Inner Roads is composed of a group of passionate individuals with experience in clinical therapy, social work, wilderness guiding, logistics and program coordination, and experiential education. We are grateful to be supported by an enthusiastic community and as well as many volunteers, with whom our program is made possible.
Brie Shulman LCPC, WFR (she/her)
Executive Director / Youth Therapist
Brie has been dedicated to the field of Wilderness Therapy since her first role as a field guide in 2008. With her BA in Psychology completed in upstate NY, she moved to Missoula, MT to attain her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Montana. She has worked as both a guide and a licensed individual and family therapist for Missoula's own wilderness therapy program since 2013. Brie never travels far without her best friend Woofer - a certified therapy dog who particularly enjoys rivers and relationships that she develops with the trips' participants. Brie is passionate about equal access to mental health care, social justice issues, and providing adolescents with access to inspiration. In her free time, you'll find Brie at local concerts, playing music and crafting with friends, and camping even more!
Kari Mowbray PCLC, MA (she/her)
Assistant Director / Family Therapist
Kari was born and raised in Northwest MT and earned her BA in psychology from the University of MT. Soon after, Kari took the adventure train to Oregon, Wyoming, Washington and Minnesota, where she gained experience in group home management, wilderness medicine and wilderness therapy and completed her internship in the Northwoods of Minnesota supporting rural communities. After completing her MA in clinical counseling in Spring of 2021, Kari has returned to her home state in order to continue working in outdoor therapy. Kari fully believes in the healing powers that outdoor settings have on our mind, body and soul. Kari leans on her holistic, strength-based perspectives every day as she works to support the community in mental, physical and emotional wellness during these challenging times. Kari’s small family currently includes her partner and her Dutch shepherd who both join her in all the “off-the-clock” adventures.
Maria Merkley AA (she/her)
Maria grew up in Hamilton, Montana, but she has had the privilege of calling Oregon, Arizona, and Washington home. Maria has a passion for working with youth in her community, and she is currently working on her B.A. with her major in History-Political Science and a Secondary Education Licensure with an emphasis in Psychology at the University of Montana. Maria has experience in Administration and the Financial industry, but most recently was a substitute teacher at Hellgate Elementary. She has a love for traveling and has many destinations left on her bucket list. Maria knows how much growth can come from exploring and being outdoors. In her free time, you can find her preparing for motherhood. She is currently expecting her first child in June. She is excited to be a part of the Inner Roads team and to have a positive impact on youth in her community.
"The wilderness has taught me how to truly care for and value both myself and my body.
A dehydrated, hungry human with negative internal chatter is never going to make it up the mountain. But in learning how to tune-in to my own needs, I have found that I am capable of much more than I once thought. That same confidence and empowerment I feel in the outdoors has leaked into the rest of my life, because I have already achieved the once-impossible. "
Tara Cook, Co-founder of Inner Roads, Inc
Each season we hire several Certified Field Guides and Clinical Interns as our front-line staff, responsible for ensuring a safe and therapeutic milieu on a day-to-day basis with our students. They hold current certifications in wilderness medicine, CPR, and de-escalation training. They come to us with significant experience in outdoor leadership & youth mentorship or clinical settings, enthusiastic about living alongside our students as they navigate new perspectives and insight.
Please check our Employment page for 2022 openings!
Meet Inner Roads Board Members
Gretchen Neal MA, CPH, EDS (she/her)
Gretchen is the current Missoula County Mental Health Coordinator. She has a Master's degree in Community Health, a Certificate in Public Health, and a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, all from the University of Montana. She is also a Certified Education Specialist. Growing up in Montana, Gretchen's parents encouraged her to be outside as much as possible. Some of her earliest memories involve making mud pies and playing in lakes and rivers. As an adult, wild spaces have been critical to her recovery and growth. Whenever possible, she would prefer to be hiking, kayaking, camping, downhill skiing, or birding.
Gretchen recognizes that phsyical and mental health are impossible without equity of access to resources. By offering wilderness therapy to youth who might not otherwise be able to experience and benefit from it, Inner Roads increases equity in the behavioral health system. Gretchen is thrilled to be a part of that work, and excited for the program's future.
Casey Gannon BA, MPA (he/him)
Casey has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Montana and a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He grew up in New Hampshire and Vermont where he first found his inspiration in the outdoors. After college, Casey biked from Baltimore to Seattle with the 4K for Cancer, raising funds and awareness for the Ullman Cancer Found for Young Adults. Once he hit the West, he chose to stay and explore, hiking both the Pacific Crest Trail and the Pacific Northwest Trail. Casey then moved to Missoula and worked for the Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter. Currently, he works as the Management Analyst for the Communications and Projects Department at Missoula County. Casey is invested in blending his passions in wilderness and public service, and can often be found roaming the mountains and rivers of Montana with his partner and his dog.
Larry Webber (he/him)
Larry is a recently retired high school Economics teacher. He held this position for 35 years and lives in Rochester, New York. He now spends his time as a youth ice hockey coach, wood carver, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever owner (when he's not cheering on his teams - the Boston Red Sox or Bruins)! He also dresses up as Santa every holiday season for young ice skaters with disabilities. He is the proud father of two sons making a positive difference in the world. Larry is a firm believer in the power of outdoor behavioral health, and has taken the time to see our programming first-hand here in the beautiful Montana wilderness. He has served Inner Roads in many capacities over the years, and now holds the position of Board Treasurer. When he's not loving on his adorable dog, you may find Larry vacationing in Savannah, Georgia - one of his favorite spots.
Jenna McCrorie BA Student (she/her)
Growing up with Glacier National Park (nearly!) in her backyard, the outdoors have always been a formative and powerful place for Jenna. Being able to recreate in both the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys is one of her favorite parts about attending the University of Montana! She is currently a junior with a major in Political Science and minors in International Development Studies and Mountain Studies. Her ultimate goal is to dismantle racism in the outdoors by advocating for increased diversity and equity for all who wish to engage in outdoor experiences. She is also a mentor for The Mayfly Project in Missoula - an organization that mentors foster children by teaching them how to fly fish throughout the summer. Her free time is filled up with anything and everything outside, including skiing, cycling, hiking, and fly fishing! She can't wait to work more closely with Inner Roads to keep transformative outdoor experiences accessible for those who need them most.
Hillary Olsen MSW Student (she/her)
Hillary grew up being dragged to the mosquito-infested Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota every summer with her family, as well as other "fun" family excursions. Although she wasn't aware of it then, these privileged (often involuntary) adventures into the wilderness and beyond created a love for the outdoors that has greatly shaped her identity and values today. She is currently finishing up her Masters of Social Work at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and feels very passionate about working with Indigenous communities to develop youth outdoor programming that is wellness-based and grounded in culture. She is excited to be a part of an organization like Inner Roads that is striving to create healing outdoor opportunities that are accessible and welcoming to all!
Benjamin Crawford BA, MFA (he/him)
Having long experienced what Montana has to offer, Ben has sought to bring the natural resources of People and Land together through work with youth in residential therapeutic settings and National Park Conservation, as well as advocacy for Indigenous Rights. Having graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in Psychology and Fine Arts, Ben found the ideal combination of therapy and creativity when working as a field staff with Inner Roads and continues to help youth utilize their creativity to meet their goals. He can be found spending his free time in the outdoors in hopes of floating its many waters, meandering & scrambling through the plentiful public lands, and seeking its many tasty forageable foods.
We are always seeking new community members to join our Board of Directors!
We hope to be able to match you with tasks that align with your interests, passions, and skills, so please outline these in your application. In general, Board members are expected to attend monthly 1.5 hour board meetings, and participate in at least one committee that works independently and shares updates at our monthly meetings. It is an expectation that everyone on the board be seeking financial opportunities, representing Inner Roads appropriately within the community, and be able to commit a few hours per month working towards our communal goals.