Director of Education
My love of nature started as a young child. I grew up on a small farm in Warren, Rhode Island and was surrounded by a variety of animals including chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants, goats, a cow, a pony, and even miniature horses. My father and uncle were also the go-to rescuers for raccoons stuck in chimneys and squirrels trapped in attics which proved to be interesting introduction to wildlife rehabilitation and solidified my love of wild animals.
After receiving a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Dubuque in 1995, I unexpectedly fell in love with environmental education after accepting a position at a YMCA residential camp in East Troy, WI. Since then, I have gained nearly 25 years of experience in the field and hope to spend my life sharing my passion for nature with others through teaching, children’s books, photography, and more.
I have been fortunate to work for several well known and respected organizations including the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Norman Bird Sanctuary. I am thrilled to add the Maria Mitchell Association to that list and look forward to working with the Nantucket Community.
Interests and Accomplishments
In 2006, I returned to school to study digital photography at Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts. I chose this area of study because of my personal goal to write and photographically illustrate my own children’s nature stories. Since then my successes in photography have included:
- An honorable mention in National Geographic’s International Photography Competition for the image above. This was 1 of 13 images selected from 148,000 photographs taken around the world.
- Cover photo for Southcoast Insider Magazine
- Cover photo for the Audubon Report from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island
- Cover photo for the Rhode Island Environmental Literacy Plan
- Several images selected over multiple years for inclusion in the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Annual Tide Calendar
- Several images were used in the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association’s Strategic Plan and Annual Report
My other accomplishments include:
2018 Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education from MA House of Representatives and SAGEEE for the Nantucket Science Festival
2017 Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education from MA House of Representatives and SAGEEE for MMA’s 5th Grade Trees in the Community program
2006 Volunteer of the Year for the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society
1995 Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer to the State of Iowa
Since graduating from BU’s CDIA, I have written 4 short children’s stories that have been used in education programs and 1 full length children’s book that I will be illustrating during the summer of 2014
Board Member – Massachusetts Environmental Education Society 2015 – present
Massachusetts Environmental Literacy Plan – writing committee 2016 – present
Board Member – Rhode Island Environmental Education Association 2012-2014
Board Member- Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative 2010-2013
Plant Conservation Volunteer for the New England Wild Flower Society – 2000 – present
Marine Mammal Stranding Volunteer for Mystic Aquarium – 2012 – present
Biomes Marine Center – Painted 10ft x 7ft wrap around mangrove exhibit
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England – 2002-2004
Volunteer for the Audubon Society of RI – 2006-2010 – provide photography for fundraisers, family events, brochures, etc
Save the Bay: 1999-2008: collected seasonal data on seal and horseshoe crab populations
International Coastal Clean-up organizer 1997-2006, participant 2007 – 2013
Roger Williams Zoo, Volunteer/Zoo Docent, Summer 1995, January 1997 – May 1999