Sarah Holbrooke is the executive director of the Pinhead Institute. Before joining the organization in April 2014, she was a filmmaker and Peabody award-winning television producer, working for ABC News, CBS News and CNN. She collaborated with anchors such as Peter Jennings, Katie Couric and Larry King. As a television producer, Sarah specialized in particularly complicated and daunting field production, organizing shoots at the Museum of Natural History, the red carpet at the Oscars and filming in medical operating theaters. She also was a senior booker for several networks including CNN where she arranged on-air interviews with leading opinion makers, scientists, and celebrities. Sarah is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a double major in English and Psychology with a concentration in BioPsych. After living in New York city for two decades, she now lives in Telluride, Colorado with her husband David, the Festival Director of Mountainfilm in Telluride, her three children and her two dogs. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, biking and relaxing with a good book.
Communications director Karen James comes to the Pinhead Institute by way of nearly two decades in New York City where she first pursued a career as a ballet dancer before supporting global fragrance, skin care, makeup, and hair care product launches and press relations for the Estée Lauder and Aveda brands. Following her passion for writing and breaking news, she earned a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 2006. Karen has worked as a freelance reporter for the New York Times covering metro politics, and as a general assignment staff reporter for the Queens Courier. In Telluride, she spent three years as senior reporter for the Watch Newspapers. She holds an undergraduate degree in art history and minor in French from the University of California, Irvine. Karen currently lives near Placerville with her husband and son, confusingly both named Trevor, and Powder, the dog.
Program Director Jessica Tenenbaum, a native of Savannah, Ga., is excited to share her love of science with all the kids at Pinhead. She holds a B.A. in Earth System Science from Cornell University and comes to Pinhead with a diverse professional background that includes: outdoor retail, horticultural production, and manufacturing. Jessica enjoys getting to learn and teach so many interesting topics. Her favorites are coding and botany, because you can only stare at a screen for so long before it’s time to play in the dirt. When she’s not getting Pinheads excited about STEM learning, she runs a CNC workshop with her husband, Richard, and makes sure to get outside to enjoy our amazing region.
Program Manager Claire Carver admits to having always been curious about the world around her, and growing up in nearby Durango, the outdoors provided her with a hands-on laboratory. From the San Juan Mountains to the San Juan River, this region provided her with boundless opportunities to engage and discover. A graduate of Lewis and Clark in Portland, Ore. Claire holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. From synthesizing neurotoxins derived from spiders to the use of GFP (green fluorescent protein) as a molecular tag in the gut of worms, she found that her education expanded her passion to understand how things work at the molecular level, and to bring awareness to the complexity of the natural world. Her current interests include biomimicry and the health sciences, and she continues to observe and learn from her daily encounters with everything from the unique Southwest ecosystem to the inquiring minds of Pinhead students.
Program Instructor Jodi Brown is a fourth generation Coloradoan whose love for the natural sciences was born while growing up on her family’s ranch. As a non-traditional student, she earned a B.S. in Zoology at the University of California, Santa Barbara while working as a curatorial assistant at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Robert Profant Teaching Museum at Santa Barbara City College, and the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. In addition to her work in museums, she worked in nanoscience outreach programs at UCSB, as a biological monitor, and at marine mammal rehabilitation center. Jodi is excited to bring her love and passion for all things science to Pinhead in hands-on activities that will make science a fun and tangible subject for kids. During her spare time you can often find her hiking with her two dogs, Linnaeus and Chama, reading, hunting, fishing, and looking for freshwater bivalves.
Dr. Adam Chambers is a scientist who splits his time between Portland, Ore. and Telluride. In Telluride, he works closely with the Pinhead Climate Institute to educate young scientists and implement town-level climate actions that also encourage rural economic development. Over the past two decades Dr. Chambers’ project work has focused on the applied sciences and reducing atmospheric pollutants (air pollutants and greenhouse gases). He is currently working to implement conservation measures on managed agricultural lands that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration, providing an emerging carbon market opportunity for US landowners and agricultural producers. He received his Doctorate from the Technical University of Vienna (Austria), Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and his B.Sc. from Murray State University in Kentucky.
Tech Specialist Joe Cullen is a southern transplant from Atlanta who joined Pinhead in the fall of 2017. With a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Davidson College, he has an academic bent towards the natural sciences, but enjoys inspiring the next generation with his love for all scientific disciplines. Before moving to Telluride Joe worked in the public health arena for the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program. He currently teaches the Tech Class at Telluride Middle/High School, providing all 7th and 8th graders with unparalleled exposure to STEM tools and disciplines including: 3D printing, laser cutting, photo-editing, computer coding, and more. When he’s not teaching Tech Class, you’ll find Joe working for Telluride’s local environmental advocacy group, Sheep Mountain Alliance, as a Program Assistant.
Nick LeClaire has been affiliated with Pinhead since 2009. He teamed with researcher John Janovec, a PhD botanist working in Peru, with the Andes to Amazon project studying biodiversity and examining ancient Andean cultures. Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and political science from Bemidji State University in Minnesota. He hails from a family of electrical engineers and contractors, is an electrician himself, and has worked in the renewable energy and sustainable design industry. As a writer and photographer, he has been examining the relationship of science, education and sustainability throughout the country and overseas.