As Program Manager, I oversee/guide the foundation’s on-site and virtual programs, from concept and implementation to evaluation, in collaboration with a talented team of program staff. Our goal is to deliver engaging programming that allows participants to enhance their relationship with the land, explore connections to our human communities, and ultimately deepen their commitment to caring for each. It is a joy to welcome visitors from all over the world to our programs and the Leopold property whether that be in person or through our virtual programs. More exciting is seeing and hearing participants speak of hope, being inspirited, and recharged after a program through the connections with others and exposure to the many and varied voices of a land ethic in addition to Leopold’s own words.
While my role at the foundation has changed over the years, each has given way to new perspective and ideas that will help inform program offerings in this current role. On a cold February day in 2005 I started as a Land Stewardship Fellow before becoming the Stewardship Coordinator (2006 to 2015). Each aligned with my academic background in forestry with an emphasis in ecosystem management and restoration earned at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2004. This work sparked my curiosity to dive deeper into understanding how individuals develop their relationship with a piece of land and how it translates into caring for land, which eventually became the basis of a graduate degree in the human dimensions of natural resources from UW-Stevens Point in 2010. Most recently as the Evaluation Coordinator (2015-2021) my focus was on evaluating programs designed to connect private landowners to the resources and information that help them pursue their property goals. This is work that continues to intrigue me.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, dog, beef, and chickens on our 60 acre farm in Western Wisconsin—a place where we cherish the opportunity to plant a garden and harvest our own good oak. If not in the garden or hiking, you’ll find me listening to podcasts, doing yoga, hunting, reading, or making something (there is always a new project in the works).
The Aldo Leopold Foundation was founded in 1982 with a mission to foster the land ethic through the legacy of Aldo Leopold, awakening an ecological conscience in people throughout the world.