Born and raised in beautiful Northern California, I grew up exploring the creek behind my house and playing with the horses and goats that lived next door. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a degree in Biology, I worked at a small education consulting company in the Bay Area. Wanting to combine my love of the natural world and my new-found interest in education, I fortuitously found and was accepted to IslandWood’s graduate residency program. After spending a year on Bainbridge Island teaching environmental education to elementary school students, I recently moved to Seattle to finish a Master’s Degree in Science Education at the University of Washington. I’ve completely fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest and I love encouraging students from all over the city to explore the beautiful ecosystems that can be found right outside their back door! This will be my second summer as a Garden Guide.
Originally from Portland, Oregon and having lived in Seattle for school, my Pacific Northwest roots run deep. I just graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in both Community, Environment & Planning (CEP) and Environmental Studies. I’m interested in outreach projects that educate and engage people in urban environmental, education, and social justice issues. I am a runner, writer, climber, cook, aspiring adventurer, and – most importantly – a learner. I believe that education should be fun and am excited to share my enthusiasm for environmental education with students this summer.
I recently moved to Seattle from Virginia and completed my Master’s of Science in Education. Since my move, I have been able to teach in the classroom, in small groups, and in one-on-one settings covering a range of content areas and topics – everything from the environment to music! I am always excited and inspired by the vast possibilities working with kids and the opportunity to be a part of the dynamic and interactive process of learning and development. This summer I look forward to sharing my love of nature with the kids through our hikes and activities. I am an avid hiker and backpacker and it will be a lot of fun to share the joys of being outdoors and explore the many wonders of nature available throughout the Arboretum.
I have worked for the Arboretum for about a year and half and could not possibly love my job any more than I do right now. I was brought on in 2010 to design and develop a summer camp program. We piloted a 3 week program last summer and through positive parent, camper and staff feedback we deemed it a huge success. I am excited this program is growing and that we will spend this summer teaching about, playing in and connecting over 140 kids with the natural world at the Arboretum. Like many in the field of environmental education my love for the outdoors started as a kid building forts, going on forest expeditions with my sister on Orcas Island, using mud for mosquito repellent and experiences with the Wilderness Awareness School. Now, I am grateful I get to share my passion for nature through teaching and program development (check out our new Family Ecology Tour Program). My current naturalist pursuits are expanding my ethnobotanical knowledge, learning some bird ID and song skills, and stretching my plant knowledge to include the higher altitudes as I explore the mountains through backpacking and alpine scrambling.