At present, all TINS programming and operations are handled by our four full-time staff, and the volunteer efforts of our Board and other volunteers. However, in coming months, we may be looking for seasonal field crew, interns, volunteers, help with fundraising, adminstrative help, etc. Please check back regularly if you'd like to get involved, or just contact us

Employment Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

T. Will Richardson, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Executive Director

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Will has been working and birding in the Tahoe area since 1994. Originally a seasonal Tahoe resident (spending summers running crews for the Point Reyes Bird Observatory elsewhere in California, and falls working for PRBO on the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco), Will finally settled in Truckee in 2001, and has been intensively studying the region's natural history and ecosystems ever since. He is currently working on a status and distribution guide for the birds of the Lake Tahoe basin, but his interests span all taxa: he has authored papers on chipmunks, butterflies, and his own discovery of a second species of salamander occuring in the Tahoe basin.

Will received his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, studying bird communities in Sierra Nevada aspen habitats. He's never not birding, but he also attempts to squeeze in backcountry skiing, climbing, sea-kayaking, Ulitmate Frisbee, and the occasional music gig.


Sarah Hockensmith

Outreach Director

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Growing up in Northern California, Sarah Hockensmith has always had a passion for natural sciences and the outdoors. Sarah was a track and field athlete for California State University, Chico, while she attained her Bachelors of Science in Natural Resource Management. Sarah has worked for the United States Forest Service in Lake Tahoe as a naturalist ranger, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a conservation crew leader, Tahoe Resource Conservation District as a conservation technician in the forestry field, as well as other organizations relating to the environment.

With a smile on her face, Sarah is excited to be working for TINS because she believes her enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion for the natural sciences and the outdoors could influence others to be stewards of Lake Tahoe’s resources and find value in the environment. Sarah enjoys backpacking, trail-running, surfing, snowboarding, riding her bike, and observing flora and fauna, all while appreciating the natural world around her.

“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he (or she) seeks.” – John Muir


Michelle Witte

Education Manager

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Michelle Witte

Growing up in beautiful Colorado, Michelle’s love for the mountains and outdoors started at a young age with camping in the Rockies. Her love for the Sierra's began in 2010 when she first moved to Lake Tahoe. Through this experience she realized her passion for the outdoors and the desire to share it with others. She is a graduate of Humboldt State University, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Management and Protection with an emphasis in Environmental Education & Interpretation. Michelle has worked for the California State Parks in Lake Tahoe as well as Yosemite National Park, as an interpretive naturalist.

 Michelle is ecstatic to be a part of TINS and to find her niche working to bring a greater understanding and stewardship of the natural world to the Tahoe region.  Michelle is a lover of any outdoor adventure or creative undertaking. This usually means you’ll find her snowboarding, backpacking, rock climbing, practicing yoga, hula hooping or doing some form of art and crafts. 

"Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it"- Mary Oliver


Gary Mcgaughey

Education and Outreach Intern


Growing up in Southeastern Washington, Gary’s interest in natural science started with a love of dinosaurs and the opportunity to travel the country. Since then, Gary has developed a love and appreciation for earth and life sciences and the outdoors. Currently in his third year of pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in geology and a minor in biology at the University of Nevada, Reno, Gary looks forward to applying to graduate schools next fall.

Gary is grateful for the opportunity to work with TINS as part of the Pack Internship Grant Program. He hopes to gain experience in science education outreach and share his enthusiasm for natural history with the Tahoe community. Gary spends his leisure days riding his motorcycle, skiing, hiking, and observing geological features.

Glimpse of TINS


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