CFWEP Program Director Rayelynn Connole

CFWEP Program Director, Rayelynn Connole

Program Director, Rayelynn Connole

Phone: (406) 490-5191 cell or (406) 496-4898

I began my teaching career over 15 years ago, working with at-risk youth in a wilderness treatment program. This first teaching experience shaped me as an educator and I knew that I would always yearn for teaching in the great outdoors, providing incredible experiences for kids, and integrating all subjects in my classroom without walls. My core education belief is simple: all kids can learn and achieve at a high level. Teachers and students should explore and learn together and the role of teacher is more accurately described as facilitator. Our job as educators is to craft those experiences that will inspire and lead students to become all that they can be. I have found sweet serendipity working with CFWEP and have been fortunate to align all of my passions, the outdoors, stewardship of this incredible earth, inspiring students to love science, and leadership all in one simple job description—CFWEP Program Director.


Education Coordinator, Dr. Arlene Alvarado

CFWEP Field Coordinator Dr. Arlene Alvarado

CFWEP Education Coordinator, Dr. Arlene Alvarado

Phone: (406) 533-8042 cell or (406) 496-4833 office

After struggling through the high school years, I started pursuing my college degrees starting in 1985 at LaGuardia Community College in New York, earning my Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts in 1987.  I then transferred to Vassar College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in an independent major I called “Animal Behavior and Environmental Modification” in 1989.  It was at Vassar College that I discovered my passion for science and have been involved in science ever since.  I graduated from the University of California in Davis with a Master’s and PhD in Animal Behavior in 2002.  During graduate school, I was fortunate to study a range of critters – from fleas and rats to monkeys and impalas.  It was Montana Tech’s hanta virus project that brought me to Butte, Montana in 2004.  After studying hanta virus in deer mice and teaching college courses for about four years, I came to recognize that I loved teaching and had a talent for teaching.  In 2008 I was hired by Cfwep.Org, joining an amazing team of environmental educators.  I absolutely love working with students of all ages and with the general public, sharing my knowledge and passion for the natural world and how to care for it. 


CFWEP Field Coordinator, Abby Peltomaa

Field Coordinator, Abby Peltomaa

Phone:  (406)496-4790


After graduating from Montana Tech with a B.S. in biological sciences, I went onto the University of Montana where I earned my Master’s in wildlife disease ecology.  Since then I have worked with Montana Tech, Montana FWP, and Montana State.  I have gotten the opportunity to work on a lot of different projects, from Hantavirus and small mammal biodiversity to pulmonary immunology and influenza.  I have worked with a lot of great people along the way who have helped shape me as a scientist and educator!  This past year I was introduced to Cfwep.Org and all of the wonderful things they do.  I am in amazement at all of the things I have learned and continue to learn about my community and our watershed through Cfwep.Org.  I am very excited to be a part of the Cfwep.Org team and work with a talented bunch of folks that continue to teach me important lessons every day, lessons I hope to pass on to our future stewards.  I have also had the exciting opportunity to teach lab courses for the Biology department at Montana Tech for the past couple of years.  Through working with the Biology department I have learned a lot and been able to continuously improve my teaching.


Chris Doyle, Program Coordinator

Phone:  (406)496-4790

CFWEP Student Employee, Chris Doyle

CFWEP Program Coordinator, Chris Doyle


Born and raised in beautiful Butte Montana, I have always had a deep love for the outdoors and was constantly learning all I could about science. I am currently a student at Montana Tech of the University of Montana and I am in the last semester of earning my Bachelors Degree in Organismal Biology. I plan to continue on in school and pursue a degree in education as well as getting a masters degree in biology. I have been involved with the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program since I was a sophomore at Butte High School, which was about six years ago. I first met CFWEP while I was involved with a project with Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks tracking bighorn sheep movement and distribution patterns in the Highlands mountains southwest of Butte Montana. CFWEP became a major part of the bighorn sheep project and so our relationship together began. Fish Wildlife and Parks and I have since finished the fieldwork on the study and now I am in the process of writing a paper on the study for my senior thesis. I have been an active member of the CFWEP team for four years now and I absolutely love every minute of it. Working with CFWEP has inspired my interest to want to teach young individuals about science. I love working for CFWEP, in every program we have, and I hope to continue working with them for many years to come. If I do decide some day in the future to move on from CFWEP, I will always be working and volunteering for CFWEP to help the organization stay true to its mission. When I am not working I am an outdoor enthusiast, I love to hunt, fish, hike, camp, pretty much anything outside. I also love to bowl and I usually bowl in 2 different leagues every year.




CFWEP Email List

Email Address*