I grew up in Minnesota and first spent meaningful time in southwest Colorado as a crew member with the Southwest Conservation Corps in 2005. I earned a B.A. in Geography and Anthropology and a Master’s in Geography from the University of Minnesota. For my Master’s research, I examined the long-term effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on subalpine ecosystems in Montana. Through my Master’s research and other undergraduate and graduate research projects studying fire ecology and climate change throughout the West, I saw how severely disturbance patterns can affect landscapes and communities as well as the need to holistically address these challenges.
I kept returning to Southwest Colorado to lead crews with the Southwest Conservation Corps and officially moved here in 2015 after living and working at Green Gulch Farm in California. Since then, I led courses with the Wild Rockies Field Institute for two years, teaching natural resources management and environmental studies classes throughout the Colorado Plateau and Northern Rockies. In addition to traditional academics, those courses focused on directly connecting students with stakeholders in seemingly intractable conservation issues. While leading those courses, I saw the power and importance of collaboration towards productive conservation ends.
I have recently instructed a course focusing on disturbance through the Environmental Studies Department at Fort Lewis College and, alongside the coordinator position with the Dolores Watershed Resilient Forest Collaborative, I serve as a program coordinator with the Stewards Individual Placement Program. With Stewards, I coordinate national environmental internship programs through AmeriCorps with federal land management agencies.