Werner Wildlife Museum Staff

India Hayford

Senior Werner Wildlife Museum Assistant

India Hayford holds a degree in plant science from California State University, Fresno and a legal assistant certification from Casper College. She has worked as an agronomist, range conservationist, and wildlife biologist. Following a stint as a certified legal assistant, she returned to her science roots as a museum assistant at Werner Wildlife Museum where she edits The Howl newsletter and coordinates a series of wildlife study lectures that are open to the public. She is a member of Natrona County Sheriff Office’s Victim Response Unit and lectures on natural history and other topics for Casper College’s OLLI program.


Eileen Lemm

Werner Wildlife Museum Assistant

Eileen Lemm graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Art History. While studying in Laramie, WY, Eileen worked at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site as a tour guide, education coordinator and archivist. Eileen now resides in Casper, WY where she is one of two museum assistants at the Werner Wildlife Museum. Her roles include managing the collections data base, conducting tours of the museum and giving talks on a wide variety of topics about Wyoming wildlife and the Museum’s collection.

Patti Wood Finkle

Director of Museums

Patti Wood Finkle is the Director of Museums at Casper College, overseeing the Tate Geological Museum and the Werner Wildlife Museum. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Museum Science, with a focus on exhibits and collections. Her undergraduate degree in Anthropology is from Texas A&M University where she focused on the curation of archaeological collections. Patti has helped the museums update old exhibits and install new ones, most notably the Pleistocene exhibit, featuring Dee the Mammoth at the Tate and the Taxidermy exhibit at the Werner. While teaching Collections Management is one of the ways that she stays current in the museum field, she is also active with Mountain-Plains Museums Association. She is a past board member, one of the co-chairs of the Emerging Museum Professional Orientation for students and is the current chair of the MPMA Scholarship Committee.

Melissa Connely

Werner Wildlife Museum Curator

Earth Science Instructor and Klaenhammer Earth Science Chair
Melissa has been a student of Earth Science all her life. She joined the Tate Geological Museum crew in 1992 as a volunteer while going to school full time. She has worked her way up from being a volunteer, lab manager, geology instructor, and Director to Curator. Melissa loves to discover new things and promotes an appreciation for the natural world. She has a Master’s Degree in Geology with an emphasis in stratigraphy and paleoecology. She has worked in the field for 16 years with various institutions. Although she has a special fondness for sauropods, she delights in the study of any rock or fossil and shares that enthusiasm with her students and colleagues.