Donna Dunn, Interim Executive Director
A native New Englander, Donna’s work in and with nonprofits spans 30 years. She has experience working with nonprofits in times of transition and transformation. As a nonprofit staff member, she has worked in the areas of communications and membership. She served as executive director/CEO of four different organizations, all going through varying transitions. As a consultant in the nonprofit space, Donna has supported organizations through strategic planning, enhanced governance, organizational design and restructure, and program evaluation. She is passionate about nonprofit work and helping individuals and organizations achieve success.
Donna is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in plant science and a master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics. Donna also has a Master of Science degree in not-for-profit management from the University of Maryland University College.
Outside of her professional life, Donna enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, home renovations, and an almost-annual long-distance (180 - 200 miles) walk in the UK. She lives in Jackson, NH with her two rescue dogs Sadie and Tucker.
Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Science & Education
Brian began his observatory career as a winter intern on the summit in early 2012 after attending the
University of New
Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation Studies. Following
as a Backcountry Hut Naturalist and Education Assistant for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Brian
returned to the Observatory
as a full-time Observer and Educational Specialist on the summit where he performed daily weather
observations and led
weather station tours, distance learning programs and media interviews.
After nearly three winters on the summit, Brian headed south to work as the Chief Weather Observer at
Blue Hill Observatory
and Science Center just south of Boston while going to graduate school at night. In early 2016 Brian
graduated from Boston
University with a Master’s of Education with a focus in Science Education, and moved back to the
Valley to serve as Mount Washington Observatory’s Director of Education in 2019 he took on the role of Director of Science and Education. When Brian’s not
teaching educational programs and summit adventures, you can find him hiking, mountaineering, trail
running, skiing or
staring at the clouds. He currently resides in North Conway along with his partner, Stephanie, and their
Brenda Sullivan, Director of Finance & Administration
With an Animal Science degree from the University of Maine, Brenda started her career as a veterinary
and office manager on the East End of Long Island, NY. After going back to school and completing her
MBA, Brenda spent
a number of years in central Connecticut as Finance Manager for Protein Sciences Corporation, where
included the financial oversight of multi-million dollar government contracts and shareholder
relations. In 2017 Brenda,
her husband, two dogs and two cats moved to Madison, NH. After continuing to work for the same CT
based company for
over a year, she decided it was time to focus her attention on her new community by joining the team
at MWOBS. With
an MBA in Business and years of Finance experience, she now focuses on supporting The Observatory
Stephanie Turnbull Fitzgerald, Development Director
Stephanie has been on a steady move north since receiving her Masters in Library and Information
Science from Pratt Institute
in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Massachusetts, she headed back to Boston after school to work for
Arnold Arboretum and the State Library of Massachusetts. After a few years, she knew she was done
with city life and
when the opportunity arrived to move to the Mount Washington Valley, she took it.
While Stephanie started working at the Observatory in the Summer of 2016 as a
contract worker, it only took a few months
before she was hooked and joined the valley staff full time as the Membership and Database Coordinator. Between her background in organizing
and curating information
and her experience in various customer service roles, it seemed
like a perfect fit. After 4 years supporting appeals, stewardship, events and getting to know the enthusiastic members of MWO, Stephanie is excited to take the role of Director of Development.
She currently resides in North Conway along with her husband, Brian, and their son Cameron.
David DeCou, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Born in Memphis, Tennessee but raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, David took an interest in the skies from a very young age. Fascinated in extreme and unusual weather, David spent his early years with his nose in books about tornadoes and hurricanes, and his face glued to the window during thunderstorms. His interest in the weather took him from Michigan to Indiana, where he completed his Bachelor’s in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in 2016, with a focus on operations and severe weather.
With a desire for broader experiences and to live beyond the Midwest, he moved to Honolulu, Hawai’i in pursuit of a Master’s in Atmospheric Science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. In 2018 he earned his Master’s, studying upwind atmospheric conditions off the windward coast of O’ahu using kite-borne meteorological instruments. Although he fell in love with the tropical climate and the island culture, he decided that the weather was far too perfect.
In November 2019 he moved to Antarctica as the Senior Meteorologist at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the 2019-2020 Austral Summer season. There he supported South Pole aircraft and science operations through hourly observations, daily weather briefings, daily balloon launches, and daily, weekly, and monthly climatological reports. Although he’s fallen in love with the endless frozen landscape and wonderful people of South Pole, he decided that the weather wasn’t quite extreme enough, so he now heads to New Hampshire where he is excited to begin work as a Night Weather Observer on Mount Washington Summit.
When he is not travelling in search of unique weather, locations and experiences, David finds enjoyment in performing and writing music both digitally and traditionally (piano, violin, ukulele). He also enjoys hiking, board games, video games, and has taken a recent interest in digital photography.
Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Originally from the Lake Tahoe region of California, Ryan was born into the alpine lifestyle. He came
to the Observatory
as a winter intern in 2005, and started as a Weather Observer in 2006.
Ryan’s interest in weather started as a child, when he would watch the morning weather report
before going skiing.
In high school, he enjoyed giving weather reports to fellow students and ski clubbers, and decided
to pursue a career
in meteorology. He graduated from San Jose State University in 2004 with a B.S. in Meteorology, and
spent the first
three years of his career as a weather observer for San Jose International Airport.
Ryan came to Mount Washington for the unique weather, and to explore and study the worst weather in
the world. When he’s
not watching the weather, he enjoys backpacking, ski boarding, aggressive inline skating, traveling,
video games, and
Sam Robinson, Weather Observer
Born and raised in Northern Massachusetts on the NH border, Sam is no stranger to the crazy weather of New England. Spending the majority of his childhood outdoors, he developed a strong passion for the woods and mountains, all while closely observing what was going on above him.
Unlike many, Sam would rather be shivering than sweating and winter is without a doubt his favorite season. Seeking cold air and elevation he enjoys hiking, nature photography, skiing, and backcountry snowmobiling.
Apart from the natural world, Sam has a strong mechanical aptitude and passion to troubleshoot, repair, and modify any machine he can get his hands on. His experience started with his own small engine repair business at the age of 12, eventually becoming a heavy equipment mechanic during high school. He went on to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2020. While attending UML, Sam started submitting storm reports to the National Weather Service, realizing his hobby for the weather was turning into a professional goal.
Landing the position of his dreams on Mt. Washington integrating extreme weather and engineering, Sam looks forward to joining the team at the highest office in the East and combining all his favorite aspects of life.
Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Originally from New Jersey, Nicole has been a severe weather enthusiast for as long as she can remember. As a child, (and still to this day) she was incredibly exhilarated and amazed by thunderstorms, hail, wind, and other severe weather phenomena. It was this early-found passion for the extremes that led her to complete her Bachelor's degree in meteorology with a minor in geology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
After graduating, Nicole was lucky enough to land her dream internship on top of the summit of Mount Washington! She interned for the observatory through the summer and fall seasons and loved every minute of it. Combining her interests of severe weather and geology, she was able to learn and experience so much in the months she interned.
In between her internship in 2017 and returning to the summit in 2020, she worked as a teacher leading courses in meteorology, physics, and earth science at a science academy for gifted students in central Connecticut. Nicole now gets to combine her love for educating with her passion for the weather as the new Education Specialist at the Observatory. She is very excited to have the opportunity to inspire others to love the weather as much as she does!
When Nicole does not have her eyes to the sky she is an avid New York Giants fan, an artist, enjoys cooking, knitting, archery, cuddling with her cat, and is even learning how to play the ukulele!
Jackie Bellefontaine, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Born and raised near Boston, MA, Jacquelyn spent her childhood escaping the city in the summer to recreate around the New Hampshire Lakes Region and White Mountains. The time she spent outdoors helped solidify her desire to learn more about our natural world. In 2020, Jacquelyn graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Earth and Climate Sciences. During her undergraduate studies, she formed a passionate interest in climate change and how it is impacting Earth’s cryosphere. In the summer of 2019, Jacquelyn was a student of the Juneau Icefield Research Program based out of Juneau, Alaska. The Juneau Icefield Research Program, also known as “JIRP”, is an expeditionary-style field program where students engage in a variety of Earth Science research relating to glaciology while learning mountaineering skills during their traverse across the Juneau Icefield. Through JIRP, Jacquelyn got her first taste of living and working in a dynamic environment. Her experience with JIRP and her desire to learn more about Mount Washington’s extreme weather and the climate research happening at the Mount Washington Observatory led her to pursue the winter summit intern position this past January.
During her time as a summit intern, Jacquelyn came to truly enjoy the work happening at the Mount Washington Observatory. She looked forward to shadowing the hourly weather observations and became interested in the educational outreach that the current Education Specialist engaged in. Jacquelyn thought it would be a dream to later join the summit as a Weather Observer and Education Specialist. An opportunity to join the team at the Mount Washington Observatory came about while Jacquelyn was interning at the summit.
Jacquelyn is absolutely thrilled to continue contributing to the Mount Washington Observatory as a Weather Observer and Education Specialist. She hopes that through this position, she will help inspire others to be lifelong learners and become passionate about science!
Jay Broccolo, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Jay was born
and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island. Having grown up along the southern coastline of RI gave Jay
the opportunity to experience all sorts of diverse and extreme weather from hurricanes to
Nor’easters. Jay’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and the natural world only increased
since childhood. His parents insisted that he spend as much time outdoors as possible. He joined the
Boy Scouts and spent a weekend every month, regardless of the weather, learning useful outdoor
skills, camping, and hiking all over New England. He became enamored with the White Mountains, but
specifically Mt. Washington, its geology, and unique extreme weather.
Following graduation of high school and obtaining his Eagle Scout, Jay attended the University of
Rhode Island. In the middle of his second year he took a semester off and lived in Boulder,
Colorado where he had the opportunity to experience mountain weather and hiking the Flatirons.
After returning home he continued and completed his B.S. degree in Geology and Geological
Oceanography at URI. While at URI he also attended a Geology Field Camp operated by University
at Buffalo, geologically mapping various regions Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.
With the completion of his Bachelors, Jay went on to work in the oilfield industries as a Mud
logger on drill-ships in the Gulf of Mexico. After a couple years of working offshore and not
feeling fulfilled with his career path, he interned at Mt. Rainier National Park where he was
charged with observing and recording the weather on the mountain while conducting various
research projects. Upon completion of the internship, Jay attended the University of Leeds in
Leeds, England and completed an MRes in Climate and Atmospheric Science where he focused on
factors that influence the development and intensification of extratropical cyclones over the
Northeast United States.
With his intrigue in extreme weather events and his love for Mt. Washington, Jay is more than
excited to be working here at the Mount Washington Observatory, home to the World’s
Worst Weather. In his off time, Jay enjoys the outdoors, board and video games, reading, and
learning to play the piano, just to name a few.
Keith Garrett, Director of Technology
Keith brings over 25 years of experience in IT hardware, software and business networks. He has
experience in working
with municipalities, non-profits and individuals.
Prior to his work with the Observatory Keith was the owner of Wolfeboro Computer Solutions in the
Wolfeboro and Lakes
Region area. His services spanned all aspects of IT including deployment and maintenance of a wide range
Krissy Fraser, Director of Marketing & Communications
A Massachusetts native, Krissy started her career as a Communications Project Manager at Fidelity
Group. Eight years later, in 2006, she took a leap of faith and left the corporate world to relocate
to the Mount Washington
Krissy has enjoyed working for ski resorts in positions ranging from sales and marketing, to public
relations, and even
ski instruction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Krissy brings a wealth of experience
and a well-rounded
approach to her role as Director of Marketing and Communications.
Krissy lives in Jackson, N.H. with her partner Fred and his two boys Alex and Ethan where she
spends her free time
outdoors, skiing, biking, hiking, and gardening.
Rebecca Scholand, Director of Summit Operations
Rebecca, originally a native of Long Island NY started her career with the Mount Washington Observatory
in 2010 as a summer Intern. She quickly found a love and passion for the Observatory that drew her in
for a second winter internship. Still feeling the draw of the summit, she continued on as temporary
Outreach Coordinator, Museum Attendant, and Operations Assistant before a Weather Observer position
became available. During her time as a Weather Observer she also acted as the Education Specialist and
Shift Leader for her shift. In the spring of 2014 Rebecca left the Observatory in pursuit of expanding
her background. After several years away working in the Outdoor and Hospitality Service Industry Rebecca
has returned as the Director of Summit Operations. She is excited to be leading the summit staff and
continuing to support our mission
From a personal standpoint Rebecca enjoys calling the Mount Washington Valley home. An outdoor
enthusiast at heart, the area offers a plethora of activities while providing the perfect backdrop for
her small family.
Marty Basch, Windswept Editor
Marty joined the Observatory family with the fall 2007 edition of Windswept, Mount Washington
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 has written a few books
and won several
writing awards including a prestigious Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas Gold Award and
American Snowsports Journalists Association Harold Hirsch Awards. He has also worked in television and
An avid cyclist, Marty has ridden from Maine to Alaska, Canada to Mexico, and in Arctic Scandinavia. He
in the bike race up Mount Washington, stopped to eat lunch and didn't finish last. Marty also skis,
and paddles. Marty has climbed the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers and is the author of "50 Best
Hikes in New England"
Marty is a Boston University graduate and Explorers Club member. He lives on a Mount Washington Valley
dirt road with
his wife, Jan.
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.
Peter has lived in the White Mountains for more than thirty years, and has worked for the U.S. Forest
Service and Appalachian
Mountain Club in resource management, public information, and educational roles. He began his
Observatory career in
1988 as a weather observer, museum manager, and Summit Shift Leader. After three years of summit duty,
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
Club, a member of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), and serves on the board of the New
Charlie Buterbaugh, Development Coordinator
Charlie joined our development team with a multi-disciplinary background in communications along with a passion for supporting climate science. After graduating with a BA in literature from Susquehanna University in his home state of Pennsylvania, Charlie pursued graduate studies that led to teaching college writing. He then spent five years engaging audiences as a journalist and news editor, often drawn to writing about natural resource conservation, ecosystems, and their interdependence with recreation-based rural economies located along the Delaware River. In 2007, seeking experience in business communications, Charlie joined the scientific company VWR, where he helped develop their R&D services segment. Working in several brand and content marketing roles over the course of 11 years, the experience provided rewarding opportunities to lead marketing program planning while collaborating with international teams to engage scientists in university, biotech, and other research settings.
In 2013, seeking a return to rural living, Charlie and his life partner Mindy moved to Maine, a place that had sparked love for adventure during ski, canoe, and camping trips to the Northwoods earlier in Charlie’s life. They eventually found a home near the Village of Fryeburg, where they live with their three kids and an evolving plot of organic gardens. In addition to the trials and tribulations of gardening in northern New England, Charlie enjoys cycling, hiking, and skiing through the region’s stunning landscapes. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Mount Washington Observatory’s non-profit mission.
Linda & Hank Dresch, Volunteer Coordinators
Linda is the daughter of Mount Washington Observatory co-founder Robert S. Monahan, and enjoys continuing
legacy as volunteer coordinator with her husband, Hank.
Married for more than 40 years, Linda and Hank have one daughter and two very active grandsons. During
U.S. Coast Guard career they lived in several locations including Alaska and England. Linda’s
diverse career has
spanned positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska, and the Editorial Staff of the Wall
Linda and Hank both also had "retirement jobs" in Portland, Maine, where they continue to volunteer at
They have been very active volunteers wherever they have lived.
Linda and Hank now reside in Jackson, New Hampshire, where they keep very busy with year-round activities
in the great