Ray Tschillard (U)
Ray Tschillard has enjoyed over 45 years of connecting students of all age levels to the outdoors through experiential educational experiences. His passion for learning in the outdoors can be traced back to his days with siblings, Jay, Kay, Clay, and Gay. That's right- all 5 names rhyme,ay! Whether camping alongside Granddad’s creek or on a scouting trip canoeing the Mississippi River, Ray has been on an outdoor experiential learning pathway from the start.
Ray attended Simpson College, majoring in Earth Science while a member of the football and wrestling teams. He received his master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado and started his career in the classroom as an Earth Systems experiential educator.
Ray is the co-creator and founding Director of the Poudre Learning Center (PLC), a multi-disciplinary, earth systems-based educational site boasting 198 acres of Poudre River riparian and short grass prairie. As the first environmental center in Weld Couty, the PLC offers habitat for the public, PreK to college students, and teacher development, and attracts 30,000 visitors annually.
Ray earned the respected National Friend of Conservation Award for significant and impactful contributions to the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources. The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education also awarded Ray the Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award, Colorado’s highest honor for environmental educators.
Ray and his wife Debbie consider themselves to be Colorado “natives” as they have lived in Colorado for over 38 years. His family includes his son, daughter, and three cool grandkids. When not wandering on or along a river he can be found hiking, biking, and trying to fix old stuff.