Background: I have been working as an Urban Forestry Educator for the past two years. When I started I had a background in plants but not specifically trees, and especially not urban forestry. The job has given me the opportunity to teach others about plants and has also taught me more about something I wasn’t as familiar with in the plant world. While training in for this position I began to notice more about these trees that I would have usually not thought much about. A lot of us take for granted city trees and urban forests not realizing how terrible a place cities would be without them. My main responsibilities in this position are to organize the planting of 1000-1300 city trees per year while communicating with the local community the benefits of trees. The goal is to get the community involved in the planting and maintenance of the urban forest.
What is your favorite…
Outdoor activity? Identifying plants while backpacking and hiking.
Nature-based memory from childhood? Visiting the Lake Superior ice caves after walking a few miles over the frozen, windy lake.
Animal? Dogs, as a child they were always my favorite companions.
Plant? Favorite tree in NY:Liriodendron tulipifera, Tulip tree; Favorite SW genus, Eriogonum, buckwheat, I love the different morphologies between species and their fluffy flowers; Favorite plant while growing up: Equisetum, horsetails, I enjoyed popping the sections apart and then attempting to put them back together.
Place to visit? Home, in Northern Wisconsin, or Portland for a Timbers game.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? I felt a strong bond with animals and thought the logical career would be a veterinarian. That was until I found out that I would be putting animals to sleep.
What motivates you to work in nature? As a child I enjoyed learning but dis-liked being inside a building all day. That was the moment when I thought to myself I’m going to do what I want where I want. I later realized that my passion was to learn about plants and to teach others to appreciate them.
Hometown: Cable, WI
Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science (2008) Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)