Judy Scherpelz, Founding Director & Board President

“In nature, I find the inspiration to work toward a better world. I hope that RMRP will open the eyes of those who meet us and inspire them to look within and be the difference!”

Judy Scherpelz
Judy Scherpelz

After 30 years of guiding, nurturing, and growing the RMRP, Judy retired as the Executive Director in 2018.  Judy remains active in the RMRP as the President on the Board of Directors.

Raised in a rural suburb of the Chicago area, Judy gained an appreciation for wildlife by realizing how fleeting and precious it is in some areas. She grew up camping and hiking with her family in Illinois and Wisconsin.

She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, receiving a B.A. in Biology. She then attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, living in a state wildlife area on the northern edge of the Ozarks, with wild turkey, grouse, and loons outside her window. She spent most of her graduate student life in the cypress swamps of southeastern Missouri, studying wood ducks in the flooded hardwood bottomlands.

After completing her graduate studies, she moved to Colorado in 1979 with varied work experiences with state and federal agencies and environmental consulting firms, conducting wildlife surveys, developing literature surveys, writing environmental impact statements, and working as a technical editor.

She was hired as the first Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program in 1987, with the charge of guiding the organization through the transition from a student club into a community organization, developing a volunteer program, community education program, and fundraising strategy. Judy’s leadership grew the program from a small student club to a leading raptor rehabilitation and education facility in the region. She enjoys teaching about all aspects of raptor biology and behavior.

She has one son, Adam and new grandbabies that provide much joy in her life.  She has also become an owner in a local art gallery, Blue Moose Gallery where she teaches and creates fiber arts of weaving, knitting, and felting.  She still enjoys hiking and outdoor activity with her faithful Australian Shepard. 

Awards -Distinguished Alumni Award, Luther College, 2000

  • B.A., Biology, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
  • M.S., Wildlife Biology, concentration in Bird Behavior, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • CDOW Wildlife Rehabilitation Certificate