Nicole Bealer and Rebekah Hellesto graduate this semester after years of service to the Collegiate Program. We are incredibly sad to lose two amazing leaders...but we have no doubt that they will go on to do big things.
If these two leaders don’t inspire you, we don’t know who will!
A Texas native, Nicole Bealer chose to attend the University of Montana for its renowned wildlife biology program.
She started her wildlife work as a junior in high school studying mountain lions and mule deer in Colorado. She then spent her college undergraduate years studying various wildlife in the vast landscapes of the West, from bighorn sheep in Wyoming to elk in New Mexico and Canada. She is also pursing minors in math and French and even recently spent a semester studying abroad in France.
Nicole served as the hunt coordinator and then president for the the University of Montana BHA college club. She spent the last year heading up the Montana Hunter Mentorship program, introducing new hunters to our public lands through big game hunting. Nicole landed a job with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and following graduation will move to Bozeman, where she will continue work with bighorn sheep.
Rebekah Hellesto completed her undergraduate degree at Purdue before moving to Washington to complete her master’s degree at Washington State University.
She is currently studying mule deer selection and survival, specifically how much mule deer rely on habitat in the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which sets aside environmentally sensitive lands from farming. While pursuing her master’s degree, Rebekah has served as president of the BHA college club at WSU.
Among many other successes as a club leader, Rebekah has led efforts to take new hunters out and acquired the Public Land Owner Stewardship Grant for the club to improve habitat on public lands. In between her undergraduate and graduate schooling, Rebekah through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, spending four and a half months hiking from Georgia to Maine with her friend Bailey. She is defending her master’s thesis next month and immediately after will start her through-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail with her husband, Clark.