Naturalist, Photographer, Cartographer
I was raised in Tennessee, happy among the rolling hills south of the Cumberland River as it makes its way through the heart of Nashville. That was home, but I did much of my growing up elsewhere. Family vacations took me to all 50 states before I turned 11, and only six states were not accessed by car from Nashville. The centerpieces of those trips were almost always national parks, supplemented by museums and baseball games.
Those parks, those "empires of grandeur," were some of my best teachers. From the parks I learned the value of nature, of history, of hiking, of the wild. In college, I spent as much time as I could in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was a student of geography, both formally (at the University of Tennessee) and informally (on trail in those misty mountains). I even worked in the park for a summer, a dream come true.
Inspired by the wonders I'd seen and the good work I witnessed at an environmental education center in the Border Ranges of Australia, I moved to Ashland, Oregon for a graduate program at Southern Oregon University. Degree in hand, I moved north to Bend to work full time as a naturalist and guide, and to keep exploring all the wild that Oregon has to offer.
Sharing the wonder of the wild with others, whether in person or with images and written words, is my highest aspiration. I'll never cease to be awed by the life and landscapes that define this country, continent, and world. Like Horace Kephart when he first came to the Smokies of Tennessee and North Carolina, I'm searching for a "back of beyond." If I find it, I'll let you know.
It's not all hiking, photos, and writing, though. I'm also a cartographer, making maps and working with GIS. I've held a few jobs working with maps, and have spent time as a graphic designer as well.