As a native of a country without much topography (the Netherlands), I love my adopted mountainous home in the state of Washington. It's a great place to study a topic that has long fascinated me: the climatic drivers of where species are and when they are active (phenology!), and the complex interactions between species that further modify these patterns. I am privileged to be a Professor at University of Washington, which means that I get to spend time researching these topics and teaching students about them. In summer, I (and my students) spend time 'on the mountain' (Mt. Rainier National Park) collecting data while enjoying spectacular wildflowers and magnificent trees in beautiful landscapes.
My motivations for establishing MeadoWatch in 2013 were twofold. First, I wanted to better understand how changing climates will influence the reproductive timing (from flowering to seedset) of montane wildflowers. Second, I wanted to participate in a endeavor where science and data gathering are part of a collective effort (i.e. a citizen science program).