SPRING HOURS:  Open Friday-Sunday from 10am-4pm.  Private tours are available during the other days of the week.
SPRING HOURS:  Open Friday-Sunday from 10am-4pm  Private tours are available during the other days of the week.

The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary is led by a dedicated team of professionals and volunteers devoted to the welfare of all of our residents that we have the honor of serving.

Our Staff

Administration

BR Walker

BR Walker

Executive Director

BR has spent much of her career managing teams of employees and directing market research programs in the corporate world. She served Mississippi Public Broadcasting and its foundation with her fundraising and grant writing skills. She has consulted on marketing and strategic planning for a variety of client organizations. She is an accomplished professional artist, with a focus on nature, wildlife painting, and art restoration. BR has spent long periods of time in Montana over the years, for both work and pleasure, and in 2021 she brought her wide-ranging experience to our YWS team full-time.

Trish Lacombe

Finance and Administrative Lead

A YWS volunteer before joining our staff, Trish brings experience in retail, restaurant, and hotel management as well as nonprofit board membership. She supports the management of our finances, donation and membership records, and volunteer program. She serves as administrative assistant to our Executive Director and often steps in to run our Gift Shop.

Animal Care and Education

BR Walker

Elizabeth “Izzy” Sommerdorf

Animal Care Manager

Izzy earned a degree in zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University and spent three years gaining experience with a multitude of species. Before joining the YWS animal care team in 2020, she was completing field research on Loggerhead sea turtles through the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. She became YWS Animal Care Manager in 2022 and is a certified Montana Master Naturalist.

BR Walker

Mason Williams

Animal Keeper/Education Associate
Mason earned her bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, specializing in conservation biology, zoo animal care and management. She joined our team in 2020, coming from a wildlife rehabilitation center in Nebraska, where her last job title was “Raccoon Supervisor.” She brought her love of raccoons to YWS, founding our annual celebration of International Raccoon Appreciation Day.
BR Walker

Lauren Teeling

Animal Keeper

Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree in animal behavior, ecology, and conservation at Canisius University in Buffalo, New York, focusing on rescue and rehabilitation. She interned at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, working with rescued exotic cats, and worked at Wisdom Farm, a New York facility providing care and rehabilitation to neglected and abused horses. Lauren joined the YWS team at the end of 2023.

BR Walker

Eden Wondra

Education Manager

Eden has a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior from Bucknell University (PA) and a master’s in education from University at Buffalo (NY). Her professional experience began in animal conservation, doing field research on primates at a conservation non profit in Tanzania. Eden has since transitioned into environmental education; she now oversees development and delivery of YWS’s extensive education program. She came to YWS in 2021 from a teaching and management post at NatureBridge (education partner of the National Park Service) at Yosemite National Park.

Facilities

Charles Skinner

Facilities Manager

Charles was one of our star volunteers before becoming a full-time employee in May 2021. With an extensive background in construction, maintenance, and painting, he brings hands-on knowledge and skills to his work: maintaining our assortment of animal habitats to accommodate our diverse residents, as well as our administration, education, and service buildings, and our grounds.

Jay Baumbauer

Facilities Assistant

With an extensive background in maintenance, he brings hands-on knowledge and skills to his work: supporting the maintance of the animal habitats and grounds.

Corinna Baumbauer

Landscape and Gardens Lead
Corinna’s background includes formal education in horticulture and landscaping and experience as a landscape gardener at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody WY. She often works alongside Clare Witcomb, board member emeritus and founder of our gardens, ensuring that our grounds provide an attractive setting for our mission.

Our Board

Samantha Thomas

Samantha Thomas

Board Chair

Sam is a fitness instructor and certified personal trainer, and she owns and operates a cleaning business. Since joining the YWS board in 2014, she has worked on fundraising and assisted with building remodeling, habitat construction, and cleaning. In addition to presiding over YWS board activities, she is very active in promoting the Sanctuary on social media. Before joining the board, she was an active and passionate YWS volunteer.

Samantha Thomas

Victoria Porter

Vice Chair, Board Secretary

Victoria retired after working for 37 years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. She moved to Red Lodge in the summer of 2017 and joined the YWS board in 2020. She has extensive technology experience with research equipment, network design and management, and database systems. She worked as a teaching assistant before receiving her PhD in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. Her areas of interest on the YWS board include volunteering, education, and community outreach to support fundraising efforts.

Samantha Thomas

Sue Cross

Treasurer

Sue is originally from Chicago and has fulfilled a lifelong dream of living near the mountains and wildlife that she has always loved. She manages a lawn care company in Red Lodge and co-owns a contracting company with her husband, bringing to the YWS board a varied background in management and accounting. Educating people about responsible land ownership and learning to appreciate and coexist peacefully within our local ecosystem is very important to her. She joined the YWS board in 2022.

Samantha Thomas

Sue Bury

Board Member

Sue and her husband lived and worked as writers for client organizations in Washington DC from 1976 to 1998, when they moved to Red Lodge, retiring in 2011. Her experience includes serving as president of the Washington (DC) Humane Society, writer on projects for wildlife advocate groups and government wildlife agencies, and founding board member of Beartooth Humane Alliance. She joined the YWS board in 2021.

Lindsey Killham

Lindsey Killham

Board Member

Lindsey is a born and raised Montanan. After graduating from Montana State University, she began a long tenure with the State of Montana as a multidisciplinary Investigator. She has an extensive investigative background focusing mainly in Employment law.  She moved to Red Lodge in 2021 to join the Red Lodge Mountain team as the Director of Human Resources. Lindsey, her husband, and their children all share a love of skiing, camping and enjoying the all the Montana outdoor activities the Beartooths have to offer. 

Samantha Thomas

Dr. Alyson Mike

Board Member

Alyson was raised in Billings and visited our campus often in her youth. A National Board Certified middle school teacher, she taught middle- and high-school science for more than 20 years, and she was Montana’s Teacher of the Year in 2004. In 2007, Alyson left the classroom to work with nonprofits, designing and implementing online learning. She then served as senior manager of sustainability education at Salesforce, which provides technology to nonprofits, where she led climate change education. She has also been an independent consultant for several years. Alyson joined the YWS board in 2022.

Samantha Thomas

Dave Pauli

Board Member

Dave’s professional life covers nearly 45 years in wildlife rehabilitation, including 5 years in animal control, 4 years in humane society work, and the last 30 years as field responder for the Humane Society of the U.S., conducting disaster response and wildlife conflict management missions. Today, his field work focuses on management of feral animals, contraception programs for deer, hobby turtle/reptile rescue, and other efforts. Dave serves on several Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks committees, and he is board chair of the Billings-based Science and Conservation Center. As a facilities inspector for HSUS and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, he has visited hundreds of shelters, zoos, and sanctuaries around the globe. Recently, he became a certified Montana Master Naturalist.

Samantha Thomas

Susan Robbins

Board Member

Susan has an elementary education degree from the University of Kansas, and she also studied library science and the Cecchetti method of ballet. Following her interest in teaching dance, she founded the Academy of Dance in Dickinson, ND, and taught all levels of ballet, tap, and jazz. Susan joined the YWS board in 2022. She volunteered at YWS from 2001-2017, working in our gardens with her friend Clare Witcomb, long-time and well-known supporter of our campus.

Samantha Thomas

Aimee Romeijn

Board Member

As someone who was born and raised in Montana, Aimee has always had a healthy appreciation for the mountains and a love for wildlife.  She spent the bulk of her teaching career in rural Alaska as a teacher, counselor, and administrator.  Although Aimee is new to the board, she is looking forward to supporting the mission of the YWS and participating in fundraising efforts.

Join Our Team

Cooper the Raccoon at Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to get involved with the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. Whether you’re exploring different career options or just looking for ways to get involved, we could use your help! You must be 18 or older, or have parent approval. Please fill out our Volunteer Application Form to get started!

Scout the Coyote at Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Interns

We have no paid internships open at this time. If we receive funding for internships, they will be posted here and on our Facebook page.

Red Lodge High School students can check with the school counselor about getting involved in the school-to-work internship program.

Mackenzie the Bobcat at Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Join Our Staff

If you are interested in paid employment at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, please see our Open Jobs page for any currently open positions.