A native Blue Hen, I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. I then served and led an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team on projects up and down the Pacific coast, and from there I made my way to an internship in Aspen, Colorado. What was meant to be a summer naturalist position in the Rockies turned into 11 years!
In 2009, my husband Tim and I moved with our son Connor to Asheville, and here we enjoy hiking and exploring the Southern Appalachians.
Year started at TNC: April 2011. Prior to TNC, I worked for a small nonprofit in Colorado, the Forest Conservancy, training and equipping volunteers to assist with trail maintenance and ranger duties on trails of the White River National Forest. I also led hikes and snowshoe tours as a naturalist with the U.S. Forest Service and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and taught environmental education to preschoolers and elementary students.
Favorite TNC Preserve and why: So far, my favorite is Bluff Mountain Preserve in Ashe County. This ecologically-rich place offers scenic beauty, unusual landforms and a wide variety of birds and botanicals. I especially love experiencing a Carolina hemlock forest and a southern Appalachian fen within a short distance of each other. And it’s cool finding Gray’s Lily and Roan Mountain Bluet there.
A typical good day for you at work: My position is part-time and includes administrative and conservation responsibilities, plus I supervise a team of dedicated volunteers and a fabulous AmeriCorps Project Conserve member. I have plenty to keep me on my toes, and every day is different: during field work season, I can be found monitoring a few conservation easements each week, and in the office I might work on anything from financial reports to protection inquiries and equipment maintenance.
A favorite part of my work is cultivating relationships with easement landowners, and I also enjoy getting to know people in the land trust community in western North Carolina.
Place in the world you would most like to visit but have never been to: I hope to travel with my family to Hawaii in the next few years. I am fond of islands and find it amazing that there are these landscapes in Hawaii that range from barren lava to lush rainforests – I want to experience firsthand the incredible natural diversity of the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands.