Connecting people with nature is one of my greatest joys in life. My interest in environmental education started at a very young age, however I did not have the opportunity to fully engage with environmental education until I moved to Montana for graduate school. I served as the Education Coordinator at the University of Montana Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT). I created interpretive signs around the property, developed curriculum, coordinated workshops, and planned a site visit for local Montana elementary students.
Curious about the world of environmental education after my year at the UM FLAT, I applied for an AmeriCorps position at the Montana Natural History Center as an education intern. I concurrently enrolled in an environmental education course and was grateful for the chance to take the lessons from class and apply them in practice while at the Natural History Center. Delving into the world of place-based education was exciting and fun and inspired me to hone my naturalist skills by enrolling in a Master Naturalist course. Connecting kids with their local place and encouraging to explore their own curiosity profoundly impacted my own worldview.
I was hired by the Montana Natural History Center as a field guide near the end of my AmeriCorps year. I developed many robust skills such as curriculum development, volunteer management, outdoor program management, public speaking, blog writing, and programming for early learners. I deeply loved working outdoors with teachers, students, and parents.
Most recently I worked in the education department at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. I assisted with the BurkeMobile program developing curriculum, teaching, coordinating site visits, and building future capacity. Connecting Washington school kids with museum artifacts was an amazing opportunity and I hope to be able to contribute more to the world of environmental education.
Natural resources are dynamic. Water, plants, animals, and people move across boundaries each and every day. What are the implications of natural resources that cross political boundaries such as water or migrating animals? How can we use scientific research to craft best practices and inform state and federal policies? How can we create opportunity for collaboration across boundaries? These questions excite and motivate me in the world of transboundary environmental issues.
As a graduate student at the University of Montana, I researched the impacts of coal bed methane development in the Flathead River Valley in northwestern Montana and southeastern British Columbia, Canada. I chose to study at the University of Montana specifically for their Transboundary Planning, Policy and Management Initiative. During my time in the program I became involved with the Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent and saw firsthand the power of collaborative management between local, state, federal, tribal, non-governmental, business owners, landowners, ranchers, and academics.
I am deeply passionate about transboundary environmental issues and I hope to find new opportunities to explore the dynamics between natural resource management, international politics, and global development!