I have been interested in birds as long as I can remember. I began birding as a toddler and started bird banding when I was ten. I continued birding as I grew up, learning as much as I could along the way.
It was birds that led me to Oberlin College. Oberlin had all the elements I was looking for (small, liberal arts, environmentally conscious, shared values, etc…) as well as the opportunity to participate in original ornithological research.
I got my Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities working with the Great Lakes population of Piping Plovers. I specifically tried to get more people aware and informed about the conservation actions being taken to save this endangered species. Since this is a species that nests on beaches, learning how to best share the beach and help protect the chicks is important.
It’s always been about the birds for me so honing in on one specific species or topic has been really difficult for me. I was always encouraged to just ask questions, to never limit myself or be closed minded.
One thing I have come to cherish is talking about birds. I am passionate about creating bridges between people and birds, education/outreach and ornithology. I believe that science is not currently available or accessible to the general public. At least not as much as it could. Research is being trapped between the pages of journals that are both expensive and written in exclusive jargon. This isn’t how it should be.
So, I’m working to help expose people to bird research. I am not trying to convert people into bird-watchers or bird lovers. I simply believe that if folks become aware of the environment that is all around us, it could have a huge impact on conservation efforts, voting decisions, economic growth, and more.
If I can influence one life through the connection they make with birds, it could lead to a domino effect that will make the world better for us all.