High alpine mountain towns like Aspen are seeing the effects of climate change before many other places, making us “canaries in the mineshaft” for global climate impacts. Canary is a beloved member of the Aspen community and reaches out to residents and visitors, alike, to share Aspen’s message of climate action.
The City of Aspen strives to be an environmental leader and to promote environmental stewardship throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and around the globe. It recognizes Aspen’s dependence on its climate and natural resources for a thriving economy, healthy ecosystems and exceptional quality of life. In an effort to do its part to reduce the threat of climate change, Aspen's City Council adopted the City of Aspen’s Canary Action Plan in 2007, which commits to reducing community emissions 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, below 2004 levels.
Ashley Perl 970.429.1798
Ashley is first and foremost a passionate member of the Aspen community. She was born and raised in Aspen and grew up in the mountains of the Roaring Fork Valley. Ashley loves serving the people of Aspen by working to make Aspen a sustainable place for future generations. She is an avid skier and cyclist and can be found on her lunch breaks either on the mountain or running the trails around Aspen. Ashley attended school in Boulder at the University of Colorado and in Monterrey, CA at the Monterrey Institute for International Studies. As the director of the Canary Initiative, Ashley oversees the City of Aspen’s climate mitigation and tracking projects; serves as the City’s climate resiliency officer; and is a resource to fellow employees, local businesses, visitors, the schools and others in all matters related to energy and climate.
Data & Research Project Planner
Chris Menges 970.920.5072
As Canary’s principle research analyst, Chris tracks GHG emissions and energy use, analyzes emissions trajectories and develops strategies to help the city achieve its carbon reduction and resiliency goals. He also participates in state and federal policy discussions and provides expertise to community groups working on climate and energy. Prior to joining the city, Chris worked as a fellow at American Whitewater, spent three years as Climate and Clean Energy Director at High Country Conservation Advocates in Crested Butte, CO and interned at Climate Solutions in Portland, OR and Friends of the Earth in Washington DC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from Western State Colorado University and a Master of Science in Climate Science and Solutions from Northern Arizona University. When not working on climate related topics, Chris is generally chasing waterfalls (summer) or fresh lines (winter).
Ada Christensen 970.429.1749
As Outreach Coordinator for the City of Aspen’s Canary Initiative, Ada cultivates behavior change through creative programs and thoughtful communication plans. She has a knowledge base in air and water quality, greenhouse gas reduction and waste education. Aspen residents and visitors need ways to relate to our changing climate, and Ada helps present data in simple, digestible terms. She enjoys using her fine art background to design eye-catching collateral for the City’s environmental programs. In her free time, Ada is an avid high altitude vegetable gardener and community garden member.
Utilities Efficiency Specialist
Ryland French 970.429.1969
Ryland manages the energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy programs provided to the customers of the City of Aspen electric and water utilities. He is a resource to customers to help them take control of their utility bills, make their buildings more comfortable and safe, and reduce their environmental impact. Ryland is a certified Building Analyst Professional through the Building Performance Institute. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Environmental Economics and Law. In addition to helping people and the environment, Ryland’s passions include music, travel, snowboarding, cycling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.