Barbara works as a public health nurse

We are thrilled to be recognizing Barbara Woontner as our Climate Hero of the Month for August!

Barbara joined 350 Colorado in November 2021. She attended the new virtual volunteer orientation that we had launched in January 2022 and immediately started getting further involved from there. In fact, she approached us with her unique skill set, offering to help with any data management projects we had! 

For a little background; our Customer Relation Management (CRM) software is a critical part of how we and many non-profits organize effectively. And like a lot of information databases out there, it takes time, patience, and dedication to fully grasp its full functionality. Updates are introduced by the software developers intermittently, and we aren’t always able to quickly adapt to those changes. 

Then steps in volunteer extraordinaire, Barbara, who takes on our CRM with confidence and dedication! She first began by regularly pulling reports on our committee lists to help our staff have the most up to date lists that they can send communications and action items to. When she noticed inconsistencies or gaps in some lists she was proactive in reaching out to staff to see if things could be addressed and improved. Having to send clear enough and detailed enough emails to effectively communicate the issue and resolution is not a skill that comes easily, and Barbara is a master at it!

So for a few months Barbara dug into our CRM and got more familiar with the ins and outs and all of its quirks. She spent time reading about how things work. She eventually uncovered a great way to improve our committee lists by giving folks more control of unsubscribing from certain communications of ours, which in turn, also helps us better understand how things are performing. She made time in her busy schedule to meet with staff to discuss the process and suggested changes and answer any questions we have. She created a self-service portal for our members (which will be debuted soon!), created updated ‘tags’ in our system, cross referenced data, and double checked that everything was working properly when updates where implemented just this week. She even put together slides to be shared with our staff to make for the smoothest transition possible, as well as step by step instruction documents for new or unfamiliar staff to learn how to do some of these things. Barbara took something that can feel overwhelming and complex, and made it approachable, understandable, and accessible to us all, all while improving how we use the system. Wow.

But Barbara isn’t just behind-the-scenes making sure things are humming along, she is also out in the community helping build the climate movement. She came to a Denver team meeting recently where she engaged thoughtfully and considerately with other members and the presenter – she even had extra masks with her to share! At the end of the meeting she was quick to offer to help break the space down and get things squared away. She is helpful, considerate, and undoubtedly makes the team stronger.

And just in July, Barbara tabled for 350CO at EcoFiesta in Commerce City for over 5 hours! While she had originally signed up for the earlier of the two volunteer shifts she stayed for the second shift when another volunteer couldn’t make it. “She’s supportive and smart and exudes a quiet confidence that I appreciate and want to emulate,” says Kate Christensen, Oil & Gas Campaign Director. “She’ll watch, she’ll learn, and she will do!”

Barbara’s professional background provides a unique perspective for why taking action on climate change is so important to her. “As an immunization nurse, I’m especially concerned about the effect climate change will have on emerging diseases – due to a confluence of factors (increased migration/immigration to escape unlivable climates, an expansion in the range of vectors like mosquitos, natural disasters interrupting disease control efforts, and an increase in the overlap between human and wild habitats),” says Barbara.

Barbara lives in Aurora with her wife and five cats and is currently pursuing a Masters in health informatics.

We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work, dedication, and insight on effective data management/practice, team-building, and protecting public health! You are a hero in every sense of the word.

Want to be our next Climate Hero of the month? Join us as a volunteer by emailing