NOS Staff and AmeriCorps Members

 
Melanie Erquiaga
Executive Director

Melanie was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico and moved with her family to Idaho where she spent most of her childhood growing up on the family farm; she is the youngest of five children. She moved to Winnemucca in 1983 and met her husband Mike, a Winnemucca native, in 1986. She moved to Boise, Idaho after graduation where she attended ITT Technical Institute. After working for a while in the Boise area, she missed the rural Nevada environment and moved back to Winnemucca to marry and raise a family. They have two children together and two beautiful, inquisitive, nature loving grandchildren. She enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family, whether is in rural Nevada or beyond. Her favorite vacations are spent camping and whitewater rafting, but she also enjoys reading and cooking. Surrounded by a highly skilled, passionate and dedicated team, Melanie is inspired to lead Nevada Outdoor School into the next decade of expanding our programs across the state and continuing to work and live in these great rural Nevada communites.

 

 
 
Zulma Mayorga
AmeriCorps Program Director

Zulma was born in Colima, Mexico but has lived in Winnemucca most of her life. She is married and has two wonderful girls. She enjoys hiking, and cooking with her family. She loves to travel and explore, Lake Tahoe being one of her favorite places. Her love for community service and adventure brought her to Nevada Outdoor School. She is passionate about strengthening non-profit organizations through the AmeriCorps program and helping their committed AmeriCorps members in Northern Nevada and Las Vegas.

 

 
Meghan Sturgell
Director of Programming

Meghan was born and raised in Elko, Nevada where she spent her childhood and now her adult years exploring all the beauty Nevada has to offer. She loves to camp, hunt, hike and discover new things along this crazy adventure called life. Meghan graduated from Elko High School and then attended Great Basin College to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. In her spare time she enjoys reading, archery, fishing and caring for all of her many plants! She is passionate about learning and the love of the great outdoors and can’t wait to share that passion here at Nevada Outdoor School!

 

 
Jenny VanBuren
Director of Finance

Jenny was raised in Washington on the Kitsap Peninsula and moved to Northern Nevada in 2000 where her and her husband have raised their two children. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, shooting, cross-stitching, and traveling to explore places she’s never been before. She especially enjoys the natural beauty the great outdoors has to offer and taking pictures to remember it by. She is excited to be a part of the Nevada Outdoor School team!

 
Jessica Snaman Myers
Outreach Director

Jessica was born in Kansas, but grew up on the east coast outside of Washington, DC. Her love for the mountains took her to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where she majored in Elementary Education. Jessie first came to the amazing state of Nevada as an AmeriCorps Naturalist with NOS in 2009. After her year of service, she moved back east and taught fifth grade. However, the beauty, adventurous spirit and vastness of the west soon brought her back. She has been on staff with NOS since February 2012 as Director of Programming, Associate Director and now, part time as Outreach Director.  Jessie currently lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter and two cats, Wayne and Garth.

 
Toril Tapia
Communications and Marketing Specialist

Toril was born and raised in Elko, Nevada. After graduating from Elko High School, Toril went on to attend Great Basin College. There, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication. Since graduating, she has spent her time developing her skills in her career and traveling. She loves to travel and spend some time with the trees. When Toril is not working, she can be found reading a book, drawing, tending to a multitude of house plants, or spending time with her husband, two huskies, and two cats. 

 

 

Ash Fayal

Winnemucca Programs Coordinator

Ash, a true Nevadan, has roots deeply embedded in the Silver State. While he's called other places like Oregon, Idaho, and Utah home, his heart belongs to the rugged landscapes of Nevada. Growing up surrounded by the majestic mountains and vast deserts, Ash developed a passion for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and hunting—a love that transcends state lines.
Coming from a large, tight-knit family of twelve, with Ash being an adopted child, adventure runs in their blood. Each member of his family shares a fervent enthusiasm for the great outdoors, making every gathering an opportunity for exploration and adrenaline-pumping escapades.
During the summer months, Ash is either out on the water, soaking up the sun and enjoying the thrill of boating, or he's nestled amidst the tranquility of the mountains, accompanied by his faithful canine companions. There's an undeniable joy that fills his spirit when he's outside, inhaling the crisp, fresh air and basking under the starlit sky during camping trips with his beloved family.
Always prepared for impromptu fishing adventures, Ash keeps his car stocked with fishing poles, embodying his philosophy that "You never know where some good fishing may be unless you try." It's this adventurous spirit and unwavering love for nature that define Ash's essence, making him a true embodiment of the outdoor lifestyle.

 

 


 
 
Macy Rohr
Interpretive Program Coordinator (CTIC)

This photo at Griswold Lake is special to Macy because it was taken on her first backpacking trip. Camping is her favorite escape. She was able to have her first-time backcountry experience through serving as an AmeriCorps Member at Nevada Outdoor School. Through two years of serving as a Naturalist, she made priceless memories and friends of all ages. Some may better recognize her as “Bubbles.” Macy loves working for Nevada Outdoor School because she finds value in outdoor education, exploration, and being an active member of our community. Macy studied Natural Resources at Ball State University and graduated in 2019. In 2021, she moved from Indiana to Elko to serve at Nevada Outdoor School and began integrating herself into rural Nevada. Outside of her fulfilling job, she enjoys roller skating, crocheting, secondhand shopping, and taking naps with her cat, Uma.

 

 

 


 
 
 
William Neff
AmeriCorps Outdoor Educator - Winnemucca

William is a returning member of Nevada Outdoor School born in Idaho and spent most  his childhood  in las vegas and now living in Winnemucca he loves to fish, swim, go on long walks outside, camp, workout, draw, read, and check out all kinds of new places in the great outdoors of Nevada. He’s always ready to take on any challenges that come his way no matter how big or how small.

 

 

 


 
Noah Doyle
AmeriCorps Outdoor Educator - Elko

Noah Doyle was born in San Bernardino County in the state of California but has lived out his life out in Elko, NV since he was about 4 years old. He’s got a spunky personality and enjoys all things eccentric and funky. Noah’s passionate about nature and taking care of the environment. He also has a love for creative writing and indulges in writing fantasy stories or poems whenever possible. Noah is currently working his second term with NOS and is excited about the new skills and experiences he’ll have the opportunity to learn and participate in during the year. He and his partner of 3 years were recently engaged and even more recently able to move out of their parents houses and into a cozy space of their own! Noah aspires to write books and novels in the future, but is also considering a career in forestry in order to carry on the passion he hosts for all things nature. 

 
 
Christy Ferguson-Sandvig
AmeriCorps Outdoor Educator - Winnemucca

Christy was born and raised on the Colville Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington state. Her father was a forester, and mother a farm girl. She was raised trekking through the beautiful forests along the Columbia River with her father, as he taught her foraging, and survival skills. She and her brother were active members of 4-H, raising various farm animals on their small farm, canning, baking, and sewing. She also attended survival school camps during the summer.

 

After graduating from Inchelium High School, she went on to college and obtained an AA degree as a legal assistant and settled down to raise her three children in Spokane, Washington. She has been blessed with nine grandchildren to date. After many years she re-connected with a childhood friend she had known since Kindergarten and moved to Winnemucca Nevada in 2019. She and her childhood friend were married in September of 2022.

 

Christy loves to camp, travel, explore the outdoors, kayaking, and caring for her many houseplants and three cats. She looks forward to giving campers the joyful experiences she had during summer camps, and hopes to impart some of the skills and knowledge she has accumulated over the years.

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

ABOUT US


Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.

Youth Focused Programs

Training Focused Programs

Community Focused Programs

CONTACT US


Winnemucca Office:
655 Anderson Street
Winnemucca, NV 89445
(775) 623-5656

Elko Office:
2363 N. 5th Street, Unit 102
Elko, NV 89801
(775)  777-0814

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