Haley Hanson’s journey to MUD began in her childhood, where she could often be found wrangling reptiles and amphibians across the landscapes of the Midwestern United States and South America. Her fascination with the natural world led her to study Marine Biology in the Hawaiian Islands, where she contributed to the Marine Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to tag green sea turtles along the shores of black sand beaches. Haley later relocated to the towering redwoods of Northern California, where she pursued a master’s degree in environmental education at Humboldt State University.

Since 2001, Haley has been deeply involved in the local and global non-profit sphere and she’s left her mark on the Missoula community in various ways. At the Missoula Children’s Museum, she pulled from her personal end professional experience in art and DIY construction and crafted towering 10-foot-tall trees from donated sonotubes and canvas. Haley has also served local organizations as a board member for Animal Wonders and the Montana Artist’s Refuge.

Haley has spent the last 15+ years at Ecology Project International (EPI) where she immersed herself in community engagement and leadership and found a knack for communicating science and sustainability efforts in compelling and creative ways. Most recently, Haley has been serving as EPI’s Interim Co-Executive Director, further deepening her commitment to non profit leadership and environmental stewardship.

Now, Haley embarks on a new chapter as the Executive Director of the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD), where she hopes her leadership and vision will shape the organization’s future. She’s thrilled to lead MUD in its mission to inspire sustainable living practices and community resilience.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Haley finds joy in spending time with her husband and fellow Missoulians playing in a number of adult sporting leagues. The pair and their two sons can also be found fishing and floating from a pink cataract on Montana’s rivers. An avid painter and ceramicist, Haley remains dedicated to inspiring others to embrace fun ways to save the world – whether it be through art, education, or recreation.

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