Meet Our Co-FoundersKent Weber, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Kent has spent the past three decades as an experiential educator working to provide a home for rescued animals. His patience and skill as a teacher have benefited thousands of volunteers and visitors over the years. He is the main spokesperson for the traveling Ambassador Wolf Program and has inspired countless people to care. Kent has profound architectural knowledge from his background in construction management and applies this knowledge to making the sanctuary sustainable through solar power and passive solar design. Kent wears many different hats at the sanctuary. You might find him in the Mission: Wolf tool shop teaching new volunteers how to build something for the first time, talking about group psychology to a bunch of high school students, or explaining wolf-dog regulations to someone on the phone. During the summer, the one hat you can count on him wearing almost every day is his cowboy hat.
Tracy Ane Brooks, Co-Founder and President
With over two decades experience working with wolves and horses, Tracy oversees animal care at the sanctuary. She understands animal behavior and has developed gentle handling techniques that are truly her own. Tracy teaches interested Mission: Wolf staff how to use body language to communicate with wolves and horses. As the primary Ambassador Wolf leader, she has developed successful handling techniques for the captive Ambassador Wolves to help them be calm and happy in public, unnatural and new environments. Tracy is currently developing a wolf/horse body language teaching program at the sanctuary, using positive interactions between people and animals as an educational and therapeutic tool. She published a book about her work, entitled A Walk in Connection. An accomplished artist, Tracy has raised money for the sanctuary from sales of her artwork.
Meet Our StaffMike Gaarde
Mike is a self-proclaimed happy hippie who just loves wolves. He came to Mission: Wolf in September 2013 and is our Animal Caretaker. Mike's bonus charisma points and excitement for our mission makes him a driving force on our staff. When he's not working with the wolves, Mike can be found helping out with construction, being artsy fartsy, or eating his strict diet of ketchup, cheese, and tortillas. In his free time, Mike likes to ride his dirt bike, be silly, and go snowboarding. He is the point person at Mission: Wolf, and much like the wolf, Mike is always striving to be mindful, aware, and knowledgeable of the world around him.
Megan came to Mission: Wolf for the first time in spring 2014, as part of a service group from Rice University. She fell in love with our wolves, our mountains, and our sustainability efforts, and returned as long-term staff in March 2017. Megan is our current Operations Caretaker, and her strong organizational skills and attention to detail help keep everything running smoothly at the sanctuary. You can usually find her in the office tending to the finances and handling correspondence, or outside working with groups and educating visitors.
John has been working with animals in a sanctuary environment since 2000, and brings great experience and perspective to Mission: Wolf. Along with being an avid voice for the wolves, he has been internationally published and won awards for his photography. At the refuge, you may find John in the office working on our social media efforts and multimedia production as our Outreach Caretaker. But more often than not, you can find him patiently trying to catch the essence of our resident wolf Arrow through his camera lens, or jamming in the staff building on his guitar. John's welcoming nature and Buddhist philosophy always make the wolves and staff feel secured and cared for.
Austin arrived at Mission: Wolf in the summer of 2017, and as our current Education Caretaker, he has made serious headway in our attempts to revamp our education programs at the sanctuary. Spreading knowledge about the wolf and its vital role in our ecosystem brings him great joy, along with creating a cohesive environment among the staff. Austin's passions include advocating for worker's rights, being a lover of basketball, an enthusiast of odd reptiles, and a man of books. He has degrees in sociology and philosophy, and he plans to attend graduate school to study the relationship between modern society and wildness.
Rachel is endearingly known as R2 around the sanctuary, and she currently manages our food-growing and landscaping efforts as the Greenhouse Caretaker. Her passions include wolves, environmental law, rapping the Hamilton soundtrack, and making the staff laugh. R2 recently graduated with high honors and a degree in environmental science, and she plans to attend law school so that she can defend the earth as an environmental lawyer.
Tyler brings a great energy and passion for wolves to the sanctuary. When he isn't leading the processing of wolf food as our Meat Caretaker, you can find Tyler juggling, contemplating all of life's big questions, or watching Scooby Doo. Tyler wants to work with canines for the rest of his life, and all of the wolves have benefitted from his enthusiastic care and attention.