Questions, comments, or suggestions for us? Please reach out! You can also learn more about each team member's specific areas of expertise and how we can partner with your community by visiting our Services Page.
Elizabeth Sodja is the Coordinator for the GNAR Initiative. She has almost a decade of communications and marketing experience and has worked with both federal and state land management agencies. She has a passion for helping small towns around the west preserve what is special about them while they grow. When she isn't working, you can find her climbing a rock, living out of a tent, driving down a dirt road or covered in dog hair while bike or ski-joring with her snow pups.
Utah State University
GNAR Initiative Lead,
Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
Jake Powell is a native of Utah and spent his childhood exploring the backroads of the intermountain west. These experiences formed a deep love for the landscapes, the communities, and people of the west. Jake found landscape architecture as a way to unite people and places, and earned his BLA from Utah State University and MSLA from Penn State University. In his current position as a Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Extension Specialist, Jake works to bring design and planning solutions to Utah’s communities. As the lead for the Gateway and Natural Amenity Initiative, Jake works with an amazing team to bring attention, resources, and new opportunities to the gateway communities of the Intermountain West.
Dr. Jordan W. Smith
Utah State University
Director, Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Associate Professor, Environment & Society
Jordan W. Smith, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management with minors in both Geospatial Information Systems and Sociology from NC State. Jordan completed both his master’s and undergraduate degrees from Utah State University. Jordan's work uses social media analytics and geospatial technologies to develop an understanding of how outdoor recreation is changing across the American West. His goal is to provide natural resource professionals, elected officials, private industry, and the general public with a scientifically grounded understanding of how to best manage outdoor recreation. Off-campus, Jordan is an active road cyclist and triathlete.