Jack Creek Preserve Foundation is driven by a volunteer Board of Directors, an Executive Director, a Program Instructor for the Conservation Field School, a Property Manager, and supported by volunteers from the neighboring communities of Big Sky and Ennis.
"As a Wildlife Biologist, outreach and education have been a big part of my career. I am excited to have the opportunity to work in such an amazing place and get back to conservation education ."
Abigail King, Executive Director
As a child, Abi lived in Costa Rica, Panama, and Ohio, before graduating from an international high school in Antwerp, Belgium. Abi is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. As a young field biologist, she worked for several different agencies and organizations focusing on amphibian and reptile conservation in Mississippi, Louisiana, Colorado, Missouri, South Carolina, and New England. Prior to relocating to Ennis in March 2016, Abi worked for 11 years with the Arizona Game and Fish Department as a Wildlife Specialist focusing on amphibian conservation. Her last position was the Executive Director for the Ennis Chamber of Commerce, where she gained more experience working for a Non Profit organization and became an active part of the Ennis Community.
Cora Steinbach, Conservation Intern
Cora is a senior at Montana State University studying Conservation Biology and Ecology. In addition to her undergraduate course load, Cora works in a fisheries lab on campus studying nutrient cycling in Yellowstone Lake and trophic level changes post- lake trout invasion. After graduation, she hopes to travel for a few months, gain field experience, and then apply for graduate programs. Watershed management and water ecology have always been of particular interest to her. Cora has lived in the Gallatin Valley for 21 years and is frequently found exploring around the state and beyond.
Besides her passion for ecology, Cora is an extreme sport junkie. She loves rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, and both resort and backcountry skiing. For Cora, the mountains feel like home and are a place of rejuvenation and relaxation. Cora is excited to explore the preserve and meet all of those involved. She believes education is one of the most effective tools for conservation and is eager to be a part of the Preserve’s education staff.
Robin Hompesch, Conservation Field School Program Instructor
Robin graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Wildlife Biology. She worked for four years at the Montana Wildlife Research Unit. She then spent three winters treeing and radio-collaring mountain lions with her redbone hound, Spooky, and collecting data to evaluate the impact of hunting on a mountain lion population in western Montana.
Having taught the last 24 years at Bozeman High School in southwestern Montana, Robin has taught science to middle and high school students for a total of 33 years. In addition to teaching sophomore Biology at Bozeman High, Robin created a junior/senior science elective, Wildlife Biology, which allows her to take students regularly out into the field.
Robin was appointed to the 13-member Montana Wolf Management Advisory Council from 2000-2004. She also created five teacher workshops funded by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks teaching teachers about grizzly bears, avian ecology, native fisheries, wolves, and elk. She is excited to join the Jack Creek Preserve as Program Instructor for the JCP Conservation Field School.
Dave LaClair, Property Manager
Dave and his family have been visiting the Madison Valley for over 18 years and three years ago made it their full time home. Dave spent his career working for Riverside County Fire Department and recently retired as Battalion Chief in 2018 after 30 years of service. During those years as a firefighter, Dave was also involved with the hazardous material team and urban search and rescue team responding to environmental emergencies and catastrophic events. In 2008, Dave transferred into the law enforcement bureau within his department where he became a sworn law enforcement officer, investigating fire crimes such as arson and insurance fraud. In 2016, Dave promoted to Battalion Chief where he ran a city contract managing seven fire stations and their crews. Through his career he has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in construction. Dave is looking forward to spending his time outdoors enjoying the vast beauties of Montana with his family.