What you do at Westwood Hills Nature Center?

I am the Nature Center Manager and am in charge of managing the staff, programs and facilities at Westwood.

Background/experience

I am a 1986 graduate of Northland College in Ashland Wisconsin, majoring in biology/outdoor education and minoring in natural history. I have been employed full-time in the naturalist field since 1988. I was previously employed full-time by the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, MN and the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, NC.

How has nature impacted your life?

Nature has always had a special place in my life. I grew up near the Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul, MN. I was involved in attending programs from kindergarten to high school, as well as being a Junior Naturalist and a volunteer. These experiences helped shape my desire to pursue a career as a naturalist.

What is your favorite animal?

My favorite animal is the Black-Capped Chickadee.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I enjoy spending time outdoors throughout all seasons hiking, biking, camping, skiing, canoeing, kayaking, etc. I also enjoy photography, gardening and cooking. My favorite interest/hobby is scuba diving, which I do year round locally and internationally.

What is your favorite activity or program at Westwood?

My favorite activity is walking the trails early in the morning before a lot of people come to visit.

What is your favorite place at Westwood?

My favorite place is the new pond and waterfalls located outside of the Interpretive Center. It is ever-changing and a very peaceful place.