Growing up on the edge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, I pursued a career in ecology so that I could work in a wilderness setting, continue learning about nature, and do something beneficial for the landscape and its inhabitants--plants, wildlife, humans, and otherwise--that I care about.
I have a BA in Journalism (with minors in Spanish and Wildlife Biology) and an MS in Systems Ecology, both from the University of Montana. For my graduate degree, I spent two winters doing research on the Beartooth Plateau, trapping foxes to collect DNA samples and attach GPS collars, and tracking them through the snow to collect habitat use data and scat samples. All of this was conducted out of a remote field camp at 9,000' elevation, 20 miles by snowmobile (and/or ski when the snowmobiles broke down) from the nearest town. Most people thought I was crazy to live up there, but I loved it (so maybe they were right...) Filmmaker Beau Fredlund made an excellent short video about the project that you can watch here (we will make a similar video for the Alpine Otters project), while the outdoor editor of the local newspaper visited us and wrote several great pieces that you can find here (and we will certainly invite him back for the project this spring). I have also studied bears and other wild canines in Yellowstone National Park, as well as worked as a naturalist guide, a newspaper reporter, a commercial fisherman, a cook, server, and dishwasher, a trout fly tier, and numerous other odd jobs.
My professional goal is to share knowledge and appreciation of wildlife and wild places so that others, both now and in the future, will be able to enjoy them as much as I do.