Science is in my blood! Daughter of a college physics professor and an early childhood educator, I learned at an early age that: science excites, connections matter, and there is joy in nature! Science has taken me to a Master’s in Biology and Geology; to illustrate marine organisms for Marine Flora and Fauna of Bermuda, ferns for Ferns and Ferns and Allied Plants, and micro-organisms for Five Kingdoms; to do geochemical research in the Bahamas; to co-discover and name a species new to science; and to explore for oil in the Permian Basin.
As a scientist, illustrator, and educator, I have been sharing my love for nature and science with people of all ages for over three decades, so it seemed natural to become a teacher. At the secondary and elementary level, I worked to create unique, authentic experiences which helped students develop a passion for science, creating a community that questions findings and builds learning together. Working with the Permian Basin Master Gardeners and other community volunteers, my fourth-grade students converted our school courtyard into a biodiverse garden. We carried out research for seven years to document the increase in biodiversity over time and in 2004, we were honored with the Texas Environmental Excellence Award -Youth Division.
In 2012, I brought this same philosophy to the outdoor education program at the I-20 Wildlife Preserve and Jenna Welch Nature Study Center.
As a Permian Basin Master Gardener and a Llano Estacado Texas Master Naturalist, I have learned so much about our ecosystems, our place in them, and our disconnection from them. Being the chair of the Sustainability Committee for Visions 2020 and on the forced me to examine what are sustainable practices for living in this very arid land and what an individual interested in living lightly can start to do.
Now, I hope to share some of what I have learned about what is possible and why it matters with a wider audience.