A new leader has recently been selected for the National Wildlife Federation's sportswomen program, Artemis.
Carlee Koutnik, of Colorado, begun work as Artemis's new program manager last month. She is tasked with the further development of the Artemis program from the financial, advocacy, and visibility standpoints to continue its growth as a nationwide conservation force. In addition, Koutnik will focus on connection, engagement, and amplifying women in the outdoors.
"It is really cool to be part of a cohort of women that want to bring their competence, skillset, and knowledge to the forefront in Artemis," Koutnik said. "I have the opportunity to build off the strong foundation that has been laid. The reason I was attracted to Artemis is the authenticity factor. Artemis does a great job highlighting women in the outdoors that are authentic, knowledgeable, and truly themselves, which spans the gamut of all types."
Artemis is an initiative of the National Wildlife Federation that aims to break stereotypes, open dialogue and include new, diverse voices in the hunting and angling communities. Artemis brings together a network of bold and passionate sportswomen who work diligently across the country to protect America's 640 million acres of public lands. Artemis also provides a framework to mentor sportswomen to become effective advocates for conservation at the local, state and national level. Koutnik will be the program's second leader, following Marcia Brownlee, who left the position last fall.
Prior to her role with Artemis, Koutnik served nearly nine years in the U.S. Air Force. While there, she served as an executive officer and senior instructor of biology. During her time with the U.S. Air Force, she received the 2019 Air Force Medical Service Team of the Year award and ranked as the No. 2 of 59 program managers on Eielson Air Force Base. Other experience prior to Artemis includes serving as the state headquarters training and exercise manager for the Colorado National Guard, and as the deputy director for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
She earned a B.S. in biology from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a M.S. in ecological restoration from the University of Florida's School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
Her role at Artemis enables her to marry her professional experience and education to her longtime passion for the outdoors.
"Since before I can remember, I have been outside," Koutnik said. "My parents would bring us canoeing or mountain biking. We would camp all the time. I have always loved being outdoors. We did a lot of fishing."
She harvested her first deer as soon as she was able.
"It was the last half hour of the last day of the season," she said. "I had buck fever; like true shaking and trembling. It is a wonderful memory I have of time in the field."
Her favorite species to hunt are elk and mule deer, but her new role has inspired her to also try something new: pursuing Canada geese.
"I am targeting goose in the near future," she said. "(Artemis Southeast Program Coordinator) Ashley coached me through it this morning. I'm excited to implement her tips."
Koutnik is excited to delve further into her work and lead Artemis into the next chapter.
"I very much respect this program," she said. "I am hoping to build on the strong characteristics of Artemis and focus on further development and expansion."
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