I grew up in a small town in Nebraska until moving to the White Mountains in Arizona. As a kid, I spent every possible free minute outdoors exploring the natural world. My father is a veterinarian so working with animals was an obvious career choice, therefore, I decided to get my degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. My goal was to go to travel the world and do research on big cats. My focus has always been on conservation and I started that path by becoming a Park Ranger. From there, I ended up getting my dream job as an animal caregiver at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. Myself and 3 other girls were in charge of over 300 large carnivores that came from terribly abusive and/or neglected homes. We had everything from porcupines to Kodiak grizzly bears, but mostly lions, tigers, wolves and black bears. During that time, I also worked on a private pilot's license and flew an Italian home-built experimental plane. I've been very fortunate in having the courage to follow my dreams and love to ignite the same passion in young minds and hearts. That passion led me to teach what I love. Building strong trusting relationships is the kindling to ignite that fire in students. As a way to keep that connection strong, I started a club called conserveUS - US being humanity. By mobilizing young people to work on community improvement projects, they can act as catalysts for change, build civic engagement, build important connections with each other along with developing crucial life and leadership skills.
When not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful 8 year-old daughter, Lilah and our 4 animals. I love any outdoor activity, play guitar, love cooking and hope to someday buy a sailboat and sail around the world while working on my Evolutionary Biology PhD thesis.
Word to the wise.....lilacs are my favorite flower and bringing me them in the spring would make my whole year!!!