Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown

There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning your favorite outdoor adventures! Our staff questionnaire series allows you to learn about those who work inside to get you outside.This week we’ve interviewed Ian Brown, our new Program Director.

1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors? 

Ian Brown Blog 1I grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, located in the foothills of Southern Ohio. For those who don’t know, Chillicothe is home to the outdoor drama Tecumseh and was Ohio’s First Capital.   I attended Muskingum College and studied Conservation Science. I also attended The State University of New York: Albany receiving my Masters of Public Policy and Affairs.  I was drawn to Venture Outdoors because of the great work they are doing getting residents of Southwestern PA outside.  It is crucial to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the outdoors.   

2. Describe your role at Venture Outdoors in 10 words or less. 

Make sure all programs are running smoothly. 

3. What does “getting outside” mean to you? 

Getting outside is so important to me, whether it be a planned trip or just a walk around the neighborhood.  I use that time to think, clear my head and take in the natural surroundings.  I also try to take my kids outside wherever possible for them to explore, create and take risks outside. 

Ian Blog 24. If you had to pick only one recreational activity to practice for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? 

Since I was little, I played soccer, I plan to continue to play as long as possible.  When I lived in Seattle, I picked up running and have run a half-marathon a year since.   I also plan to hike and be outside for as long as I’m able to. 

5. What is the craziest thing you have done? 

After I received my undergraduate degree, I took a job with the US Forest Service looking at Pre-Post fire regions in the West.  Our crew was tasked with looking for woodpecker species and to determine how many fledglings were produced at each nest. For a more in-depth analysis of the research, take a look at this link.  Essentially, the Forest Service paid me to hike for 10 hours a day.  This job took me all over the West, giving me the opportunity to car-camp, explore and meet some amazing people.  In more than one instance, random strangers offered me and the crew I worked with a place to stay while they were away on trips, instilling in me an amazing sense of the good-heartedness of people.

6. What are your top five favorite outdoors/travel destinations?  

  1. Hocking Hills, Ohio
  2. Adirondacks, NY
  3. Olympic Peninsula, WA
  4. Puerto Rico
  5. Hawaii 
     

7. What is your favorite forest/camping snack?

Nothing beats a good Peanut Butter (Sun Butter) and jelly or honey sandwich after a day outside.

8. Name three people in history (dead or alive) with whom you would want to take on a Venture Outdoors program of your choice. 

My Grandfather, who I have fond memories of taking my brother and I fishing when we were little, Rachel Carson who inspired me to think critically about environmental issues and, Dr. Antwi Akom.  Dr. Akom has an extensive background in building collaborative, community-facing technology projects and new models of urban innovation that help cities become smarter, more equitable, just and sustainable.  

9. What is your favorite Venture Outdoors memory? (or newbies: What are you looking forward to most?) 

Working with the Adaptive Paddling Program and helping grow our participation in urban communities while strengthening our community presence. 

10. Describe your dream Venture Outdoors program/outing.

A reoccurring cultural tour of Pittsburgh’s Neighborhoods, ending as a block party to celebrate the residents and businesses of that neighborhood.  Each tour would utilize community residents to co-lead the tours and would end with a community block party.

11. What is the earliest memory you have of being outside? 

I have always had a connection to being outside.  I remember going to my grandparents’ lake in Southern Ohio to fish and play in the woods when I was young. 

12. What is your biggest challenge nowadays?  

Having three small children under 5 years old keeps me on my toes.  

 

Posted in Staff

OUTDOOR News

  • Why Do You Volunteer?

    January 23, 2018

    By: Sara Cardamone

    Whether Trip Leaders, interns, or event volunteers, we have many dedicated individuals working alongside us. We appreciate all of our volunteers and we couldn’t do it without them!

    For today’s blog, we asked the question, “Why do you volunteer with Venture Outdoors?”. Here are some of their answers:

    “Why do I volunteer for Venture Outdoors? Mostly for my eight-year-old daughter. I want Mollie to know that women can be bold and adventurous and just as cool and daring as men. We can hike and kayak and swim and geocache.

     » Read more about: Why Do You Volunteer?  »

  • Getting to Know Our Staff: 14 Questions with… Vanessa Bashur

    January 16, 2018

    There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning your favorite outdoors adventures! Learn about those who work inside to get you outside.This week we’ll be interviewing Vanessa, our Kayak Pittsburgh Director.Vanessa Blog 2

    1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors?

    I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Sciences with a concentration in Geography & Mineralogy from Montana State University in 2005. I have been with Venture Outdoors for 5+ years and currently serve as our Kayak Pittsburgh Director.

     » Read more about: Getting to Know Our Staff: 14 Questions with… Vanessa Bashur  »

  • Safe Routes to Parks

    January 9, 2018

    By Kevin Hurley, Trip Leader Specialist

    A few weeks ago I had the exciting opportunity to work with two of my favorite groups located in the Hill District: The Jeron X. Grayson Community Center (JXGCC), with 6th to 8th graders, and the Center That C.A.R.E.S. (CTC), with 3rd to 5th graders. I was excited to see them as always, but this time we were going to do something pretty important. We were going to work with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and audit the routes with their program called the “Safe Routes to Parks” initiative. At CTC we worked with Gavin White and provided the children with chalk to mark areas that they deemed unsafe on the way to the park.

     » Read more about: Safe Routes to Parks  »

  • Best Boot Forward

    January 2, 2018

    By: Grace Groeger

    Venture Outdoors is fortunate to have many outstanding volunteers. This year we wanted to find a new way to say thank you to our exemplary volunteers and show how valued they are to not only the Venture Outdoors staff but to our Members as well. We came up with the Best Boot Forward Award. The Venture Outdoors community had the opportunity to nominate one volunteer they believe stands out above the rest, someone who is always putting his/her Best Boot Forward. Our FIRST EVER Best Boot Forward Award goes to SHEILA STAGNITTA!

    BestBootForward

    Sheila grew up just outside the Pittsburgh area in the Mon Valley.

     » Read more about: Best Boot Forward  »

  • Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown

    December 12, 2017

    There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning your favorite outdoor adventures! Our staff questionnaire series allows you to learn about those who work inside to get you outside.This week we’ve interviewed Ian Brown, our new Program Director.

    1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors? 

    Ian Brown Blog 1I grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, located in the foothills of Southern Ohio. For those who don’t know, Chillicothe is home to the outdoor drama Tecumseh and was Ohio’s First Capital.  

     » Read more about: Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

Thank you for another great season!
We’ll see you on the water in 2018!

#KeepPittsburghPaddling


Featured Outing

Volunteers Are Vital

Annual Volunteer Meeting
Sunday, January 28
4 – 7 PM

All current and prospective volunteers are encouraged to attend our Annual Volunteer Meeting! The meeting will include presentations on the Venture Outdoors and plan for 2018 and a chance to meet and socialize with other volunteers. Dinner will be served. RSVP is requested by January 24.

SIGN UP HERE!