BLM Colorado Celebrates Women's History Month

To commemorate Women’s History Month, we are highlighting the dedicated women who work for BLM Colorado. You can also follow along on Facebook.

March 29, 2021

Today we are featuring Erin Leifeld, Archaeologist at the BLM's Colorado River Valley Field Office. Erin started her BLM career as an intern through the Student Career Experience Program and has worked for the BLM for 12 years. In her role, Erin ensures projects follow cultural resource laws and regulations and surveys for cultural resources such as Native American campsites, artifacts, and historic homesteads. Erin documents artifacts and features and works with project proponents to avoid disturbing or destroying important archaeological sites.

Erin enjoys developing interpretation for the public and participating in education programs for students at local schools. She also enjoys participating in Tribal consultation with the three Ute tribes whose ancestral lands are in areas of the Colorado River Valley Field Office.

Erin wearing a hat standing on rocks with a river below her
Photo Credit: Erin Leifeld

Fun Fact: During graduate school at Colorado State University, Erin traveled to Kazakhstan to do archaeology for two months.

March 26, 2021

Today we are featuring Carol Dawson, State Botanist/Threatened and Endangered Species Program Lead. Carol started with the BLM in 2001. In her role, she develops and implements trend monitoring studies for special status plant species; works with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to develop assessments, biological status reviews, de-listing packages, and recovery plans; and develops conservation strategies. Carol is involved in the native plant development program – from collecting seeds for Seeds of Success (the national native seed collection program led by the BLM), to helping implement the National Seed Strategy in Colorado. Carol also partners with botanic gardens, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado Natural Areas Program, and universities to gather additional data for use in the conservation of rare plant species. She has also mentored interns, served on graduate student committees, and taught plant identification classes and trainings.

Carol wearing a backpack and hat working in high desert landscape with plants
Photo Credit: Carol Dawson

Fun fact: Carol has a plant named after her - a newly discovered species of cactus called Sclerocactus dawsonii.


March 24, 2021

Today we are featuring Pam Levitt, Geographical Information System Mapping (known as GIS) Specialist. Pam has worked for the BLM for 33 years! Her interest in natural resources escalated after taking earth science classes and independent studies on the subject. After graduating from business school, Pam joined the BLM in 1988 as a computer clerk. She was immediately fascinated by GIS technology because it combined her creativity and interests in resource management, science, technology. Pam “continues to be inspired by the leaps and bounds in the (GIS) technology, it is a fascinating field to be involved with. I am proud that the work we do leads to scientific based decisions upon the management of our public lands.”

Pam smiles in front of the Point Area Lighthouse in California, which is surrounded by BLM-managed public land.
Photo Credit: Pam Levitt

Fun Fact: Pam was inspired to enter government service by her dad, Carroll Levitt, who retired after more than 40 years with the BLM in Craig, Colorado.

March 23, 2021

Today we are featuring Kremmling Field Office Law Enforcement Ranger Rebecca Merritt. She is the first permanent female Law Enforcement Officer to wear the badge of four Federal land management agencies. International Game Warden Magazine recently featured an article touting her achievement and touching on highlights of her career.

Uniformed BLM law enforcement ranger stands on vista
Photo Credit: Rebecca Merritt

Read her story:

March 22, 2021

We kick off the week featuring Carmen Thomason, Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist. Carmen started with the BLM in college as a seasonal wildland firefighter and has spent time working on the fire line and as a member of an incident management team. In her current role, Carmen educates the public about how to prevent wildfire and work together to protect homes and communities from fire. One of Carmen’s work perks is she spends a lot of time with Smokey Bear while she educates the public about fire. Carmen is a member of the BLM Fire and Aviation Honor Guard.

Carmen standing on pavement in nomex fire pants and yellow fire shirt
Photo Credit: Carmen Thomason

Fun fact: Carmen has worked for the BLM in four states – Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada!

March 19, 2021

Today we are featuring Diane Mastin Dixon, BLM Colorado’s Sage-Grouse Natural Resource Specialist. Diane started as an intern with the sage-grouse program in 2014. She became a full-time employee in 2018 and has since helped develop the program’s surface disturbance tracking system, fluid minerals leasing process, and integrated program of work. Diane provides support to staff and partners to achieve the best outcomes for sage-grouse conservation in Colorado.

Diane wearing a yellow nomex shirt and green nomex fire pants gives a thumbs up standing in front of a plane
Photo Credit: Diane M Dixon

Fun Fact: Diane is a sixth generation Coloradan with a deeply rooted passion for the outdoors. Her favorite activity to do on public land is trail run with her two dogs, Drogo and Indi.

March 17, 2021

Today we are featuring Maribeth Pecotte, Planning and Environmental Coordinator. Maribeth has worked for the BLM for five years. In her role, she works to develop and complete environmental compliance documents so the BLM can accomplish program and management objectives. Maribeth writes, edits, and reviews National Environmental Policy Act documents, manages the schedule of projects, and works with field managers to prioritize workload.

head shot of Maribeth
Photo Credit: Maribeth Pecotte

Fun fact: Before working for the BLM, Maribeth spent 17 years working for the U.S. Forest Service with the Boulder Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest. 

March 15, 2021

Today we are featuring Kerry Jacobson, Management & Program Analyst. Kerry has worked for the BLM for 11 years and has a 26-year career with the federal government. She previously worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and served in the U.S. Air Force in active duty for 12 years. In her role at the BLM, Kerry provides specialized guidance and advice for the Office of Fire and Aviation Management in the development, management, and implementation of fire business issues. Her position requires budget, business, and fire and aviation program expertise. Kerry is “grateful to work for an organization with the mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Kerry holding an award plaque
Photo Credit: Kerry Jacobson

Fun Fact: Kerry has a Master of Science in Management from Belhaven University, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Resources Management Troy University, and Associate of Applied Science in Fitness, Recreation, and Services Management from the Community College of the Air Force.

March 12, 2021

Today we are featuring Kelly O’Toole, Management and Program Analyst. Kelly has worked for the BLM for two years, starting as an administrative assistant. In her current role, Kelly collaborates with staff across the state to improve administrative processes and update key policies. Kelly found that “the BLM is a great place to learn about complex policy issues and better understand issues from multiple perspectives.”

kelly standing near a creek with trees in the background holding a bag of fish
Kelly occasionally gets to do fun fieldwork like stocking native greenback cutthroat trout. (Photo Credit: Kelly O'Toole)

Fun Fact: During her first year working for the BLM, Kelly balanced full-time work and school as a distance graduate student in the master’s in environmental management program at Western Colorado University.

March 10, 2021

Today we are featuring Dr. Ninetta Brown, Human Resources Officer. Dr. Brown is a new employee who started at the State Office in December 2020. She comes to BLM Colorado following more than 21 years of progressive human resources experience with the U.S. Air Force. She oversees the operations activities of the Human Resources Office and provides advice on policies, regulations, procedures, and outreach programs. Dr. Brown loves working for the BLM because “it has created a "family" culture where they let you experiment and push your talents while cultivating a working environment that people want to be a part of. I love being a part of something bigger that makes a difference.”

dr brown smiling
Photo Credit: Dr. Ninetta Brown

Fun fact: She has a lot of degrees! Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate in Organizational Management (with a specialization in HR Management) from Capella University, a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Webster University, a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from USAF Air Command and Staff College, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology from Park University.

March 8, 2021
We kick off our month-long feature with BLM Colorado State Director Jamie Connell. Jamie became Colorado's State Director in 2018 and has a long history as a leader in the BLM. She served for two years as the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director and was the BLM Montana and the Dakotas State Director from 2010 to 2016. As State Director, Jamie brings 35 years of experience to provide leadership and direction on the management of BLM Colorado's 8.3 million acres of public land.

Can you guess Jamie's first job with the BLM?

Jamie Connell, wearing a ball cap and red rain coat, holding a bonefish caught fly fishing
Photo Credit: Jamie Connell

A petroleum engineer! She was responsible for reviewing permits for all operations through the life of an oil and gas well on BLM-managed land in Montana, including on-site inspections.

Fun fact: Jamie loves to fly fish.