I am a lifelong nature nerd whose favorite thing in the world is sharing my love of nature with others! While I grew up on the northern end of the Ozarks in Missouri, I have lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2006. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve endeavored to learn as much as I can about the animals, plants, fungi, and other natural history of the region. And to be very fair, I’ve never met an ecosystem I didn’t like!
I am of the firm belief that you don’t need a formal degree in STEM fields to be a citizen naturalist or a science communicator, and there’s still plenty you can learn about the natural sciences. I speak from experience; while I had aspirations of studying biology in college, my math skills forced me to take a different route. My educational background is largely in the humanities; I have a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology with a certificate in Ecopsychology, which is the psychology of how we connect to the natural world. I am a certified Oregon Master Naturalist, as well as a certified Wilderness First Responder. I am also a member of the Long Beach Merchants Association and the Ocean Park Chamber of Commerce.
My goal as a nature educator is to help people of all educational backgrounds to be able to not only appreciate and explore the nature around them but to be able to communicate to others about the natural wonders of our world. My classes are designed to be accessible without excessively watering down the material. While I do enjoy teaching children of all ages, I especially love showing adults that nature education doesn’t have to stop with graduation. It may sometimes be more challenging to fit learning into our busy lives, but my single-session classes are specifically designed to accommodate busy schedules that might not fit a longer, multi-week class.
With regards to my guided nature tours, I am a registered Oregon Outfitter Guide; this registration is necessary to perform any commercial guiding in the state of Oregon. I maintain both general and professional liability insurance.
I hold myself to a high standard of ecological awareness and responsibility toward my tour sites and their wild inhabitants. Tour proceeds are shared with non-profit organizations that restore and protect wild land, and I regularly volunteer in habitat restoration and other land stewardship activities.
When I’m not teaching, writing natural history articles and books, or leading guided nature tours, I enjoy hiking and traveling around the Pacific Northwest with my dog, reading everything from field guides to fantasy novels, training in martial arts, and playing tabletop roleplaying games. I currently live on a farm in southwest Washington, on unceded Chinook territory. To learn how to help the Chinook Indian Nation regain federal recognition, please visit https://chinookjustice.org/.