I completed a BS in Zoology, Psychology, and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I then finished a MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, where I evaluated the effectiveness of an informal environmental education program at Brookfield Zoo, in Brookfield, IL, to instill caring for the environment in youth participants, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Most recently (successfully defended on 12-2-2011- yeah!), I finished a PhD in Ecology at Utah State University, where I examined both the social and natural science variables relevant to the introduction of an invasive frog, the coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui), in Hawaii.
I enjoy hiking, biking, walking, running, dancing, cooking, baking, reading, listening to music, camping, mindful meditation, and all things outdoors.
I was a vegetarian for 6 years and now consider myself a flexitarian (meaning I eat mostly veggies, but will eat meat if it is available- especially if I know where it came from). I try to buy local and eat local whenever possible (harder on grad student stipends). I was diagnosed as being gluten intolerant 3 years ago, and have since been experimenting with crafting tasty gluten free baked goods because I cannot live without something sweet (I have a huge sweet tooth).
I have three nephews (2 twins) that I love to pieces. I love being "Aunt Em".
I enjoy building things. After I passed my comprehensive exams (exam process that is part of completing a PhD), I built a picnic table that converts into two benches (all on my own! Including borrowing a friend's table saw and tweaking the design I found online). I also designed and helped to build a brick oven in Ecuador, that's large enough to fit a pig!
Feel free to email me.