporate trainer for a mutual fund company, and a small business owner. Most recently, she has been part of research project teams studying: the fines and fees associated with probation and parole, reducing the frequency of revocation from probation (return to incarceration), and identifying racial disparities in the prosecutorial process.
Michelle is excited to bring the skills she has gained through those endeavors to support the project management staff of the Eppley Institute. She is inspired by immensity of our national, state and local parks and the incredible variation of geological features, diverse wildlife, and amazing recreation opportunities available to anyone who visits these remarkable places.
Michelle enjoys traveling, reading, finding treasures at auctions, playing board games, and being active with her family.