Originally from Pennsylvania in the United States, I now call New Zealand home. I earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management with an emphasis on environmental education at the University of Michigan. I married a fellow student, and we celebrated our first three wedding anniversaries in the Republic of Panama serving as Peace Corps volunteers.
Upon our return to the United States, I embarked on a career as a heritage interpreter/environmental educator, with a brief break to get a Master’s degree in Entomology at Penn State University. My thesis work focused on teaching high school students about integrated pest management with hands-on science-based activities.
My favourite jobs over the years have included:
- Naturalist at Camp Tamarack, where I got to care for and teach with an 8-foot long Burmese python named Ka, and where the staff housing looked out over a lake that was home to sandhill cranes.
- Program Director at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, where I got to teach all ages, from preschoolers, to university students to adults, including a fun and exhausting International Ecology Camp for the Japanese All-Star Little League team.
- Senior Naturalist at the Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center, where I enjoyed canoeing on the lake with kids and teaching snowshoe programs.
In 2005, we moved with our two young children to New Zealand, where I started a heritage interpretation consultancy and a science outreach business called The Bugmobile.
Ten years later, I needed a new challenge, so I closed my businesses in order to focus on writing.
I write from my sunny office at Crazy Corner Farm, where I grow much of the family’s food, and provide comic relief to the neighbours, who are all real farmers.
You can find links to my published writing here.
Recent press coverage and interviews:
- Jessie’s Coffee Shop–11 September 2017
- Nix Whittaker interview–26 Aug 2017
- Christchurch Writer’s Guild–28 July 2017
- The Star–24 March 2017