Beth Conover

Executive Director

Beth has spent her entire career working at the intersection of environmental policy and community development. She comes to the Salazar Center from the Gates Family Foundation, where she worked for 8 years, most recently as Senior Vice President for Natural Resources and Community Development. Prior, she worked on community conservation program development in diverse places including Providence, Rhode Island; Zimbabwe, Southern Africa; and the Colorado Plateau. Born in Denver, she was Director of Parks and Environment for the redevelopment of the former Stapleton International Airport and a senior advisor and founder of Greenprint Denver for Mayor John Hickenlooper. She is the editor and co-author of How the West was Warmed: Climate Change in the Rocky Mountain West, a collection of essays published by Fulcrum Press in 2010.

Jen Kovecses

Jen Kovecses

Program Director

Jen grew up playing in lakes and streams in Canada building a life-long interest in aquatic ecosystems and conservation. She pursued this interest in university, completing a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Science in aquatic ecology at McGill University. After completing her graduate degree, she continued to work on a variety of watershed conservation projects on the shores of Lake Ontario and the coast of British Columbia. While living in California, Jen had the opportunity to work for local non-profits, offering science and policy analysis to help protect water quality and habitat in California’s beautiful coastal watersheds. Most recently, she was the executive director for Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed for over seven years.

Catie Boehmer

Communications and Engagement Manager

Catie has been with the Salazar Center since 2019 and brings a decade of conservation-related communications, fundraising, and engagement experience to the team. Prior to joining the Center, she managed the Colorado Water Center’s grantmaking and outreach programs. In 2017, she moved to Colorado from Chicago, where she’d worked for the Field Museum of Natural History and Friends of the Forest Preserves in roles that directly supported landscape-scale conservation, science education and research, and grassroots advocacy. She currently serves as the board vice president of Friends of Lory State Park. Catie holds a master’s degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from CSU and a BA in political science from Northwestern University. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and their three black cats and is an avid backpacker, hunter, and Rockies fan.

Adriana Ortegon

Operations, Research, and Policy Coordinator

Adriana is an environmental scientist with experience in environmental public policy and non-profit operations. Adriana is a Mexico native, and she moved to the U.S. to pursue her Masters in soil science at UC Davis after getting her BS in biology at the Autonomous University of Baja California. She’s worked previously in public policy implementation and evaluation related to toxic chemicals entering humans and the environment through consumer products and various waste streams, as a regulatory staff with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and as a member of the California Air Resources Board’s multimedia working group. Adriana moved to Colorado from the Raleigh-Durham area, where she’d served as a volunteer teacher, volunteer coordinator, and operations assistant at the local Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. She enjoys reading, swimming, biking, running, and art.

Craig Starger

Research Administrator

Craig brings over 20 years of experience in environmental conservation and sustainability as a researcher, policymaker, international development professional, and program manager. As a graduate student and postdoc, he spent over a decade studying the ecology and conservation of coral reefs with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. Craig was then awarded a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for which he spent four years working for the Federal government on foreign policy and international development projects related to marine biodiversity conservation and climate change. Craig most recently spent five years at CSU developing Future Earth, a global network for sustainability science. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and kids.

Courtney Massey

Communications and Operations Coordinator

Courtney originally joined the Center as an intern in 2019, and she graduated from CSU in 2020 with a master’s degree in Conservation Leadership. Originally from Iowa, she moved to the Front Range to further her education while building an understanding of conservation planning and decision making. As an undergraduate, Courtney studied wildlife conservation and genetics, and she has also been involved both domestically and internationally with community-based wildlife conservation initiatives. She has a BS in Biology, BA in Biochemistry, and BA in Environmental Resource Management from the University of Northern Iowa. Courtney currently lives in Fort Collins and enjoys exploring the outdoors of Colorado with her two dogs.