Hi! Thanks for visiting my site. I'm a single mom (with a great co-parent), data nerd and music & podcast enthusiast. I grew up in rural north Idaho during the timber wars. My dad spent most of his career working for the Forest Service as a forest culturist and providing air support on fires. His idea of a Sunday drive was going out to visit his old reforestation projects!
I have always been interested in the inherent tension and complexity of issues that involve livelihood, place, history, politics and the environment. So when I stumbled across a small program in rural sociology and community forestry at the University of Montana, I felt at home right away. After a couple short careers in trail work and reproductive health, I finally decided to finish my bachelor’s degree, and went to work for a national conservation organization helping collaborative groups meet the triple bottom line. I soon realized that the economic leg of the “stool” was often the weakest and least understood. When I left that job, I knew that making a difference in rural communities was going to require an intimate understanding of the economics and business of forestry. This led me to spend the next 7 years at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research studying the forest products industry across the West and getting a master’s degree in Forestry. During this time, I began exploring questions related to organizational and institutional barriers to policy implementation by looking at the local economic benefits of restoration on national forests. Thus began my fascination with public policy and administration as seen through the lens of natural resources and rural communities.
I live in Missoula, MT with my daughter and enjoy hiking, running, being on the many rivers of Montana and being a homebody cooking and gardening.