Growing up in rural Connecticut, I spent most of time outdoors, hiking along portions of the Appalachian Trail, and fishing the Housatonic River. These early experiences, along with outdoor service projects as a Boy Scout, inspired me to pursue environmental science in college. After graduating high school, I spent a year studying Conservation Biology in upstate New York before deciding to move to Southern California to study Environmental Science and Business at the University of Redlands.
Coming from a small town in the Northeast, I found Los Angeles to be huge and overwhelming at first. Fortunately for me, the University of Redlands is less than an hour away from the San Bernardino National Forest. The Forest provided the perfect solace, an antidote to the noise and crowds of Los Angeles. My courses took full advantage of these breathtaking landscapes as well, and I took as many classes as I could on fire ecology, forestry, geology, and land management, to better understand my new home.
My studies lead me to my first jobs as a field assistant and later as a project manager for the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District where I took on projects ranging from habitat restoration to environmental education. Working in conservation in one of the most populated areas of the country underscored the value of involving the local community in protecting our natural resources. I came to appreciate the value of creating good environmental stewards through volunteerism and education.
I still spend my weekends backpacking and exploring the San Gabriel Mountains, and am eager to be involved in these incredible landscapes. As part of the Southern California program, I look forward to engaging everyone from avid hikers to first-time visitors to the National Forests in the work of conservation that is so crucial for ensuring healthy land, air, and water in Los Angeles.