Meet our Apprentices

Emily Graf, English Apprentice, hails from a nomadic family, growing up in the Northeast and Chicago. In 2015, she graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in English and Poetry Writing. Emily caught the wilderness bug on a NOLS Semester in Patagonia, where she participated in a 3 month sea-kayaking and mountaineering expedition, and was elected leader of a culminating student expedition. Since graduating from Kenyon, Emily has worked for South by Southwest in Austin, TX, led backpacking trips with Overland Summers in Maine and Alaska, and most recently completed a stint as a conservation sawyer with Southwest Conservation Corps in Durango, CO (her chainsaw crew felled trees to prevent wildfires and revitalize land, not to deforest.) She is thrilled to have found the intersection of her passions—wilderness, writing, and education—at HMI.

Jack Lynch, Wilderness Apprentice, grew up in Lake Forest, IL. His passion for the outdoors began as a child during fishing trips to northern Ontario with his father. Since then Jack has led numerous backpacking and rock climbing trips in the north woods of Maine and beyond as the president of the Colby College Mountaineering Club. Jack graduated from Colby in the spring of 2016 with a major in Ecology and a Philosophy minor. Last summer he worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Taos, NM as a botanist. In his free time Jack loves to climb rocks, look at plants, and play the classical guitar. He’s excited to help students feel confident in the outdoors and grow as leaders at HMI and beyond.

Hayden Shea, Science Apprentice, grew up in Jackson, WY exploring Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with her family. Hayden recently graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in Conservation Biology. At Middlebury, Hayden was a captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team, a Mountain Club guide and a Teaching Assistant for several biology and geography classes. She also became a coach of the local high school soccer team and Nordic ski team. Most recently, Hayden returned to Jackson to work as a field instructor at Teton Science Schools where she led student groups in developing an understanding for the unique natural history and ecology of the Tetons. Hayden is excited to explore the mountains around Leadville and work with motivated students to expand their appreciation for science and the natural world.

Steph Subdiaz, Math Apprentice, grew up in Los Angeles and was introduced to HMI as a student in the spring of 2011. She went on to pursue an education in Earth Science at UC Santa Cruz while filling all her spare moments recreating either personally or professionally. Steph volunteered and worked for the recreation department at UC Santa Cruz in many capacities during her four years in college. Steph primarily worked as a recreation leader on backpacking and rock climbing adventure outings and a team building facilitator. During a mid-term crisis, Steph decided that she wanted to pursue a career in academic and outdoor education, regardless of her studies. She graduated from UCSC in the summer of 2016. She worked a third season for Wilderness Orientation at UCSC until the end of the summer. Steph’s fall was spent leading climbing and backpacking trips for UCSC and the Ventana Wilderness Alliance in California. In her spare time Steph likes to climb, run, read, drink coffee, and eat good food.

Claire Sutton, Marketing Apprentice, nurtured her passion for the outdoors and for storytelling while spending her summers at camp amongst the Northern California redwood trees. Since she was aged out of camp, Claire has stayed young at heart by continuing to pursue the passions that brought her joy as a kid. Claire’s love of stories led her to pursue a degree in Film & Television from Boston University, while a love of performance landed her a spot as first soprano and eventually President of The BU BosTone’s A’cappella group. After graduating from BU, a visit to her old summer camp re-ignited Claire’s love of the wilderness and reminded her the joy of working with kids. The next week she signed up for a NOLS semester, and applied to work as a mentor and tutor in an underserved school in Denver through Americorp’s City Year program. Claire feels incredibly lucky to serve as HMI’s Marketing Apprentice this semester—in fact, she sometimes feels a bit lightheaded when she realizes she’s been able to combine her passions for storytelling, wilderness and education all in one place! (It could also be Leadville’s 10,200ft elevation?!)

Peter Talpey, Math Apprentice, grew up in a suburb of Rochester, NY. He spent his childhood taking family canoe trips in the Finger Lakes and dabbled in backpacking through the Adirondacks. It was not until his time at Hamilton College that Peter’s interest in the outdoors really snowballed. He led orientation trips for incoming freshmen, and spent the rest of his time working on math problems or hanging out at the climbing wall. Over the summers during college, Peter worked on a dude ranch outside of Cody, WY, and upon graduation he moved to Wyoming full time. He has since been helping to manage the ranch and explore his interest for horses, hunting, and living in rural Wyoming. He is excited to bring this perspective to the HMI Semester and get back to his love for math. HMI will be a great place for him to continue to explore a small community life, spend time in the outdoors, and share his love and excitement for math.

Howie Vogt, History Apprentice, grew up in Louisville, KY and fell in love with the outdoors on a two week backpacking trip near the Collegiate Peaks in Colorado.  He continued to explore the west in high school, backpacking in Yellowstone and Northern California. Howie earned his B.A. in Public Policy Analysis with a focus on early American history and political development from Pomona College. While leading the On the Loose Outdoors Club, Howie found a rhythm of exploration, learning, and teaching that he carries to this day. During the summers, he led high school students for Overland Summers on Cape Cod, in Alaska, the Swiss-Alps and on a bicycle tour across America. Howie is thrilled for the opportunity to continue working with students at HMI and reflecting on America’s history in this close-knit adventure classroom.