Gene Ruckman was born and raised in Cheyenne and is a graduate of the University of Wyoming. Gene began his career working ten years as a consultant in policy development, opinion research, public relations management and coordinating various campaigns of candidates for public office on the federal and state level as well as many issue referendums in Wyoming, Colorado and the mountain west. He has held several positions in newspaper marketing and works as a Senior Analyst at Gannett.
Nadia White is an associate professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism where she teaches old-school journalism in the new media model. Her students, for instance, provided extensive coverage of the environmental crimes trial ever held, using Twitter and Blogspot and old-fashioned seat time. White was an editor and reporter at the Casper Star-Tribune for many years, working from both Casper and Washington D.C. She worked as press secretary to Kathy Karpan’s U.S. Senate bid in 1996. She is currently writing a book project that blends biography,memoir and adventure travel, all from a desk in Missoula, Mont.
Loring Woodman escaped his native New Jersey two weeks after graduating from college in 1964 and moved to northwest Wyoming. Even now he can’t quite figure out how he managed to talk his east coast family into backing his harebrained scheme to turn an abandoned log homestead in the Gros Ventre Range into a viable wilderness guest ranch, but that became his life (listen to “Beloved ranch for sale” for a good story about the Darwin Ranch). Long winters made it possible for Woodman to investigate a variety of out-of-state, part-time work projects, including a short stint as a programming consultant in Silicon Valley in the early 1980s while still operating his Wyoming business from a distance. His 50 year ownership of the ranch inholding has provided a rich education in the workings of the Forest Service. Woodman was deeply involved with Wyoming’s congressional delegation leading up to the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984.
Karen Hertel Karen grew up in Star Valley, Wyoming where her great-great grandparents settled in the late 1800’s. Childhood and college summers were spent exploring the Bridger-Teton National Forest while working on a covered wagon train and wilderness packtrips in the Frome family outfitting business. She earned an undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Utah and later a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. Karen started teaching in an elementary school on the Washington coast, switched to high school in Idaho, and then on to a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho. After 20 years in education, she and her husband wanted to work full-time on the land. Karen left academia, her husband sold his commercial fishing business in Alaska, and the family moved to the Flathead Valley in Montana to manage a ranch. In 2010, her dream of getting back to Wyoming came true when she and her husband moved to Ishawooa Mesa Ranch on the Southfork of the Shoshone River, near Cody. For the past seven years, they have worked with the ranch owners to build a sustainable ranching operation—raising and selling grass-finished beef, pastured pork, chickens, turkeys, and a large market garden. Greg and Karen have four children and she enjoys reading, hiking, hunting, and cooking in her spare time.