About the Chapter Leaders

Aaron Watson

Chapter Chair
Board of Directors

Aaron Watson is the Board Chair and Chapter Director of IDA Colorado.  He works for Solar Energy International, and lives in Paonia, Colorado. He has been a member of IDA Colorado since 2018 and served as the Western Colorado Regional Coordinator until joining the Board as chair in 2022.  To IDA Colorado he brings a background in engineering and environmental science, and experience working with nonprofits.

Aaron’s dark-sky advocacy includes work with “Dark Skies Paonia” toward getting a Dark Sky Community recognition for the town of Paonia, and a number of other dark-sky certification efforts in Colorado. 

He enjoys stargazing, riding his electric bicycle year round, and playing music with his friends. He likes finding special astronomical alignments, and is author and photographer of an annual lunar astronomical events calendar.

Aaron likes to remember his experience working with the town of Paonia and the local utility to choose a responsible, low-color-temperature option for replacing the town’s streetlights.

Aaron Watson
Aaron Watson

Dani Robben

Board of Directors
Interim Treasurer

Dani Robben is Community Connections Coordinator for San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, and lives in Alamosa, Colorado.  She joined the IDA Colorado Board of Directors in 2023.  To IDA Colorado she brings communications experience with other conservation organizations in Colorado.

Dani’s dark-sky advocacy includes her work as Project Lead of the Sangre de Cristo Dark Sky Reserve, toward a certification as a Dark Sky Reserve.

She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, running, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, camping, and fishing. She also likes to cook and bake.

Dani remembers the first time she saw the Milky Way.  She was overwhelmed with the vastness of the universe, and it made her feel grounded.

Dani Robben
Dani Robben

Deborah Price

Board of Directors

Deborah Price is a retired environmental educator, having worked with several open space agencies along the Front Range.  She lives in the Pinewood Springs community between Lyons and Estes Park.   Deborah has been a member of the IDA Colorado Board since the beginning of 2022.   To IDA Colorado she brings experience as an environmental educator, and a background in journalism and public relations.

Deborah’s dark-sky advocacy includes her series of dark-sky presentations to the general public, as a part of her work with Boulder County and through other various agencies.  She continues to make presentations in the Front Range area.

She enjoys hiking, writing, photography, and astronomy.

Deborah fondly remembers being overwhelmed with the beauty of the night sky, when first hiking in the mountains.

Deborah Price
Deborah Price

George Wolf

Board of Directors

George Wolf is a retired astronomer who lives in Broomfield, Colorado.  He joined the IDA Colorado Board in 2023.  To IDA Colorado he brings experience as a college professor and astronomer.

George’s dark-sky advocacy includes volunteer work with Colorado Park and Wildlife to assess possible candidates for Dark Sky Parks.

George enjoys astronomy, travel, reading, and hiking.

George Wolf
George Wolf

Martie Semmer

Board of Directors
Western Colorado Regional Coordinator
Secretary

Martie Semmer is a retired educator and consultant, who specialized in “Kindergarten – Grade 12 Spanish Language.”  She lives in Blue River, Colorado.  Martie has been a member of the IDA Colorado Board since 2021.  She serves on the IDA Colorado “Public Policy Task Force” and in the role as Western Colorado Regional Coordinator.  To IDA Colorado she brings experience in networking and reaching out at local, state, and national levels.

Martie’s dark-sky advocacy includes work with the Colorado Governor’s Office and the Colorado legislature on a number of successful projects.  She represents IDA Colorado in the “Care for Colorado Coalition.”  As a member of the “Public Policy Taskforce,” she works with many governmental organizations in Colorado. 

She enjoys swimming, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, camper van trips, spending quiet time in nature during all seasons of the year, along with her passion of experiencing the night sky and doing what she can to advocate on behalf of protecting and preserving the nighttime environment.

Martie fondly remembers two star parties at the Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe. 

Martie Semmer
Martie Semmer

Richard OBrien

Webmaster
Newsletter Editor
Northeastern Colorado Regional Coordinator

Richard OBrien is a computer network engineer, and works for the federal agency NOAA.  He lives in Boulder, Colorado.  He is the chapter Communications Coordinator, maintaining the Chapter website and editing the monthly newsletter.  He also serves as Northeastern Colorado Regional Coordinator.  To IDA Colorado he brings experience as a college professor, writing skills, and computer knowledge.

Richard’s dark-sky advocacy includes dark-sky presentations and demonstrations throughout Colorado.  He’s worked with many Dark Sky Place recognition proposal teams and advocated with a number of governmental bodies.  He founded the “Lights Out Colorado” program to help migratory birds by reducing light pollution.

He enjoys hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, bicycling, and stargazing.

Richard remembers many exquisite stargazing experiences, including one at Dinosaur National Monument. 

Richard OBrien
Richard OBrien

Robin DeGrassi James

Board of Directors

Robin DeGrassi James is the Director of Development Operations for the Denver Scholarship Foundation.  She lives in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.  She has been a member of the IDA Colorado Board since 2021.  To IDA Colorado she brings expertise and experience in nonprofit fundraising. 

Robin’s dark-sky advocacy work includes leading IDA Colorado’s Development Committee, including the successful 2022 Colorado Gives Day campaign.

She enjoys bird watching, photography, reading, and travelling.

Robin likes to remember  stargazing on her 2019 trip to New Zealand, at Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.

Robin DeGrassi James
Robin DeGrassi James

Ryan Parker

Denver/Central Colorado Regional Coordinator

Ryan Parker is a realtor, and works for RE/MAX Alliance Good Neighbor Living. He lives in Castle Pines, Colorado. He was previously Chair of the Colorado chapter.  To IDA Colorado he brings his ability to work with people, and his Christian beliefs.

Ryan’s dark-sky advocacy includes many years as an IDA member, and many accomplishments as Chair of the Colorado chapter.

He enjoys the great outdoors, stargazing, dark-sky outreach events, traveling, camping, riding horses, going to the family ranch, restoring old trucks, shooting, hunting, fishing and spending quality time with family and friends.

Ryan Parker
Ryan Parker

Sarah Tober

Interim Executive Director

Sarah Tober is a consultant for various nonprofit organizations, and lives in Durango, Colorado.  She became Interim Executive Director of the Colorado chapter in 2022.  To IDA Colorado she brings a wealth of experience leading nonprofit organizations, and her educational background, with a Master of Business Administration degree.

Sarah has been a long-time advocate of preserving dark skies, including a number of advocacy achievements in her previous state of Texas.  She’s currently active in dark-sky advocacy in her new community of Durango. 

Sarah enjoys horticulture, and is a Master Gardener.  She enjoys outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, skiing, sailing, and camping.  She, her husband, and son live with a variety of animals, including a dog, a cat, chickens, ducks, and a rabbit.

Sarah Tober
Sarah Tober
Give Where You Live

Global IDA memberbership

IDA members with a Colorado address are automatically part of the Colorado chapter.