What you do at Westwood Hills Nature Center?

I am an interpretive naturalist at Westwood. I teach about nature; guide, explore and share outdoor experiences with others; and mentor, train and work with volunteers and junior naturalists. I also work on special projects and care for the animals, including our Red-tailed Hawk.

Background/experience

I started as an intern at Westwood Hills Nature Center in fall 1987. Following my internship, I did seasonal work at Westwood, Maplewood Nature Center, Belwin Outdoor Center and Three Rivers Park District. I also worked in a variety of roles with the International Wolf Center and have enjoyed several summers working as a natural history guide in Alaska leading hiking and rafting trips.

How has nature impacted your life?

How has it not? I’ve experienced the power and danger of nature, its subtle intriguing intricacies and its magnificent soul stirring beauty. Each experience leaves its mark and shapes my perspectives. 

What is your favorite animal?

I have a lot of favorites, including dragonflies, wolves, arctic terns, otters and chickadees.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends, kayaking, camping, swimming, hiking and cross country skiing. I also enjoy traveling and reading.

What is your favorite activity or program at Westwood?

It depends on the season, but I love maple syruping in the spring, snowshoeing in the winter, honeybee programs in the fall and adventure programming in the summer.

What is your favorite place at Westwood?

The Y-dock on a spring morning, “fern gully” in the middle of summer, the prairie in the fall and on the lake ice in the winter.