Staff Members

Becky Kean Rehabilitation Director

Becky Kean moved to Bozeman in 1998 from her home town in Minot, ND.  In 2003, she realized her passion for raptors when she began volunteering at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center.  Becky earned a bachelor’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University. In 2007, Becky was hired at MRCC as Assistant Director, and a year later she was promoted to Director. She served as MRCC Director for 8 years and in 2017 became the Rehabilitation Director.

Jordan Spyke Director of Operations and Development

In 2008 Jordan Spyke and his brother moved to Bozeman, Montana, from Muskegon, Michigan, in search of adventure. Since moving to Bozeman, Jordan has earned a bachelors degree in environmental studies from Montana State University. Jordan began volunteering at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center in 2009 and later served on the board of directors. Jordan became Assistant Director of MRCC in August of 2012 and was promoted to Director of Operations and Development in October of 2017. When Jordan is not working at MRCC, he enjoys being outside doing just about anything, from skiing to fishing and everything in between.

Board Members

Louise Ellingsworth-Chair/Secretary

During a college vacation to Bozeman in 1981, Louise heard the mountains calling but it took another 25 years before she officially could call Montana home. Louise is a corporate defense lawyer in the Montana office for the national law firm of Gordon & Rees. She enjoys riding her horses on Montana’s public lands and loving on her adopted Aussie who works as a therapy dog at the local hospital and various senior centers/memory care homes. Louise’s first contact with MRCC was when her Aussie found an injured kestrel (known now as Adora who can be found on her perch at MRCC) on her horse property at the base of the Bridgers. She shares her business skills with MRCC in the hopes that she can be a part of the solution.

Beth Merrick-Vice Chair

In 2008 Beth began hands-on volunteering with MRCC after retiring as Director of Exhibits at the Museum of the Rockies after two decades. Her participation has included development of education outreach materials, campus signing and graphics in addition to weekly volunteer service assisting with caring and feeding the sick and injured raptors that find their way to MRCC.  Interesting challenges have included designing footwear for Eagles with balled up feet resulting from lead poisoning.   This footwear allows them to stand  again, which encourages their recovery.  Her backyard Raptor Pole has allowed six generations of Swainson’s Hawks to teach their young to hunt groundsquirrels.

Mikaela Howie

Mikaela Howie joins the MRCC board as a research biologist with an ornithological background.  As a field biologist, she worked on bird ecology research projects all over the country including Alaska, Louisiana, Virginia, Arizona and Maine.  Currently, she teaches a Field Ornithology course as an adjunct faculty member in the MSU Ecology Department and has a staff position with Yellowstone Ecological Research Center as the Lab Manager.  She loves tramping through the outdoors and working with wildlife and can often be found on skis, canoes, and bikes.

Kellie Stoolman-Treasurer

Originally from Idaho, Kellie has lived in Bozeman since 2011 and is an original member of the MRCC Education Team that formed in 2015 and co-creator of MRCC’s Adopt-A-Raptor program. She has a Natural Resource Management degree from the University of Utah and works locally for the World Wildlife Fund’s Northern Great Plains Program specializing in grant management and operations. Kellie has a passion for conservation and education, especially when it comes to raptors and ecosystems. She enjoys helping people create personal connections to the land and wildlife and encouraging them to think about a future where humans and wildlife can coexist and thrive. She enjoys birding, spending time outdoors, and cooking.

Cynthia Zyzda

Cynthia grew up in the bluffs of northwest Iowa, exploring the natural environment, and it was there that she learned to see, to notice, and to connect images and ideas. Her investigations of the human relationship to the natural world, the microscopic world and to one another have continued and developed since those childhood years through artwork. Professionally, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington State University. Currently, she is Professor of Visual Art and Humanities at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. When not making art, teaching, traveling, or being outside, she has spent beloved time in Montana working and volunteering with injured birds of prey at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center in Bozeman.