Staff

Management

Sharon Schilling, President
Sharon Shilling

Sharon is a proud representative of one of the first classes of women to graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1984. She went on to serve 22 years in the Coast Guard before retiring in 2006 as a Commander. In addition she holds an MBA in Business Administration, Management & Operations from George Mason University that she utilized in carrying on in a leadership role as a manager at Battelle Memorial Institute in Arlington, Virginia. At Battelle she managed an $8-10 million budget and as many as 80 employees located in various locations across the United States. Battelle, founded in 1929, is a $6.2 billion private non-profit applied science and technology development company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Schilling and her husband Kirk (retired USCG Commander) plan to build a home in Madison, N.H. where they had purchased land after spending many summers with family on Duncan Lake in Ossipee.

 

Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Education
Brian Fitzgerald

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 intervening seasons 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 Mount Washington Valley to serve as Mount Washington Observatory’s Director of Education. When Brian’s not administering and 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 retired sled dog, Pearl.

 

Keith Garrett, Director of Information Technology
Keith Garrett

Keith brings over 20 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 repair and maintenance of a wide range of systems.

Keith and his partner Michelle enjoy identifying local plants and lepidoptera, as well trudging through swamps and bogs.

 

Krissy Fraser, Director of Marketing & Events
Krissy Fraser

A Massachusetts native, Krissy started her career as a Communications Project Manager at Fidelity Investments, Crosby Group. Eight years later, in 2006, she took a leap of faith and left the corporate world to relocate to the Mount Washington Valley.

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 & Events.

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.

Eric Kelsey, Director of Research
Eric Kelsey

Raised in picturesque New Hampshire, Eric has always loved observing the constantly changing weather. As a young adult, he took his passion for extreme weather to tornado alley, where he chased severe thunderstorms and worked as a broadcast forecaster while earning his degree in atmospheric science at the University of Missouri—Columbia. After earning his master's degree in atmospheric science at the University at Albany, Eric merged his interest in weather, environmental stewardship and New England's unique climate by studying climate signals recorded in ice cores for his PhD at the University of New Hampshire.

Eric joined the Observatory staff in 2012 as a jointly-appointed Director of Research and Plymouth State University Research Assistant Professor in Atmospheric Science. He is excited to be working in the White Mountains, a place he has skied, hiked, bird watched, and camped his entire life.

Eric resides in Ashland, NH with his wife, Julie, and their daughters, Sophie, Madelyn and Tessa.

Brenda Sullivan, Director of Finance & Human Resources
Brenda Sullivan

With an Animal Science degree from the University of Maine, Brenda started her career as a veterinary hospital technician 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 her responsibilities 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 where needed.

Weather Observers

Taylor Regan, Weather Observer & Research Specialist
Taylor Regan

In 2012-2013 Taylor had the opportunity to work with the Observatory for her undergraduate capstone project, analyzing the response of the Pitot-static anemometer system. This experience launched the desire to return to the summit, and, after graduating from UMass Lowell in 2016 with a M.S. in mechanical engineering, she returned to the summit for the fall intern position.

A Massachusetts native, she has enjoyed hiking in the White Mountains in all seasons, and is looking forward to gaining as much knowledge about the weather and its unique presence on the mountain.

Adam Gill, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Adam Gill

Growing up on the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, CO. Adam's interest in the weather began with the dynamic weather experienced living in mountainous regions. From major snowstorms with 3 feet of snow during the winter with frequent hail storms with hail up to the size of baseballs during the summer, fascination with weather grew. Enjoying being outside as a kid, Adam joined the Boy Scouts and completed his Eagle Scout as well as playing baseball during the summer months. Hiking in the mountains has always been a fun weekend activity as well as skiing once most trails were snow covered.

Upon completion of high school, Adam attended the University of North Dakota and completed his B.S. in Atmospheric Science in May of 2015. Deciding to take a year off and gain some job experience, Adam would like to persue a Masters or PhD in Atmospheric Science focusing on winter weather and mountain meteorology in the coming years.

After watching weather documentaries as a kid and seeing what the conditions were like at the summit of Mount Washington, Adam's fascination with Mount Washington began. This fall, Adam was offered the opportunity to join the team for the fall season and learn about forecasting and the research that is conducted on the summit.

Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Ryan Knapp

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 movies.

Tom Padham, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Tom Padham

Tom started his Observatory career as a summer intern in 2011, and returned in 2013 to learn more about this unique and fascinating place. His internship provided real-world knowledge and experience to help him complete his senior year at Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2012. Like many meteorologists, Tom discovered his passion for weather at an early age. Growing up in northwestern New Jersey, he was fascinated by the ever-changing weather—especially the extremes, like the blizzard of '96 and Hurricane Sandy.

An avid hiker, Tom is working to become a state high-pointer. He is thrilled to be returning to Mount Washington, and plans to make the most of the opportunity by expanding his knowledge of the weather and the mountain, while sharing that knowledge and passion with visitors.

Ian Bailey, Weather Observer & Meteorologist/Education Specialist
Ian Bailey

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ian has been a passionate weather enthusiast from a young age. After a large tree outside his childhood home was struck by lightning, he became fascinated with extreme weather and has strived to become a meteorologist ever since. Intense blizzards, major floods, and even several tornadoes have been major severe weather events for Ian to learn from. Upon completion of high school, he set his sights on higher education in meteorology.

He finished his first Bachelors degree in 2012 in Atmospheric Science, and his second Bachelors degree in 2016 in Journalism, both from The Ohio State University. In between these degrees, Ian was brought on as a summer intern for the Observatory in 2015. He fell in love with the Mountain and the Observatory, and was fascinated each and every day with the beautiful and extreme weather that graces the Mountain’s summit. When he left the Mountain at the end of the summer, he swore that someday, he would return to his home-away-from home.

Back in Ohio, he accepted a Graduate School offer at Ohio University in 2016, and worked as the Associate Director of Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis. After 2 years of running the weather laboratory and tower, teaching meteorology classes, and completing his graduate work, he received his Masters degree in Geography with an Atmospheric Science focus in 2018. Shortly after his graduation, he accepted the offer to rejoin the Mount Washington Observatory team as a Weather Observer and Education Specialist. And he is very excited to be back, working at the home of the World’s Worst Weather; his brand new home.

Christopher Hohman, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Christopher Hohman

Christopher grew up in the rural northeast corner of Connecticut. From a young age his passion for weather was unwavering. His fascination with tornadoes was what drove him to read as much about weather as he possibly could. Understanding the atmosphere at a fundamental level quickly became what he wanted to do with his life. That energy only increased in high school; making him incredibly eager to begin his B.S. in Meteorology at Plymouth State University in 2015.

During the summer of 2016, Christopher began his internship on Mount Washington. Experiencing the weather at 6,288’ for a few months was an immaculate opportunity. He knew that being an observer on the summit would be a dream job for him. Once he graduated in 2018, he immediately jumped at the chance to become one.

When he’s not on the summit, Christopher has a variety of hobbies that keep him busy. Running, hiking, working on stained glass, and cooking are just a few of his favorite things to do off the summit.

Marty, Observatory Mascot
Marty

Marty is Mount Washington’s only permanent resident, holding court as the most recent in a long line of famous feline mascots.

Before coming to the Observatory, Marty lost his home to a fire and was taken in by the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire North (formerly Conway Area Humane Society). In January of 2008, Marty won more than 8,000 votes in the first ever Observatory Mascot Primary and was donated to the Observatory by the Humane Society. He was quickly regarded as a good fit for the mountain because of his adventurous attitude and presumed Maine Coon Cat pedigree.

Marty enjoys romping around with the summit crew and exploring his massive home, the Mt. Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center. Off the clock, he enjoys stalking the water cooler, chasing bouncy balls, napping in odd positions, and being brushed.

Staff

Marty Basch, Windswept Editor
Marty Basch

Marty joined the Observatory family with the fall 2007 edition of Windswept, Mount Washington Observatory’s quarterly member magazine.

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 several North American Snowsports Journalists Association Harold Hirsch Awards. He has also worked in television and radio.

An avid cyclist, Marty has ridden 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. Marty has climbed the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers and is the author of "50 Best Hikes in New England" (Countryman Press).

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

Samantha Brady, Retail Manager 
Samantha Brady

Samantha, originally a native of Boston, MA started her career with the Mount Washington Observatory in 2012 on the summit as retail museum attendant. After her first year being part of the summit staff decided she wanted to move up here and become a full time employee of the Observatory. She spent 4 years fulfilling the role as retail museum attendant for both the Extreme Mount Washington Museum as well as the Weather Discovery Center. She currently has taken on the role as  Retail Manager.

She is an avid hiker, skier, mountaineer, and outdoor enthusiast. When she’s not busy doing her own thing outside she volunteers her time for the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team. She also had worked with Backpacker Magazine for a 5 month period. During that time she would give presentations at outdoor retailers trying to educate and inspire others to get outside more and what the proper equipment would be to do so. After visiting all of the lower 48 states on that trip, Mount Washington Valley is where she calls home.

Will Broussard, Outreach Coordinator
Will Broussard

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 inversions, and rime ice.

Dr. Peter Crane, Curator
Dr. Peter Crane

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 Appalachian Mountain Club, a member of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), and serves on the board of the New Hampshire Outdoor Council.

Linda & Hank Dresch, Volunteer Coordinators
Linda & Hank Dresch

Linda is the daughter of Mount Washington Observatory co-founder Robert S. Monahan, and enjoys continuing her father’s 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 Hank's 30-year 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 Street Journal. Linda and Hank both also had "retirement jobs" in Portland, Maine, where they continue to volunteer at Merrill Auditorium. 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 outdoors.

Pete Gagne, Information Technology Manager
Pete Gagne

Pete started his career as a microwave radio equipment technician for the Air National Guard, traveling the world to install and repair equipment. With a degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Southern 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.

Pete 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.

Pete describes his role at the Observatory, which offers an ever-changing mix of field and office work, as "a dream come true."

Larry Martin, Museum Attendant
Larry Martin

A native of Wisconsin, Larry graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation Larry started a career in the computer software industry. Mainframe computer software became his specialty beginning in Eagan, MN then working in various locations throughout the country(as well as Japan). His final destination was Boston and after 17 years working as a contractor at the Mass DOR, Larry and his wife, Donna designed and built a house in Glen, NH. Larry has always had an interest in science and the outdoors. He is a skier, bicyclist, hiker and paddler. After moving to Glen, Larry became a weather enthusiast and in 2009 participated in an EduTrip.

John Mitchell, Facilities Coordinator
John Mitchell

John graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts with a degree in photography and came to the White Mountains to expand his portfolio. He quickly fell in love with the area, and stayed to build a career pursuing his two passions: photography and woodworking.

Through the years, John honed his expertise in general carpentry, historic restorations, sign making, furniture building, and architectural woodworking. He joined the Observatory staff in 2000, and puts his skills to use building exhibits at the Weather Discovery Center museum, keeping the administrative offices running, and helping maintain the summit weather station.

John continues his photography at work and at home, and enjoys shooting from the cockpit of his kayak. He resides in Conway with his wife, Gaie, and their daughter, Kaela.

Stephanie Turnbull, Membership & Database Coordinator
Stephanie Turnbull

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 Harvard University’s 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. Between her background in organizing and curating information and her experience in various customer service roles, Membership and Database Coordinator seemed like a perfect fit. She currently resides in North Conway along with her partner, Brian, and their retired sled dog, Pearl.
Mary Anne Sledzinski, Finance/Administrative Assistant
Mary Anne Sledzinski

Mary Anne grew up in the Great North Woods of northern New Hampshire and has made her home in the Mount Washington Valley since 1988 where she lives with her husband John and a rescue dog named Shadow.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and has a passion for problem solving and helping people. She frequently volunteers for local nonprofits and serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors of Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation.

Mary Anne is excited to be the Finance/Admin Assistant and Summit Volunteer Coordinator for the Observatory and enjoys assisting her coworkers and volunteers by providing support to accomplish the mission and goals of this historic and important scientific research institution. In her free time, Mary Anne enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, and taking in the scenic beauty of the mountains. “Be kind, stay positive and do good deeds.”

Sarah Schulte, Summit Museum Attendant
Sarah Schulte

Sarah grew up in Havelock, NC, where coastal storms and powerful hurricanes first sparked her interest in weather. She held onto that interest through high school and into college, and after graduating from Georgia Tech with her bachelor’s degree in Earth and Atmospheric Science in 2015, she came across the Mount Washington Observatory during her job search.

Awed by the extreme weather experienced by the Observatory, Sarah applied for the winter 2018 internship and was accepted. This was her first time travelling this far north and living in such a mountainous, snowy place. She enjoyed her internship and working with the crew at the Observatory so much that she applied to stay on as one of the summit museum attendants for the upcoming season. She’s looking forward to experiencing the White Mountains in the warmer months and sharing what she’s learned with the Observatory visitors.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys writing, reading, drawing, video games and listening to music. She hasn’t gotten the hang of mountain recreation yet, but enjoyed archery and Four Square back home.

 
Tessa Mueller, Summit Museum Attendant
Sarah Schulte

Tessa grew up in Torrington, CT, located just north enough to become a Sox fan. She spent summers water skiing and winters snowmobiling at her family cottage on Kezar Lake, in Lovell, ME. With a fascination for water and weather, she studied Marine Science at the United States Coast Guard Academy. While stationed in Cape Canaveral, FL and Norfolk, VA, she performed search and seizure missions along the east coast and in the Caribbean. Ready for a new challenge, Tessa moved on to lead client experience for luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co, Barneys New York, and David Yurman in New York City and London. While loving the excitement of city life, Tessa found herself travelling to the White Mountains at every opportunity. She has now traded the hustle and bustle of the city in for the hustle and bustle of the wind on the tallest peak in the northeastern United States. In her free time you can find her doing something artsy, athletic, or adventurous.

Tessa feels honored to join this exclusive team of adventurers. The White Mountains are her happy place, and she could not be more thrilled to share this enchantment with MWO guests.

 

Interns

Chloe Boehm, Summit Intern
Chloe Boehem

Chloe grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and graduated this past spring from Colby College where she studied Physics and Mathematical Sciences.

Growing up in New England gave Chloe the opportunity to explore the White Mountains and see first-hand the extreme weather the area experiences. Chloe first learned more about weather observation and forecasting while studying abroad in New Zealand and has been captivated ever since. As an intern this fall, she is excited to learn more about forecasting extreme weather as well as partaking in research projects. Chloe is particularly interested in snow science and the large role weather plays in the constantly changing snowpack.

While not looking at weather reports, Chloe is an avid hiker, backpacker, and skier. She hopes to spend time this fall exploring the mountains by foot, and once the snow falls, by skis

Zach Butler, Summit Intern
Zach Butler

Zach grew up in Bethesda, MD which is located right outside of Washington, DC. The area can get an occasional Nor’easter which produces a lot of snow. Experiencing these storms and watching the weather forecasts is what sparked his interest in weather at a young age. Climbing mountains and being in the outdoors continued to grow his passion for studying weather throughout his life.

Zach has spent almost every summer in NH and has climbed Mount Washington several times. Mount Washington has always interested him from a very young age because of its extreme weather. After graduating this May 2018 with a B.S. in Meteorology from the SUNY College at Oswego, Zach will be an intern on the mountain. He hopes to experience the extreme weather and gain professional research experience while forecasting the weather for such a challenging area.

In his free time, Zach enjoys camping, hiking, and fishing as much as he can. He hopes to finish the rest of his 4000 footers this summer.

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