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Staff

photo Marty Basch, Windswept Editor

Marty joined the Observatory family with the fall 2007 edition of Windswept. When not editing Windswept, Marty writes about the outdoors, travel and sports. He has a weekly syndicated outdoor adventure column and his work appears in local, regional and national publications. Marty's written a few books and won several writing awards including a prestigious Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas Gold Award and two North American Snowsports Journalists Association Harold Hirsch Awards. He also has television and radio experience.

An avid cyclist, he's ridden in many places including from Maine to Alaska, Canada to Mexico and in Arctic Scandinavia. He once competed in the bike race up Mount Washington, stopped to eat lunch and didn't finish last. Marty also skis, snowboards, hikes and paddles. He gives humorous storytelling programs about his cycling adventures and has a web site: www.onetankaway.com.

Marty is a Boston University graduate and Explorers Club member. He lives on a Mount Washington Valley dirt road with his mortgage mate Jan Duprey.

photo Abby Blackburn, Membership and Donor Relations Manager

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Abby moved from the desert to the wilds of New Hampshire at the age of eight. She immediately fell in love with the mountains, forests, wildlife and skiing.

An internship in Glacier National Park, Montana while a senior at the University of New Hampshire cemented her love of the outdoors. Returning east to graduate, she served for several years as Sunday River Resort's competition and events manager, then as an independent contractor managing Maine Handicapped Skiing's popular ski-a-thon event. The opportunity to manage donor and member relations for Mount Washington Observatory was a natural fit.

Abby plans to spend her life surrounded by the mountains. When not working, you can find her skiing, snowboarding, painting or just spending time outside watching the wildlife.

photo Will Broussard, Outreach Coordinator

Will comes to the Observatory from Antioch University New England graduate school, where he studied conservation biology. With an undergraduate degree in biology and extensive training in environmental education, he is thankful for the opportunity to share his love of science education with area students as the Observatory's outreach coordinator.

Will's hobbies include walking, bird watching, and cooking strange meals. The midcoast Maine native is excited to experience Mount Washington's myriad meteorological phenomena, especially altocumulus lenticularis, temperature inversion, and rime ice.

photo
Photo by Jamie Gemmiti
Bob Cottrell, Volunteer Coordinator

While growing up in Florida, Bob's love of nature, history and art was fueled by family camping trips, Boy Scouts, and travel with friends. By age 10 he had been to all 48 contiguous United States and two foreign countries. As volunteer coordinator, Bob practices what he preaches, volunteering with the Osher Life Long Learning program and a number of local historical societies and organizations. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, campfires, cook-outs, swimming, snow shoeing and dog sledding with his dogs, Tug and Fenway. Tug is a Chinook sled dog, New Hampshire's State Dog breed, who likes to celebrate New England's changing seasons by helping friends with farm chores such as ice harvesting, maple sugaring, haying, and harvesting.

Bob has a master's degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and has worked in places as diverse as the Smithsonian's Museum of American Art, the Crowley Museum and Nature Center in Sarasota, Florida, the Conner Prairie Museum in Indiana, and at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Bob Cottrell also works part-time as the Curator of the Nella Braddy Henney History Room at the Conway Public Library.

photo Dr. Peter Crane, Curator

Peter oversees the Observatory's Gladys Brooks Memorial Library, which features books, maps, prints, photos, and other material relating to the Observatory, Mount Washington, and the White Mountains. The collection is the largest, publicly-accessible trove of its kind in the White Mountain region, and serves the Observatory, its members, and the public as a resource for the history, literature, and science of Mount Washington and the White Mountains.

Peter has lived in the White Mountains for more than thirty years, and served the U.S. Forest Service and the Appalachian Mountain Club in resource management, public information, and educational roles before coming to work for the Observatory. He began his Observatory career in 1988 as a weather observer, museum manager, and Summit Shift Leader. After three years of summit duty, he focused on the Observatory's educational activities, based at the Observatory's valley office. He served for several years as Director of Programs before transitioning to his current position. Peter did his undergraduate work at Harvard College, and earned his doctoral degree in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. An avid year-round hiker, he is also a volunteer trail maintainer for the Appalachian Mountain Club, a member of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), and serves on the board of the New Hampshire Outdoor Council.

photo Julie Davis, Business Manager

Hailing from Australia, Julie earned a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University. She began her career in the corporate services division of Arthur Anderson & Co. in Sydney, and moved to the U.S. a few years later.

After ten years of working in the San Francisco Bay area, Julie craved a simpler, less hectic lifestyle—having grown up in the foothills of Mt. Kosciuszko, she wanted to raise her children in a similar area so that they, too, could enjoy nature's beauty and an outdoor lifestyle.

It was this love of the mountains and seasons that brought her to New England in 1998, where she started an inn and lakefront motel. Julie is proud to now be working for an organization that shares her love of mountains and the great outdoors.

When she isn't working Julie enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, playing the piano, and volunteering in her community.

photo Linda and Hank Dresch, Valley Volunteer Coordinators

Linda and Hank have been married almost 40 years; have one daughter and two very active grandsons. During Hank's 30-year U.S. Coast Guard career they lived in several locations including Alaska and England. Linda held various positions including ones with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska and the Editorial Staff of the Wall Street Journal. They also had "retirement jobs" in Portland, Maine, where they continue to volunteer as ushers at Merrill Auditorium. In addition both have been very active volunteers wherever they have lived. Linda has had a lifetime connection with Mount Washington as the daughter of Robert S. Monahan, one of the Observatory's founders. Linda and Hank enjoy living in Jackson, New Hampshire and participating in local year-round activities.

photo Krissy Fraser, Events and Marketing Manager

Following eight years as a Communications Project Manager at Fidelity Investments, Crosby Group, Krissy took a leap of faith and moved to the Mount Washington Valley from the corporate world of Boston in 2006. With her passion for skiing, biking, hiking, gardening and an overall love of the outdoors, the valley seemed the perfect place to call home.

Krissy has spent the past several years working at are ski resorts in various positions ranging from ski instructing, to public relations, to sales and marketing. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Krissy brings a wealth of experience and a well-rounded approach to her role as Events and Marketing Coordinator.

photo Peter Gagne, Information Technology Manager

A former microwave radio equipment technician for the Air National Guard, Peter has traveled all over the world installing and reparing equipment. With a degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Southen Maine, he worked as a consultant in the optical disk field and then as a field engineer for Netflix before joining the Observatory staff in 2010.

Peter and his partner, Kathy, are avid hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. The Maine natives moved to Jackson, New Hampshire in 2009 to be closer to their favorite outdoor playground, and one year later Peter completed his goal of hiking all 48 four thousand footers. He describes the mixture of field and office work he enjoys at the Observatory as "a dream come true."

photo Ryane Griffis, Weather Discovery Center Museum Attendant

Ryane moved to the Mount Washington Valley from the South Shore of Massachusetts in 2009, and joined the Observatory staff as a Weather Discovery Center Museum Attendant. The following summer she headed up the mountain to become a Summit Museum Attendant. In 2011, her love of the mountains led her on a cross country road trip with her cat, Athena, to the volcanic peaks of Oregon. After two years of "vacation" on the west coast, she returned home and re-joined the Observatory in late 2013.

When she is not informing people about all the fun things to do at the Weather Discovery Center, Ryane enjoys hiking, biking, photography, and snowboarding. She would like to knock off New Hampshire's 48 four thousand footers and hike the AT before she is 30!

photo AJ Grimes, Summit Museum Attendant

A Massachusetts native, AJ has always been drawn to the natural world around him. He studied percussion at Boston's Berklee College of Music, but his passion for nature ultimately led him to pursue a degree in environmental studies at the University of Central Florida. AJ joined the Observatory staff as a summit museum attendant in the spring of 2012, and is happy to be back on the Rockpile once again this summer.

Off the mountain, AJ is the drummer in a band called Norseth. He enjoys spending time with friends and baking delicious food, and dreams of one day opening a bakery of his own.

photo Lynn Harrison, Weather Discovery Center Museum Attendant

Lynn moved to the Mount Washington Valley from Massachusetts, where she raised two sons while enjoying a multi-faceted career that included supporting an architectural firm and managing government housing programs. Frequenting the White Mountains as a visitor during her career, Lynn decided to make the valley her permanent home upon retirement in 1997.

Not content with full retirement, Lynn joined the Observatory staff in 2011. She enjoys working with visitors as a museum attendant, and helping tend the museum's gardens. When not working, she can be found cycling, kayaking, reading, gardening, or enjoying the area's many beautiful trails with her golden retriever. She also volunteers at the Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue and has trained therapy and service dogs, including her own, whom she takes to hospitals and nursing homes.

photo John Mitchell, Facilities Coordinator

John first came to the White Mountain Region from the Chicago area since 1977, as a photographer seeking to expand his portfolio. Like many others who are associated with the Observatory, he rapidly fell in love with the White Mountains, and stayed to establish a career in the two pursuits of photography and woodworking.

John has expertise in many areas of woodworking - general carpentry, historical restorations, sign making, furniture building, and architectural woodworking - and he finds he can use various aspects of these to help make building the Weather Discovery Center exhibits interesting and fun.

photo Beth Phelps, Stewardship Manager

Originally from Massachusetts, Beth spent several years in the Midwest earning a degree in horticulture, and then worked as Landscape Architect for the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. Longing for the mountains, coast, and seasons of New England, Beth moved back east and began working with adjudicated youth in wilderness and experiential education programs. In the years that followed she has served in various management positions for nonprofits throughout the region, including Loon Echo Land Trust, Girl Scouts of Maine and Boston Natural Areas Network.

Beth and her partner Joe are avid winter sports enthusiasts who prefer their temperatures in the negative Fahrenheit. Living in the mountains of Western Maine with their son Rohn and 26 sled dogs (though this number is ever evolving), they can often be found in the woods running with their furry friends. Beth's other passions include surfing, skiing, climbing and painting.

Beth joined the Mount Washington Observatory staff in 2013 and is excited to be part of the advancement team.

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